14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 20 July 2005
the ultimate anthology of bucks fizz combines the long awaited chronological singles in order of release and a bonus cd with special versions of fizz material. for fans like me a great thing, to hold this album in hands after all these years. brings back good memories. the best thing is, that the sound quality of all songs are just amazing. listening to it even no fizz fans can hear, that every single sounded different and that the fizz always changed their style, which makes them so unique. my fav songs are: you and your heart so blue, heart of stone, new beginning and keep each other warm. a must have!!!
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 16 June 2005
Well, I had to give this review 5 stars didn't I? Having had no previous connection with the recording industry, it was a pleasure and an honour (not to say a big surprise!) for the Album Producer Dean Murphy to ask me to help with this release.
Like many people I suspected and assumed that you basically turned up with a few CD's of the tracks, stuck them into a computer, twiddled some knobs and out came the finished article. WRONG!
Dean had an idea that was going to completely change the concept for what is basically a Greatest Hits compilation. His vision was to include all the RCA and Polydor singles (not as easy as it sounds) and then to find every track that had a `dead end' (or TV) version and include it on this CD, a very near impossible task to achieve. Oh and just for good measure, disc 2 was to contain tracks from WEA and a few unreleased remixes thrown in for good measure, as if we didn't have enough on our plate!
To do this took us to the great man himself, Andy Hill, and to his studio where some of the tapes had been stored since they were recorded. Dean had previously been given access to the studio and had seen some master tapes with, shall we say, unusual details on them. Some of the tapes were in quite bad condition having being left for 20 years and I suppose at the end of the day, no one was going to do anything with them where they? There were many formats, 2" tape, 1" tape ½" tape ¼" tape, U-Matic, Betamax and Sony DASH. Some of the machinery required to transfer the tracks is many years old and only a handful of studios in the world still have functioning equipment. These studios are becoming increasing hard to find mainly due to the continuing onslaught of digital recording techniques and as parts become unavailable or just too expensive to be commercially viable the machinery is sold off or scrapped. Eventually there will not be any commercial studios capable of transferring old analogue tape at which point anything recorded on it is lost. FOREVER. Whilst it is still possible to do this, the tape has to be treated with utmost care. After a period of time the oxide on the tape starts to shed from the plastic backing and is termed as being `gluey'. If this tape is played the oxide can be stripped off and the magnetic information (the track) is lost. Tapes can also snap in the machine with the same result. To overcome this problem the tapes had to be `baked' in a specially designed oven to literally stick the oxide back on. Sounds simple, but believe me it takes years of experience to get it right.
Our immediate task was to find these studios and we made hundreds of telephone calls. Luckily we struck gold and through the dedication of and ex BBC engineer, Andy Popplewell, of 40 Watt Productions in Manchester, the tapes that we had rescued, although in terrible condition, were restored and transferred into digital format. We must have driven tens of thousands of miles. In a space between July & September I alone clocked 9000 miles, between London, Leeds & Manchester in my car and that is not counting the numerous train journeys that Dean made too.
Some discoveries that were made on these tapes lead to Dean persuading BMG (Now part of the Sony Corporation) to put together another album of unreleased Fizz tracks. Due out very shortly as I write this, `The Lost Masters' contains over 30 previously unreleased tracks, some especially mixed and finished by Dean himself. The full story is for another day!
Back to this CD, and well, I am biased but after seeing the blood sweat and tears (literally) and the sheer determination by all those involved with it, this is one hell of a CD. Yes Bucks Fizz, the tacky, cheesy `80's pop group made famous for winning the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest, made some bloody good music. Think of the slick `My Camera Never Lies' with its myriad of harmonies, to the menacing drum and synths of `When We Were Young' to the fairlight programming and Hammond organ on `I Hear Talk', all via `London Town', the acapella `Now Those Days are Gone' and New Beginning (Mamba Seyra) is a timeless gem. No auto tune back then, sing it out of key and that is how it stayed! The production qualities of these tracks put some present day `sensations' to shame. For 20 odd year old tapes with a bit of digital remastering, these tracks have a new lease of life, especially the TV endings giving the CD a new feel and something for the fans to have that there was never any chance of owning in all there remastered glory. Shame Rules of the Game was the one that got away...!
As previously said, put away the musical snobbery and get out of the pigeon hole and just have a wallow in some `80s pop that didn't need foul language to make it sell. Bucks Fizz made some pretty good music and as a group they weren't afraid to take risks with their style. I can't say that `Magical' floats my boat, but I do remember playing it to a couple of `rockers' at college and they though it was brilliant. Its music for everyone and I bet you will find yourself singing along even though you thought you didn't know the words! Go on buy a copy today!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 24 February 2006
This double album features the singles (many of them newly mastered from the original full master tape especially for this release - hence the "dead end version") and all the b-sides that were not included on the original Bucks Fizz album re-issues. Even if you have these re-issues AND the recent BMG released Greatest Hits, this compilation has something more for you!
