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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 29 September 2005
should have been the title of this CD becuase that's just what it is. Kirsty Maccoll had everything to become an absolute megastar and it shines through on this greatest hits collection. Her lyrics are phenomenal, her voice wonderful and her delivery of each and every song perfect.
Kirsty Maccoll has a charm about her that if it could be bottled would make somebody incredibly wealthy. The soulful "Miss Otis Regrets", her duet with The Pogues, "Fairytale of New York", and the sassy, "My Affair" really show that Kirsty couldn't be pigeon-holed into a "Type". She had everything and more. If you've only ever considered buying a Kirsty Maccoll CD stop considering, buy this one, enjoy it and then buy the rest of stuff.
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81 of 88 people found the following review helpful
Kirsty was a daughter of the great folk singer Ewan MacColl and his influence inevitably shows in her music, but she was very much of her time. Kirsty was always keen to experiment and the results were not always brilliant, but the best of her music is to be found on this outstanding collection. Apart from experimentation, Kirsty's success was limited by her desire to lead life to the full and raise a family as well. She died in a high-speed boating accident while still in her early forties.
The best earlier compilation of Kirsty's music, Galore, contains four tracks (You just haven't earned it yet baby, Angel, Can't stop killing you, Caroline) that are omitted from this set, but seven other tracks not on Galore can be found here (Terry, Still life, Soho Square, As long as you hold me, In these shoes, England 2 Colombia 0 and Sun on the water). Overall, there's not much to choose between these two outstanding compilations although this new one has more tracks and covers her whole career including two tracks from her final album, Tropical brainstorm.
The final track (Sun on the water) first appeared as a demo on the triple CD Croydon to Cuba anthology but has been re-mixed for release as a single and it is that version that you will find here. While it is a great summer song reflecting much fun and happiness, it is difficult to hear Kirsty sing this song without remembering that she died while in the water on a hot, sunny day.
Most of the songs on this collection were written by Kirsty, often but not always on her own, including They don't know (a song which provided Tracey Ullman with her first hit), There's a guy works down the chip shop swears he's Elvis, He's on the beach, Free world, Don't come the cowboy with me Sonny Jim (a song covered by Kelly Willis on her Easy album) and Walking down Madison.
Kirsty was also well capable of recording distinctive covers of other people's songs. Their diverse sources show that Kirsty was not a lady that anybody could typecast. They include A new England (Billy Bragg), Miss Otis Regrets (Cole Porter - one of two duets with Irish rockers The Pogues), Days (The Kinks) and Perfect Day (Lou Reed - a duet with Evan Dando of the Lemonheads).
Kirsty's biggest UK hit was the other duet with the Pogues - a Christmas song titled Fairytale of New York. It can be found on several British Christmas compilations and is not really typical of Kirsty's music. I would describe Kirsty's music as sixties pop rock updated for the eighties with a little folk and country added into the mix.
If Kirsty had pursued her career with single-minded dedication, some say she could have been a world megastar. Maybe, but she wanted a life outside music. As a consequence, her musical legacy is limited, but the quality more than makes up for that.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 8 April 2006
Kirsty MacColl seemed to vary between a range of styles. There is pop, covers of Billy Bragg and Cole Porter and her later South American-influenced songs. She didn't seem to quite hit the mark every time and her early singing was a little too emotionless compared to the wonderful 'converstional' style that she developed for the later songs.
That said, there are some absolute gems here and probably enough to keep anyone who likes Kirsty's music happy. I also personally think that 'England 2 Columbia 0' is one of the great undiscovered classics!
If you have heard a few Kirsty MacColl songs and liked them then this is worth buying.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 28 August 2005
Great album. Listening to it end-to-end the first half of the album (which contains her better known stuff) makes you smile, as it brings back memories of when you first heard the tracks. The second half moves into her enjoyable, largely Latin influenced stuff.
Lyrics were a forte of Kirsty's: anyone who can get away with the lyrics "If I wore your shades could I share your point of view" deserves acclaim.
Given her sad death, this album will bring a tear to your eye. She was classy, talented, cheeky and versatile. In short, an entertainer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Kirsty MacColl died in a terrible accident whilst enjoying a family holiday. To many she was a vaguely remembered singer from the 80's who had a big hit with a cover of Billy Braggs 'A New England' and sung on the Pogues 'Fairytale Of new York'. To those in the know she was a hugely talented singer songwriter (and stunning lyricist) who released a string of critically adored albums - Kite, Electric Landlady, Titanic Days & Trophical Brainstorm throughout the late 80's, 90's and into the 00's. Whilst major chart success, for some reason eluded MacColl, she was always at the vanguard of female pop/rock and happy to experiment and push the boundaries of what could be acheived within the context of the 3 minute pop single.
This best of compilation does a stirling job of compiling her hits and misses. Despite being an excellent songwriter in her own rite MacColl scored her biggest successes with other peoples material - Ray Davies 'Days', the aforementioned 'A New England' and of course that Pogues collaboration (a number 2 hit and contender for best ever Christmas song). The original material is every bit as good - 'They Don't Know' is classic 60's girl group pastiche, 'There's A Guy Works Down The Chipshop Swears He's Elvis' may be close to novelty but it is a very catchy and clever song whilst 'Walking Down Madison' is a funky ode to New York life. She even manages to pull off a more than decent country song on 'Don't Come The Cowboy With Me Sonny Jim' and seductive Latin rythms take over on the hilarious 'In These Shoes' (from her final album 'Tropical Brainstorm'). There are many more truly wonderful tracks on this best of that illustrate what a remarkable talent Kirsty MacColl really was.
Great voice (just listen to those harmonies), intelligent and amusing lyrics and a knack for classic melody. Kirsty MacColl i salute you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 11 July 2009
Had heard her famous ones (Guy works down the chip shop etc.) and had Tropical Brainstorm before this collection but didn't expect such consistent quality if songs. Can recommend it unreservedly. AS well as being musically incredibly tight, and a wonderful singer, her songs have real insight into human situation (see particularly "Don't Come the Cowboy with me, Sonny Jim!"). A really fine collection and introduction to her less well known work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 February 2009
I rarely buy CDs but am glad I eventually got round to getting this one! Kirsty's songs must be among the most original works of the last twenty years - both streetwise and poignant. Together with her unique voice and singing style this CD is a brilliant memorial to a great personality.

