One of the first of the blissed-out rave acts to storm the charts, and also one of the longest lasting, the Future Sound of London deserved a good singles compilation, and fortunately they get one with the Virgin retrospective Teachings from the Electronic Brain. Their highest moments were virtually always their singles, and short-form tracks offer a much easier path to understanding the music of Brian Dougans and Garry Cobain than their occasionally bloated LPs. Teachings from the Electronic Brain neglects nothing of real value, beginning with their first chart hit ("Papua New Guinea") and grabbing the best tracks from their albums Accelerator ("Expander"), Lifeforms (the title track), the live-in-the-studio ISDN ("Far-Out Son of Lung and the Ramblings of a Madman," "Smokin' Japanese Babe"), and Dead Cities ("We Have Explosive"). Best of all, licensing requirements prevented the addition of material from 2002's half-baked The Isness.
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.
On September 29, the band will mark 21 years since their first release ‘Swim’ with a career-spanning 41-track greatest hits package and a mini album ‘Arrow’ of nine new songs – featuring the song ‘Figure You Out’.