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B-Sides & Rarities [CD + DVD] Best of, Enhanced, Explicit Lyrics
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See all 14 tracks on this disc
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To begin the song selection seems odd to me. It's not that any of the songs are bad, just most are stuff we've already heard, or are just different versions of old songs. The "Digital Bath", "Change In The House of Flies" and "Be Quiet And Drive" acoustics, while good, have been heard by most fans. The "Teenager" remix isn't really that special or different from the original. Most of the good songs featured on here are cover songs. "Simple Man" and "No Ordinary Love" are Leonard Skynard covers. "The Chauffer" is an excellent Duran Duran cover. While we do get some cover songs, we get a couple of originals in "Crenshaw" and "Black Moon", however neither compares to the rarities that weren't placed on here. Which is why after listening to the cd, I'm still left with the question, "Where's the stuff we wanted to hear?" Foolishly left off the cd is "Teething", perhaps one of the best Deftones songs around (which appeared on the Crow City of Angels Soundtrack). "I Can Barely Breathe" (Escape from LA soundtrack) was also left off. I don't really understand the choice behind this because I guarantee most fans don't own those soundtracks, and this would have been a great place to put them. Songs which are mysteriously absent from the cd are :
"Teething" (The Crow: City of Angels Soundtrack)
"I Can Barely Breathe" (Escape From LA Soundtrack)
"Lovers" (B-side from Self Titled, appeared on "Hexagram" import)
"Boys Republic" (Only on the special edition of "White Pony")
"To Have And To Hold" (Depeche Mode Cover, amazing)
"South Of Heaven" (Slayer cover, also amazing)
"Venison" (Original Deftones demo song, really good and is floating around on the net)
The DVD portion though thankfully saves the cd from total failure. We finally get all the Deftones Videos in one place (although I'm still forced to ask, where's the video for "Teething"?). It's nice if you haven't seen any of them, and there's also a never before seen video of "Root" on here. Coming along with the videos is some live and behind the scenes footage as well, which is well worth the purchase of the cd since there hasn't been a decent Deftones DVD released yet. The booklet that comes with the cd is also very cool, mainly because it's a 24 page piece of history which includes linear notes from the band. Pretty neat if you don't know much about them. Another thing I like about the cd is that they went back to the cd design pattern featured on "Adrenaline" and "Around The Fur", which makes it feel like old times. Hey that can make all the difference.
Overall the cd is a good buy if you're a hardcore Deftones fan, but it's definitely lacking like mentioned in previous reviews. I find most of the songs on here to be moody, atmospheric pieces. There's not a lot of heavy ones which is kind of dissapointing. That's why I feel this cd could have benefitted from adding songs like "Teething." Overall though I can't complain much about the cd. It's still great Deftones music, and a great opportunity to hear a lot of rare tracks if you haven't run across them before on an import or the interent or something. I'd say this is only essential to the most dedicated Deftones fans. If you're a casual fan, I don't see this cd offering you much, and that is a good reason to skip it. Still I guess this will hold me over until the Deftones unleash their next studio effort on us.
That was the the first thought that popped into my head when I found out the Deftones would be releasing a CD/DVD set of unreleased material and music videos. There are so many great, hard to find Deftones classics out there, it's high time some of them were presented in proper form to the public! "B-Sides & Rarities" comes at a good time, as we are still waiting for the fifth Deftones album (which keeps getting pushed back into oblivion). Along with Team Sleep's debut earlier this year, this set provides a nice placeholder for the new album. Something to keep us occupied until new music presents itself.
Right off the bat, any Deftones fan who has spent time on the 'net downloading bootlegs and b-sides (or even buying those pricey imports) will tell you how much excellent material is missing. For starters, none of the group's original demos (of which, there are many) are included. One of the best demos, "Like Linus" would have fit in perfectly. Likewise, Charlie Clouser's rare remix of "My Own Summer (Shove It)" would have been great as well. But complaints aside, let's talk about what is actually on here. The CD is comprised of 14 tracks, mostly cover songs or acoustic versions of Deftones' classics. There are quite a few choice covers that show the obvious influences (i.e. The Cure, Helmet, Duran Duran) and a few totally bizarre, left-field choices as well. The one song that sticks out like a sore-thumb would be their cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man." Musically, they nail the song, and make it their own. But unfortunately, Chino's vocal performance is rather uninspired, as he shows little to no emotion while singing a very sentimental song (reportedly, Chino didn't dig the song until after they recorded it). "No Oridnary Love" stands as one of the best covers they have done to date (a Sade cover) and also appeared on the "Change (In The House Of Flies)" single. This marks the first of four, count 'em, four collaborations on this disc with Jonah Matranga (of Far/Gratitude fame). The acoustic versions are all superb. I've had the acoustics of "Change" and "Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away)" for quite some time, but the inclusion of "Digital Bath" (one of my favorite songs) was especially appreciated, and well performed. I was a little disappointed in "Black Moon" and "Teenager (Idiot Pilot Version)." The former features B-Real of Cypress Hill, which could be a good thing, as they are one of the best hip-hop acts still around. But the song, unfortunately, carries absolutely no stamp of the Deftones. It's basically a Cypress Hill song, produced by Chino. The latter is Chino collaborating with a group by the name of Idiot Pilot for a reworking of "Teenager." This version sounds flat when compared to the "White Pony" version, and makes you wonder why they even bothered.
