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4.2 out of 5 stars27
4.2 out of 5 stars
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Call your band GARBAGE and you'd better be good.

Fortunately, SHIRLEY MANSON & Co were excellent. And let's face it, had they been anything less, the irony of such a name would have sealed their fate forever (oh, hindsight, wilt thou never cease beguiling foolish wits into Stating The Bleedin' Obvious? You won't? Okay).

To me, their image and status has always been slightly on the edge of mainstream, yet the ability to write stunningly heavy AND gossamer subtle pop music remains a remarkable gift, deserving of only the highest praise. STUPID GIRL, MILK, I THINK I'M PARANOID, SPECIAL, ONLY HAPPY WHEN IT RAINS, BLEED LIKE ME...all fantastic examples of the above, with the most deceptively impressive plain-Jane vocals I've heard. Of course, everyone has their own opinion as to what should constitute a Greatest Hits package, but one thing's for certain: GARBAGE are not a band you take for granted (especially so, when you consider the inclusion of a James Bond title theme - who would ever have thought THAT possible?)

So, if you're not familiar with this Scottish/American hybrid, though toying with the idea of getting acquainted with them, then start here and work your way back - you won't be disappointed. For the rest of us, it remains somewhat of an essential purchase - due in no small part to a clutch of excellent and fascinating remixes.

I'm serious, forget the twee pop-confection currently abusing the charts, this is Grade A Garbage - something you absolutely won't want to dispose of in a hurry.

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on 16 March 2013
I am fortunate to be familiar with Garbage stemming from my teenage years of living in Illinois. The band's music was frequently featured on the Chicago, Illinois alternative rock station Q101 during the mid to late 1990's. I also caught some of their music videos on MTV and VH1. For some strange reason, I even heard their music in one of my dreams around 6-7 years ago. Due to these listed circumstances, I am most familiar with the following solemn but catchy songs:"Vow", "Only Happy When It Rains","Stupid Girl", "#1 Crush (featured on the soundtrack for the 1996 Romeo and Juliet movie), "Push It", "I Think I'm Paranoid", "Special", "When I Grow Up", and "The World Is Not Enough". I also enjoy that this edition also includes some of the songs as featured remixes. "The World Is Not Enough" (U.N.K.L.E Remix), "Cherry Lips" (Go Baby Go), and "You Look So Fine" are currently some of the songs that I currently enjoy on this collection. However, there are many other notable songs on this alternative rock set due to the pleasant vocals, multiform mixes of music, and musical tracks that contain unadulterated emotions. "Absolute Garbage" (Special Edition) by Garbage is best for those who like greatest hits collections containing industrial rock and/or electronica rock.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Perhaps, not entirely fairly, Garbage have been following the law of diminishing returns for almost a decade.

As most bands go on, record releases get further apart as they start to overthink their work, and sometimes, this means that the public loses all interest in their work during these gaps. The three years between "v2.0" and "beautiful garbage", and the four years between that and the underwhelming "Bleed Like Me" have seen Garbage not bother tinkering with their magic formula to what could be their detriment.

"Absolute Garbage" is a handy value for money package and a good entry point for the casual listener. It's also like a Big Black album, in so much, as it start well and gets progressively worse as it continues. By the end, Garbage are sounding a little one-dimensional, trying variations on the same limited palette. As if it stopped being fun, and started being a job, a bad habit they can't break.

Now, this isn't to say this is by any means a bad record. It isn't. it's the crème de la crème of Garbage's work, and exemplifies exactly where their particular strengths lie : in writing slightly odd, heavily-processed, weird pop music. Garbage are the poor man's Curve : stealing the schtick of crunchy guitars and semi-engimatic breathy female vocals into a handy package. And some of the stuff is brilliant : "Stupid Girl", "Queer", "Milk", "I Think I'm Paranoid" are all concise, brilliant pop moments that tap into a particular mood and achieve a very singular vision within the space of four minutes. With tunes you can sing along to.

