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.
One of the most interesting and difficult-to-categorize singers in '60s pop, Gene Pitney had a long run of hits distinguished by his pained, one-of-a-kind melodramatic wail. Pitney is sometimes characterized (or dismissed) as a shallow teen idol-type prone to operatic ballads. It's true that some of his biggest hits – "Town Without Pity," "Only Love Can Break a Heart," "I'm Gonna Be Strong," "It Hurts to Be in Love," and "Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa" – are archetypes of adolescent or just-post-adolescent agony, characterized by longing and not a little self-pity.
Amorphis hasn't released a physical greatest hits compilation in more than thirteen years when ''Chapters'' had been published. Since then, Amorphis had an important line-up change with the chasrismatic and versatile Tomi Joutsen taking Pasi Koskinen's spot. The band has also released a whopping eight studio albums which weren't covered by the last compilation…
Leave it to the French to show their cosmopolitan side with this wide-ranging five CDs that often resembles a whirlwind package tour of Paris. All in all, it's a spectacularly fun, occasionally chuckle-inducing collection.