Generation X

Anthology

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The title Anthology implies that a record spans a lot of ground, and this three-disc set from Chrysalis/Capitol does indeed cover a lot of ground, but it's not as thorough as you'd expect. The box breaks down easily into a disc of hits, a disc with an unreleased album, and an unreleased live concert from Osaka, Japan, in 1978. Indeed, that's a lot of unreleased material and collector bait, but it's not as enticing as it seems, since it consists of neither complete recorded works nor a logical exhumation of rarities. The simple fact is, the fans who want the previously unreleased Sweet Revenge (originally mooted as the follow-up to Valley of the Dolls) and the live show will not need yet another collection of the group's hits, and those who would want a streamlined overview like that on the first disc will surely not need the rarities on the other two discs. This flaw in design carries over to the liner notes, which are a mere two and half pages from Alan Parker, followed by tinted photos and page upon page with track listings that only detail titles and credits. To top that off, the two discs of unreleased material are simply not that interesting. Generation X wasn't a particularly dynamic live act, and the live disc here is lead-footed. Sweet Revenge, while hardly a disaster, doesn't have any great songs outside of "Dancing With Myself" and is kind of flat, confirming that the group was pretty lightweight, treading very close to punk bubblegum but without the fizz and pop that combination should produce. So, it's one for the very devoted collectors, a sentiment that would be easier to swallow if this were a two-disc set instead of three-disc box.

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