Top critical review
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A very guilty pleasure.
on 11 October 2006
As far as I'm concerned, this is really half an album. In fact, if it was on vinyl and ended with track 11,Who Was It,and swapped Get Down for a track from Himself it'd be a very good "best of" and easily worthy of 4 stars.But it isn't, and frankly there's an awful lot of filler here, and a couple of tracks that are simply awful.
Shame really, because Nothing Rhymed,Alone Again,Clair and We Will (unneccasarily remixed, albeit by Gus Dudgeon) are all classics of a peculiarly English strain of pop music that includes music hall,Paul McCartney and modern day examples like The Divine Comedy and The Beautiful South. Unfortunately, these tracks are augmented by several absolute clunkers;the disco remix of Ooh Baby is unbelievably bad,likewise So What and Two's Company.When you add in the duet with Peggy Lee,which is a show tune and completely out of synch with anything else here,suddenly £6.00 seems about the right price for this cd rather than a bargain.
Having said that,there are a couple of later tracks,Doesn't It Make You Sick and What's It All Supposed To Mean, that are pretty good and the bonus track Mr Moody's Garden is enjoyable.But,as far as I'm concerned,this is one of those albums I'm going to have to program the cd player for,because out of 21 tracks I can only imagine wanting to listen to 13.Even so,there are four stone classics on here that I found myself singing along to despite the fact that I wasn't even aware that I knew the words.
There's a great Cliffordf T Ward compilation that concentrates on the early albums and singles.It's a shame they haven't done the same here,because the later stuff is definitely weaker,and in some cases just plain bloody awful.Maybe they should release a best of from 1971-1974,including a few album tracks rather than dire and pointless remixes of singles.Sometimes artists have to face the fact that they peaked early - not everyone's The Beatles or Dylan -and release a best of the early years for nostalgia buffs and another one for their hardcore fans who've followed them through the years.Because,in my opinion,tracks like So What can only detract from GOS reputation.
Not bad,but overall a missed opportunity.And do me a favour - don't tell my mates I bought this...