Top critical review
13 people found this helpful
Precious - and not in a good way
on 16 November 2006
This 2CD 48 track compilation harks back to the era of the NME cassette C86.However,its NOT an expanded reissue of that release as there are actually only 3 tracks included from the original (Primal Scream's 'Velocity Girl',The Bodines 'Therese',and the Wedding Present's 'This Boy Can Wait'.Several bands from the original are to be found here with different tracks.... The Mighty Lemon Drops,Shop Assistants,The Soup Dragons,Mighty Mighty,The Servants,The Pastels etc etc.
It seems the compiler (Bob Stanley of St Etienne) has gone for a uniformity of sound here , the sound of what it was like to be a white middle class British student in mid-80s Thatchers' Britain.This is not a good thing in case you were wondering.
Long forgotten bands from the original tape such as Stump,Bogshed,A Witness,Fuzzbox who sounded a bit different have been omitted.Which is fair enough as most of them weren't very good in the first place !
Its strange listening to this now,to realise that (Indie) music had taken a detour down a side road that merely came to a dead end.The bands on these CD's have taken the influence of early 80's post punk pioneers such as Orange Juice,Josef K,Bunnymen etc and watered it down to a twee tuneless jangly uniformity,where every singer aspires to be Edwyn Collins.
Having said that ,48 tracks for a tenner is not bad and there are some long forgotten gems to be found here amongst the dross ..... the aforementioned 'Therese' by the Bodines and 'Frans Hals' by McCarthy are personal favourites.The peerless 'Almost Prayed' by the Weather Prophets is probably the most obvious omission IMHO.
So (if) you pay your money you can take your choice.You might even be able to compile a decent cassette from the good stuff here !