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4.5 out of 5 stars51
4.5 out of 5 stars
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Like all cut price compilations they are most telling for their omissions rather than what they include. This one has only one glaring omission debut side `The Selecter' the instrumental on the b-side of The Specials 45 `Gangsters' which created the initial excitement to start the band in the first place. Also absent is the classic version of the cover of `Train to Skaville' which with its 12" dub version was definitely a high point of the bands career.

However gripes aside it manages to include the non album singles `On My Radio' and my personal favourite `The Whisper' along with the best eight cuts from the debut LP `Too Much Pressure'. The remaining six songs are drawn from the bands disappointing second LP `Celebrate the Bullet' which is perhaps too many. Still at least it doesn't contain anything from the bands reformation.

The best Selecter compilation available and at a price so low it would be rude not to buy it.
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on 12 March 2011
"Greatest hits" Compilations in any music genre are often disappointing to the listener because the album omits track(s) from the selection that you think should be there. In this case you won't be disapponted as all the hits are indeed here, "On my Radio", "Three Minute Hero" & "Missing Words" to name but three excellent 2Tone Tracks. As well as the 2Tone Triumphs that charted 79-81 it includes tracks from first two albums released by the band. I'm always glad to see Walt Jabsco on Album artwork when presenting albums from the 2Tone scene and his apperance on front is welcome. It's a shame that the artwork doesn't extend to an image of the band themselves. This is a greatest Hits album of High standard and for anyone wishing to get a feel of 2Tone music via The Selecter's unique slant on this music with heavy Jamaican Ska influences and indeed two excellent cover versions of Ska originals included within, "Carry go bring Come", "Time Hard" aka "Everyday". Each band from 2Tone era had their own vibe and characteristics. For me The Selecter had the hardest heaviest Riddim going on. An inexpensive album, very good value and well worth a listen.
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on 8 February 2014
This multi-racial group from Coventry have endured, in a somewhat confusing variety of incarnations, for over 30 years. However it is widely agreed that their best work came in the late 1970's and early 1980's when - with their charismatic lead singer Pauline Black - they were as Chris White observes in his bland sleeve note, "briefly one of the most important purveyors of reggae/ska music". This cheap 16 track collection - that comes clothed in a two-tone sleeve featuring the Walt Jabsco icon - sensibly focusses on that period. It boasts their handful of relatively successful singles of that time: 'On My Radio'; 'Three Minute Hero'; 'Missing Words', and 'The Whisper'. These stand-out tunes marry brittle new-wave melodies, brisk skanking beats and edgily-delivered vocals to some pretty solid song-writing. They are backed here by some competent cuts from their well-liked debut Too Much Pressure (1980), such as the title track and 'Murder'. Greatest Hits also has The Selecter doffing their fedoras to their influences with versions of ska classics by Justin Hinds' 'Carry Go Bring Home' and The Pioneers' 'Time Hard', and their knowingly daft 'James Bond' instrumental.

But the rest of what is featured here - culled mainly from the band's disappointing second LP Celebrate the Bullet (1981) - shows why The Selecter didn't have had the lasting impact that their more successful contemporaries The Specials and Madness had: many of their own songs, such as 'Bristol and Miami' and 'Bomb Scare', haven't aged well. This somewhat inaptIy-titled Greatest Hits could maybe have been improved by the inclusion of their debut side 'The Selecter' - the instrumental on the B-side of The Specials' 45 'Gangsters' - which created the initial excitement in the band. However in their disorganised back catalogue this 1996 compilation remains the best available account of these three minute heroes.
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on 1 November 2002
They only really produced the one proper album, and this album is really just the best tracks from that album plus some singles - but what an album. Look at all these great tracks - 'Three Minute Hero', 'Missing Words', 'On My Radio' - all on the radio during the ska revival of the late 70's/early 80's, and along with the Specials, the band that really made it happen.
The multi-racial nature of the band and the diverse influences made it flow smoothly from punk to ska without the punks even caring where it went, or the rude boys (and girls) caring where it came from.
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on 11 July 2012
The two tracks that I know best - '3 minute hero' and 'on my radio' stand out. 'Celebrate the bullet' was a new track to me and its a corker - not what I expected from this band. 'James Bond' skanks along in a predictable but fun style and 'too much pressure' bounces along quite reasonably. But in terms of impact, I am hard pressed to bring the specifics of any other tracks to mind. It's not that they're poor but to get 4 or even 5 stars they just need to be better.
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on 1 July 2015
Some very useful reviews on here with which I tend to agree - should have The Selecter on it ( quite a hard to get track) and not everything has aged well. Pauline Black has been quite vocal about the poor efforts made by their producers of the time and the sounds are thin here. However, the hits remain quite brilliant ( in several bands I haven't found a drummer who can get Too Much Pressure right, this is cleverer stuff than straight 8ths ska)and some of the lesser known ones are too - Murder is a 12 bar based burst of energy.
Their new album has been picking up some interest and this is a nearly perfect companion to get with it to see where it all came from.
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on 14 December 2013
love the band,these were one of the pioneers of the fundemental movements of the 80,s music scene.well worth a listen,would recommend it to anyone who loves the early eighties.
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on 17 April 2009
Not a perfect collection of the bands music, But a good start and gives you enough to be getting on with.
If you like other Ska/2tone bands you should own this.
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on 20 December 2013
classic tracks from a classic band, still gigging and touring 2014 tba, pualine black is still one the best front guys ive ever seen
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on 9 July 2013
The tracks were as good as I remember them when they were first released. Good listening, made for a good drive to the airport.
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