Newest Review: ... clearly out of place. Firstly, WHAT on earth is TrueSteppers' dire 'Out of your mind' (yup, the one with an ex-Spice Girl... more
You'll either love it or hate it...
The Best Garage Anthems Ever
Member Name: ajaybee
The Best Garage Anthems Ever
Date: 24/09/01, updated on 24/09/01 (2930 review reads)
Advantages: Pretty much every classic garage tune here, No So Solid Crew!, Unmixed and relatively commercial
Disadvantages: Too commercial?, A couple of ommissions
2000 was the year that garage really exploded in the UK, and from its general lack of appearance in the upper reaches of the charts of late, it seems - like Britpop did in 1995 - to have peaked, but that doesn't prevent the odd fantastic new tune appearing on the scene. Garage is, in my opinion, one of those genres which people are 100% into or despise everything to do with. Therefore, it's hard to see where this compilation fits in: it's commercial and unmixed, and so may not appear to true garage-heads, and people who dislike garage will equally steer well away.
The double CD reads like a who's-who of the UK garage scene over the last few years; as the title suggests it's basically like a greatest hits of garage. Like all greatest hits, therefore, there's plenty of good material which will sound familiar to most fans, and a splattering of tracks which are more dubious.
It's probably worth mentioning what lets this CD down firstly; just a few tracks that appear clearly out of place. Firstly, WHAT on earth is TrueSteppers' dire 'Out of your mind' (yup, the one with an ex-Spice Girl on vocodered lead vocals) doing here? It's a pop tune. Later on the second CD, Emma Bunton emerges with Tin Tin Out on 'What I Am' - luckily though the track is a fantastic remix which completely alters the original rather naff version. Oxide & Neutrino's 'Bound 4 Da Reload' another track which doesn't really fit in; as at the time when it was released, it still sound a bit of a novely record.
CD1 is essentially a round up of garage tracks making it big over the summer of 2000, when this album was originally released. Highlights include:
> LONYO-SUMMER OF LOVE
An effortlessly laid-back tune; smooth, silky vocals over a minimalist garage beat. THE garage tune of last summer?
> AZZIDO DA BASS-DOOMS NIGHT
Irritating at first (you'll know what I mean when you hear it) but wo
rks at its best in a nightclub rather than on the home stereo.
> DJ LUCK & MC NEAT-LITTLE BIT OF LUCK
Underground hit which became massive at the start of 2000. Great because it retains that underground feel to it, rather than having been specifically remixed to become a hit.
Also listen out for:
> CRAIG DAVID-7 DAYS (SUNSHIP RMX)
> RICHIE DAN-CALL IT FATE
> ZED BIAS-NEIGHBOURHOOD
CD2 meanwhile focuses more on the classics, many of which have had chart success some time before garage really took off in the last couple of years. Tina Moore's 'Never Gonna Let You Go' was a crossover hit years ago, yet manages to sound as fresh today and fits in fantastically with the CD. Other good tracks are:
> Y-TRIBE-ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
Never a commercial smash but a much respected garage tune, featuring the sublime vocals of part-time MJ Cole vocalist Elizabeth Troy. Wonderful.
> AMIRA-MY DESIRE
Another track which has been kicking around for years, but is constantly being reissued and remixed. The Dreem Teem remix featured here does it justice.
> DJ LUCK AND MC NEAT-AIN'T NO STOPPING US
Third single from Luck & Neat, and in my opinion their finest. Very laid back vocals from JJ.
> ARTFUL DODGER-REWIND
Single which launched Craig David's career, and unquestionably an all-time garage classic, possibly even the defining moment of the genre. Kept off the Christmas #1 in 1999 by Cliff Richard (!)
> DREEM TEEM VS NENEH CHERRY-BUDDY-X
> WOOKIE-WHAT'S GOING ON
> TRUE STEPPERS-BUGGIN'
Basically for the casual garage fan therefore, it's difficult to argue with this compilation. If you like the R&B/garage crossover music then this is worth checking out. My only complaint would be that there is no representation of MJ Cole, who has been a pinnacle figure in bringing garage into the mainstream. Aside from that though, this is