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Absolute Classic Masterpieces CD

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 May 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Cherry Red
  • ASIN: B0000242OF
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 123,356 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By A Customer on 7 Nov. 2001
Format: Audio CD
Both the choice of tracks and playing order is inspired. Felt's beauty is difficult to rival, and they were at their most beautiful in the beginning. Fortune and Stagnant Pool provide a glimpse of that early brilliance as you travel backwards to the sublime simplicity that characterises Felt at the point of conception. The cd is a sensitive memorial and fitting epitaph to a band whose music was so influential but never surpassed.
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Format: Audio CD
As an introduction to 80's post-punkers Felt (home to Duffy from Primal Scream at one point) this is excellent. A fair amount of sifting is required, certainly initially, but patience is rewarded by some outstanding tracks, most notably the 5-minute guitar piece 'Evergreen Dazed'. It covers the five years that the band were on Cherry Red label, from early, deleted single 'Index', former Melody Maker Single Of The Week and breakthrough track'Something Sends me to Sleep', through a selection of tracks from 5 Cherry Red albums and singles, to their hit E.P., and last work on Cherry Red Records, Primitive Painters with Liz Frasier of the Cocteau's on vocals. Felt have a sound that is admittedly quite common to many of their post-punk peers (along with the ubiquitous Velvet Undergound comparisons), though they undoubtedly have a strong sense of individuality (mainly through vocalist Lawrence) that comes through clearly in the music. Most of the work here does bear an imprint of those that influenced it - Velvets, Television etc. Yet Felt have had an impact on a great deal of 90's 'alternative' guitar music, too. Fans of bands such as Spacemen 3, My Bloody Valentine and Mogwai will already be no stranger to this type of music. This isn't a coherent album, there are easily discernable 'phases' throughout the album, though the real gems, and there are quite a few, make it a worthwhile purchase.
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Format: Audio CD
Primitive Painters 5:58
The Day The Rain Came Down 2:57
My Darkest Light Will Shine 2:55
Textile Ranch 2:56
Sunlight Bathed The Golden Glow 2:53
Crystal Ball 2:56
Dismantled King Is Off The Throne 2:50
Fortune 3:35
Dance Of Deliverance 8:23
The Stagnant Pool 8:25
Red Indians 1:52
The World Is As Soft As Lace 4:15
Penelope Tree 3:00
Trails Of Colour Dissolve 3:05
Evergreen Dazed 5:00
Templeroy 5:30
Something Sends Me To Sleep 2:52
Index 4:06
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x85f56c78) out of 5 stars 10 reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x85f77810) out of 5 stars I Found The Reason 29 July 2002
By William Name - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Felt made 10 albums and 10 singles in the 1980s. "Absolute Classic Masterpieces" contains a selection of 16 songs from the Cherry Red years. The album actually contains 18 tracks. "Index" was Felt's first single - really a solo recording by Lawrence (Felt's founder and frontman) - released on Shanghai Records in September 1979, and "Dance of Deliverance" is taken from guitarist Maurice Deebank's 1984 solo album "Inner Thought Zone." Neither one deserves more than a cursory listening. Of the 16 other recordings, only four are otherwise unavailable on CD: "Something Sends Me To Sleep," "Trails of Colour Dissolve," "Penelope Tree," and "Fortune." The rest of the tracks can be found on the Cherry Red studio albums. But as luck would have it, these are four of Felt's finest songs, all written around the time of the magnificent and ethereal debut album "Crumbling The Antiseptic Beauty" (1982).
"Something Sends Me To Sleep" is a four-track demo recorded for Mike Always's Cherry Red Records in 1981. Its funky off-kilter rhythm, impenetrable lyrics - all half-whispered sub-symbolist gibberish - and archetypal lo-fi production make it a gem of the postpunk, pre-New Romantic period in Britain. Apparently, around this time Mark E. Smith accused Felt of ripping off the Velvet Underground, but Lawrence and the band were more influenced by Wire, Subway Sect, Television, and Smith's own band The Fall. Deebank's classically-trained guitarwork has not yet, for example, degenerated into the frilly arpeggios and excessive soloing that pops up on later Cherry Red recordings.
Recorded the same year as the first album, but presumably while Deebank was on holiday, "Trails Of Colour Dissolve" consists only of Lawrence on guitar and vocals, drummer Gary Ainge on bongos, and producer John Rivers on synth bass. Like The Beatles' "Ballad of John and Yoko" (which featured only John and Paul), the song makes a virtue of artistic simplicity. The maniacal tempo and hallucinatory lyrics more than compensate for the absence of heavy production and endless guitar odysseys.
"Penelope Tree" takes its name from the 1960s fashion model. Recorded in early 1983, before bands like The Smiths, The Go-Betweens, and The Jesus & Mary Chain helped urge the British independent music scene towards a reassessment of the `60s, the song has nothing to do with the period or the model, according to Lawrence. Like the previous single, it's also missing Deebank, and perhaps for that reason, remains one of Felt's most finely executed, if overlooked, songs. (Deebank's shining moment, "Primitive Painters" - the music was entirely written down before Lawrence even touched it - gets trotted out as the acme of Felt's achievement, but their lasting impact will doubtless be the rougher, less-produced tracks).
