Various Artists

104.9: An XFM Compilation Album

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Before they made shareholders nervous and got sold to Capital Radio Group, London's XFM released a quasi-benefit CD compilation in hopes to raise money and awareness that would grant the burgeoning station its first official radio license. This translated to various exclusive tracks, altered versions, and live takes from many bands considered just on the outer edges of the existing frenzy of Brit-pop. The Cure turn up with a paisley cover of David Bowie's "Young Americans," U2 barely stumbles out of their Zooropa daze to phone in a dirty hip-hop B-side remix of "Numb," and the then-ubiquitous Oasis chews the limbs off of their competitors with a wonderfully spiteful explosion of their live rendition of "Married With Children." Relatively underexposed names like China Drum, Goya Dress, Sebadoh, Marion, and Transglobal Underground are also littered about to try and proffer indie cred, but as charity albums go, there's a feeble morality in lending your coffers to a company who makes money out of playing other people's records. The Boo Radleys' "XFM Is Ace" and a solo, electric version of Drugstore's "Modern Pleasure" are the only rarities left to save this from being another assemblage of dodgy exclusives.

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