Various Artists

The Flying Nun Retrospective Compilation: Getting Older 1981-1991

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A household without at least one release from New Zealand's Flying Nun can only be considered woefully inadequate. An exaggeration, perhaps -- but only slightly. The Auckland-based independent pop label has been around for over two decades, and this 20-track retrospective collects singles and album tracks from the first ten years. It includes such highly regarded acts as the Chills, Verlaines, and the Clean, whose 1983 single "Getting Older" provides the title. The best songs, however, are saved for last: Jean-Paul Sartre Experience's shimmering "Elemental" (from 1990's The Size of Food) and Chris Knox's chiming "Not Given Lightly" (from 1989's Seizure). Letting Knox have the last word only seems appropriate as he just happens to be one of the label's -- if not the country's -- foremost musical figures. He is also represented by "Crush" from Tall Dwarfs, his long-running lo-fi partnership with Alec Bathgate (both from legendary punk bands the Enemy and Toy Love), and even recorded several of the tracks on the compilation.

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