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11 Reviews
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Push BUY NOW to Open Your Heart!
If you are unfamiliar with the sound of Belle and Sebastian and you are curious enough to be reading this humble review, then may I take it upon myself to suggest that this collection could serve as a very worthy introduction to the band! It gathers tracks from all their EP releases on the Jeepster label, and is absolutely chock-full of wonderful, vital music...
Published on 13 May 2007 by Mr. B. A. D. Plowman

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty much a best of compilation
Great collection of early and mid-era EPs and rarities. A must-have for even a casual Belle and Sebastian fan.

Too expensive on Amazon - you can buy this in Fopp for 5.
Published 7 months ago by poetofthedeed


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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Push BUY NOW to Open Your Heart!, 13 May 2007
By 
Mr. B. A. D. Plowman "Brendan" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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If you are unfamiliar with the sound of Belle and Sebastian and you are curious enough to be reading this humble review, then may I take it upon myself to suggest that this collection could serve as a very worthy introduction to the band! It gathers tracks from all their EP releases on the Jeepster label, and is absolutely chock-full of wonderful, vital music.

Disc 1 features the 12 tunes from their first 3 fantastic EPs and it is difficult to spot a duff one! There is "Dog on Wheels" with its infectious minor-key hushed vocal melody, choppy acoustic guitars and a bold mariachi trumpet break. "String Bean Jean" is perfectly simple jangly guitar pop with understated vocal harmonies. "Lazy Line Painter Jane" is a remarkable GET-OUT-OF-BED tune with echoing, Spector-esque production, boy/girl vocal interplay and gigantic flurries of hammond organ. "Beautiful"(my personal fave!) is just that: a gorgeous downtempo baroque folk masterpiece, sung plaintively by Stuart Murdoch. The trumpet solo here (underpinned by shimmering strings and reverb guitar) always moves me deeply. BEAUTIFUL indeed.

Disc 2 features all the cuts from their next 4 EP's and as such is positively RIDDLED with diverse charms. "Modern Rock Song" is a 3 chord slow burner, building on a base of acoustic guitar, adding electric, strings and brass until it crescendos with almighty vocal harmonies from Murdoch and Stevie Jackson. BLINDING. "Slow Graffiti" is another winning ballad which could almost be categorised as "indie soul". "Jonathan David" is the band doing what they do best - wrapping an intricate vocal line around a spiralling piano groove. "Marx and Engels" is almost bafflingly good - a steady beat, a gorgeous descending piano riff, twinkling organ and a predictably splendid whispered vocal from Murdoch. Musical ambrosia, to be sure.

Listening to this compilation now, it is easy to see why B+S have captured many people's imagination over the years. Many of their fans have developed unshakable obsessions with the band! Their spellbinding music and affable personalities have ensured them a devotional fanbase. For myself, on a personal level, I have often found that listening to their music has resulted in lifting my spirits and eradicating my frequent melancholy moods.

