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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 26 September 2005
Its hard to believe that Ian Brown is already on his obligatory greatest hits album, can it really be that long ago since the demise of the legendery Stone Roses? Its really a credit to the man that he pulled himself together so magnificently working at twice the rate his old band did. Enough of the needless history lesson though, theres no TIME for such nostalgia when reviewing a very current artist.
Granted, Ian Browns solo albums have all been rather patchy hit followed by miss affairs, but this collection smashingly rectifies that, creaming off the best of the harvested crop, mining carefully for the diamonds. And boy has there been some diamonds, "My Star" and "Corpses" make for an astonsihing opening barrage guitarist, co-writer and fast friend Aziz Ibrahim magnificently poignant on both. "Dolphins were Monkeys", "Be there" and the anthemnic "FEAR" are other high points reminding the listener just how good IB solo work can be. Unfortunately the forgettable plodfest of a collabaration with Noel Gallagher, "Keep what ya Got" snuck in through the back door but hey, at least the CD format spares us the embaressing video!
New single "All Ablaze" is a magical return to form reperesnting Brown at the height of his powers and closing number "Return of the Fisherman" is a slice of the cryptic and mysterious gnostic stuff that fans so adored the Roses for.
He'll never top the Roses, but for my opinion nobody will so just enjoy this collection for what it is! And what it is is the Greatest!
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on 10 February 2006
Totally agree that 'Dolphins..' is a significant track, but the other six reviewers need to listen to 'Whispers' to savour the true Brown attitude and gritty lyrical content. Coupled with some fantastic guitar work this track stands out from everything else on the album for me. I'm dissapointed that the UNKLE mix of F.E.A.R. wasn't included, but the original version does allow some respite to appreciate the clever, weaving structure...this lad should've been a poet when he first swung out of his tree! Buy this album if you've missed having the warm 'baggy' feeling of Fools Gold, since the Stone Roses imploded. Also, play this CD to people that are blinkered towards the blandness of The Seahorses, to remind them what they're missing out on.
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on 4 July 2006
Momentous is a word that I use sparingly. But this collection simply is just that.....Momentous! Since buying this CD it has slowly made its way to the small, but priveliged, end section of my CD collection that consists of, in my opinion, the real classics (ironically he joins The Stone Roses among a few other legends).

For anyone that is totally aware of Brown's work to someone who has never heard any of it. This is the real deal and a must for any CD collection.

All his classic tracks are on board beginning with the wonderful and hypnotic 'My Star' following on with the beautiful 'Corpses in their mouths'. It then takes you on a journey right through to the dark and funky 'Return of the Fisherman'.

But it's the middle section that leans towards momentous for me.

The legendary "Dolphins were Monkeys", and the dark, brooding "Golden Gaze" are followed by the simply mind blowing "F.E.A.R." and the poetic beauty of "Whispers". Then the album sets new levels with argueably Brown's masterpiece "Keep what ya got" (the best Oasis track they never wrote).

The album is also stitched together well with top tracks like "All Ablaze", "LongsightMI3" and "Love like a Fountain".

