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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 24 May 2013
I purchased this Killing Joke cd singles collection totally by chance,just bored and browsing.Obviously I have heard the name but up until this point never heard a note.Well from the moment Nervous System the first track kicked in I was quite simply floored by the immediacy of Joke.Blown away.
Musically,brilliant.Lyrics,amazing.Jaz Coleman within two songs rushed straight into my all important[though completely redundant to you]top five frontmen.There is a rather bitter,unfair review here calling this comipilation a cynical cash in,that review is shortsighted and unfair.And selfish.Not everyone has their whole catalogue already,not everyone was born in the 60s.Singles Collection is a GREAT readymade introduction to Killing Joke,i for one can already see an obsessive purchasing of previous work.Anything that opens up avenues for people to welcome and enjoy music they have not come across before should be encouraged,this is what helps bands build a legacy.
Oh I certainly don't mind a band who have worked hard on good work getting a few quid and from where I am standing with my little knowledge have not maybe received the credit due.To my sensibilities Joke should be a stadium band.
A great cd that I am happy to have taken a punt on and you will be if you are considering it.They just don't make bands like this anymore,bands that have something to say,bands that sound important,like they mean it.
I have written this only after reaching track 10 on cd one,a track called Eighties.
Love it.
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on 2 May 2013
A good overview of Killing Joke's catalogue is long overdue. For a band who've been around for along as the Joke, and tried so many different styles over the years, there's been a real lack of good compilations up until now. Before this, your best bet for a KJ comp would have been the solid, but pretty flawed Laugh? I Nearly Bought One! which featured most of bare bones essentials but very little else (plus it abruptly ended at about 1988, leaving off all their other work) or the frankly terrible For Beginners which, although musically great, featured very few of the songs that would constitute any other 'Intro' album. Now we've finally got something to cover that - The Singles 1979 to 2012. Firstly, as the name suggests, it covers the bands entire career and doesn't just stop after the 80's like both of the previous comps, so it's pretty thorough. Also they haven't given into temptation and cherry picked the best singles from their long and illustrious career... here we've got every single they've ever released - warts n' all. Not that there are many warts - the last few tracks on disc one, the singles from their Synth-Pop period (Brighter Than A Thousand Suns and Outside The Gate) still divide opinion but otherwise they've got one of the most incredibly constant discographies I've ever heard.

In terms of the first two discs, the most interesting things for hardcore fans, who'll already have all of the tracks on the discs, will definitely be the single edits of some of the songs. Although most of them have been made available through the bonus tracks on the 2005-'08 remasters of the 80's albums, there are one or two (such as the much more concise Flex-Disc version of the Beautiful Dead) which have never appeared on CD before. Most hardcore fans though will have even comparative rarities like the excellent single version of War Dance, meaning that the first two discs bar one or possibly two songs are irrelivant to all but newcomers. Also, although the box states that it has selected B-sides, there are barely any on the first two discs. This isn't too much of a problem as big fans will already have all the B sides, and newcomers won't need to go that far into their discography straight away, but it is still a shame to miss out on gems like Pssyche and Sun Goes Down.

For most fans, though, the real reason for buying this will definitely be the third disc, which consists of nothing but rarities. What I like most about the rarities disc is that they're (mostly) REAL rarities. There are far too many rarities albums put out these days that are filled up by poor quality live recordings, remixes, covers or B-sides, which often most fans will have already. Not here though, three tracks are unreleased songs from the sessions for their 2010 masterpiece Absolute Dissent one is unreleased from the Democracy sessions and a further three are only available on obscure soundtracks. There are a couple of tracks that aren't really THAT rare - Zennon, a bonus track on the Japanese version of their 2nd Self Titled album and B-Side of the UK Loose Cannon single is rare for B-side standards, but most hardcore fans will already have it (though, if you don't, it's a gem). The radio edit of Money is Not Our God could be replaced with something better, as it's only a shortened version of the album edit - rare, yes, but not really essential listening. Personally, with Second S/T album being one of my all-time favourites, I would have 'killed' to have had the ultra rare 2002 three track Demo CD included in it's entirety here (the Loose Cannon Demo is available as a B-side, but not the other two). Still though, overall this hits the mark much more than most Rarites albums and it would be stupid to turn your nose up at some much rare KJ just because a personal favourite isn't here.

For a hardcore fan like myself, this isn't quite as earth shatteringly great as it could be. The rarities disc is simply superb when it's stuff you've never heard before, but given the massive abundance of rare KJ songs, and the short length of the rarities disc, this probably could have been better. Still, as I said, this ultimately far too good to miss out on for hardcore KJ fans and for begginers, this is as good as it gets. Not to mention the fact that it's roughly £10 pounds for a three disc set, which is an utter steal.

