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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 September 2013
Unsurprisingly I guess, given that the Third Eye Centre is (merely) another Belle And Sebastian compilation of single b-sides, remixes and other 'rarities', it doesn't have the consistent quality of (what we would expect from) a new collection of songs, but, speaking as someone who doesn't own all the old singles, there is enough varied and impressive material here for me to warrant a purchase.

Of the three 'remixed' songs here - all classic songs in their own right, which, it could be argued, should just be left alone as their original versons! - I find Aussie electronic band The Avalanches' 'light mix' of I'm A Cuckoo nicely uplifting (including the 'Sudanese village' vocals near the end) and the Miaoux Miaoux mix of Your Cover's Blown rhythmic and invigorating, whilst merely adding a disco backing to I Didn't See It Coming doesn't really seem worth it to me. Elsewhere, the band produce great examples of their mid-tempo splendour on songs like Love On The March, Your Secrets, Heaven In The Afternoon and Desperation Made A Fool Of Me, the latter being a particularly beautiful and intimate tale of self-discovery. Subtle, heartfelt ballads also get a look in, in the form of I Took A Long Hard Look and Blue Eyes Of A Millionaire.

Pulsating pop sounds return (ironically, no doubt) on Write About Love bonus song, Suicide Song (an album highlight for me - with its great guitar break) and on closer, The Life Pursuit, the 'album title song' that was (surprisingly) dropped, with its (according to Stuart Murdoch's sleeve notes) unconventional song structure. Style-wise, the band enter into Lovin' Spoonful territory on Stop, Look And Listen (with its 'summer in the city' reference), which segues into the marvellous Shadows-like instrumental, Passion Fruit. Lyrically, two of the most interesting songs are the reggae-influenced, and overtly (more) political, The Eighth Station of the Cross Kebab House and the hilarious take on sexual 'adventure' in Meat and Potatoes, with its talk of whips, chains, handcuffs and dairy allergies.

Of course, such compilations as The Third Eye (i.e. of material the vast majority of which is available elsewhere), are often subject to criticism as being merely another way of a band making extra dosh with little effort, and, whilst there is obviously truth in this, I feel they can still serve a useful purpose in bringing together (often unheard) material in one place.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 26 August 2013
It is always a happy day when the stupendous `Belle and Sebastian' release more of their beautiful music into the world. So I preordered this as did some of my chums. Then I got to listen to it on Auto rip before the disc arrived, and have been all over it like a proverbial rash ever since. This is essentially a compilation album that consists of rarities, collectibles and non LP tracks from the last decade. That is according to an email I received from the band's web site. It opens with a remix of `I'm a Cuckoo' remixed by The Avalanches and it is actually miles better than the original, just let it play out too as the song gets better and better with off kilter tribal backing vocals. Second track `Suicide Girl' is vintage Belle, if you half heard it from a distance you would know it is them, which is no bad thing at all.

There is a new track called `Your Covers Blown' a Miaoux Miaoux Remix and it is rather ruddy good, with a driving beat and disco esque back beats. There are19 tracks here and unless you quite literally have everything by them there will be loads new here for you. This is a perfect accompaniment to `Push Barman to open old wounds' in that it takes the story further. There are a few tracks here that are not fully up to muster, but considering that these are all non album contenders, there are some absolute gems. `Desperation made a fool of me' is just sublime with its tinkling piano back beat and the glorious vocals it is one of those tracks you fall in love with straight away and know it will be for a very long time.

Then we have the variety as ever and Stevie gets to stretch his tonsils on more than one occasion as does the lovely Sarah - check out the simply glorious `Heaven in the afternoon'. We also have a lovely homage to sixties guitar instrumentals in the shape of `Passion Fruit' and I just thought this is groovy without a shred of irony. `The Eight station of the Cross Kebab House' has reminiscences of ska, as well as trade mark fabbo lyrics with humour a plenty. That comes to the fore to in the penultimate track `Meat and Potatoes', which is a lovely ditty about hard core fetishes and is actually so melodic to avert your mind from the lyrics. The Richard mix of `I didn't see it coming' might be a bit of a 'Marmite' jobby as it goes all drum beats which reminded me of eighties numbers like that Band Aid one we can never forget. `I took a long hard look' is a sing along ballad type that is also instantly likeable.

These days we are often pleased if there are two or three decent tracks on an album, which might explain the popularity of the download option. With Belle there is always something new and even when there is a song that you are not over enamoured with, you know these songs are nigh on always superior to their contemporaries, Belle and Sebastian do not really have an equal and for that reason alone this was always going to get a five star rating. There is enough here to keep you happy for a while to come and hopefully will tide you over till they bring out their next one which will be another simply stupendous day.
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on 2 May 2016
Marvellous collection of later era B & S b sides . Good value and it's nice to have all the songs on two discs rather than numerous cd singles .

Good companion to their equally excellent early b side compilation " push barman " cd
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on 9 July 2015
A bit of a missed opportunity, this. A sequel of sorts to Push Barman To Open Old Wounds, this time compiling the Rough Trade-era non-album material. The problems are - there's quite a few omissions, it isn't in chronological order and the would-be highlight Your Cover's Blown is represented by an inferior remix. And, to put it bluntly, the b sides/rare tracks from this time simply aren't as strong as the ones from 1997-2001. Still, the bouncing, joyous The Life Pursuit - the title track that never was, is one of my favourite B&S songs and Your Secrets is nice in an old school way. Not essential but if you didn't buy all the singles, it was a decent stopgap before the glorious comeback of Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance.
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on 21 January 2014
If you are a Belle and Sebastian fan, you'll surely love this compillation of their latest singles.
They have all been previously released so check it our before you purchase the item or you might have a different product with identical content.
I, on the other hand, didn't mind having one album with all the singles together so I went on and bought it anyhow!
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on 26 February 2015
my hubby loves the album, played a lot in these four walls. on time and undamaged
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on 21 August 2015
Not my cup of tea.
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on 9 February 2015
Amazing album.
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on 28 August 2015
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on 11 November 2013
Jsut a great album again from them. Really enjoyed this and found it catchy, funny and sad. Very good stuff
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