Also, just to correct Terrence L Nicholson from Boston, track 12 on disc 2 IS the 1991 remix of "The Land Of Make Believe" and the "two invisible tracks" is a medley of live cover versions that originally appeared on the b-side of the "Golden Days" EP.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 6 September 2005
This album is fantastic!!! I have been a fizzier since they won the Eurovision, but this album is the best in my cd collection! I danced around my house like never before! From Making Your Mind Up to Heart of Stone, I just didn't stop singing every word from every song! It drove my husband mad! It is the essential cd for any fan who wants to just sing and dance their way to all the Bucks Fizz singles. Even the second cd, that was wonderful too!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 4 June 2006
Bucks Fizz have been the butt of many jokes over the years and it is easy to forget that they had 3 number 1 singles and over 20 singles released. In the early 1980's they ruled the charts with songs such as Making Your Mind up, My Camera Never Lies, Land of Make Believe, Now Those Days are gone, If You Can't Stand the Heat and many, many more. This collection brings together nearly all of the singles from both the record labels they were signed too, as well as containing many rare and and unheard songs.
Highlights are New Beginning, which still sounds as fresh 20 years on, You and Your Heart so Blue, which should have been a much bigger hit and Cheryl Bakers If Paradise Was Half as Nice which is a fabulous summer tune.
Relive the 80's with this superb collection, you won't regret it.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 16 May 2006
Despite the fact that they were dogged by ridiculous musical snobbery, Bucks Fizz released a slew of great pop singles. Those of you with your noses in the air should step the hell away from the daft "Making Your Mind Up" and investigate the glamorous sheen of "My Camera Never Lies", "When We Were Young", "I Hear Talk", "You And Your Heart So Blue", "New Beginning" and "Heart Of Stone" (later covered by Cher). This is a strong set of catchy pop songs and wonderful performances, underscored by some great production.
Unusually, great efforts were made in compiling this album to create something worthwhile for loyal fans who already had pretty much everything. Cold-end mixes used for TV performances have replaced some of the standard mixes and, surprisingly, "London Town" really benefits from the dramatic new conclusion. A bonus disc featuring 12" versions, unreleased material and a couple of new mixes really adds value.
This is a great collection for any fan of tuneful, well-produced pop. Recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 August 2006
It has to be said, Bucks Fizz have had to endure a lot of stick over the years as a band, and their music has never been given the accolade it so rightfully deserves....until now. Unlike many of the Eurovision groups of today, Bucks Fizz have talent and style and can hold their audience captive at lives shows etc....(yes, Bucks Fizz could actually sing live! SHOCK! HORROR!) All joking aside, Bucks Fizz have more than proved themselves over their time and this collection is a storybook of wonderful hits and rarities. Like a fine wine (or Champagne!) they mature with age and this shows in the writing of the songs in the later years. Their vocal harmonies blend smoothly, and each singer has the chance to shine with their own solo songs and not just the "group type" collaborations. Cleverly written by talented lyracists, the songs are catchy and memorable. This anthology is a must for any self-respecting Bucks Fizz fan. Add it to your collection and i can guarantee, it certainly won't loose its fizz!
on 14 November 2011
It took me a while to order this compilation, as I was never sure how much I actually liked Bucks Fizz after buying a sub-standard collection on vinyl many years ago. However, you need have no hesitation in selecting "The Ultimate Anthology", which is absolutely superb. An aural treat! The songs sound fantastic in their remastered versions, one of the best remastering jobs I've ever heard - fresh, loud, vocals and instruments clearly spaced and ... well, fizzy! I'd forgotten quite how many hits this group had. Yes, the song quality does drop off towards the end of their career after "I hear talk", with the exception of the brilliant "New Begining".
With hindsight, Bucks Fizz were probably a more successful (and punchy) Abba-influenced Eurovision winner than the earlier, more obvious and more MOR Brotherhood of Man, much as I like BOM. Their success was more sustained. On the second CD we get "Oh Suzanne", some extended versions of the hits, a few more rarely available tracks plus a couple of Cheryl Baker solo efforts - less good than the first CD but still worth having. What could be better than the first CD though, in any event! No criticisms here in relation to song choice, this is a comprehensive greatest hits album. Mike's vocals began to grate on me slightly perhaps, and Jay's absence is certainly missed on the later tracks after her outstanding contribution on songs like "When we were young". Favourite tracks for me include "The Land of Make Believe", "My Camera Never Lies", "If You Can't Stand the Heat", "When We Were Young" and "New Begining".
on 3 July 2011
The sound in this compilation is fantastic.
The songs are really great (Golden Days and If You Can't Stand the Heat are my favourites).
What you have here are all those greatest hits like Making Your Mind Up,My Camera Never Lies,Now Those Days Are Gone,The Land of Make Believe,New Beginning...All the singles from Bucks Fizz in one cd.
And a second disc of rarities and remixes.
But what really makes this compilation absolutely fabulous is the remastered job:marvellous.
A must for all the people who loves that 80's sound.
Bucks Fizz were part of those years and no,they weren't a joke.The proove is in this cd.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 6 December 2005
A vastly underated band.
Vastly underated yet wonderfully crafted pop songs.
Superb mastering, giving all the tracks a new lease of life.
Fantastic bonus material.
Need I say more?