Including 'Fairytale of New York' with the Pogues and 'There's a Guy Works Down The Chipshop...' This is the definitive Kirsty McColl album.
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Just happened to play this CD again, after a hard day.

The laid-back (not the same as 'easy listening') approach Kirsty takes, the singles we know her for and the rest, well, has resulted in a most enjoyable hour (or so - I didn't time it).

Well known duets, up tempo quirky numbers and some decent covers along with good production and backing - they all go down a treat. Not the most technically accomplished singer, she sticks to what she was good at; the girl next door, whether that's in Rotherham or Reading. After the (brilliant) Adele dominating our airwaves (& ears!) so much recently, this compilation is a gentle relief.

Sadly, as we all know, Kirsty is no longer around to record any more songs. For me and many who didn't really know her, or her music, this collection sums up her work nicely.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 2009
Don't you just love these lyrics, Superb! How sad she's not still with us. And...if you do enjoy Kirsty, try a little Amy MacDonald who has a similar style.
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on 20 April 2012
All Kirsty's best known tracks are here with a handful of others, all at the very least catchy, and some quite thought-provoking.
Like so many "Greatest Hits"-type of CD, often unfairly maligned, this is great value and perfect for those without the time to listen to an entire CD's worth of tracks of variable worth.
Her name will live on (if only because we are reminded every Christmas of her talent (for better or for worse! I love the song personally and it's so far ahead of the other dreadful Christmas pop perennials.)
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