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I originally had this album on cassette (now showing my age, peeps) and recently picked it up second-hand on CD because I recalled enjoying it so much the first time around! Listening to it again, years after its release, I was pleased to discover it was every bit as good as I remembered!!
It can best be described as a rare collection of cool and alternative indie tunes, all sung by female artists or bands with a female lead. Groups such as St.Etienne, Intastella, Garbage and Sleeper all feature as well as a few bands I had never heard of before buying this! Every track featured smacks of coolness and really sums up and captures the essence of the whole indie era. There is not ONE SINGLE SONG on here that I do not like and, as such, is the best collection I own!
Right from the start the album begins with such classics as Garbage's "Stupid Girl", Sleeper's "What Do I Do Now" (never one of their absolute best singles and never quite up there with "Statuesque" but still memorably brilliant) and Echobelly's "Great Things". The title track from Lush comes next followed by the likes of Skunk Anaskie and The Cranberries singing "Weak As I Am" and "Zombie" respectively.
Salad's "Feed The Elixir" and Belly's "Feed The Tree" which come next are the first two tracks, and bands, I had never heard of before but fit perfectly amongst more established company, fully complimenting this album with their own unique feel. Catatonia's "Lost Cat" soon follows and, though still enjoyable, is one of the weakest tracks to feature here; being a very early example of the bands work and not for me a real classic like some of the other songs that appear. "She" by a band called Tiny Monroe is the next track and artist I had never heard of before but again works well!
The second half of this album is where things really start to hot up! Opening with the catchy Cardigans track, "Rise And Shine", this is quickly followed by The Primitives' "Crash" and The Pretenders' "Night In My Veins" ~ both absolute gems from two of my favourite bands of that time. Next up comes Daisy Chainsaw and who can forget the classic "Love Your Money", the bands biggest hit which I fully remember them performing on Top Of The Pops! (Now I AM showing my age!!!)
Fluffy's "Husband" and Throwing Muses' "Bright Yellow Gun" brring the tempo down a little followed by my favourite track on this album and another I had never heard before called "Fader" by a band called Drugstore. What I like best about this album is the way it introduced me to lots of new bands from my favourite era that I had never heard before and somehow mised and this is a prime example of that. "Fader" has a really mellow feel to it but is still obviously in touch with its indie roots and listening to it leaves me positively haunted.
In its closing chapter, listeners are treated to the likes of Stereolab's "Ping Pong" and one of my favourite, and most surreal, covers of all time ~ Intastella's version of "The Night". I don't recall who did this originally but remember hearing it played on Radio 2 one day and thinking "That's the Intastella song! I never knew it wasn't original!!!" Intastella were a highly under-rated band from Manchester who never quite gained the notoriety they deserved and Stella's vocals on this track are quite simply legendary!
Finally, to finish, we get St.Etienne's mainstream classic "He's On The Phone" which I remember buying on single when it came out and Everything But The GIrl's "Missing" which is yet another classic number and one of the groups biggest ever singles! "Tishbite" by the Cocteau Twins and Moloko's "Fun For Me" are the absolute final numbers and bring this whole album to a very tidy and surreal close with two songs that brilliantly capture the whole mood and tone of the preceeding album!
This really is an absolutely essential album for any indie fans, with every song complimenting the one before and though sometimes we might not get the best songs from a band here, still they somehow seem to fit. A lot of thought and care has gone into the creation of this collection.
A follow-up, Ladykillers 2, followed on the success of this release but was never quite so good! This was, and remains to this day, one of the best collections of indie music that I own and is very likely to get played every bit as much as my old cassette way back in the day!