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Garbage were always perhaps the most Americanised sounding of all the Britpop bands, but their eponymous debut album was definitely within the Britpop flavoured canon. Their American sound was no doubt due to the fact that Garbage are in fact only quarter British, with three Americans making up the core of the group, and fronted by Scottish vocalist Shirley Manson. Their first album contains many of the band's most popular and best-known hits, and was released the day after what became known as the 'Battle of Britpop' in 1995.

'Garbage' does sounds rather dated now, but is still a great slice of Britpop despite it sometimes being overlooked. The opening track 'Supervixen', and subsequent hit singles alone ensure a four star rating from me. My favourite is the catchy, singalong tune 'Only Happy When it Rains', followed by the much more melodic, laid-back 'Queer', and the haunting 'Milk', as well as 'Stupid Girl', despite the cheesy chorus, which provided them with an indie anthem, and their biggest UK hit when it peaked at no. 4.

Shirley Mason's sultry voice is unmistakably 1990s here, used over the album's very sleek, electronic-laced alt-rock grooves. 'Garbage', an interesting mixture of alternative, dance rock and power pop, makes for a very easy listen, with songs dealing with every emotion, from hate and love, often at the same time, to desperation and peace. It still serves as the best place to begin with if you're currently a novice to this highly creative band, who are still performing together, and making good music to this very day.
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on 2 October 2015
1995: I remember grabbing the CD of this on the spot, as soon as the pink feathers and the word "garbage" on the cover caught my eye at a local record store in the UK, and could not believe my ears as I realized I had just discovered my new favourite super-band! Few months later they were all over the place, and by next year they had hit it really big. 2015: Digital copy preordered. Maybe not quite as desirable as the physical release, but loyalty to the music nonetheless. Frustrated that the super deluxe edition of this is only available as a download, I would rather have all tracks in digital copies, than not at all. Ironic that I should pay for music in a format that is slowly killing off CDs and vinyl. Plus, how weird to obtain music that, as a music collector, cannot actually "collect", since it is stored on a hard drive instead of a shelf.

At 62 tracks, the running time would make this a 4-disc set, which would have made an excellent deluxe CD set, but one that may have been a little pricier than all but the most die-hard fans would like to pay. I suspect Garbage would not sell thousands of 4-disc packages at this point, so keeping it digital-only for the fans makes some sense. With 6 options to choose from (see below), one would have thought that at least one of these would include both physical and digital material in one package, but no. Annoying as this already was, it actually became even more for buyers of the digital super deluxe edition. Available originally at only £7.99 from most EU retailers (well, e-tailers in this case), just 2 days before release amazon e-mailed customers, apologizing for not being able to deliver the pre-ordered MP3 album.

The result was them cancelling preorders or redirecting to a link, which took you to a copy of the standard 21-track digital download, and for double the price. Customer service can issue a refund, as it turns out, so the price for the 62-track bundle is actually £7.99 and not the inflated £15.98, but why all this hassle? Even the physical copy of this anniversary edition is causing frustration. With regard to the 2LP vinyl, it is still not clear at present whether the pink-coloured vinyl is limited or exclusive to one region. In my country (Greece), we get the standard black vinyl (I checked with 3 different retailers). I would love to get my hands on those pinkies, they look fantastic on the promo photos! Please, feel free to post any info as to where one can get this set.

Listening to the digital version of the album that made me a fan 20 years ago, makes me realize how dramatically things have changed since Garbage introduced themselves with this flashy self-titled debut. What remains the same, though, is the impact of this genre-defying set, which feels just as instrumental for post-grunge, as it does for trip-hop music. Younger audiences are probably unaware of this band's contribution to alternative rock, but it was this very record that bridged different worlds, and drew different audiences together under Garbage's unique banner. Calling them the forbears of alternative rock is only fitting. All it takes is a random listen to any of the songs on this, from the opening "Supervixen" to the closing "Milk". As for the G-Sides, they are only indicative of the band's legacy. Garbage rule!

