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4.8 out of 5 stars37
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 1 February 2002
Ocean Colour Scene seem to have been around for a long time. This compilation traces their history right back. It doesn't include tracks from their first album, which OCS will say was not their best.
The tracks on this are excellent and anyone who enjoys guitar based music coupled with good melodies and thoughtful lyrics will love this. To give an example of what to expect OCS follow the line of great British artists like The Kinks, The Beatles, The Who through to the Jam and Oasis.
My personal favorites on this album are 'One For The Road', 'Crazy Low Down Ways' and 'Up On The Downside' the rest are also excellent. there is also a second CD which features a number of live performances. The CD sleeve gives all the lyrics and a brief explanation of how or why the song came to be.
What music you like is a personal thing, but if you like the bands I mentioned in this review you'll like OCS and certainly this album.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 29 September 2013
Released in 2001, 'Songs For The Front Row' is a snapshot of Birmingham formed four-piece band Ocean Colour Scene's commercial peak. It completely skips their relatively well received 1992 debut and heavily contains highlights from their four strongest and most successful albums to date. The compilation is in chronological order, tracks 1-5 are from 'Moseley Shoals' (1996), 6-10 first appeared on 'Marchin' Already' (1997), 11-13 consist of material from 'One From The Modern' (1999) and 14-15 are taken from 'Mechanical Wonder' (2001). The remaining tracks are 'Huckleberry Grove', a B side and fan favourite, 'Robin Hood', a live track from a 1997 performance at the Royal Albert Hall and 'Crazy Lowdown Ways', a minor hit that was never released on a studio album.

All the obvious tracks can be found here, including classics like 'The Riverboat Song' (which instantly reminds me of the old Chris Evans radio show), 'The Day We Caught The Train' (the song which first got me into the band) and 'Hundred Mile High City' (forever remembered in the hit film 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels'). To the casual fan, it pretty much has everything you really need, and covers all of the essentials. There are now more extensive collections out there ('Anthology' for example), but I believe 'Songs For The Front Row' remains the perfect introduction, complete with a good booklet with full lyrics, black and white/colour photographs, and memories regarding every song from singer/songwriter Simon Fowler.

As for the band, Ocean Colour Scene were one of the most consistently brilliant bands to emerge from the '90s Britpop scene. They made (and continue to make) some excellent music, and the creme of the crop was gathered here on one disc. If you haven't heard much from them - buy this album!
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on 23 December 2001
I have always liked OCS, but I wasn't that big of a fan to go and buy all their albums. After listening to "Songs from the Front Row", I must admit that I'm very close to buying all their older stuff. Here you have it all - from the mellow "Huckleberry Grove" to the upbeat "Hundred Mile High City" or the really infectious "July" I just can't get enough of.

The CD booklet features complete lyrics, as well as singer/songwriter Simon Fowler's liner notes, with background info on how some of the songs were written and why they were chosen for the compilation.

A great album!
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on 10 November 2006
I recently saw Ocean Colour Scene live and had forgotten just how much I loved them when they were at the height of their fame. So when I bought this album I wasn't disappointed - this is a fantastic album full of great tracks which will make you wonder why they disappeared off the scene when other crap bands churn out the same old rubbish year after year, never seeming to lose their popularity. Brilliant!!
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on 26 October 2004
You cannot fail to smile when you here this album, OCS are responsible for some great sing along tunes. They must be the most used band in 90's british films, hundred mile high city being the standout track. I could not understand how anyone could fail to like it. Buy it! Better if you can get the 5 track live cd with it.
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on 6 November 2003
This really is the best of Ocean Colour Scene, featuring not only their singles, but their best B-sides (Huckleberry Grove and Robin Hood) and a great album track (Get Blown Away from 'Marchin' Already). The compilation shows off their range of tempos and syles from the dancy 'Riverboat Song' to the rocking 'Hundred Mile High City' to mellow ballads like 'Robin Hood' and pretty much every stop in between. This makes it an excellant introduction to Ocean Colour Scene(although 'Anthology' will get you more tracks for your money), and an outstanding album in it's own right - I've listened to it nearly 100 times since I bought it in August of this year, and I can see myself listening to it 100 more times without getting bored. Worth buying if you are a fan of rock (not metal), or like good guitar-driven music, and as a band, Ocean Colour Scene are exceptionally good live - recordings of them live are far better than recordings done in the studio, despite how good their studio recordings are. Also check out their 'North Atlantic Drift' album which is also brilliant, especially 'make the deal'.
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on 12 September 2011
Well I have to agree this a great album!. Who ever mixed this album is absolutely brilliant, the stereo is just great! I use Winamp pro with Widesound DSP, Loudmax and Audioburst FX system addons. With Sennheiser HD 25-1 II headphones it sounds just awsome. Enjoy I hope it gets you tapping and smiling like me!
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on 5 January 2016
great album arrived on time. Used but CD in good condition but case broken. Had to swap it for a spare case of my own, not a great problem, especially when considering the low purchase price.
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on 13 August 2012
I saw Ocean Colour Scene at the Oxygen Festival two years ago and loved the performance so much that I had to go shopping for their greatest hits. Brilliant album did not disappoint at all.
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on 29 December 2013
I'd forgotten how many great songs this band had done!
The rainbow song - classic
The day we caught the train - classic
Profit in peace - classic
and many more........
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