Sadly, as time wears on, the band fail to develop their sound or vision and start to sound as if they are going through the motions. Instead of the sense of compulsion, the sense of release, that these songs had to be sung, had to be written, it starts to feel as if the band are doing this because it's their job and they don't really know what else to do. When the music can't convince itself of it's essential need to exist, it's sometimes difficult for a listener to care either.

It's probably best then to skip the middle portion of this set : as time progresses the band become steadily less inventive and the songs less brilliant, which is a great shame. New track "Tell Me Where It Hurts" sounds like Garbage parodying Phil Spector : its by no means a bad thing, but nothing exceptional and lacks the punch-in-the-gut-WOW factor of great music.

That said, "Absolute Garbage" is no bad thing - it's a compact précis of the bands best work, and, for a two CD set seems keenly priced. The second CD compiles largely inessential remixes that will pique the curious, running the gamut of styles from generic and dated dance/club mixes (the type where the song being remixed is largely an afterthought), to entertaining diversions that sounds almost exactly like the remixers main work - UNKLE's remix of "The World Is Not Enough", contributions from Massive Attack and Fun Lovin' Criminals : worth a listen, but not an essential part of any collection.

Overall, "Absolute Garbage" is a pretty good compilation : almost all the singles, presented sequentially, with a bunch of remixes at a good price. Musically, it's not amazing and suffers slightly from the law of diminishing returns as the band run out of tricks as time progresses, but as an introduction to the bands work, you can't go wrong here.
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on 14 May 2014
Always loved Garbage, but over the years as I've changed formats from vinyl to MP3 had lost them. Bought this & it is the whole album is on my constant playlists! As I rep & spend up to 6-8hrs a day driving, it gets played a LOT :))
I have no regrets on this purchase only happy memories with fantastic tunes (only tune I skip is World is not enough)! However the next song Cherry Lip's (Go Baby Go), I'd never heard until this album, absolutely stunning. Would highly recommend this as a great compromise on purchasing all the albums.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 5 August 2007
The other two reviewers are spot on in saying that this is not a perfect collection of Garbage's best and a couple of tracks are missing. However, the 18 tracks are all pretty good. Even then, though, their studio albums have a little more depth and diversity than this collection.

What really irritates me personally is the second disk of remixes which are without doubt just plain awful. I'm not a big fan of them, but took a chance on this. Unfortunately, it failed and this version of the album will be returned in the hope I can get the one-disk set.

One last point, which will be offensive to some people, but which I found strangely funny, is one of the pictures of the group in which it looks like Shirley is - well, you tell me...
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 22 November 2008
It just wouldn't be a Garbage release if it didn't come with a delay. Almost 3 years after a Best Of was announced, it finally saw the light of day earlier this year. Many fans speculated that the delay was the result of Warner putting their work in to make a comprehensive set for the fans - rumours of complete b-sides and music video collections, as well as a live CD/DVD box set began to surface. The end result can't help but leave any long-term Garbage fan under-whelmed and confused about the 3 year gap.

The bonus disc of remixes is, bar a few exceptions, a waste of a perfectly good blank CD that would have been better suited to home a selection of their 40-odd b-sides. There are occasionally some genuinely cool re-workings - namely U.N.K.L.E.'s 'The World Is Not Enough', Massive Attack's 'Milk' and Fun Lovin' Criminals 'You Look So Fine' - but the majority of the disc is pretty much your typical club trash.

You can look at the singles disc in two ways: from the perspective of a long-term fan, or as someone who liked a few songs back in the day but who never bothered buying one of their albums.

With the exception of 'Shut Your Mouth', the album focuses entirely on their US single chronology - meaning even the UK edition of the album features the U.S.-only '#1 Crush' while ignoring any of their international singles like 'The Trick Is To Keep Breathing', 'Breaking Up The Girl', 'Sex Is Not The Enemy' and 'Run Baby Run'. As it stands, the first twelve tracks on the compilation come from the era's surrounding their Garbage and Version 2.0 albums, while their last 2 albums are each represented by only 2 songs. The inclusion of some of those later titles would have helped balance the compilation out a bit and also improve the quality of the record as a whole. 'Why Do You Love Me', although their biggest hit in years (UK #7, and their first song to appear on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart since 1998), is by no means one of their better songs and is easily surpassed by the two Bleed Like Me singles excluded from the record.