List of 20th anniversary releases (all remastered):

Physical
- deluxe CD edition (CD 1: original 12 tracks / CD 2: 9 G-Sides)
- standard vinyl edition [2LP: original 12 tracks (pink-coloured vinyl not confirmed for all regions)]
* includes download card
- deluxe vinyl edition bos xet [3LP: original 12 tracks / G-Sides / fan zine (3LP 180gram vinyl)]
* includes download card and autographed photo of band

Digital
- standard edition (original 12 tracks)
- deluxe edition (original 12 tracks + 9 G-Sides)
- super deluxe edition (original 12 tracks + 9 G-Sides + 29 remixes + 12 alternate versions)
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on 30 August 2017
A great album from a great band. Play this every day!
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on 12 November 2015
A long time favourite album still sounds fresh to the ears. The bonus tracks make this a great album to have in the collection. Unfortunately I was let down by Amazon as they deemed it OK to pack it in a card envelope to despatch. This would crush the spine of the CD pack and after sending it back 4 times I gave up and bought it somewhere else.
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VINE VOICEon 27 March 2002
Garbage consist of three American producers (Steve Markes, Duke Erikson and Butch Vig - the latter of Nirvana fame) and the vocal talents of Scottish chanteuse Shirley Manson (supplemented on most tracks here by Mike Kashou on bass). As such, they're something of a supergroup, and indeed, they are a super group.
Their sound, in case you don't know, is quite unique and distinctive. The producers provide keyboards, samples loops and effects, in much the same way as dance records are made, but what they make is definitely a rock album. Over the top of this, come Shirley's sublime vocals, ranging from a melodic caress to (almost) vitriolic shrieks, tending more towards beautiful singing. If I had to compare them to other artists, I'd say they remind me, in parts, of Filter, VAST, Cyclefly and Guano Apes, but as none of these groups are as big as Garbage, that may not help you... (Although you may want to check them out if you like Garbage, all of them have the 'synthetic' musical sound and very good singers)
Butch's Nirvana connections meant the group had no trouble attracting interest. As soon as Shirley launched into 'Vow' (first single, included here) it was obvious that there was more to the band. A feministic assault on a former lover, it perfectly demonstrates Shirley's talents, and is one of the best tracks on the album. She switches with ease from softly sensual to menacing as she sings 'You burned me out but I'm back at your door/ Like Joan of Arc coming back for more/ I came around to tear your little world apart/ And break your soul apart'
This is followed by arguably their best (and certainly biggest) song - 'Stupid Girl'. This is really memorable, and well played on TV and radio, you will know it! In fact, I like it so much I can't believe it took me so long to get the album. It's not particularly heavy, but still is one of the rockier songs on the album. It's also one of those ones that you can't hear too much - deservedly a classic and still sounds good after 6 years. 'Can't believe you fake it' sings Shirley, well, Garbage certainly don't - they are quality, and the real thing.
Other songs seem a bit more low-key, and are generally softer. Three of my favourites are at the start; 'Supervixen', 'Queer', and 'Only Happy When It Rains'. All these songs have slightly weird lyrics - 'You're nothing special here... The queerest of the queer, strangest of the strange' and 'I'm riding high upon a deep depression/ I'm only happy when it rains/... Pour your misery down on me' for example. Shirley delivers these words with such skill and her silky, seductive tones that they seem beautiful anyway.
The final song, 'Milk' also deserves special mention. It's a sad ballad, and one of the highlights of the album (another single too). The vocals are perhaps the best on the album (and that's saying something), closing the album with the haunting 'I'm waiting, I'm waiting for you...' Perhaps I should also add that there's a very good 'wicked mix' of this (featuring Tricky) that I found on an Ibiza Chillout album; it isn't on this album, but it is perfect to relax to.
It has to be said; the remainder of the album contains little that stands out. The formula seems rather repetitive, and songs can drift into each other and then by before you notice. The only thing I don't like is the repetitive rhythm of 'Not My Idea', but even this isn't that bad. While songs don't stand out, it's generally due to consistently high quality. All the same, I feel Garbage could have done more to display some musical variety.
That said, this sameness is also (perversely) one of the album's best qualities! It means you don't have to concentrate on different songs, or be in different moods for all the styles. You can put the album on and let it drift by as one. The emotion is also much the same, but this makes it a great record to curl up to if you want to feel sorry for yourself. Kind of sad, but not maniacally suicidal, when you're in that mood, this is advised listening - it lets you be a little sad, but then get it out of your system and feel better again.
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VINE VOICEon 18 November 2002
It seems as if Garbage have been around forever. Already their brand of technological rock and cutting lyrics is as familiar as Oasis’ drawl or Stereophonics’ grate, despite their relative lack of success. This is perhaps one of the most underrated albums of the 90s, as the fact is their sound is wholly original and distinctive. The publicity that shrouded Scottish lead singer Shirley Manson could not bury the fact that Garbage churned out countless delightfully accessible angst-ridden tracks. Stupid Girl led the way, but Milk, Vow, Queer and Only Happy When It Rains are all of the highest quality. Depressing and brazen they may be, but with enchanting unique pop such as opener Supervixen, it is certainly captivating.
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on 8 November 2015
The original Garbage album was an absolute classic when it came out in 1995 (has it REALLY been 20 years? How time flies!)
But this 20th Anniversary re-mastered re-release is absolutely stunning, adding on a second disc of B-Sides and Rarities, plus you get another 20 odd tracks or remixes on Autorip.
A stunning five star must buy, this is an essential must buy purchase at a reasonable price too.
Superb!
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on 21 April 2014
so .. digging through the garage and came across a few old CD`s... found this and immediately remembered it for having some great tracks... and so with a little trepidation .. i mean after all... its probably aged badly.. right?
Wrong! just awesome stuff... in fact it seems even better this time around.... hardly left the cd player in days and i was so impressed i felt compelled to come on amazon and write a quick reminder in the hope 1 more person can get some joy from this album... truly great stuff :)
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on 2 January 2016
Ok first of all, the vocals on “Supervixen” & “Que*r” are quite low down in the mix, which seems odd considering that this is supposedly a newly digital remastered version of the album.
Anyway, the main reason for buying this album again (as most Garbage fans will already own it) is the second bonus disc, which is excellent & almost strong enough to be a studio album in it’s own right, in fact “subhuman” & a cover of the Jam’s “Butterfly Collector” would have fitted quite nicely on the original record. The rest of the songs on the Bonus disc have a more dance feel to them, being B-sides this band probably felt that they could be a bit more experimental with their sound.
The original album has really stood the test of time, with that great slightly dominatrix theme to some of the songs (no wonder Shirley Manson has such a large male following) & still holds up in a male dominated music scene.
So if you’re a big fan of Garbage you’re gonna want to buy this two-disc version of the album, but if your new to the band, I’d advise you buy the old version of the album, the sound quality great & it’s considerable cheaper.
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It happens rarely that you like every song on an album; there's always one or two that you would skip over. However, this is one of those albums where you want to listen to almost every song. Garbage are great here, they are really angst ridden rock (but not in the same whiney way as Alanis or Avril Lavigne so have no fear). For those of you who like quiet angst, Milk is a refreshing break from the heavy anthems and guitars of the other songs. Although it is lighter, it is in keeping with the general theme of the rest of the album and is quite dark.
Their best album is Version 2.0 which is an absolute classic - it is another album where every song is one which you will want to hear.
I think this first album and Version 2.0 were the crowning moments of Garbage's career. Beautiful was really poor and completely different in tone and their latest album, Bleed Like Me seems like an attempt to return to Version 2.0 territory.
If you are new to Garbage, I would try this and Version 2.0 you won't regret it.
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