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The Ultimate Collection for the Ultimate Fan (or newbies)!
on 22 December 2005
If you were a massive Take That fan first time around, no doubt you have already long had Take That - Greatest Hits from 1996. But even if you have that then there may still be need to buy this, thanks to the previously unreleased single 'Today I've Lost You' which was apparently to be their next single and appear on their next album, had their split not occurred. Listening to it now nearly ten years after the band split is taking it out of context and it is therefore hard to fully appreciate it. It would have got to number one of course, but that tells you nothing about the song. Its a ballad very much in the vein of Back For Good, but with a slightly catchier chorus. As usual Gary was on lead vocals, and the song is pleasant enough, but we will never know if had it been released would it have joined the pantheon of Take That definitive anthems like Never Forget and Back For Good. Maybe releasing it as a single might be an interesting idea, just to see what happens? If you were the biggest Take That fan back then, then the new single alone should justify purchasing this again, and no fan would exactly object to listening to all the other hits again would they?
The album features all the singles from the Greatest Hits as well as a remix or two and the new track, but does not feature their first single, 'Do What You Like'. However it only got to number 82 in the charts anyway, so it's not exactly a hit. So as long as you don't mind missing that song, and you don't have the original Greatest Hits, then this is an essential album for any serious music collectors. Take That were the biggest thing around in Britain in the early 1990s, so this album charts an important phase in British music history. Take That were of course the first boy band of their type (unless you count acts like Bros and Wham) so they were fresh and new. Their template has been copied time and again, often to great success (e.g. Boyzone, Westlife) and often moderate to little success (e.g. Five, 911, Upside Down - anyone remember them?).
Also it should be noted that the track 'Babe' on this album sounds slightly different to the 'Babe' which appears on my Greatest Hits album - slightly rockier with more drums and guitars after the last verse. That may just be me though, but it seemed unfamiliar.
If your original Greatest Hits has worn out from RSI (which is likely) then buy this. If you are the obsessive fan and need the new song, buy this. If you've never heard of them (if such a person exists!) buy this, as Take That were the definitive pop act for the 1990s, producing some of the greatest pop songs ever, which Westlife, Boyzone and the like never equalled, let alone bettered. So get it and listen to the outstanding pop anthems that are Never Forget and Back For Good, the haunting Babe, the dancefloor filler Relight My Fire, and the underrated early releases, which include my personal favourite; Promises. If you are happy with your current copy of Greatest Hits and aren't fussed about the new single then don't bother with this, but I can't think there are many of those out there!