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Everything & Nothing

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Audio CD, November 7, 2000
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 7, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Virgin Records Us
  • ASIN: B00004WC6J
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,459 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. The Scent Of Magnolia
2. Heartbeat (Tainai Kaiki II)
3. Blackwater
4. Albuquerque (Dobro #6)
5. Ride
6. The Golden Way
7. Ghosts
8. Pop Song
9. Every Colour You Are
10. Wanderlust
See all 14 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Jean The Birdman
2. Cover Me With Flowers
3. The Boy With The Gun
4. Riverman
5. Aparna And Nimisha (Dobro #5)
6. Midnight Sun
7. Orpheus
8. Some Kind Of Fool
9. Cries And Whispers
10. Godman
See all 15 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Out-of-print in the U.S.! Import pressing of this two CD set, a "best of" collection of tracks from David Sylvian's long musical career (including some with former band Japan), previously unreleased recordings, and re-recorded or otherwise alternate versions of other tracks. Most collections spanning such a length of time (20 years!) are spotty at best, but Sylvian's career has been unusually consistent, both in terms of direction and quality. Everything & Nothing is guided by a clarity of vision absent from most compilations. Listening to it is more like hearing a new David Sylvian record than a random sampling from his catalogue. Highlights include the usual suspects; "Blackwater", "Ghosts", and "Godman", all standouts on the albums from which they were culled. Alongside those tracks, though, is the true meat of the collection. Among the best are the breathtaking "The Scent of Magnolia", "Some Kind of Fool" (recorded for Japan's seminal Gentlemen Take Polaroids album but unfinished at the time) and an alternate version of "Weathered Wall" that far and away outstrips the original.


A serial collaborator, Everything & Nothing draws material from the range of David Sylvian recordings, from 1991's Rain Tree Crow (with Japan members Richard Barbieri and Steve Jansen) to Ryuichi Sakamoto's 1986 album, Heartbeat, to his own '87 touchstone, Secrets of the Beehive. In a wonderful coup for devotees, this collection of singles, live recordings, and oddities also features the complete version of the lost Japan tune "Some Kind of Fool," intended for Gentlemen Take Poloraids. However, as so much of what Sylvian achieved with Japan was built on artifice, it's refreshing to hear him in a stripped-down setting. The opening "The Scent of Magnolia"--part electronica, part rock--glides with a subtlety that puts many practitioners in both fields to shame, while "Albuquerque" sustains a gorgeous balance between conceptual boldness and engaging melodiousness. Everything & Nothing is a good way to sample and celebrate a shape-shifter such as Sylvian as he ducks in and out of focus, between rugged ballads (the infamous "Ghosts"), avant-garde jazz ("God's Monkey"), and glossy pop. --Maxine Kabuubi

Customer Reviews

Well needless to say I RAN out and bought the CD.
rich hall
Those not familiar with his work, and willing to embrace the unusual, will find in Sylvian a compelling musical adventurer.
David Sylvian is one of the most unique artists past or present.
Mark Twang

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Geoffrey P. Smith on November 10, 2000
Format: Audio CD
As usual, David Sylvian does it his way and his retrospective collection is aptly titled. For such a consistently fine artist, the question becomes what to leave out, and Sylvian walks the tightrope over his available favorites,( a number of which are among my favorites), and previously unavailable tracks. I really can't quibble too much with this generous offering, although I do agree with others who would love to have "Damage" and "The First Day"...both these gorgeous songs are only available to my knowledge on hard-to-find live recordings, and their exclusion on the retrospective album is a disappointment to this listener. Since this collection is Sylvian the singer/songwriter, instrumental and ambient works are absent...fair enough, as most of that material is readily available and may be the focus of another retrospective(!) This highly personal and by no means exhaustive set will keep fans happy for the most part, and is essential for those wishing to explore David Sylvian's unique talent. I highly recommend the import version, with 4 bonus tracks on a third disc...as well as the splendid song 'Brilliant Trees', it includes two versions of 'Scent of Magnolia' and 'The Blinding Light of Heaven' from the collaboration with Robert Fripp.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By spiral_mind on August 7, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I'll get the unqualified praise out of the way first. David Sylvian possesses a generous talent, an uncanny way with beautiful melodies and one of the finest male singing voices you're ever likely to hear. His music is an enveloping cocoon of melancholy sound, quiet and reflective, with enough hints of hope and happiness to leave you feeling a little inner warmth amidst the chill. It's perfect for dark winter nights or quiet autumn evenings in front of a toasty fire.

