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An interesting anthology
on 29 September 2015
There are many greatest hits packages by Cher, a mistress of virtually every musical style, available, and although I don't regard this double album from 2005 as the best (that honour must still go to another double album, the official The Very Best Of Cher [2 Cd]), it still provides a comprehensive career overview over 35 years of material, and a few oddities brought into the mix.
Disc one opens up with two hits from her days as part of the husband and wife singing duo Sonny and Cher in the '60s, and proceeds with her earliest solo successes including the haunting original 'Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)', and her cover of Bob Dylan's 'All I Really Wanna Do'. Her rendition of 'Alfie', a song Brits will associate most with the late Cilla Black, is quite a rarity, and also makes a welcome appearance. I admit that I do prefer Cher's version over Cilla's, although the latter would get her revenge with a superior rendition of Cher's '70s megahit 'Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves', which is also here.
American Cher has always effortlessly adapted to the latest musical trend, much like the British Lulu, and here we have a slice of disco with the extended version of 'Take Me Home', and a focus on her comeback recordings which began in the mid '80s, and it is one of those, the powerful 'I Found Someone', which kick off the second album. After years in the musical wilderness, Cher returned to the fore as a rock star, and I regard these recordings as among the very best in her long career, especially the country flavoured 'Just Like Jessie James'.
Unfortunately, the CD neglects her polished R+B record 'It's A Man's World' of 1995, apart from an inferior speeded up Junior Vasquez remix of the hit 'One by One'. The 'Believe' album in 1998 provided another big comeback for the deep-voiced exotic beauty, and the three hit singles from it are here. To finish things off, the last two songs nod towards her superior, but quite overlooked 'Living Proof' album in 2001. 'A Song for the Lonely' is one of her most inspiring songs, and 'A Different Kind of Love Song' is available here in it's Rodney Jerkins remix, which I really don't care for.
It is such remixes however, which makes this a more interesting anthology, although I much prefer to hear the songs in their original form. Apart from those already mentioned, there is also a remix of early '90s hit 'Heart of Stone' on offer. 'Gold' therefore offers great music from almost every period of this highly talented artist's recording career. With 32 songs, you can't complain on the quantity, but the quality of those remixes leaves a lot for me to personally desire. The booklet contains some lovely artwork and pictures, as well as a good write-up.