Secret History, a [the Best of the Divine Comedy]
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List price: £11.99|
Our price: £10.99
Usually dispatched within 4 to 7 days
Average customer rating:
4.81 out of 5
Media: Audio CD|
ISBN/ASIN : B0000259UP
Manufacturer : Setanta|
Release data : 01 October, 1999
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A selection of product reviews
Commercial... but class
The principle market for a "best of" compilation is the casual shopper, rather than the hardcore fan. As such, it predominantly features singles and other more accessible tracks; those that the casual shopper will recognise and enjoy. One or two exclusive new songs, or maybe a special edition with extra material, are thrown in to entice the weathered fan. These are the criteria by which a "best of" must be judged, and the choice of material must be considered within these parameters.
For hardcore fans, this will never be your favourite album, as your choice of seventeen favourite Divine Comedy tracks will surely be unique. A "best of", ironically, is rarely much to do with the best. Is National Express a better track than Don't Look Down, is Lucy better than Woman of the World, is Marvelous Party better than If...? Not in my estimation. But that's not the point. Having said that though, I'm struggling to think of many more tracks on this collection I would be so happy to substitute. With the likes of Frog Princess, Songs of Love and Summerhouse on show, this is an extraordinarily rich display of strength.
As for the new bits and pieces, we have a remake of Pollen Count that is bright, colourful and shiny but doesn't add much to the original. We have the captivating, emotional Too Young To Die. But the crème de la crème has to be Gin Soaked Boy; a cracking single, catchy as hell, with lyrics that prove that, when he puts his mind to it, Hannon still has it licked.
By any criteria, the strength of this material is awesome.
Important footnote: if you are a casual shopper buy this, but if you are hardcore fan you must get the limited edition 2CD book-set (available elsewhere in Amazon) for maximum fulfillment.
I love it
This is the first Divine Comedy album I bought and I love it....after having a surf around the reviews of all their other albums on here I want all of them!!! Too Young To Die is amazing, as is Frog Princess, and Everybody Knows and Songs of love will also be favourites for ever. In this era of manufactured bands with lifespans of a year, dance music that all sounds the same and Italian DJs feat. Whoever, this is wonderfully original and Neil Hannon's voice rules the world!!!
Plenty of bands only release a 'Best of' when they know their time is over. Not so The Divine Comedy, who released this compilation at the height of their popularity back in 1999, and yet are still going strong today (in fact, their latest album 'Absent Friends' is possibly their best yet).
'A Secret History' is a joy from start to finish, and although it leaves out some true DC classics, that's forgivable as this was clearly designed to be as commercial and accessible as possible, and to be an introduction to their eclectic range of music. Indeed, I first discovered The Divine Comedy with this album - and I promptly went out and bought their entire back catalogue within the same week!
It's a must-have for any fan of real music, played with real instruments and with a truly powerful voice at the helm, in this age of manufactured pop.