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Customer Review

on 29 July 2004
Ok so you may have bought Double Hipness, you may be lucky enough to have Popera and you may be asking yourself, 'does the world really need another Associates/Billy mackenzie anthology. The answer will always be yes as far as I am concerned.
Not everyone will have Popera, which was an earlier Associates retrospective that is now sadly unavailable, but 'singles' is a worthy replacement, where popera failed on poor sleeve notes, 'Singles' is a joy to behold, carefully,thoughtfully and lovingly put together. Sure there will be the pedantic souls out there that bemoan the single-edit nature of this track and that track, but that should only serve to feed the curiousity of anyone who hasn't got the original albums to go seek them out and discover even more just how wonderful this band, and in particular this singer were (and still are).
The songs I would like to have seen included are 'In windows all' and the original of 'Even dogs in the wild' (not the poor by comparison remix version. In fact the latter does point to a glaring omission in the Associates back catalogue, that being the original version of 'The Affectionate Punch' (The one with Billy and Alan Rankine on the circuit track in the pouring rain) It's the great lost associates album (Which used to be the glamour chase before it finally got a long overdue release). Hopefully one day the master tapes will surface and we will finally get a CD release of the superior version of this album, instead of the inferior remix version that was released on Fiction.
Overall if you're a Billy/Associates fan you won't mind paying for this, Just having the pleasure of hearing THAT VOICE again is reason enough to pay the money for this collection, If you are new to Billy's work then this will take you further into his back catalogue and give you pointers as to what to buy (Just buy the lot, you won't be disappointed). It's good to see 'Kites' and the alternative version of 'A' on here as well. The songs he did with Yello and Apollo 440 didn't make the grade because it is an ASSOCIATES anthology and not a tip of the hat to those aforementioned bands, even if the material Billy performed with them is well worth checking out, especially the heartbreakingly beautiful, 'The pain In Any Language'. Billy did a vast amount of extra curricular work outwith the boundaries of the Associates and all of it is well worth checking out, even if it is extensive) I suggest checking out his collaboration with Barry Adamson and his work with Loom to name but two.
But I digress.....
'Singles' is a worthy addition to any record collection, Just sit back and listen to the man who had the Opera, The Popera and possibly the greatest voice ever to grace the music industry. Don't look for the flaws, Billy was bogged down by people picking holes in his work and by Record Company politics over the years. He was a perfectionist,an expressionist and a genius all rolled into one.
Buy this record, take it home and just enjoy the man, the music and the legend that was Billy Mackenzie, God truly has the voice of an angel by his side now. may he rest in peace.
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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