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on 9 October 2000
After more than 20 years in the musicbusiness and a total production of nearly 200 titles; solo, as part of Japan/RTC and a large number of co-operations with Robert Fripp, Mark Isham, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Jon Hassell among others, there had to be a Sylvian compilation someday. And not only is it a best of album, it's also a rarity album with new and old previously unheard tracks plus reworked versions of old classics. Good idea although some songs didn't need this reworking, which mainly means new vocals added to old and remastered backing tracks. Only Ghosts" and the two "Marco Polo" songs have gained from this process. The rest is superfluous, simply because masterpieces are hard to improve on. But still it's interesting listening. 7 "new" tracks have found their way to this double CD, which vary in quality. There are 4 outtakes from "Dead bees on a cake", one from "Secrets of the beehive", one with new music for the "Salvation" recitation and finally one outtake from the Japan album "Gentlemen take polaroids.". The songs are mostly great, the sophisticated "Ride" being my favourite. Still I could have wished for other gems like "Blue of Noon", the tenth track from the "Brilliant trees" sessions (from which only "Weathered wall" found its way to this compilation, unfortunately) or the studiorecording of the live classic "Damage" to replace some of the "Dead bees" outtakes, but I guess I just have to trust David Sylvians better judgement. The worst thing about compilations: You can never be fully satisfied with the tracklist, 'cause there's always a track or two missing that you feel should have made it to the album. This album is definately no exception. But it makes a very fine picture of a genius, who has always searched for new directions in his music. This is a varied collection from a real artist. Do I sound disappointed to you? I'm not, I'm very happy about it. Every release from this man is joyous and compared to the general musicscene of today David Sylvian is still in the lead when it comes to serious pop music.
by H.F.N.
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on 20 August 2004
The 'David Sylvian' thing is so hard to justify, compartmentalise and explain to the uninitiated. A career spanning 27 years, from glam rock, Bryan Ferry/ David bowie wannabee, to one of the most interesting and important artists of the last 20 years.
This collection sets itself up to be a 'best of' type collection of all sorts of stuff. It is far from that. If you are new to Sylvian, then I would approach with caution. This collection, while on the most part good, is not a representation of his best work. This collection is more of a clean up and different presentation of old songs( most of which, didn't need it, or else,were no better because of it).
There are tracks which justify the purchase price. The long since deleted 'pop song', the sublime 'bamboo music', the Gone to Earth outake 'ride' and the haunting 'cover me with flowers'.
If you are a Sylvian fan you will already own this set and, no doubt, have your own opinion.
If however, you are new to the artist, then there are 4 albums to start with. Brilliant Trees, Gone to Earth, Secrets of the beehive and Dead Bees on a Cake. Come to Everything and Nothing after you have spent many years absorbing these. I promise your life will be better for it.
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on 30 October 2012
A compilation album, this 2-disc set includes a superb range of David Sylvian's lyric songs. Startlingly gorgeous, this selection is a journey into pure audio heaven. A marvelous new discovery for an old David Sylvian companion.
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on 21 February 2010
i have just got this cd and it is truely stunning haunting and beautiful david sylvian at his best. I have been a fan since the days of european son and he just gets better and better...well done david heres to the future
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on 15 October 2000
If I had a friend who was interested in finding out about my favorite artists, I would recommend this compilation as the first place to look at for David Sylvian material. This is a truly complete collection of the range of material DS has done since debuting with "Brilliant Trees" in 1984. You can tell the different stages of development, as well... from the moody jazz of 1987's "Secrets of the Beehive" to the semi-ambient pop/rock of 1991's "Rain Tree Crow" to 1999's absolutely delectable delight "Dead Bees on a Cake", to so many other bits and pieces in between. "Some Kind of Fool" is touching, and it was a special thrill to have my favorite DS song, "Orpheus", right before that song. I was also surprised to see an acknowledgement of the collaboration DS did with Robert Fripp in 1991, in the inclusion of "Jean the Birdman" from "The Last Day", seeing as though that's the one DS project that gets a lot less respect than it truly deserves. There are, in fact, only two disappointments -- one, that there is only one song from the truly brilliant debut "Brilliant Trees" on this compilation, and two, that "Ghosts" sounds like DS plugged himself into a karaoke machine and oversang as so many people do when singing karaoke. But what the heck -- one can always buy "Brilliant Trees" separately, and "Ghosts" really wasn't Japan's finest moment anyway (that, IMO, was "Gentlemen Take Polaroids"). As Justine Shapiro from "Lonely Planet" said, "Definitely have to check this one out!"
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on 16 June 2014
A rounded collection of David Sylvian music spanning the years. For anyone wanting to experience the many sounds of this master musician this is a must have collection.
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on 23 October 2000
This man's body of work is quite unique. There really is nobody like David Sylvian. There's no need to add to any of the praise below. I'd just like to see if I'm the only Sylvian fan in the world who wonders if the addition of wife Ingrid's voice to many of his tracks actually improves them? To my mind, they generally diminish them (save 'Heartbeat', her first and best involvement). I won't say too much about this because David has clearly found happiness with her . It's clear that David's music is so bound up with his personal life and that's why I am loath to criticise his music involving her. It's a personal thing. I just don't like her voice. Perhaps someone will tell me Ingrid's breathy, honeyed American tones are a perfect foil for David's voice. I can't stand all that trite-sounding, easy-rhyming poetry it comes with, though. Anyway, enough of that. This collection gets better with every listening, though I agree with everyone that not one reworked oldie is better than the original. Some tracks I would rather have seen left in the archives - 'Buoy', in particular, sounds like Billy Joel singing Japan (can you imagine Sylvian singing 'Uptown Girl'?). We're not any better off for 'Bamboo Houses', 'Come Morning' or 'Thorougly Lost to Logic. And it's quite plain why 'Some Kind of Fool' never made it onto 'Gentlemen Take Polaroids', Japan's best album. But I'm really glad he's given space to the Rain Tree Crow project (Japan five years on), which is a vastly under-rated piece of work and the one I listen to most these days. I still think the 'Forbidden Colours' I have on my CD version of 'Secrets of the Beehive' is one of the most sublime pieces of music I'll ever hear (helped immensely by reading the Yukio Mishima book of the same title it's based on). So I'm sorry it's not here. In the end, this eclectic collection may be imperfect, and may owe its make-up to a recent Sylvian hint that he's leaving his record company and wants to bring out wonderful pieces like 'Scent of Magnolia' and 'The Golden Way' before they're lost forever. But I'm glad of it and the world is richer for it. After all, we can all make our own personal David Sylvian Greatest Hits.
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on 5 October 2000
The problem with David Sylvian, I think, is that we expect too much from him and following the terribly disappointing and vastly overproduced Dead Bees On A Cake we need something to reinstill our faith in him as as singer/songwriter. As it took ten years for Dead Bees to emerge I won't be holding my breath for an entirely new album for quite some time. And this is where Everything and Nothing comes in. A compilation of sorts all lovingly remastered and in some cases resung, it gathers together some his finest moments of a rich and varied 20 year career in music. Stand out tracks are difficult to name as the material on offer here is all so damn good but Weathered Wall, Riverman and Orpheus from his first three solo albums still stand as personal favourites. Forbidden Colours is notable by its absence as are Endgame and Earthbound, two B-Sides from Jean The Birdman and quite possibly the best songs Sylvian has ever written. And where is Red Guitar, his debut solo single? The question is where does Sylvian go from here. Perhaps David needs to go back to performing with a band to bring something new and fresh out him. Whatever he decides to do lets hope that Everything and Nothing does not serve as an epitaph to a once great songwriter.
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on 26 August 2006
Been a sylvian fan since 1978 when everybody was into 70's glam rock and the start of the punk era when it was fashion to be listening to the so called in music.Japan came along and what a breath of fresh air from The Tenant right up to the classic Ghostsin the 80's,then the concert in the hammersmith so brilliant words fail to describe it you had to be their.Then it was over the dream gone but it was not,sylvian came back with Brilliant Trees album the song writing and the way it was produced was un real a true master at work best eva until this album which i had when it was first released.

