Even by the standards of the U.K. Subs, Countdown is an odd release. The first disc of this two-disc set consists of a collection of Subs tracks, rather peculiarly chosen. The set includes arguably their most famous song "Down on the Farm" (which was covered by Guns N' Roses) but not such key Subs selections as "Emotional Blackmail" or "Teenage," jettisoning them for such effluvia as outtakes from the Japan Today album. Given that it contains barely 16 songs, it comes off as poorly chosen, haphazardly sequenced, and incomplete. Disc two is a reissue of the 1988 live release Europe Calling, recorded during the tour to promote Japan Today. Though the set is well-recorded and -performed, it's still rather superfluous, since there have been no shortage of live Subs albums released over the years, and the fact that the Subs were hardly hitting their creative stride during this era makes it really only of minor interest. It isn't even of much historical value, since Europe Calling has been reissued many times and the misleading liner notes seem to imply that the bulk of this material covers the Subs' classic early years. Newcomers should avoid this package, since it omits so many vintage Subs performances, and die-hard fans will already have much of this material, which makes Countdown a fairly pointless collection.
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AllMusic Review by Victor W. Valdivia
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2