11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
When Swans Were Alive,
This review is from: Various Failures 1988 - 1992 (Audio CD)
As the other reviewers have noted this double CD is a bit of a mix between a 'Best Of', a sampler and a collection of rarities or B-sides. Why not just re-release the CDs 'White Light..' & 'Love of Life' in their entirety and include the extra tracks as a bonus?
It seems to be a strange decision to concoct this mish-mash of tracks from different CDs, but after listening to it for the last few days I have to admit that it does work on its own merit. In fact I'd probably suggest it as a good introduction for anyone who hasn't heard any Swans material before, whilst for those who already own the original LPs/CDs then the B-sides and alternative versions are interesting enough to warrant buying it.
It should be noted that some of the tracks are alternate versions of those on the original releases. Such as:
--'When She Breathes' is slightly different than on 'White Light..'
--'Why Are We Alive?' has a different ending.
--'Song For Dead Time Mg version' is sung by Michael Gira rather than Jarboe.
--'Blind' is just an excellent track taken from 'Drainland'. The CD is worth getting for this track alone.
--'Unfortunate Lie' is a shortened, instrumental version of 'The Most Unfortunate Lie'.
--'Was He Ever Alive?' is NOT an alternative version of 'Why Are We Alive?' but is musically similar to 'You're Not Real Girl' from the 'Children of God' LP.
--'Trust Me' is an alternative (more acoustic) version to the song on 'Children of God'.
--'Will We Survive?' might be slightly different...I'm not too sure.
--'You Know Everything' is an instrumental version of 'You Know Nothing'.
--'Song For Dead Time - J vers' sounds slightly different than the version on 'White Light...'.
There also seem to be different versions of 'Various Failures' as the copy I have differs in the following ways:
Disc 2, track 3 has the brilliant 'The Sound of Freedom' rather than 'Can't Find My Way Home'
Disc 2, track 6 has 'Saved' rather than 'Love Will Tear Us Apart'
Disc 2, track 17 ('New Mind (acoustic)')does not exist on my copy.
Still, it's a brilliant CD. Recommended for any Swans enthusiast!