Everything and Nothing is a double cd with breath taking tracks its a collection of tracks from other albums but its a must album for every Sylvian fan, all the tracks follow each other like a story or dialog from a film it just fantastic.Give your ears a taste of true brilliance a true master a work.

If non Sylvian fans read this all i say to you is get of that pop rilway line and treat yourself to a true master a work.

If you want to know why it has took 6yrs to write this it's simple all good things take time.
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on 3 February 2001
One of the elements one has to bring to David Sylvian's music, is time. His music takes time ot grow on you. On first listening to this two CD set, I was quite bewildered at, what seemed to me at the time, the bizarre sequencing of the tracks. Also, I was a little disapointed at the stanger inclusions, (the Dobros, Lost to Logic etc.) and obvious exclusions, (Forbidden Colours, (actually not included due to problems with rights), red guitar etc.). It's funny that now, those tracks I was imaprtial to, upon first listening, are now amongst my favourite recordings by Sylvian. This CD is an absolute must have for those who lost track of sylvian after the japan days. Though, I feel that some tracks are way out of context and best listened to as part of the album it came from, (especially the Rain Tree Crow material). Apparantly, Laughing Dave is planning a similar compilation of instrumental work, which should be interesting! Go out and buy this CD! It has a dog with painted eyebrows on the front. What more could you want?! S.H.
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