It's truly bewildering to take in just what XL have acheived over the last couple of decades. First exposure for many was that bloody Ragga Tip tune which still rocks a house party like no other. 'Charly' by The Prodigy is another I recall hearing on the radio and being utterly delighted by. But you can only live on rave and narcotics for a few years before your immune system collapses and you end up a groaning mass of tubes in a hospital bed. Your soul needs enriching youg man, you've just had a NDE. Try this mawkish Adele album for size. Or how about Uncle Jack White and his screeching molestation of the electric guitar and wanton abuse of vinyl formats. Wiley and his ridiculous song about 'Pies', that'll cheer you up! Also, why aren't the clueless post-baggy bum faces Stroke featured here? Talk about denial of your past. Shame to see Maxim's solo career ignored here too. I expected him to go stellar with those hilarious contact lenses. This is a supposed best of though, chosen by the people in suits after a particularly refreshing ching session no doubt. As a celebration of an indie behemoth it will, however, suffice and probably sounds great blasting from your Cosworth's ICE system.
Disc 1 1. SL2 - DJs Take Control2. The Prodigy - Out Of Space3. Awesome 3 - Don’t Go (Kicks Like A Mule Mix)4. Liquid - Sweet Harmony5. Jonny L - Piper6. Roy Davis Jr. featuring Peven Everett - Gabriel (Live Garage Version)7. Dem 2 - Destiny8. Nu-Birth - Anytime9. Basement Jaxx - Jump N’Shout10. Dizzee Rascal - I Luv U11. Wiley - Igloo12. Various Production - Hater13. Giggs - Talkin The Hardest14. SBTRKT - Wildfire (featuring Little Dragon)15. Jamie xx - All Under One Roof Raving Disc 2 1. The Prodigy - Firestarter2. Peaches - Fuck The Pain Away3. The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army4. Devendra Banhart - I Feel Just Like A Child5. Ratatat - Seventeen Years6. M.I.A. - Paper Planes7. Thom Yorke - The Eraser8. Gil Scott-Heron - New York Is Killing Me9. Radiohead - Weird Fishes / Arpeggi10. Tyler, The Creator - Yonkers11. The Horrors - Sea Within A Sea12. Jai Paul - BTSTU (demo)13. Bobby Womack - Please Forgive My Heart14. The xx - Angels15. Sampha - Too Much16. Vampire Weekend - Step17. King Krule - Easy Easy18. Adele - Rolling In The Deep
LP box set £31.49 XLLP637
4LP set on XL inc. SL2, The Prodigy, Basement Jaxx, Dizzee Rascal, Wiley, Jamie xx Radiohead, Adele etc.
CD £11.49 XLCD637
2CD on XL inc. SL2, The Prodigy, Basement Jaxx, Dizzee Rascal, Wiley, Jamie xx, Radiohead, Adele etc.
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8/10 Andrew Customer review, 22nd August 2014
I mean, flippin hell. This doesn't really need reviewing does it? If you are not familiar with either XL records or at least a handful of the artists that feature here I can only assume that you are a fat fingered Norman Wisdom fan who has ended up here through erroneous clicking and slapstick searches worthy of the man himself.
You've got a couple of classic Prodigy tunes here, a rave classic in the Kicks Like A Mule remix of Awesome 3, keeping it hardcore with SL2 and Liquid you have a mini warehouse party all sorted before you have even scratched the surface of whats here. Not so keen on old school 'avin it? Try the massive Seven Nation Army by White Stripes or a bit of Thom Yorke. Bang up to date stuff by Jamie XX and SBTRKT keeps this contemporary.
There really is so much to go at. If I'm nitpicking, then I would say that the collection veers towards some of the more obvious artists and tracks. If you buy a bit of music you are likely to have a good proportion of these anyway, if not nearly all. With a bit more thought this could have been a 10/10 collection, however this failure to dig a little deeper may well put off a fair few who would have bought this on impulse. XL's strength has been its quality control and willingness to adapt, ironically that characteristic is almost what weakens the comp as an essential purchase. The music is superb, but as you've probably got most of them already would you buy them again here? If you are filling gaps in a collection, great purchase though.
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