However - see title above. Musically speaking, E&N is nearly perfect. As a compilation it sits on the fence between the die-hard fan camp and the newbie buyer, and doesn't ultimately satisfy either one. Several scattered tracks from all his post-Japan albums give a good overview of his career, but these could have made a single-disc package. Newcomers might not want to pop for this whole set. The already-converted will likely have at least half the tracks on other discs already. As introductions go, a single album would likely be a better choice: I recommend either Secrets of the Beehive or Gone To Earth. Damage (a live collaboration with Robert Fripp) is a fine choice as well: it's just different enough to make it a a little unsuitable as an intro to David's whole body of work, but it's more palatable to Fripp fans and those who like more hard rock.

And so we come to the reason I and many other completists had to have E&N anyway: the unreleased goodies. Why "Ride" ever remained unused for Secrets of the Beehive absolutely boggles the mind; it's eight minutes of stunning sonic bliss, heart-wrenching and performed with impeccable taste. After a year and a half it remains hands-down my favorite Sylvian track of all time..
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Brian Aldrich on December 9, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I have always thought of David Sylvian's music to have an autumn feel to it...earthy, haunting, changing, shifting like a breeze. Everything and Nothing provides a beautiful cross-section of the career of a man who has delved in electronica, jazz, new age, pop and world music.
If you buy this at all buy it for the song "Ride", an umbelievable omission from SECRETS OF THE BEEHIVE.
Elsewhere is an omission from DEAD BEES ON A CAKE called "The Scent of Magnolia" with it's elegant electronic arrangment.
"Thoroughly Lost in Logic" is a vocal piece with what sounds like a prepared piano ala John Cage. Being a fan of avant-guarde composers like Cage, Crumb and Usserchevsky, I honestly have to admit I really like this piece! Granted, it's art for art's sake...but who cares?
Other fruits from his orange period include early rare Japan material, dobro melodies, and what sounds like to me is a reworked background to "Heartbeat"
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By August Sanders on November 7, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is not a Greatest Hits package - no Forbidden Colours, numerous missing singles. Bereft of some of Sylvian's most sublime compositions, it is not a Greatest Songs collection either. Nor is it a Rarities collection - roughly half is comprised of readily available album material. While it is convenient to have hard to find material (such the caustic one-off single Pop Song) in one place, they do not necessarily reflect his best or most interesting work. And his tinkling with old recording masters - remixing and often resinging older tracks - yields mixed results. The charming (and oh-so 80s) Bamboo Music benefits from a warmer mix, but the one bonafide classic in the bunch, Ghosts, gets an incongruously languid, torchy performance on top of the unchanged and ornamentally rigid framework of the music. It's easy to see why the rambling Cover Me With Flowers did not make it onto last year's Dead Bees on a Cake, but less obvious why it was favored here over, say, Darkest Dreaming from the same album or The Ink in the Well from the all-but ignored debut album, Brilliant Trees. And why sacrifice his near-transcendental ballads with Robert Fripp (Damage, and The First Day) for the profoundly melody-challenged Jean the Birdman and God's Monkey?
However, there are three very good reasons to get your hands on this set, and they are all unavailable elsewhere. The first is the opening cut The Scent of Magnolia that shows Sylvian at the peak of his powers. With one ear to sampling culture - a sharp series of beats, masterly filtering - and another on Messian, it is a lush and heady amalgamation of his musical talents, and one of his most assured deep-amber vocal performances. The second is Ride, a track intended for the 1988 masterpiece, Secrets of the Beehive.
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