Imagine every great English band from yesterday and today- the Beatles, Bowie, Roxy Music, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Cure, New Order, etc, and roll them into one and add in something extra..... perhaps a little more passion and humor- and you have James- an underappreciated, multi-talented group of musicians!
Though the departure last year of lead singer, Tim Booth leaves their future up in the air, this Manchester England band have left quite a mark on music. It is safe to say that they have been one of the most talented, impressive, and underrated bands in the last decade or so.
In the early 90's, when they were first gaining international recognition, we American's were too obsessed with the over-hyped grunge movement. By the mid to late 90's, the boring "roots-rock" of Dave Matthews and Blues Traveler was all the rage, as were British bands like Oasis and Blur who never came close to being as versatile and original as James. In short, with the exception of the quirky 1993 hit, "Laid," America missed out on James.
What a pity!
Well, this greatest hits package, from 1998, is a chance to hear what we missed! ( I say we cause it took me some time to get around to them too!) While there are so many amazing James albums to buy, the hits are a good place to start. Sure, "Laid" is here, but there is much much more!
Anybody with good taste in cutting-edge, well-done rock music will instantly take to much of these songs. Tracks like "Say Something," "Sometimes," "She's a Star," "Tomorrow," and "Out to Get You" are some of the most powerful, satisfying and infectious songs to come out of the 1990's.
Though America was too busy playing out "Smells Like Teen Spirit, and "Under the Table and Dreaming" to even come close to appreciating James, here is a chance to hear a band that gave us some of the finest music the 1990's had to offer.