Golden Greats No. 1 isn't the first compilation from Swedish rockers the Soundtrack of Our Lives. In 2005, a double-CD entitled Present from the Past was issued by WEA International; it was culled tracks from singles, EPS, one-offs, alternates, demos, and previously unreleased material. It served as a fan's wet dream and a delightfully schizophrenic introduction to this band's ambitious approach. That said, Golden Greats No. 1, a CD-DVD package is, in many ways, a better representation of the band's rich sound, since it collects a whopping 19 tracks from its album five-album catalog, beginning with "Instant Repeater, '99" from the Homo Habilis Blues EP and Welcome to the Infant Freebase full-length. These tracks are arranged aesthetically, not chronologically, presenting its cuts in a manner that offers all sides of the band's persona. In addition to well-known tracks like "Believe I've Been Found," "Jehovah Sunrise," "Broken Imaginary Time," and "Thrill Me," there are two rarities present as well. There's the web-only single "Earthmover" -- a crowd pleaser with melded electric and acoustic guitars and a backing chorus à la the Rolling Stones -- and the completely unreleased 2003 live favorite "Karmageddon," which showcases the band at its tightest with a killer vocal/guitar hook in the chorus. The DVD in this package is taken from a single live performance during the North by Northeast Festival in Toronto in 2007, recorded at Jeff Healey's Roadhouse. The footage is somewhat gritty but quite clear, and the sound is terrific. What's most striking during this 11-song set is the energy this band puts across on-stage, even when they can be very restrained on recorded versions of the same material. The other curious element is just how much lead vocalist Ebbot Lundberg owes to Jim Morrison in his phrasing and tone, which seldom comes across on studio albums. TSOOL fans will want this set for the DVD and the two rare tracks on the CD, while anyone even remotely curious will get a solid aural and visual portrait of how special this band is, which is something Europeans and Canadians have known for 15 years.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek