Leo Kottke

The Best

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While it's true that Rhino's double-disc anthology has ten more tracks than this baby does, it also contains more of Kottke's substandard material. It might have better notes, but for the sheer guitar slinging power of Kottke's unique attack on six- and twelve- string guitars, this 27-cut BGO version is the best one for the money. Sonically it is superior, using later-phase master technology, and its presentation is sleeker as well. The biggest asset here is that this collection does feature some of the more well-known vocal selections closely associated with the guitarist, such as "Pamela Brown," "Power Failure," and "Eight Miles High," but there are only a handful of them tacked on to the end of Disc Two. This is a fine presentation because of that. From "Cripple Creek," "Bouree," and "Bill Cheatham," to "Bumblebee," "Bean Time," and "Monkey Lost," almost everything you'd ever want included on a best-of is here. There is one complaint, however, and that is that Kottke's greatest-ever vocal performance, a cover of Nick Lowe's "Endless Sleep," from Burnt Lips, is missing here. This is a small travesty, to be sure, but it's a travesty nonetheless.

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