By 1983, R. Stevie Moore had been writing and recording his own music for a good 15 years (just about half his life), but he had never done a proper compilation that provided an overview of his career to that point. With the help of his friend Irwin Chusid, Moore quickly rectified that with a series of four well-chosen best-ofs. Instead of being arranged chronologically or by genre, Compilation 1 simply leads the listener through Moore's musical world in all its glorious oddity. Putting the proggy mid-'70s art rock of "Baking It" (from 1974's Apologies to Mr. Gottlieb) next to the shiny new wave synth rock of the then-new "Bloody Knuckles" puts both into context. The song selection is nicely balanced between pop gems like the breathy "I Wanna Hit You" and the Jonathan Richman-like "Puttin' Up the Groceries," quirky novelties like "Welcome to London" and "Forecast," and tougher rock songs like "Conflict of Interest" and "When You Gonna Find Me a Wife." There is very little filler, and the album is also historically interesting for including many songs that have not appeared on any of the later R. Stevie Moore compilations, making Compilation 1 enjoyable for newcomers and fans alike.
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