I cannot speak highly enough of Brown and this collection. It is a must buy!!
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I was not sure if I would be able to listen to a whole Ian Brown album - I do like individual tracks but thought a collection might stifle the senses. I was wrong and this is a good album with a great deal of contrast. Stand out track for me, amongst many, is 'Dolphins Were Monkeys'
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on 3 November 2005
Anyone who liked the Stone Roses but has been unimpressed by Ian Brown should at least listen to this album. Anyone who's liked some of his solo work, but doesn't own much of it (like me), should buy it and they'll love it.
Comparisons with the Stone Roses should be put to bed, even if there's an obvious heritage. This is Brown's own work and it stands out.
Whilst he can't really claim it all to be "greatest hits", it's an excellent collection of mature alternative rock/pop. "My Star" still sounds fresh 8 years on, and "F.E.A.R." just makes my nerves tingle.
Go on! It's only a few quid on Amazon. You won't regret it...
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on 25 September 2005
Just a quick review of Ian's new greatest hits compilation.
Over the course of his 4 solo albums Browny has undoubtedly grown as an artist in his own right. This album brings together some of his finest moments (and manages to miss one or two!)
He is at his peak when he steers clear of the slightly jazzy mumbo-jumbo of his last album and instead focuses on the melody and drive of tunes such as FEAR, Be There, Dolphins Were Monkeys and My Star.
That is not to say that his last offering did not deliver some killer tunes, represented here by the excellent Longsight, but with tunes as good as All Ablaze being produced the future those indeed look bright!
Can't wait to see him live again later in the year and already looking forward to the new album next year!
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on 30 October 2005
The title says it all get the ltd edition book cd and you really have got a gem not the greatest voice in the world but ian brown can write a tune and this album has the lot from his first few songs rough and raw " My Star, Cant see me "
To micheal jackson covers " Billie jean, Thriller " to some decent remixes and his last few singles the greatest does exactly what it says.
some top tunes a few covers and remixes, Buy this album
the stone roses have gone but ian brown lives on and grows strong
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on 1 July 2006
Who would have thought after the disastrous Stone Roses Reading festival performance in 1996 that Ian Brown would remerge like he has today. The best way to describle Ian Brown's solo material is that each song on this Greatest Hits CD is different from one another and doesn't sound like anything like the Stone Roses. Ian Brown shows great innovation with each tune, from the string influenced track F.E.A.R to the acid house sound of Love like a fountain. Each track is great in its own way so skipping a track really isn't an option.
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Despite what others say, Ian Brown should be called The Mystikal. The thread that runs through everything he's done, albeit often swamped with guitars in his years as vocalist in The Stone Roses, is the spiritual exploration. Like some kind of post-baggy buddha, it's no coincidence that Brown borrows the title of his best solo work from Muhammed Ali's self-appointed title.

Without doubt, if it wasn't for an album called "The Stone Roses", no label would dare sign him. Why would they? There'd be no market for him, in the eyes of demographics and marketers. It just goes to show that genius can fall through the cracks of life every moment of every day. And if Gwen Stefani can be hailed as anything other than the Lidl-Madonna, there is no justice in this world. Instead of wearing suits, floopy fringes, and playing spiky art rock borrowed from the 80's, Ian Brown goes somewhere else entirely.

Avoiding lazy pigeonholes, musical shorthand, and shortlived trends, "The Greatest" documents Brown's quest for transcendence of mediocrity. From the opening "My Star" - the best song about space travel since "Astronomy Domine" - to the closing "Return of The Fisherman", Brown takes the established conventions of pop, and turns them inside out. With the aid of his oft-partner in crime Aziz Ibrahim, the musical backing, rooted firmly in far eastern tunings and unusual chord progressions, sounds like nothing else anyone has ever made : where East meets West. And not where Russian Metal Bands do Iron Maiden covers. Imagine Ravi Shanker doing The Beatles with Stevie Wonder on rhythms and the London Symphony Orchestra and Vangelis popping up occasionally. That's a good hint.

It's like world music, but without any of Damon Albarns white boy guilt - instead Brown's quest recognises no boundaries and no conventions. If there is a rule, it's simple : if it sounds good, we'll have it. And if it sounds like the soundtrack to a Indian musical remixed by 808 State, then so be it.

There are worse things to sound like. Throughout the spans of "The Greatest", Brown explores a world of solid beats, cascading chords, and The Big Ideas. And if Brown isn't moving towards a solution, he's moving to something new. "Can't See Me" sees perhaps one of the laziest grooves in the history of mankind. "Love Like A Fountain" soars like the view from the top of the Niagra Falls. And "F.E.A.R" manages to make philosophy dancable. Albeit in a shuffle-your-trainers-at-home-kind-of-way.

"The Greatest" takes the ghost of the 80's, pummels into submission, and leaves it for dust. Whilst some of us aim for a mediocre life, a life made of false starts and empty heroes, others reach for the stars. If anyone deserves to adopt Muhammad Ali's mantle for their best-of record, it's Ian Brown
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on 23 September 2005
Corpses in their mouths is different class, along with FEAR and All Ablaze. This album has some class tunes on and is well worth the purchase.
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