In a nutshell - not perfect, but still pretty bloody great in it's own right. I feel like giving what is essentially an encapsulation of the bands entire output four stars is a bit harsh, but because of the lack of B sides and the shortness of the rarities disc it's probably more like four and a half. Five it is then.
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on 13 May 2013
This is exactly what the title says: all their singles (including a non-single track as well "Ghosts of Ladbroke Grove (in dub)" and to the fans it doesn't add much to their collection except for CD3 which is a treasure box of rarities. All the tracks are absolute gems. Even the "rough tracks" sound so good that could have been on an actual album. Pity we don't get "transient place" nor "ibuy", nor "intellect featuring violin" which can all be found on the super deluxe edition (if you have around £250 that is) and this can only be found through the pledge site. We couldn have done with one version of "Money is not our God" (here we get the full version and the radio edit) and replace one of them with "transient place" which is really impossible to find otherwise.
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on 18 September 2013
I bought this expecting to enjoy about half the tracks - I love all their early eighties material up to and including the Love Like Blood era. BUT after a couple of listens I feel that disc 2, the more modern music is easily equally as good. This whole set works as a superb Killing Joke compilation which covers their evolution over the last thirty-something years and is very listenable from start to finish.

One negative : The 2 tracks off "Outside The Gate" are pretty awful - unlistenable glossy mistakes. I have no idea who they are supposed to appeal to....

Wonderful artwork and packaging too. Mike Coles is a genius artist.
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on 25 May 2016
One of the few bands who have become genuinely more exciting and relevant with age. A best of would have been more apt I feel: then the likes of 'Change' and 'Pssyche' could have been included. Some of their mid 80s output leaves me cold; but their latter work - post 2003 in particular - is life affirming in its uncompromisingly brutal and/or uplifting beauty. Just buy loads of their albums; we need Killing Joke now more than ever. Change.
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on 30 May 2014
The lads should have started this package with 'Turn to Red' or 'Are you recieving' from the debut 1979 E.P.,instead of the not so heavy 'Nervous system'. Great to see 'Birds of a feather' on this C.D. from 1982,somehow that song would not have seemed right should they had added it to 1982's 'Revelations' album,the song is more in line with the 'Firedances' album,but is an added track with the B-sides on the live album 'Ha!'. Note that you have the original 'Adorations' single on this and not the recent mix from 'Brighter than a thousand suns',as this is my personal favourite. All we need now is the 'Joke' to release the 1979-2012 B-side collection,starting with 'Almost Red'. More cash for them and perfect for their fans! For this now,i say "Well done lads" for many years of different styles. This sure is '1979-2012.
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on 11 July 2013
Having last reviewed KJ's previous stop-gap compilation (1992's Laugh I Nearly Bought One !) about a decade ago, it's now great to finally see a new compilation worthy of release, taking into account the further six albums they have released since then.

The brilliant content spanning a third of a century is all a newcomer to the Joke will need, and although the singles were not always necessarily the best tracks from any given album, the overall consistency of their output is nothing short of phenomenal, with the quality control rarely letting-up. From post-punk rawness, flings with occultism, synth-rock and even nu-metal, the Jokers have always managed to sound like nobody else on the planet. Pale imitators have come and gone, and today the band are regarded as one of the most influential in modern rock.

The only downer is that the B-sides and rarities could have been a lot more extensive and seems to have been thrown together almost without thought. Why no 'Almost Red', 'Flock The B-Side', 'Kali Yuga' or 'Mass' ? These could have easily been included.

Minor gripes aside, this is undoubtedly the best place to start if you haven't had the 'pleasure' of the Killing Joke 'listening experience'. Once you buy this, you WILL be tempted to seek out their back catalogue. For a mere tenner you simply cannot go wrong here. Lets all go the the fire dances.........
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on 6 June 2013
Excellent collection of Killing Jokes singles spanning over 25 years. This is a must for any Killing Joke fan. The rare tracks on the 3rd disc on great.
I have been a fan of such bands like The Damned, The Stranglers, The Clash, Buzzcocks, XTC and Blondie but only started listening to the Joke about 12 years ago. Jaz Colemans vocals are so varied. There are tracks that are more commercial that will appeal to anybody.
Spinefarm Records have done a great job with the packaging etc. I love the early Joke but the material from the last 3 albums are my favourites.
The set is also good value for money, buy, listen, enjoy, 5*****
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on 3 December 2015
Excellent demonstration of power ,aggression and. Development from the formative years of tribalism to thrusting power of the 90's .All of the history s are h at for the daytime radio listener of the eighties.
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on 15 June 2013
Love the band, had all the Singles anyway but great bonus disc for the hardcore fan.

For any new comers - this is a good starting point to Killing Joke but explore the Album catalogue further at the same time.
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