"Fortune" was originally written and recorded for the band's debut album, but this version is a re-recording done in 1984 as a b-side for "Sunlight Bathed The Golden Glow." Gone is the earlier charm of barely audible singing and tinny guitars, but in its place Lawrence puts in one of his most heartfelt vocal performances, and Deebank is back with a finely contained exposition of his skill at producing layered and dense musical atmosphere. If Felt had a capsule philosophy (which of course, they do not) it is to be found here: "and wisdom is your virtue/ I hear them all scream/ led away to their own fate/ believe in your dreams."
The quality and uniqueness of these four tracks - as well as a handful of others - more than make up for some fairly notable weaknesses in track selection and order. It's a pity "Goldmine Trash" has been deleted from the Cherry Red catalogue, as it includes all the best tracks found on "Absolute Classic Masterpieces," while excluding the weaker ones. (The only exception is Stuart Murdoch's beloved "The World Is As Soft As Lace," also available on "The Splendour Of Fear"). It should be noted, by the way, that not all the singles from the Cherry Red label are included on this compilation. "Sunlight Bathed the Golden Glow" is the album version, not the hard-to-find single version with Ivor Raymonde-style - albeit cheap - string section. Similarly, neither "Mexican Bandits," the double A-side with "The World Is As Soft As Lace," nor "My Face Is On Fire," the A-side to "Trails Of Colour Dissolve, are included.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x85f77864) out of 5 stars Remebering Felt 11 Aug. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The beauty of reissues is that one can always go back and catch up on an artist one might have missed the first time around. For those lucky/wise enough to have picked up on Felt when they were one of the better British bands around in the 80's, this 18 song CD is a good one to own and enjoy. To be considered a "classic" band, that band's best material has to stand the test of time and sound as original and timeless as it did when it was released. Throughout most of this CD, that is the case.
By the time Felt left the Cherry Red label, they were just hitting their stride, and subsequent albums done for Creation ("Let the Snakes Crinkle Their Heads to Death," "Pictoral Jackson Review") are my personal favorites. My all-time favorite Felt song, "Primitive Painters," is the first track on this CD and was originally the standout track on their "Ignite the Seven Cannons" album. From there, the CD traces the band in reverse chronological order, the last track being Lawrence's "Index" single, and the first song released under the Felt name. Although historically significant as the acknowledged starting point of the band, it's a raw and relatively inconsequential track compared to what came next (or before when referring to the CD sequence.) All of the Cherry Red singles are included, all of them are interesting, some of them are simply brilliant. Lawrence's deadpan/semi-mumbled (thank goodness lyrics are included) vocals, Maurice Deebank's majestic guitar playing, Martin Duffy's keyboards, and a good dose of assistance from an ever revolving supporting cast render the Felt catalog worthy of repeated listenings. Spacey, spacious, cyptic, enchanting, and hypnotic are the best words I can use to describe the band and this compilation.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x85f77a38) out of 5 stars Packed with value 13 Sept. 2000
By Jay Hagstrom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Felt seems to have an unusual way of overlapping their offerings. This record is chock full of Felt non-hits. I say "non-hits" because saying "I will die, with my head in flames" is sort of... dramatic. The lyrics are somewhat tongue-in-cheek I would gather. But I always get a chuckle and the music always makes me tap my foot. There is so much music here. When I first bought a Felt release I thought "sheesh, this is sure expensive." But now I know that the hefty price is worth it... If you're into this sort of thing. If you like Belle & Sebastian... Just go buy it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x85f7c084) out of 5 stars a compilation of Felt's Creation years 17 Dec. 2006
By Arne Van Petegem - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Throughout their history Felt released ten albums and ten singles. The first couple of these were released on the Cherry Red label - a compilation compiled from these records is available on that label as "Absolute Classic Masterpieces" (volume 1 if you'd like). After that the band moved on to the legendary Creation Records label, replacing their guitar player Maurice Deebank with keyboard player Martin Duffy (now in Primal Scream) and continued to sophisticate their sound resulting in the release of a couple of utterly classic albums and singles.

This Japanese only compilation is compiled from their output on that label and is a great overview for anybody who'd like to get a good overview of Felt's creation years or anybody who has the albums but would like to get their hands on some of the now hard to find single tracks.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x85f7c0a8) out of 5 stars this is actually ABSOLUTE CLASSIC MASTERPIECES VOLUME TWO 21 Mar. 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
if you've never heard felt before, think pretty, clean guitar pop, some organ, and midrange, slightly monotone vocals that sound a lot like lou reed. the difference between this and the cherry red period is that these tracks, originally released on the now defunct creation label, are poppier and more upbeat. not to say that poppy = bad, because these are very good jangle pop songs.
yes, this cd is very, very expensive. is it worth it? well, that depends on how much you like felt, and how much you want to hear some songs from their creation singles and albums. disc one covers the singles...one problem: disc one is only about 23 minutes long. they should have at least included ALL of the singles tracks. most of them are here but a few are missing. on disc two we get a "best of" package from the lps. i'm a bit dissapointed that "all the people i like are those that are dead" and "down but not yet out" weren't included. no matter, all of the songs here are good ones, with the exception of the instrumental tracks, which technically aren't really felt anyway. not that they are terrible, but they are far from necessary. oh, in case you didn't know, most of the booklet is in japanese. unfortunately, all of felt's creation material is out of print. so, if you want to hear it and don't feel like hunting down the original vinyl-which is bound to be expensive as hell-get this. i would definitely not recommend this to felt neophytes. save this one for last and buy the four in print cds first.
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