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This review is from: Legacy: The Best Of Mansun (Audio CD)
As with any musical movement, Britpop had its share of stars - Oasis, Blur, Pulp, the new incarnation of the Manic Street Preachers - and it also had a string of underrated B-listers. Unlike, say, Dodgy (who had two excellent hit singles and not much else) or Kula Shaker (who recorded as much rubbish as they did good stuff and made a woeful comeback last year), Mansun whilst not gaining much respect in Britain, were critically acclaimed in the US and their loyal fans ensured they remained a chart concern until their demise a few years back. As such, this best of collection is far better than you may expect.
On the negative side, fans will dispute the compilation on at least two levels. Firstly, the inclusion of 'Fool' (even in the liner notes, the band state it's their least favourite song) over, say, 'Mansun's Only Love Song' may cause disappointment. What's more, despite their short shelf life, Mansun were insanely ambitious, their albums complex conceptual works with musical twists and turns and segues. As such, virtually every song is a new edit (which is sort of a good thing, making it worth listening to all the way through) but is also taken out of context, place and order. It can also mean, like in the case of 'Being A Girl,' that songs are presented in a hacked up form, in that song's case being the single mix, a full seven minutes short of its actual length.
However, to a new fan - or indeed, someone not bothered by such trifling - this is a brilliant place to start or end your collection. Almost all of Mansun's essential songs are here. Opening, bizarrely, with 'I Can Only Disappoint U' from the much derided Little Kix, from there the collection winds through EP material (the quasi-baggy 'Take It Easy, Chicken') to the big singles (defining Britpop moment 'Wide Open Space'), elegaic album tracks ('The Chad Who Loved Me') and the band's high-water mark, the stunning 'Taxlo$$.'
The band's propensity for blending countless genres often within one song, progessive songwriting style and unashamedly pretentious ambition all made Mansun a unique band, one not destined for massive success but one to be held close to the heart of the few. Make yourself one of those few!