The obvious response to this 1984 compilation's title is, "yeah, if only Epic had bothered to promote, or even release, these songs back when they were recorded, they might have been hits." A quick cash-in on the Tourists' back catalog designed to entice the curious after singer Annie Lennox and guitarist Dave Stewart had found success as Eurythmics, this ten-track set actually doesn't even give a good overview of the band's career. Although Lennox was the primary lead singer and Stewart produced some of their material, the Tourists were largely Pete Coombes' band. This compilation skews toward the Lennox- and Stewart-penned material, giving Coombes short shrift. This is a shame, since the five Coombes-penned tracks, especially the angsty "The Loneliest Man in the World" and "It Doesn't Have to Be This Way," have it all over the others. (Fans of the cult favorites New Musik will find Coombes to be a kindred spirit to that band's mastermind Tony Mansfield.) The album leads off with their biggest hit, a workmanlike cover of Dusty Springfield's "I Only Want to Be With You" that gives no indication of this band's many strengths. Sorry, Epic, but this should be filed under "too little, too late."
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason