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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 22 August 2017
great service.. best of a very underated band.
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VINE VOICEon 13 February 2003
I was fortunate to receive this Cd recently as a birthday present and it is absolutley fantastic!
As a 39 year old former Headbanger I Normally listen to the likes of Budgie or Black Sabbath but remembered hearing 2 or 3 of these songs what seems like years ago on the old drive time radio one show (you know,before they decided to be a dance music station).Largely derided in the press(what do they ever know!) as Smiths copyists which although a fair comparison it does not do them justice.Every track on this cd is a masterpiece of emotive songwriting and I actually prefer the guitar playing here over and above that of the overrated Johnny marr.
Highlights are many and it's testament to the quality within that I cannot single out any track as better than the next.
If you are a fan of the Smiths or Indie type music or new wave or whatever pigeonhole you find yourself in then I urge you to buy this cd to enjoy a slice of British pop-rock quality music.
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on 20 May 2001
This is a great introduction of one of the most underrated British bands of the 1990s. It contains all 11 of the bands' singles, as well as a smattering of album tracks and b-sides, alongside their cover of The Jam's "Town Called Malice" from the "Fire and Skill" tribute album. One listen to this excellent compilation will convince you that rather than the meat-and-potatoes Smiths copyists the music press made them out to be, Gene really are something very special. (New album out later this year)
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on 20 August 2004
There's so much to say about this band, apart from the usual
"Ooh, don't they sound like The Smiths", but no amount of praise from me will ever undo the harm done by that last comparison.
Quite simply, I believe this band to be one of English music's greatest hidden assets.
I spent all of the 90's working for a major record chain (the same one as Martin Rossiter, lead singer of Gene, worked for prior to entering a more public kind of obscurity) and during that time I got to hear pretty much everything of any interest that was pumped out by the Indie labels.
Gene really are a cut above the rest. As another reviewer rightly (in my view) observed, the guitar lines really are AT LEAST equal to Johnny Marr's creations and are, quite simply (if comparisons are not your bag) ... utterly beautiful!
Anthems like "Olympian" and "London, can you wait"? deserve a much wider audience than they are currently afforded.
I logged on to Amazon today to see if the band had recorded anything since I left the country, but was sad to see that nothing new has been recorded in the last few years. I sincerely hope that they haven't become a case of "Where are they now"? (my favourite song of theirs, incidentally)!
Buy this CD and prepare to smile yourself silly at their melodic pop sensibilities!
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on 4 February 2010
I remember hearing We Could Be Kings back when it came out and thought it was a great song but never purchased any of their albums. When this cd came out I thought i'd give it a go and I wasn't disappointed. There are some fantastic songs here. In fact listening to this collection it's hard to understand why they weren't more popular. Incidentally, I find myself saying this all too often when I review cd's. I think it must be quite heartbraking for really good bands who never quite catch a break to have to listen to the radio and hear some of the complete junk that somehow manages to shift millions of copies. But back to this cd it starts brilliantly with As Good As It Gets. A word of warning though, this song seems to be comparatively louder than any of the other songs on the disc so if your cd player is up loud, it comes blasting out of the speakers. Several times i've been nearly knocked over! It's a powerful opener and although the next track is a bit slower, For The Dead certainly keeps up the high quality. In fact it's magnificent. Fighting Fit packs a real punch too and is probably one of the best songs here. Olympian slows it down again but it is another of their classic tracks and the way it slowly builds to it's grandstand finish is tremendous. We Could Be Kings is similiar in the way it builds up throughout the song and it is my personal favourite on the album.
There are some excellent songs after this, You'll Never Walk Again, being another of my favourites. It very nearly edges We Could Be Kings. I love the lyrics in these songs. The emotions shine through without feeling fake or over the top. One of my criticisms of this album is that I feel that the tracklisting is a little bit poor. The first half of the album contains the majority of the best songs. Personally I prefer it when the best songs are spaced out better throughout an album. That said it is an excellent cd and if you like indie rock of the 90's and weren't necessarily into the macho posturing of Oasis then you should find alot to admire here. Repeated listens will reap the rewards. Gene may not have sold millions but they have much to be proud of, some of these songs are really great.
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on 3 November 2010
"As good as it gets" is a collection of timeless classics but at the same time fails to deliver a round up view of Gene's entire releases. Gene were a prolific band fronted by charismatic lead singer Martin Rossiter who doesn't have to stand comparison to good old Moz, being an artist in his own right. Backed by Steve Mason on guitar (now guitarist with Palace Fires) the band created songs with a unique melancholic and - at the same time - powerful atmosphere around them. Sadly the makers of this compilation have assembled a patchwork CD by just picking out the morsels from their Polydor album releases and have neglected b-sides and demo versions which would have also fitted in nicely into a "best of". Those who already possess Gene's albums "Olympian", "Drawn to the deep end" and "Revelations" won't come accross anything rare or worth buying. Secondly this album ommits everything the band has released after breaking bonds with Polydor, so "Walking in the shallows" and "Is it over" are strongly missed here. If you are looking for a genuine best of, you should go for Gene's live DVD from 2004 which features everything from their humble beginnings to their final album Libertine in 2001.
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VINE VOICEon 6 September 2007
Gene never recovered from having the label of Smiths wannabees' thrown at them...true, they had a singer of ambigous sexuality who thrived on throwing caustic soundbites at the press, who wrote miserable yet defiant lyrics about intellectual and emotional alienation and frustrated (ambigous) sexual yearnings, all backed up with exquisitely spunky guitar sound...but hey, instead of moaning at them from being in this mould of morrissey and co, why can't we just wish that more bands could be like that!

Okay, it is true that Gene didn't quite fulfill the potential that the effortless ease of early tracks such as 'Olympian' and 'London can you wait?' seemed to promise. It is also true that the blame for this can't all be put on the shoulders of the scurrilous indie music press. Gene could and should have been right up there with Oasis, Blur and Pulp. They didn't quite make it, but still, no other britpop band save those three have a greatest hits CD superior to this. Gene remain THE underrated and forgotten band of the 90's.
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on 5 July 2004
A trylu wonderful collection of fantastic songs spanning almost 10 years.
Marton Rossiter (lead singer) has one of those unforgettable and distinctive voices, very easy on the ear. Tracks such as Olympian, We Could be Kings and For The Dead are absolutely superb. Such a shame that the band never really got the praise and recognition they deserved in the mid 1990s when less talented bands such as Blur and Oasis were all the rage.
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on 27 September 2007
Quite simply the most under rated band of the last 15 years. Gene never quite got the recognition that they deserved or the plaudits that their music demanded. "As good as it gets" should be re-named "we deserved better" and if you buy this album you can not fail to see why. From the anthemic 'Olympian' to the haunting 'you'll never walk again' to the catchy melody of 'as good as it gets', Gene will take you on a roller-coaster journey that will play with your emotions and leave you wanting more. Under rated? Yes, Forgotten? Never. The tracks on this album will leave their indelible mark on you and leave you wondering why a band as good as this did not go on to become a household name.
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on 8 January 2011
I was a huge Britpop fan but never really got in to Gene. Having stumbled upon the 'Greatest Hits' I thought I would treat myself seeing as the CD was such a low price.

This album is worth every penny - I now can't believe how I never really 'got' Gene as a teenager. Every track is awesome, my favourites being early single 'Sleep Well Tonight', 'Be My Light, Be My Guide' and 'Speak to Me Someone' - an incredibly moving (and uplifting!) song about depression.

I totally recommend this album to anyone who is/was a big fan of British music as a great introduction to one of the best British bands of the 90's. I'm just gutted that I never got to see them live now!
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