8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 13 April 2012
I'm gonna gush here. I'll try to keep it short - what an injustice. To have the great likes of Squeeze, XTC, China Crisis, Kate Bush (of course there's more but that's enough for now) and to never have them gain a reputation worldwide as massive musical stars ..... and all off that little island....what is in that water.
Growing up in Nova Scotia wasn't always the greatest place to grow up for exposure to great pop....but we had an OK radio station - C100....it got a little loose and whacky on Fridays and Saturday nights. I enjoyed listening to the radio while doing homework - then a great melody would drift into my ears and I was frequently hooked...I think it was 'Wishful Thinking'....next day purchase was the 12" red vinyl with 'This Occupation' - and when I heard that I knew .....I was about to spend some good record money.
Former reviewers are all right, HUGE bang for the buck, remastered 'really' well - goosebumpily good. I was gonna hold out for the 2-disc editions of Difficult and Working but this will definitely hold me till then - wouldln't demo work from these guys sound great along with b-sides (can't wait to hear Greenacre Bay given this remastering thing). Too bad the book focuses so much on chart position - I learned a long time ago - the best music usually isn't popular.
Those first two albums and this cd I know I'll play on a regular basis - the remaining b-sides need to be released.
Hey Mr. EMI - you've done such a great job with this compilation why not just put out double cd issues of the albums...I'm discovering post Working singles while I'm listening to the old stuff - a brilliant release.
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Thirty years? Has it really been that long since I bought that green 12" single of African and White with my saved up dinner money? Sorry, Mum.
As most of us will testify bands drift in an out of our lives and we have a mad splurge on a particular artist and lose interest again. Thirty years ago I would say my music taste was pretty eclectic. Kraftwerk, Bill Nelson, YMO, Pete Shelley, Paul Haig, OMD, the Chinas, of course. While all those artists are still very much a part of my life there have been a few casualties along the way...did I really used to like DAF? What was I thinking!?
I've stayed in touch with the band over the years though as have seen them more times than I can remember. I particularly have fond memories of their residencies in Ronnie Scotts' in Birmingham in the mid-90s.
Anyway, onto Ultimate Crisis. It's a nice package considering it was less than a fiver, a thin but informative booklet and some nice imagery. The music, of course, is five star, how could it not be?
The thing I always liked about China Crisis was their progression from their experimental early years (Performing Seals, Be Suspicious, etc) to their big band days of Diary Of A Hollow Horse. Every album was different. Difficult Shapes was fresh and exciting, Fire and Steel; political pop and Flaunt the Imperfection, the ultimate pop album for me was...Steely Dan...with shimmering, hummable pop songs. What Price Paradise carried on the mantle, though less so with their final Virgin album, Diary Of A Hollow Horse. I'll do a separate review of that so won't drone on about it too much here.
This compilation gives a nice balance to counterweight the genuine hits of Christian Catholic Style, Wishful Thinking and Black Man Ray. There are some lesser known but equally classy singles, You Did Cut Me, Blue Horizons, Best Kept Secret, Scream Down at Me, etc. A smattering of choice album cuts, Blue Sea, It's Everything and some b-sides, which is a nice touch as these haven't been available on CD since the limited double-CD version of The Collection back in 1990. Some of my favourites aren't on here - The Understudy, Wall Of God, Temptation's Big Blue Eyes, It's Never Too Late, Sweet Charity - but trying to knock down their back catalogue for a 34 track double is no easy task. Also, this compilation only covers their Virgin years so you won't (unfortunately) get to hear anything from the excellent Warped By Success album released in 1994.
This is a great CD and well worth having for three reasons: 1) It's China Crisis for God's sake!, 2) it's cheap, and 3) those gorgeous b-sides. However, it's a shame that all China Crisis seem to be worth now are new best of compilations every few years.
Their albums really are brilliant and it would be nice if Virgin could take the opportunity, as they have with other bands in their back catalogue (OMD for example), to re-master those albums complete with b-sides and extended versions. There are so many tracks that some fans might not get the opportunity to hear now: Dockland, Forever I and I, Little Italy, Greenacre Bay, 96.8, It's Never Too Late, etc. I can only dream of having double-CD versions of those albums. If Edsel can do it for pap like the Thompson Twins then surely Virgin can do it for CC? Maybe one day, eh?
Finally: Garry, Eddie. I maybe a 46 year old Dad, married with kids, but I love ya!
Don't ever give up, will you?
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 24 March 2012
When people have asked me about injustices in the music industry, one of the first examples I cited was the failure of the group China Crisis to be an absolutely massive worldwide success. As I listen to this compilation now, many years after these songs were first released, I can't help wondering what went wrong with the marketing of the band by Virgin, their record company. They had such talent and their way with a melody and lyric put them head and shoulders above so many of their rivals. I won't go into every song here, but needless to say the omissions are as glaring as the choices but what can you do when you limit yourself to just a 2 CD Best Of. (True justice can only be served by buying their entire back catalogue).
This compilation should be made to be a compulsary purchase and if you're reading this and know little about the band, then jump in now and treat yourself. For well under a fiver you get some of the best music that came out of the 1980s. Fact!
Absolutely full marks to Demon Music, who put this album together and at such a modest price too.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This is by far the best compilation albums from one of Britain's most underrated and forgotten bands. China Crisis are simply brilliant and this release charts their career from their early releases such as Black Man Ray and Christian, right through to the end of their chart successes. The track listing includes all of their big singles, a selection of album tracks and even the odd forgotten b-side. This great release even comes with a short biography of the band in the linear notes. Fantastic value for money too!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 July 2012
A quite good compilation. Missing some favourites but I guess there's no more space on 2 CDs. From the charming Christian to the choral St. Saviour Square, from the innovation of the first eighties to the conventionalism of a established band. This band defines very well how to make music in a traditional way with enough winks to the modern technology, in such a way you can't get any definitive conclusion about their style. Is it a conventional band like the ones from the sixties?. Is it an avant-garde band?. Is it a synth pop band?. Then, the songs are the only thing left here, and there are a lot of good songs on the two CDs.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 May 2012
This remastered CD is abs fab!! Its funny how you forget the songs and when you here them you know them word for word,songs with real meaning.
It takes you right back to the 1980's when they first began, China Crisis....please bring out a new album with more great songs....WE MISS YOU ....Maz in Glasgow xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 February 2015
I thought I knew China Crisis. Seems I was wrong. When I stumbled across this double disc c.d. it was like finding the Holy Grail. Where had all these great songs been hiding? The cover notes tell things as it is: this is Liverpool's most underrated band. Its not their fault. They also come across like a couple of your mates who have a band. Thats what makes them so appealing and accessible. When you see them live, they enjoy the gig just as much as their audience. Its not a chore its a laugh and a good night out. Can't wait to hear their first new album in 20 years.