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20 years of popart on 2 CDs
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.