As I said at the opening of this review, if you are new to B+S, this collection is a great place to start. Be warned, however: The likelihood is that you will subsequently shell out on all of their albums and ultimately not want to listen to much else!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Belle and Sebastien at the peak of their powers, 29 April 2005
By 
Anthony Lynas (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Oh, what a joy this will be for people who have not had the good fortune to come across these EPs when originally released.
Many of Belle and Sebastien's best tracks were laid as singles rather than on their albums, and these EPs reveal a much broader sweep to their music than their albums do.
There's a clutch of classics here - the Wurlitzer driven duet Lazy Line Painter Jane, the winsome and beautiful You Made Me Forget My Dreams, the Spector-esque Slow Graffiti... the list goes on and on. This is Just a Modern Rock Song is a wonderful, fey slow-burner of a song, A Century of Fakers and Le Pastie de la Bourgeoisie rattle along like few B&S songs do anywhere, Take Your Carriage Clock and Shove It is a wonderful mini-drama of a country song.
More than any other B&S long-player, this one should be in everybody's collection. It is close to pop-perfection and explains to the doubters (if explanation were really necessary) why B&S have been so lauded by so many of us over the last 10 years.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 carat class, 12 Jun 2005
By 
In comparison to other 5 star album, I have to agree with the previous reviewer - we are in solid 6 STAR TERRITORY HERE. For a band that still do not receive the recognition they so clearly deserve, the level of musicianship is stunning. This is grown up music with grown up subject matter. The type of songs that, in 15 years time, will have young song-writers falling over themselves to site as influences.
My favourites must be "The State I Am In" - (recently discovered that this is the demo version), "Lazy Line Painter Jane", "The Loneliness of a Middle Distance Runner" and "I Know Where The Summer Goes".
And the packaging is cool, too - hard back book style.
Go on, do yourself a favour. Forget the Coldplay album, Oasis' next re-run or even Jack and Meg - (you can get them later, Ed.). Treat yourself to some 24 carat class and discover your new favourite song.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Belle And Sebastian release is a collection of gourgeous EPs, 20 Jun 2010
By 
Tognato MARCO (Bastia Umbra, ITALY) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I listened to Belle And Sebastian first when I was in Erasmus in Aberdeen in 2004, and I fell in love with them. They sounded exactly the way I needed music to sound like at the time - when I was really into Simon & Garfunkel and Joni Mitchell and folk music - : it was quiet, clever, mind-blowing without being excited or aggressive, etremely peaceful but deep. Above all, it was music that sorrounded me with an imaginary landscape whose shapes and colours changed according to the mood I was in, and that's precisely what I wanted. I guess they came in at the right moment for me. It's not something you are prepared for, neither you consciously wish: it just happens that when you hear that particular kind of music, you immediately recognise it as being THE music you've been waiting for and craving for and everything else seems just unessential in comparison.
Altough much has changed since and the epiphany faded (how naive I was!), I still think that Belle And Sebastian is one of the most exciting group of the 1990s and the best things they did are collected here. I'm not saying that full-length albums are not worth buying, the first three - especially IF YOU'RE FEELING SINISTER - are really good indeed, but at length I think they tire a bit. Conversely, you won't get tired wih the Extended Plays proposed here because each song appears to be conceived and crafted to become a single. The productions are somewhat more accurate, the compositions - both lyrics and music - are stunningly beautiful and the melodies outstand sharply if compared to those of the albums: "Lazy Line Painter Jane" and "This Is Just A Modern Rock Song" are such masterpieces of melodic perfection (sorry for the emphasis, but that's just the way it is) you won't find in either full-length release.
I know it is a strange, funny thing to do, to begin with a compilation of EPs, but even if you don't know Belle And Sebastian at all I would still recommend this release strongly because it is the best way to convince you, neophyte, that this band is great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty much a best of compilation, 7 Sep 2013
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Great collection of early and mid-era EPs and rarities. A must-have for even a casual Belle and Sebastian fan.

Too expensive on Amazon - you can buy this in Fopp for 5.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful collection of songs, 7 April 2013
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The first four Belle & Sebastian songs I ever heard were This Is Just A Modern Rock Song, Dress Up In You, I'm Waking Up To Us and Le Pastie De La Bourgeoisie - all of which I truly love. I'm Waking Up To Us is my ultimate favorite B&S song! When I saw that 3 of those songs were on this album I knew I had to buy it, and I am so glad I did. The other reviews have described B&S in such a great way, so there's no need for me to elaborate, but I will list my favorites in addition to those already mentioned.

Dog On Wheels, Lazy Line Painter Jane and Take Your Carriage Clock And Show It.

This is a great album, good for almost every occasion. A must have!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, 12 Mar 2013
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Awesome CD, full of top tunes never release, a must for any Belle and Sebastian Fan, Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, Awesome
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5.0 out of 5 stars great complilation, 22 Feb 2014
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swampdodger (Inverness, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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fab songs, great band, excellent compilation.never seen them live unless "later" with joolz holland counts go buy one of theyre l.ps
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4.0 out of 5 stars The CD is realy good but the delivery was not goos, 10 Nov 2013
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The delivery was done in an agency realy far from where I live and there was not plublic transport to get there so I had to go by feet (subway + 40min of walk to go and the same to go back)
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius Move, 29 May 2005
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Although I already possess all of the above titles the idea to re-package some of the bands most inventive material is a brilliant one and I'll certainly be buying it. Is it possible to give something six stars? Just one correction to the official review though, 'The State I am in' did appear on the group's first album 'Tigermilk', albeit without the word 'the' at the beginning.
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