Various Artists

Born Stiff: The Stiff Records Collection

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Part of Salvo’s ongoing excavation of the Stiff Records catalog, the 2010 double-disc compilation Born Stiff: The Stiff Records Collection covers familiar ground in its 45 tracks, hitting hard at the label’s early days, then cherry-picking some of the best of their ‘80s decline. There are two things that distinguish this set: first, it extends to Stiff’s revival in the new millennium, adding cuts by Chris Difford and Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby, and second, it ever-so-slightly downplays some of Stiff’s patented strangeness, chopping away novelties in favor of more substantial offerings. Those who love Stiff love the label for those oddities, but those tunes can be found elsewhere, including the Big Stiff Box Set Salvo put out in 2008, so think of this as a gateway drug to the wonderful lunacy of Stiff.

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