The DVD contains every music video the Deftones have done to date (even though that rare "Around The Fur" video still eludes us). All the classics like "My Own Summer (Shove It)" and "Change (In The House Of Flies)" are here, along with some lesser-known videos. For example, I didn't know "Bloody Cape" even had a video! And quite an entertaining one, at that. The videos for "Engine No. 9" and "Root" are, as expected, low budget montages of live footage. In between videos, various interview and live-clips pop-up, but unfortunately, don't amount to much. The highlights being Chino's reworking of Eminem's "Kill You" performed live, and Shavo from System Of A Down sharing an amusing anecdote about confusing the Deftones for Korn (all about the dreadlocks).
Obviously, much more could have been done with this compilation, which is why it only gets 4-stars. They have such an enormous library of unreleased music, it seems criminal that the CD portion is only 14 tracks long. Also, the fact that the DVD is mainly just music videos is kinda boring as well. What about some (complete) live performances or behind the scenes footage? Making of albums? I guess you just gotta take what you got. As it is, "B-Sides & Rarities" is a welcome addition to the collection of any Deftones fan. The packaging is great, with in-depth liner notes talking about each song and their origins. I only recommend this disc to those who have immersed themselves completely in the Deftones' four albums. Otherwise, the material on here may be hard to swallow.
But, the biggest nit pick I have with this is the music itself. Not that I wish any of these songs werent present, I just want more. It also saddens me that they left out some of their best B-sides. This disc is not so much a rarities and b-sides as it is a "Covers and Remixes" album. I have been looking forward to a deftones b-sides for years. In fact, I made one myself awhile ago. But I was looking forward to the official release, with consistent mixing and production...and because some of my favorite tracks are missing its a dissapointment. The most noteable tracks absent are "Teething" (one of the best deftones tracks ever, better than most of their album tracks) and (like everyone else has already said) "To Have And To Hold." These are not only good for b-sides, but are STELLAR deftones gems that deserve an official release from the band themselves, not to be left for some crappy movie soundtrack or covers album. These are fan and personal favorites that really stand out in the deftones catalogue and their absence truly hinders this release. I think any fan would be with me 100% on this.
Here is a list of tracks that should have seen this release (not only are they better than most of the tracks that made the cd, but some are heavier more "deftones" tracks that would have put more excitement and devirsity into the disc):
- Teething (one of best deftones songs ever)
- To Have And To Hold (another best ever)
- Can't Even Breathe (good track, please for the love of god save it from the "escape from l.a. soundtrack")
- Damone (would be nice to have this song more accessable than after 30 minutes of fastforwarding after "Around The Fur")
- Say It Ain't So
- The Boys Republic (not everyone has the special white pony, so this also would have been choice for this release)
I was actually expecting all of the above tracks to make it onto this release, so it's deffinetly a let down. It is still worth buyin if you are a huge fan. Let's just hope for another, and better, B-sides disc in the future.
Probably not for your every day listener, but deftones fans will appreciate it.
Let's get to the CD review:
-"Simple Man" (Skynyrd Cover) One of my all-time favorites, and I'd have never expected to hear the Deftones cover it. They stay true to the original and the solo is scorching.
-"If Only Tonight We Could Sleep" (Cure Cover) The liner notes describe how the 'Tones were hesitant to play this live with the Cure in attendance. They had nothing to worry about.
-"Savory" (Jawbox Cover) Interesting to hear someone besides Chino sing lead on a Deftones song. This is a jam session with members of Far (another Sacto band). A great opener for the album.
-"Please Please Please (Let Me Get What I Want)" (Smiths Cover): I have to admit I've never heard the original, but this is great stuff...reminds me of "Boys Republic" from White Pony.
-"The Chauffeur" (Duran Duran Cover): Way better than the original.
-Acoustic Versions of "Change, Be Quiet and Drive", and "Digital Bath". I bought the "Music In High Places-Deftones in Hawaii" video just to hear acoustic versions of Deftones songs. All 3 of these are gems.
-"Black Moon": I don't like Rap. I love "Black Moon", though.
All of the other tracks are worthwhile. The covers of Cocteau Twins and Sade, "Wax and Wane" and "No Ordinary Love", are extremely well done, just not what I buy a Deftones CD to hear.
Really, the only two tracks I don't LOVE are "Crenshaw Punch" and "Sinatra"...these are the hardest tracks on the disc, but they both seem to lack focus/direction. I've never really liked Helmet, anyway, so that probably explains it.
I love this disc. The Deftones blew me away with their versatility on this collection. This will help fill the void until Tool's new album comes out this spring. And shortly after that, hopefully there will be a new Deftones CD in the offing.