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Of Course, There's No 'Lonely Mile', but you can't have everything,
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This review is from: Cleaning Out The Ashtrays: Collected B-Sides & Rarities 1989-2006 (Audio CD)
One of my favourite Lloyd Cole & The Commotions tracks, 'Lonely Mile', which was on the B side of the 'From The Hip' single, isn't on here, and as far as I can gather is not available anywhere. I had to buy a very expensive second hand copy. Ho, and indeed hum. However, that very personal and minor gripe aside, this box set is a wonderful trawl through Cole's voluminous back pages, and proof positive that some of his B sides and ephemera beats most acts' entire albums in terms of songcraft and appeal. Not everything is great, as he admits himself, but Cole's illuminating liner notes reveal much about the times and circumstances of the individual songs under scrutiny, and where he was at back then.
I wouldn't recommend this to anyone new to Cole's music, but for those already on the Cole bus, it is an essential purchase. Lloyd's not the greatest singer in the world, but he tailors his songs to his vocal limitations brilliantly, and his way with words has never lost him. If you've got the time, settle back and give this a thorough listen. It gets better every time.