But for the casual listener, the album does its job. Late 90's radio staples "Queer", "Only Happy When It Rains", "Stupid Girl", "Push It", "I Think I'm Paranoid", "Special" and "When I Grow Up" are all present. Also worth pointing out is the neat little habit Garbage had back in the day of actually releasing the best songs from their records as singles. Album closers "Milk" and "You Look So Fine" (from 1995's Garbage and 1998's Version 2.0, respectively), while they would have never reached the chart heights of "Stupid Girl" or "I Think I'm Paranoid", were none-the-less released as singles and became minor hits. The inclusion of these seldom-remembered but beautiful songs will without fail knock your jaw to the floor on first listen, much like they did mine, and convince any newcomers that this is a band worth exploring further. And, correct me if I'm wrong, that's the whole point of a Best Of? In that respect, this is a job well done.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 31 August 2007
OK, the packaging looks cheap (almost photocopied) and there was room for at least one more single on disc 1 (Androgony maybe, to address the selection balance a bit), but overall this is great collection of songs that generally work well together. There are highs and lows ofcourse, but this represents the variation of material across their 4 creative albums.Sound is excellent throughout, so well worth buying. The bonus new single "Hurts" is ok, but slightly over-polished, particularly after the rougher edged material from Bleed Like Me.

The remix disc is listenable but as usual they don't gel very well as an album, even though each song only appears once. Be aware too that some of these mixes are either radio edits or have apparently had intros clipped off (some of the tracks start at an obvious edit point), although in a few cases the reduction is arguably a good thing! I personally loathe the Felix remix of Androgeny (usually like his mixes), but this is the only version that makes the set (despite some track listings you may see that mention the Neptunes Mix). Things get less dancey and more creative on the slower tracks (Massive Attack's slowest take of Milk is excellent) and the Garbage Remix of "Bad Boyfriend" is really strong. The vast majority of these mixes made UK cd singles, but it's probably still worth having as a bonus disc to listen to every now and then. Overall 4 / 5.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 15 July 2007
I'm really looking forward to the release of this album. I know a while back everybody was looking for a copy of the song "#1 Crush" (being the theme music of Hex) and were unable to find it. Thankfully it's on this CD. It's worth buying just for that but the other songs are great too! An excellent price too, for 2 CDs.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 30 July 2007
Best of's are always a tricky business...although I do wonder why record companies make such a mess of these singles collections.Whilst most of the singles are represented here, its odd that #1 crush (former b-side and romeo+juliet soundtrack song) and the world is not enough (er, also a soundtrack song) take precedent over Subhuman and Androdgony on the first disc.Its disappointing from a fan perspective, particularly as Subhuman is now such a rare commodity.The remixes are fine, but its a shame Danny Saber's retooling of 'Stupid Girl' wasn't included.The artwork is a little on the cheap side,which is also a little disappointing.The music of course, whatever the faults of the running order, is spot on.Only the new single disappoints,sounding as it does like a Pretenders B-side.The only band I've ever seen do a Best Of properly is the now defunct Mclusky - they gave you singles,b-sides,rareties and a live album all for ten quid.Record companies take note.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 26 July 2007
I really feel that there should have been more tracks on here from 'Bleed Like Me' and 'Beautiful Garbage' as they are fantastic albums dispite what anyone says, and although commercially those albums sold less, critically they were better received than their two previous albums. It was a shame when they seemed to disappear off the face of the earth after version 2 as I felt their music had got stronger and stronger with each release. Sure, there was a certain glossy sheen to Beautiful Garbage and it wasn't perhaps as raw as their previous efforts but you cant deny it's a fantastic album and the same goes for Bleed Like Me. I'm well gonna miss them and I hope that they all do well as they are all clever people and Shirley is a legend in my book!
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