This is the first American compilation to select most of the Waterboys' most memorable tracks and the first compilation to combine Waterboys tracks with songs from Mike Scott's solo albums. Combining all of the group's British chart singles except "And a Bang on the Ear" as well as live tracks, B-sides not previously on an album, and even one previously unreleased studio track, "Higher in Time," from 1991, it is in effect a "the best and the rest" selection of the work of Mike Scott from 1982 to 1997. The sequencing pays no attention to chronology, instead moving back and forth between the Waterboys' early, ambitious rock creations, the effervescent neo-folk of the Fisherman's Blues era, and Scott's sometimes introspective solo work. Despite this, his impassioned singing holds things together better than might be expected, and the effect is not unlike a good Waterboys concert. Since the Waterboys were always more of a rumor than a real commercial threat in the U.S., there is always the chance for the band's music to be appreciated anew, and it didn't hurt that in the same season this album was released, "Fisherman's Blues" was used as the title music for the popular film Waking Ned Devine. The album makes an excellent sampler of Mike Scott's work so far.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann