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9 Reviews
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb retrospective of 11 years of pure pop heaven...
Anyone with the slightest interest in pop music, or simply anyone with a soul, should get this double album quick sharp. A kaleidoscope of shiny pop nuggets - literally not a duff track in sight, and a far more fitting tribute to Sarah, Pete and Bob's work than "Too Young To Die".
All the best bits are here - bona fide ALL-TIME masterpieces (Only Love Can...
Published on 11 Oct. 2001 by ed.jones@gofaster.co.uk

versus
1 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Epitomised Everything Wrong About The 90s
St. Etienne epitomised everything naff about 1990s alternative bands: the hypocritical inverted snobbery (as championed by the dying music newspapers) where the indie kids sneered at those loving the glossy mainstream designer dollies such as Kylie Minogue and Debbie Gibson but who wouldn't have bothered with yet another indie band named after some foreign soccer club...
Published on 7 Sept. 2011 by M. Boyle


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb retrospective of 11 years of pure pop heaven..., 11 Oct. 2001
This review is from: Smash The System : The Best of St. Etienne (Audio CD)
Anyone with the slightest interest in pop music, or simply anyone with a soul, should get this double album quick sharp. A kaleidoscope of shiny pop nuggets - literally not a duff track in sight, and a far more fitting tribute to Sarah, Pete and Bob's work than "Too Young To Die".
All the best bits are here - bona fide ALL-TIME masterpieces (Only Love Can Break Your Heart, Like A Motorway, He's On The Phone....need I go on?) together with lesser known, but equally precious jewels (Mario's Cafe, Saturday, Wood Cabin).
The cover also looks like neopolitan ice-cream, which is reason alone to purchase.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feel Good!, 22 Sept. 2004
By 
Coucho (London, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Smash The System : The Best of St. Etienne (Audio CD)
Saint Etienne were a band that I heard bits of during the 90's but I only got round to buying one CD - So Tough, which was very good. This is an excellent compilation that I bought a few months back and it its still in the car now. Its best described as feel good pop. Its musically clever, interesting and catchy, whilst lyrically, clearly made by a band who aren't taking themselves too seriously. Nothing on here is too challenging, but that's not the point. It covers a wide range of styles - some songs have clearly never been near a real instrument - but its all kinda good. And like the other reviewer says, worth buying for the neopolitan ice cream cover alone!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The singles and more !, 20 July 2001
This review is from: Smash The System : The Best of St. Etienne (Audio CD)
Saint Etienne have always been one of those bands that have never really reached there true potential. They have the lyrics, the tunes, the melodies, the charming front women in the form of Miss Cracknell. But for some reason they've never had a number one, why ?
While the band are hard at work on the follow up to 2000's Sound Of Water they release this compilation. It's a kinda repackaged greatest hits, it has the singles ranging from Only Love Can Break Your Heart to Sylvie and The Bad Photographer. Saint Etienne are famous for there b sides, they are often the off cuts from there lastest album. With this package we get some of the best b sides and album tracks that should of been singles, like Spring and Angel. We also get some tracks that have previously only been on Japanese releases, Jack Lemmon and Shad Thames.
All in all this is a very valuable item of music, if you bought Too Young To Die you should still think about getting this. If you never bought Too Young To Die get this, you won't be disapointed !!
It's what Saint Etienne do best, beautiful music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saint Etienne are Excellent and Superb!!, 6 Oct. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Smash The System : The Best of St. Etienne (Audio CD)
Wow, this group is absolutely fab!! Where do I start? Well, only heard of one of their songs, which was featured on The Classical Chillout Album 2, then I thought, this song is really catchy and the singer has a great voice. Then I searched for music on Saint Etienne and came across this one, which contains a great compilation of catchy tunes. To review, I think the music is great. Really chilling and is written for whatever mood you're in. SO, if you're having a bad day, this CD is guaranteed to cheer you up, especially Mario's Café. With talents from Bob, Pete and Sarah Cracknell, who has an amazing voice, this CD is real worth buying. So, go on, let your hair down and "Get on the dance floor and look real sexy!"
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music to fall in love to., 12 July 2004
This review is from: Smash The System : The Best of St. Etienne (Audio CD)
St Etienne did not descend into silliness as the Amazon review seems to imply ;-). They merely found their groove in a gentle remaking of a 60's pop sound for the end of the millennium. They always had a knack of marrying the sweetest tunes with poignant, sometimes heart-rending lyrics. Ok, so they never had a hit single, who cares! The music they have left behind is amongst the best written pure pop to come out of the mess of boy and girl bands and pop idols that was the nineties. If you have ever liked any of their tracks, then buy this. You will not be disappointed. Hell, even if you have never heard of them, buy it anyway!
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5.0 out of 5 stars what a find!, 1 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Smash The System : The Best of St. Etienne (Audio CD)
This is an excellent double album which was delivered in excellent condition and also at a bargain price. Simple as that.
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4.0 out of 5 stars it's a best of, it's good, 24 Oct. 2014
By 
Margaritis Nikellis (Argos, Argolis Greece) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Smash The System : The Best of St. Etienne (Audio CD)
It's saint etienne, it's a best of, it's good.
