I always think that a sure sign of getting older is when your favourite band releases its third ‘greatest hits’ album. Well, if I say third: There has been
- The Best of Matt Bianco
- The Best of Part 2
- Sunshine Day : Summer Best
- Wap Bam Boogie
- A/Collection: The Best of Matt Bianco
- Free Soul: Drive With Matt Bianco
- Sunshine Days – The Official Greatest Hits
So it’s actually ‘Best of’ Nr. 7. Not to worry, any new Matt Bianco album is a good album, and thanks to Amazon it was inside my CD player within seconds of being released. The tasteful cover informs us that it’s a mix between re-recordings of the older (=eighties) and newer (90 +) tracks, 18 tracks in total. With other words’s it’s an update of the A/Collection, which attempted the same feat in 1998. Well, that was 12 (bummer, I’m old) years ago and as I said before, there’s always room for another version of ‘Half a minute’. Well, maybe not this time. While HiFi Bossanova was a brillant reboot of almost J.J. Abramsian proportions, this is a mixed bag. It starts well enough with the title track of the last album and the rebooted ‘Lost in You’, but things sag a bit. The eighties staples ‘Get out of your lazy bed’, ‘Yeh Yeh’, ‘Don’t blame it on that girl’, ‘Dancing in the street’, ‘Good times’ and ‘Half a minute’ all suffer from some degree of muzakisation. Whether this is due to the rather uninspired drumpatterns or synth sounds that sound like something from 1994 or the sparse arrangements is unimportant, but these re-recordings don’t match the originals (or even the A/Collection). Just when you want to email Mark Fisher and complain, ‘More than I can bear’ blows you off your feat with a very contemporary reworking of this classic that sounds even better than the original. The two remixes of ‘Half a minute’ and ‘Wap Bam Boogie’ are equally excellent.
So, it’s a mixed bag: Some good stuff, some excellent tracks, some not so good.
Should you buy it? Of course you should. It’s got a nice hardcover, has smiling Marks on the front, three killer tracks and the rest is still excellent music for the car.