Chumbawamba

First 2 LP's

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AllMusic Review by

Completists can find some excellent material on this compilation, notably first album Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records in its entirety, but it's hardly a comprehensive overview of the band's early days. Long before the release of that album, Chumbawamba had been minor celebrities on the DIY tape-trading circuit - it's a shame nothing survives from those old C-90s. It would have been nice, for example, to listen once again to their pseudonymous outing as Skin Disease - a spoof of the Oi movement recorded in 1982 and featuring the lyric "I'm Thick" repeated 64 times. Also missing is the superb debut single, "Revolution" (featuring a copy of John Lennon's "Imagine" being ripped from a turntable and smashed in two). However, there is plenty to fill out the grooves here - with the inclusion of the group's Never Mind The Ballots follow-up. While less immediately arresting, polemical tracts such as "Always Tell the Voter what the Voter Wants to Hear" and "The Candidates Find Common Ground" have their moments.

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