Whether it be show and filmmusic or classic crooner's ballads, America has produced many of the world's finest songwriters. Legendary names such as Gershwin, Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein and Henry Mancini have become synonymous with timeless melodies, and this album gives you 22 bona fide classics, performed by the 101 Strings, an orchestra of the highest technical skill with the finest musicians in Europe. To enjoy this journey through some truly great American compositions.
Twenty-five tracks round up an extremely haphazard but nevertheless intriguing "best of" Marc Bolan's last five years, drawing equally from the regular albums and familiar boogies, and the wealth of archival material excavated by the Unchained and Alternate series. Certainly not compiled with the hit hunter in mind (only "The Groover" and "Dreamy Lady" truly fall into that category), Very Best of, Vol. 2 is instead devoted to illustrating as many facets of Bolan's career as it could, from the pensive introspection of "Spaceball Ricochet," to the grinding self-aggrandizement of "The Groover," and onto the sharp autobiography of "Over the Flats" and "Funky London Childhood." As such, and especially when viewed in tandem with Very Best of, Vol. 1, it serves up a delightful portrait of Bolan's '70s, at a price that is difficult to squabble with.
Marc Bolan died in September 1977, exactly two weeks before his thirtieth birthday. His achievements in the last seven years of his life included over 20 UK hit singles, 11 of which made the top 10 in less than three years. This compilation features 14 of those singles, along with some celebrated b-sides and album tracks.
Not quite as definitive of their time as Brit-pop sensations like Elastica and Sleeper and not quite as inventive and enduring as Garbage, Republica made a splash on the charts with "Ready to Go" and then more or less faded away, for stateside audiences at least. The British retrospective Ready to Go: The Best of Republica may be somewhat surprising to casual fans of the group, who may not have been aware that Republica recorded a second album, 1998's Speed Ballads, which didn't receive distribution in the U.S. An even mix of highlights from the group's two albums, Ready to Go features two versions of the group's catchy, dance-meets-Brit-pop title hit, along with the follow-up single "Drop Dead Gorgeous" and notable tracks from the more complex, electronic Speed Ballads such as "From Rush Hour With Love" and "Fading of the Man." Indeed, the collection manages to gather most of both of Republica's albums, making it the only Republica release anyone curious about the band needs to own.