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8 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb-double collection..., 6 Oct. 2001
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Smash The System : The Best of St. Etienne (Audio CD)
I'd forgotten how good Saint Etienne were- like bands such as Cocteau Twins,Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys and Pulp- they were taken for granted in their pop-genius...I kind of tuned out around 'Too Young to Die' (which I'd never got round to buying- hence the necessity of this compilation)and got interested again when I heard 'Just a little overcome' from 'Sound of Water' (sadly not here...)...There are loads of should-have been Top Ten hits here- it is suprising how many great songs are here (and they omitted 'Born on Xmas Day' and 'Tell Me Why' with ease!)...Disc One begins with their Neil Young cover, 'Only Love Can Break Your Heart' which captivated me when I first heard it. And lead me to 'After the Goldrush' (and the rest of Young's great 60's/70's canon). The vocal by Moira Lambert is great- though for some reason I can only imagine Sarah Cracknell singing this in a shower (was this the re-release's video or a Proustian-perversion on my part?). The sound is like Francoise Hardy fronting AR Kane's 'A Love From Outer Space'. A great debut...Cracknell turned up on the charming 'Nothing Can Stop Us'- and became the bands permanent chanteuse. 'Carnt Sleep' is lovely, a reminder that the early-nineties and the waves of chemicals and optimism were a good thing...'Filthy' is a great dub-number, fitting in well with Renegade Soundwave's dub-excursions and 'Everything Begins with an E'. The double a-side 'Join Our Club'/'People Get Real' still sounds pleasant and poppy (though maybe a little desperate in trying to get that hit: Saint Etienne's achilles heel?). 'Paper' is written by Cracknell with Felt-collaborater Deebank (co-writer of 'Primitive Painters' no less!) and sounds wonderful today. It seagues into 'Avenue'- which is Saint Etienne's masterpiece to rank next to the Primals 'Higher Than The Sun' or Pet Shop Boys 'Being Boring'. Its seven-minutes or so are divine: glacial & palatial- a melancholic pop song that seems to emanate from the place where New Order's 'Elegia' resides. 'Mario's Cafe' (also from 'So Tough') is used in an advert for a product I can't recall. Still, divine- makes you think of lipstick traces on imitation styrofoam and the scent of peppermint tea. Of being in love with love in these endless cities...'You're in a Bad Way' demonstrates Stanley/Wiggs & Cracknell's obsession with A-ha's 'Cry Wolf' (from the seminal 'Scoundrel Days'). Probably one of the best pop-songs ever!...'Archway People' remains as great as when I first heard it on the 'You Need a Mess of Help...'compilation...The double a-side 'Hobart Paving'/'Who Do You Think You Are?' showcases the downbeat and upbeat poles of Etienne respectively (and I still don't know who wrote 'Who do you..'!). Disc One ends, as disc two begins on tracks from 'Tiger Bay'- when the kitsche strains began to become less appealing. 'Pale Movie' sounds lovely today, though 'Hug My Soul' is too close to Dubstar circa-'Anywhere' and Cracknell's mediocre solo lp...'Like a Motorway' & instrumental 'Cool Kids of Death' (great title for a film, set in France in the 60's- where everyone wears polar necks, listens to Gainsbourg and re-live the plots of 'L'etranger' and 'Bande a Part' in recurrence)have some input from Underworld's Rick Smith. The former is a pulsing pop-beast...'He's on The Phone', which seemed to spell the end of Cracknell's association with Wiggs & Stanley, is my fave Etienne single. The handbag-eurocheese is perfect and stands up next to N-Trance's 'Only Love Can Set You Free', DJ Rap's 'Good to Be Alive', 'Bring Back My Happiness'/'Everytime You Touch Me' by Moby and 'Just Can't Say Goodbye' by The Associates/Billy Mackenzie (amongst others). 'He's on The Phone' is one of those up-beat handbag classics- reminiscent of 'Very'-Pet Shop Boys (or their earlier 'Bet She's Not Your Girlfriend')- it makes you happy to be alive. It has to be heard for the manner Cracknell intones "Yes!". And French rapper Etienne Daho pops up!...The lower-key tracks from Japanese only releease 'Continental' are interesting- 'Angel' standing out. 1998 saw the return of Saint Etienne, with an emphasis less on outward pop- yet still occupying that gulf between Denim & Magnetic Fields- 'Lose That Girl' (a ref to Vic Goddard's 'Stop That Girl'?)The compilation ends on a high-note: 'Jack Lemmon', 'Saturday' & '52 Pilot' all point to an excellent future for the band (the latter has production by subersive-pop exponent Sean O'Hagan- of Microdisney, High Llamas & Stereolab fame)...This is a great introduction to & multiple reasons why for Saint Etienne. Suprisingly, they were one of the highlights of the Nineties. Really, highly reccomended..."Yes!"
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1 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Epitomised Everything Wrong About The 90s, 7 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Smash The System : The Best of St. Etienne (Audio CD)
St. Etienne epitomised everything naff about 1990s alternative bands: the hypocritical inverted snobbery (as championed by the dying music newspapers) where the indie kids sneered at those loving the glossy mainstream designer dollies such as Kylie Minogue and Debbie Gibson but who wouldn't have bothered with yet another indie band named after some foreign soccer club long fallen from grace and playing late 60s/early 70s retro music were it not fronted by Sarah Cracknell, the Malibu Stacey of the Indie kids and the supposed "acceptable" face of musical bimboism. Pass the sick bag.

The title says it all - this band were no more likely to rip a tissue than smash the system, yet in their umpteenth repackaging to date of their half-decade career, we're now meant to believe they were rad, rather than purveyors of the odd decent fluffy tune amid plenty of forgettable lift muzak.

Like Space, Lightning Seeds, Cardigans, Dubstar, Echobelly and the like, their place in musical history was doomed to be compilation fodder played over the shop tannoy ten years later when the "kids" had mortgages and 2.4 children. A true "Best Of" for St. Etienne would comfortable fit a CD single, nothing else.
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