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Double Hipness is a confusion of delights. Twenty-five rare and unreleased tracks which neatly fill in most of the gaps on the Associates' mercurial, tempestuous career. There are tracks from MacKenzie and Rankine's late 1970's cabaret roots, and early demos which owed a fair amount to both Station To Station-era Bowie and the collected poise of The Sparks. (Watch out for the imaginary dance craze "Do The Call Girl".) There are six tracks from the ill-fated 1993 reunion, even featuring a camp, glitter stomp riposte to The Smiths' own Associates tribute song "William it was Really Nothing". There are dark demos of "Party Fears Two" and "Club Country". There are out-takes from the first album The Affectionate Punch, recorded after the pair were given endless hours of studio time. There's the Bacharach tribute, "Saline Drips". There's the emotionally heightened take on David Bowie's "Boys Keep Swinging". There's the rather bewildering and perverted title track... and so on. Perfect for both the casual observer and obsessive fan--who probably will have many of these on crackly bootleg already. --Jerry Thackray
Top customer reviews
The formative years of The Associates is captured on this CD package. It is like being at the "sketching" stage of the ceiling of the Cistine Chapel - so much is added, amended, removed or just plain warped between inception and final delivery of the tracks we came to know, love and admire.
Billy MacKenzie is a desperately sad loss to music. In any sphere of music he had a voice to be admired. He had a talent which defies description, however much I try.
On hearing Double Hipness it is so obviously Billy singing. His hero - Bowie - is so obviously David Bowie when he sings.
This is what is so sad about music these days. Everyone sounds the same (Justin Timberlake or J-Lo) and no one has the guts to sing so passionately as Billy. No one has the guts to corrupt sound like Alan Rankine.
Buy this testament to a lost Golden Age. You'll still be playing it and marvelling at the talent long after Pop Idol 7 turns up yet another idol with feet of clay.
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