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on 1 February 2012
In 1994 i randomly bought a Wax Trax compilation, and 'Dirty Epic' was the first track. I bought 'Dubnobasswithmyheadman' and never looked back.

In spring 1996 I saw Underworld play live (and this is not a misnomer for an electronic dance group) and they were simply awesome. 'Pearls Girl' was a sight to behold, despite being named after a greyhound. 'Rez' was utterly inspirational.

I will admit i wondered off after Beaucoup Fish, but this really is a fantastic overview of a genre-defining band which has inspired so much of today's music. Get beyond 'Lager lager lager' and find some real gems- 'Why Why Why' i originally had on a long forgotten dance compilation and is a real treasure. 'Oich Oich' was a tremendous b-side to Pearls Girl (if my memory serves me correct).

Yes, some of the lyrics are a bit dodgy. Yes, there are still some missing singles which deserve to be there. But this is excellent, and well worth it for the hard to finds. Recommended.
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Replacing 2003's now incomplete collection, "A Collection" and "Anthology" are, in effect two parts of the same whole. I despair though, of the release strategy for this. To obtain every song on this wonderful release, you have to buy both the single and triple CD versions. For a more comprehensive overview, you need to plump for the full length mixes and broadband version that is triple-set of "Anthology". Or, if you're like me, you have to buy them both. To the casual fan, it doesn't really matter which one you go for. They've all got "Born Slippy" on.

How far we have come since then. It doesn't seen 18 years ago that I loaded the phoenomenal "Dubnobassinmyheadman" onto the deck, fired up the Playstation, and played racing games, Doom, and GrandTheftAuto, on summer days with the summer sun streaming in and the sound of softly pulsing machines keeping my heart beating. It doesn't seem 15 years ago I danced all night to "Pearls Girl" in Manchester, London, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Chelmsford, Brixton, Stafford, and so many other nights knowing that whilst the morning was coming, even if it was dawn outside, the morning hadn't come yet. Steam rising from young limbs as we fell into the cold streets and rain at 2am. These songs, this band, those shows, were the ones that - like contemporaries Orbital, Aphex Twin, The Orb - were ones that are both of a time, and utterly timeless.

If Underworld didn't exist would anyone invent them? Of course not. The idea of two fifty something technogeeks pulling out three hour sets of relentless, dense, and intelligent electronic music, and celebrating the utter silliness of the world would baffle people. After all, they started out as a lumpen semi- Simple Minds , turned into part of Debbie Harry's backing band, and then reinvented themselves. Certainly, over time, Underworld evolve, change, mutate, but also, always at their heart are the same thing : a great big lump of machines making a big noise. The story is told chronologically.

Certainly, there's wonderful bursts of chemically-enjoyable breathless pop with "Scribble", the under-stated slink of "Crocodile", and following a mid decade absence of five years from the record scene - punctuated only by the odd vinyl, Japanese only live album, or soundtrack release - we drift back to "Two Months Off".

The words surround and enscapulate, capture the confusion, the waitress, the red and yellow, the lager, the lager, acid ted, blonde boy and this is now and here and all happens around in your ears.And if you are listening to this on your iPhone at the station, or walking down the road, or even doing the washing up, whilst our bodies may be here, in Meatspace, we are all somewhere else, dancing in our minds, grabbing a cab home with a stranger or a lover, the music, and the gentle sound of a Sunday morning. And this is where, like The Shamen and so many others, where Pop met the dancefloor.

Certainly at one point, Underworld, like New Order, Depeche Mode, Orbital, and everyone else, changed - and became dance music for people that didn't go dancing until dawn anymore. But did this hurt us? No. You cannot remain the same forever : let that crown of thorns sit on the heads of AC/DC , who have remain frozen in some kind of musical amber since 1977. The joy, the power of this, the importance of this is not just how they were, but also how they are now, how they have tracked their lives, changed and evolved and grown up and become something else.

For "Anthology 1992-2012", it present a more cohesive set, a wider overview : split from the necessarily evil of the pop format, here the songs live and breathe to the full extent, over three hours of material designed for cycling, dancing, or some kind of intense physical activity - an orgy, perhaps - where the mind loses itself in the body and you achieve, as I have rarely felt, but treasure, where we transcend the mind and the boundaries of known perception fall away and we are perhaps best known, in ourselves, just being, no lonmger doing, or thinking, but exploring, in our own universe. Over two discs, the mind can wander : much like those rare moments in my life - particularly seeing Pink Floyd do "Echoes" - where everything goes away and I am somewhere, someone else completely.

But the three disc set is also short shrift. "King of Snake" is not on this at all. Neither are the three new songs. Neither are the later singles such as "Dinosaur Adventure 3D" or "Always Loved A Film" or the re-recorded 2003 version of "Born Slippy.Nuxx". Aside from the obvious, and blatant value-for-money aspect of the keenly priced, three hour set, the draw for me is the third part, which collects 80 minutes of rare, previously uncompiled material from deleted singles, compilations, ancient vinyl and elsewhere, and brings them together as a mini-rarities release in its own right. Some of this is better than their huge selling big hits. Underworld never wrote hits, or albums tracks, or b-sides. They just wrote songs. Lots and lots of songs. And they are still here. And in ten years time, they may still be here with us. Growing older, growing spiritually, mentally, and going somewhere. Just like all of us.

In either case, the music is unquestionably strong. "An Anthology" a large unit of direct, weighty electronic music of deservedly renowned gravitas.
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on 18 August 2012
The first time I heard Underworld involved guitars, drums and resonant vocals. That track, Underneath the Radar, isn't deemed good enough to make it onto an anthology. That sets you up for the quality of music you will hear here. Everything anyone else has tried, Underworld has already accomplished. They are the undisputed godfathers of electronica, house and trance of our generation.
If your only exposure to them is through the Anthemic Born Slippy, be prepared to be taught a lesson in what can be accomplished by very accomplished musicians.
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on 19 December 2013
Totally full of all the best tracks they've produced to date. Definite enhancement to my walkman. Buy it. xxx xxx
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on 8 November 2014
A great and expansive collection. Fantastic for anyone who, like myself, got into Underworld retrospectively and needs to get a taster of their whole output so far. This collection also comes with a nice booklet of photos which tell an interesting story in themselves.
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on 30 October 2012's got "Oich Oich" on it, which is simply fantastic. First heard it on a give away with a magazine, donkey's years ago, and it's still marvellous today...
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on 16 October 2014
Great set of 3 CDs enabling me to enjoy more of Underworlds music than I ever knew existed.
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on 5 December 2014
Get Yer Underworlds here !
Good catchup compo if you are starting out
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on 20 December 2015
Just catching up with some excellent music. I have read their second cd is their masterpiece, so I may buy that if I like this enough
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on 7 August 2015
in trainspotting but so much more than that
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