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Push Barman to Open Old Wounds

27 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 24, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

At long last, all seven of Belle And Sebastian's "Jeepster" EPs have been collected into a convenient 2-CD set. Often considered their best work, and previously only available as hard-to-find imports or in a box set, the EPs, consisting of 25 songs recorded from 1996-2001, are now available for the price of a single frontline CD. The four tracks from the EP "This Is Just A Modern Rock Song" have never been released in the US before. Also available in a deluxe 3-LP gatefold vinyl set and a deluxe double CD hardbound book.

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In many ways this collection, which compiles each of the band's out of print EPs from 1997-2001, is all the "greatest hits" you'll need by the Scottish combo. It's easy to take Belle and Sebastian for granted these days--they don't sound as good as they used to, and certainly it’s difficult to imagine them ever becoming as culturally/musically relevant as they were once upon a precious, fey little time. But this collection brings the listener back to a time when it was crucially important to find their import EPs, when no one else in the world seemed to be making indie-pop that was so full of sincerity and irony at the same time, nor as gorgeously crammed with orchestral elements and naughty-smart lyrics. "The State I Am In" has never sounded better, while "Lazy Line Painter Jane," which expanded their sound to include C&W-ish elements, is clearly one of the band’s best tunes ever (and perhaps a more interesting direction than the vaguely soulful one they took later on). The almost-rolliciking, smartypants "Le Pastie De La Bourgeoise" is brutal and elegant. –Mike McGonigal

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 24, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Matador Records
  • ASIN: B0008FPIRC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,767 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Brandon Whitfeld on June 20, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Look, maybe it's slightly hysterical and irrational to say that Belle and Sebastian are one of the greatest creations of humankind...

But considering how much happiness they have brought me, how many times they have just stopped me in my tracks and forced me to listen to them when I must have had like six billion things to do, I think it is OK to suggest there is something magical and, like, supernatural about them.

OK, so they are certainly one of the greatest bands of the modern era, can we at least say that? If you do not physically MELT when you hear songs like "Winter Wooskie" and"Slow Graffiti" or laugh at the sheer chutzpah of "The State I am In" or "I'm Waking Up to Us" then all is lost to you, my friend, because you HAVE NO SOUL...

Officially enshrined now as the true Successor-To-The Smiths, they are heroes to the bookish, misbegotten poets, the misunderstood, the emotional and sensational lovers of Truth and Beauty. But their appeal grows even more universal by the day. Pretty much every single song on here is memorable, beautiful, shockingly melodic, and tinged with irony and hopeful mirth, the post-millenium's response to "Louder Than Bombs" if there could ever be such a thing. In a way, it's like the "chosen" people who were waiting for such a creation, gathered in their teeming subcultures of Proust novels, sensitive graphic novels, lonely web blogs about unrequited love, Smiths B-sides, obscure British Television, old campy movies, and pretentious wordy T-Shirts, and dreamed it up for themselves. But we need these people, and these people need the occasional prophet, right?
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Sam on June 4, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This has been a long awaited for! Belle and Sebastian's individual EP's were always impossible to find in a record store, not to mention there are a large number of them. Thus, it is very nice to have every single one compiled chronologically at a very reasonable price, as opposed to buying all seven of them seperately.

All of their albums are great, but on their singles Belle and Sebastian feel somehow more "free." They've let down their perfectionism and really experimented with new concepts, styles, and every single song is a gem-I believe all their best work can be found here.

The first disc consists of their first three EP's-Dog On Wheels, Lazy Line Painter Jane, and 3...6...9 Secons of Light. All harken back to their early days of Tigermilk and If You're Feeling Sinister, yet more loose, with the slow and simple reinterpretation of The State I Am In, the fast sixtie's style pop song Le Pastie De La Boureoisie (which doesn't translate to anything, by the way), and the melencholy Put the Book Back On the Shelf.

The second disk covers post If You're Feeling Sinister to the days of Fold Your Hands My Child, You Walk Like a Peasent-except much more inspired with their four EP's This IS Just a Modern Rock Song, Legal Man, Jonathan David, and I'm Waking Up To Us. This Is Just a Modern Rock Song is probably worth the whole collection alone-words can't really describe it. Take Your Carriage Clock and Shove It has probably the most beautiful orchestral arrangement I've ever heard them produce, and Marx and Engels is superb.

I would probably recomend this compilation instead of getting all seperate EP's due to cost (they still have all lyrics and covers inside the liner notes), and would certainly recomend it to any Belle and Sebastian fan.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 16, 2006
Format: Audio CD
For the past decade, Belle and Sebastian has been one of the greatest bands in the world, and while well known to a dedicated core of fans, they remain alarmingly unknown to the populace as a whole. Knowing about Belle and Sebastian is one of those musical badges that marks you as belonging to the more discerning of musical fans and can be used in movies and television as a quick way of validating someone as being especially savvy about great music. For instance, in an episode of THE GILMORE GIRLS, Rory's best friend Lane, who is a music junkie despite more or less being imprisoned in her house by her overbearing Korean Seventh Day Adventist mother, yells from her window asking Rory to pick up for her the latest Belle and Sebastian album. Though we've had numerous hints before that Lane really knows her music, this stands as further proof.

Many music consumers possess an album-only mentality. EPs are considered too short, too inconsequential, too, well, odd, to be desirable. With most bands, this is probably a valid attitude, since many use EPs to hold leftover numbers from album sessions (for instance, although Sam Beam is one of my favorite performers, Iron and Wine's THE SEA AND THE RHYTHM merely collects cuts left off THE CREEK DRANK THE CRADLE, though his subsequent EPs are gems) or as a place to collect what in an earlier period would have been B-sides. Not so with Belle and Sebastian. The songs on their EPs are not merely good, but frequently among the very best songs that they ever wrote. Some of the songs were later rerecorded for albums, but even factoring that in the quality of these songs is absolutely amazing. One could even ask the question: Is Belle and Sebastian the premiere EP band in rock history? The evidence here suggests that they are indeed.
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