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Smash the System-Singles & More Extra tracks, Import

4.6 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Import, September 24, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Import only compilation featuring most of their official Heavenly era singles as well as B-sides, favorite album tracks & alternative or slightly remixed versions of older songs. 34 tracks including 'Only Love Can Break Your Heart', 'Kiss And Make Up', 'People Get Real', 'Pale Movie', 'Like A Motorway', 'Burnt out Car', 'Jack Lemmon' and more. Sony.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Only Love Can Break Your Heart
  2. Kiss And Make Up
  3. Nothing Can Stop Us
  4. Spring
  5. Carnt Sleep
  6. Filthy
  7. Join Our Club
  8. People Get Real
  9. Paper
  10. Avenue
  11. Mario's Cafe
  12. You're In A Bad Way
  13. Archway People
  14. Who Do You Think You Are
  15. Hobart Paving
  16. Pale Movie
  17. Hug My Soul
  18. Like A Motorway
  19. Cool Kids Of Death
  20. The Process
  21. He's On The Phone
  22. Angel
  23. Burnt Out Car
  24. Shad Thames
  25. Wood Cabin
  26. Sylvie
  27. Lose That Girl
  28. The Bad Photographer
  29. Goodnight Jack
  30. Madeleine
  31. 4.35 In The Morning
  32. Jack Lemmon
  33. Saturday
  34. 52 Pilot

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 24, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Extra tracks, Import
  • Label: Musicrama
  • ASIN: B00005NB0I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,156 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Erica Anderson on October 19, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I personally think "Smash the System" is far better than "Too Young to Die". I thought I bought "Too Young to Die" just a year after its release and when the price was skyhigh. Compared to "Smash the System", it really wasn't worth the money I shelled out for it. "Smash the System" on the other hand was well worth the price. This current compilation of the band's singles is a two cd set since there are so many songs this excellent indie pop band has churned out. The only way to put together a current comp without missing a single song was to make this comp a 2-cd set. All of my favorite songs are found on this cd like "Pale Movie" and "The Bad Photographer". Of course there are songs that I haven't heard yet from the band like "Filthy", "4:35 In the Morning" and "Shad Thames". This compilation of Saint Etienne's singles couldn't get any more thorough than it is. One of the best compilations of singles I have heard in years. Not one song on this 2 cd set I didn't like.
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Format: Audio CD
I admit that I'm not one of those St. Etienne fans that owns every album, EP, or single (Money Constraints Don't Allow Me). In fact I only have "Smash the System" and a B-sides compliation "Interludes." I only got into St. Etienne after suffering from a case of menal distress caused by low-grade, poor quality, air-polluting music marketed by profit-driven music magazines, record labels, and dumb rock critics. After having accumulated a sizeable collection of all the Bowiesque Brit-pop acts, American Grunge, Post-grunge, and French 60s OOh-la-la, yeh-yeh pop, and campy crooners, I thought I hit a dead end, and would eventually have to satifsy my appetite for good music with radio junk like Kylie Minogue (actually, she's alright) until the "next big sound" came around, if it ever would happen.
When I bought "Smash the System" I thought I was taking a gamble, because I usually preferred music that followed a "one way street" towards one type of sound and not be influenced by too many types of musical styles. On my first listen, "Smash the System" just floored me. The music influences are from all over the place but St. Etienne puts it all together so cleverly and stylishly that it would be hard to accuse St. Etienne of being recyclers with no innovative ideas of their own. Through an amalgam of musical styles, St. Etienne crafts songs that rises above the labels of their influences and creates something new and refreshing. Also, this is not another "girly" kind of sound. St. Etienne would probably appeal to people who like a clean sound that includes mastery of melody making, oderly song-structure, rhythms, harmony, and effortless-pop sung by a lovely and endearing songbird Sarah McCracknell.
They have a great versatiliy.
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Format: Audio CD
_Smash the System_ is great collection of earlier (pre-_Sound of Water_ as far as I can tell) Saint Etienne. It's less of an attempt at a definitive collection, ala the more recent anthology _Travel Edition_, and more of a nicely eclectic sampling of the group's prodigious output. If you've heard some SE that you have, of course, loved and want to get a sense of their wider catalog, this a good place to start. The two disks also serve as great party disks or fodder for brilliant pop mixes in their own right. It also shows that SE are no one consistant thing/genre except great pop music. Sometimes they are more dancey, sometimes more trip-hop, at others neo-classical Phil Spectorish pop. It's the sort of group that can make you think of Massive Attack, Sterolab, B.A.D., and Papas Fritas at the same time, while still being their own wonderfully incomparable thing.

It's hard to judge the title phrase "singles and more" as, at least according to the liner notes, all of the songs were previously albumn tracks, though at least some of these albumns were Japan only releases and almost all of them are a challenge to find in the U.S. (I suspect there's some story here about SE having had bad early experiences with U.S. distributors. _So Tough_ came out on WB but more recent releases have been on Subpop. Maybe it has something to do with that shampoo comercial.) So far as I can tell, many of the singles are not appreciably different from the albumn tracks that I already had from _So Tough_ and _Good Humour_. Still, these are fabulous songs. I had lost my copy of _Fox Base Alpha_ and so was greatful to have those great indie-pop classics back, and my girlfriend especially liked the section of dance-mix tracks that we hadn't heard before.
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Format: Audio CD
"Smash the System" is a far superior Saint Etienne compilation compared to "Too Young to Die". The material is more current although there are plenty of the band's earlier songs. The only beef I have with this 2 cd set is that they didn't include "I Was Born On Christmas Day" like "Too Young to Die", otherwise the songs that I love are found on "Smash the System". I guess at the time "Too Young to Die" was released, that was the band's current material. This new compilation is far more thorough than "Too Young to Die" which is why I like it even more. Old faves like "Pale Movie" and "Who Do You Think You Are" are included to new faves such as "Shad Thames" which I find myself playing on a regular basis. This new compilation is an excellent showcase to the world of what Saint Etienne is about and how catchy and infectious their music is. Saint Etienne is one of the best pop bands out there that has gone relatively under the radar in America. They are also one of my all-time favorite bands ever. "Smash the System" was well worth the money.
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