Gold by The Beautiful South is the third greatest hits album to be released by the band. It is similar in design to other "Gold" albums released by bands either currently or previously of various labels under the Universal Music Group. The album is a 2 disc collection of both single and album tracks taken from the first 8 of the bands back catalogue. It was released without the band's consent and had zero input from the band.
Carry on Up the Charts: The Best of the Beautiful South was the surprise British hit of 1994, going platinum five times between its late fall release and the summer of 1995. The success was surprising, because while the Beautiful South had been modestly popular, their last few albums were sliding down the charts…
"…Yes, yes, yes. Next time your significant other does you significant pain, just put Blue Is the Colour on for a few spins. It will be more healing than a public drunk and save you any day-after embarrassment." ~allmusic
"…much of the music is excellent, highlighted by "Prettiest Eyes" and a cover of Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'." ~AMG
This is a definitive best-of from the scathingly satiric, invariably tuneful band that arose from the ashes of The Housemartins. Sadly, Paul Heaton and friends have always been too twee and clever for the colonies, though classics like "My Book" and "Old Red Eyes Is Back" deserved better. A lovely, sing-along new track, "One Last Love Song," sounds like a farewell to arms, while the limited-edition disc of B sides proves that only XTC can match them in terms of high-caliber throwaways.
North South Divide is a collection of songs produced in an exceptionally sparse manner, with McCullagh’s vocals, guitar and harmonica only joined by a violin on a couple of tracks. Whilst most people of 15 years old would often hide behind a wall of noise and confusion, this delicate approach to song writing gives McCullagh a great platform to tell his stories. Comparisons with Bob Dylan abound, most notably when the harmonica comes out, and none more so than in the track ‘White Rose’, where gentle open chord fingerpicking sits alongside a beautiful ballad and the Dylanesque blowing.