Customer Review

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not as good as it looks., 20 July 2010
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This review is from: Influence: Hits, Singles, Moments, Treasures (Best Of) (Audio CD)
This is a lovingly put together, lavishly packaged 2-CD set showcasing some of the very best, and most commercially successful material from the influential Art of Noise, along with some other "bits and pieces" from their long and varied career. The two discs are housed in a four-way foldout digipack which also includes a 36 page booklet covering the content of the compliation, and including a number of good band/promo photos.

The first disc, called "The A Side" contains the hits, and has everything you would expect, unfortunately including the Tom Jones version of "Kiss" which to me never really stood up after the initial novelty wore off; compare that to the collaborations with Duane Eddy, and even Max Headroom, both of which have stood the test of time rather better. The other tracks include the likes of "Close (To The Edit)" and "Moments of Love", and it's certainly good to hear them all again.

The second disc, "The AA Side" is subtitiled "unreleased experiments, before and after science", and unfortunately that subtitle rather sums it up. Listening to it reminds you how self-indulgent AON could be. Paul Morley's voice is now so indelibly identified as a cultural vox-pop staple that it is difficult to listen to his somewhat pretentious monologue; many of the tracks on this second disc are unformed snippets, or ideas which never really took off, or simply somewhat contrived noodling (Rooty-tooty-tooty. What does it mean?); and as someone preferring the more electronic cound of the early AON, I found that there was too much pseudo-classical stuff here, in particular the frequent excerpts from their Debussey project. This might be all very well in Anne Dudley's later work, but as part of this package, I'm afraid it just disappointed.

If you are a casual AON fan, you would have been better served by a proper "Greatest Hits", with some of the better remixes of the best-known (and best-loved) tracks as extras, and rather more emphasis on the earlier material, and that's a project still to be delivered properly. Any AON compilation I've come across seems to rather fall between two stools, and unfortunately, so does this one.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Dec 2010 00:54:45 GMT
Glenn Cook says:
A brilliant, informative and unbiased review which is what buyers like myself appreciate.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Dec 2010 08:57:31 GMT
Many thanks for your kind comments. It's good to know I'm doing something right!

In reply to an earlier post on 2 May 2011 20:15:09 BDT
DE01 says:
I'd generally agree with this review. There's far too much emphasis on the 'Seduction of Claude Debussy' era, and too little (especially on the second disc) of the Dudley/Jeczalik/Langan mid-period.
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Glasgow Dreamer
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Location: Glasgow Scotland

Top Reviewer Ranking: 695