The Proclaimers

The Best of the Proclaimers

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Since the Scottish Reid brothers' existing catalog consisted of four good but spotty albums as of this compilation's release in 2002, The Best of the Proclaimers is not only a near-perfect summary of their most significant songs, but is the only purchase any but die-hard fans will need. The 20-track collection runs 70 minutes and not only includes music from all of their albums, but additionally three new tunes recorded expressly for this release. Given that the brothers' style didn't alter substantially over the course of the 14-year span covered here, the non-chronological presentation works to the advantage of the listener. Of the new tunes, a cover of Frankie Miller's obscure "The Doodle Song" hits the mark in a rearranged version; "Ghost of Love" sounds like a great, lost Everly Brothers' ballad; and "Lady Luck" is a mid-tempo pop song that brings out their most soulful side. "I'm Going to Be (500 Miles)" was the duo's only big hit, yet the disc is valuable because it unearths excellent tracks that had been hidden on their uneven albums. In particular, "The Light" and "What Makes You Cry" from the underheard Hit the Highway release are well worth consideration for those who enjoy the Proclaimers' stomping folk-pop sound. Their version of Roger Miller's "King of the Road" is also a nifty and surprising addition. The sound is excellent, and the sequencing is well thought out, which results in a superb representation of the band, as well as a near faultless compilation. It makes the rest of their catalog necessary for completists only. [In 2007, an accompanying DVD called Best of 1987-2002 was issued.]

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