Bowie is a genius. His music is brilliant. Most people acknowledge that already so i’m not doing a review, but as a casual-ish Bowie fan I have been on the lookout for a greatest hits compilation for a while and finally got around to picking one up. However I suffered from a typical problem with picking a collection, particularly when the artist has such an extensive back catalogue. There is always one or two tracks that are inexplicably missing. The 2 Disc version of Legacy is pretty comprehensive but for me the stark omission is Suffragette City. I guess they had to cull something but it is a brilliant track and as the track listing runs chronologically it was easy to slip in from another collection. Although I don’t mind new mixes when it comes to a greatest hits I want original version’s and although Life On Mars is good alternative version I just had to replace it with the original. Now I have the ultimate Bowie collection and it sounds great! Which greatest hits have you had to “upgrade”?
Standout track : Oh, come on…..seriously, you weren’t really expecting me to pick one?
Kate Bush is a flippin’ genius, but even though I teenaged through her peak period of output it’s only in the last few years she became one of my obsessions. Seen by most as her magnum opus (although for me 2005’s Aerial also vies strongly for that position) Hounds of Love contains her biggest singles of the 80’s. It’s B-side features the Ninth Wave, a suite of songs relaying the story of a woman swept overboard during a storm at sea. Her initial acceptance of death quickly reverts to a struggle to survive until her eventual rescue. This is why Kate is a genius. She is a storyteller and you “feel” her music. It gets into your head and stirs emotion within her vivid soundscape. Kate performed the whole Ninth Wave live in 2014 which brought her vision fantastically to life. A 5.1 mix of this album would be fantastic!
Standout Track: Simply can’t choose and i’m not going to!
You used to be able to get a Mars Bar for less that 50p. Nowadays it can’t get you much but in my local charity shop it got me this CD! This is another album that passed me by on release in 2009 even though I am a fan of Florence Welch’s distinctive vocal style. It’s possible that her version of “You’ve Got the Love” put me off this album. For me the definitive version of this song is the unofficial Candi Staton / Frankie Knuckles version from 1989 however Florence’s album version is different to her single release and it seems more original than the remixed single was. It is an album with a several musical styles but rooted in incredible vocals and one of my pet loves – interesting lyrics and narratives that pull you into little four minute worlds. Definitely one of the best ways to spend 50p!
Standout track : My Boy Builds Coffins
A lot of artists have one big album that projects them into mainstream consciousness and for Peter Gabriel this album was ‘So’. As is typical of the mid-eighties the album is full of synthesisers and electronica and is an album for the MTV generation, with some of his biggest singles featuring. I saw him in concert around this time but, as what can happen with live shows, only have a fleeting memory of the light show during “Big Time”. It captures a mood of the time where many people faced the reality of unemployment while others grew wealthy. Despite its commercial feel his experimental side still appears on some of the tracks which makes it an interesting album to listen to. It manages to do what good albums do – convey a range of emotions to the listener and draw you into to the lyrics.
Standout Track – This Is The Picture (Excellent Birds)