The Teardrop Explodes

The Greatest Hit

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One year after issuing expanded and remastered versions of the Teardrop Explodes' two studio albums, the spectacular Kilimanjaro and the not-so-spectacular Wilder, Mercury U.K. released The Greatest Hit, which fuses selections from both releases and adds the requisite completist bait with "Christ Versus Warhol," the B-side to the Passionate Friend single. Though the track selection -- which mixes A-sides like "Sleeping Gas," "Reward," "Ha Ha I'm Drowning," and "Colours Fly Away" with album cuts like "The Great Dominions," "The Culture Bunker," and "...and the Fighting Takes Over" -- is rather serviceable, there's a big gaping hole in any Teardrop Explodes collection that doesn't house "Bouncing Babies" and "Books." Kilimanjaro is probably a better one-shot deal than this package, because it's superior to Wilder and it's such a great record from front to back. It also plugs that gaping hole that this particular package loses marks for. Better yet, track down the Kilimanjaro/Wilder two-fer, which was released by Collector's Choice Music in the U.S. the same year. All of this is code for decrying The Greatest Hit's pointlessness. While the recycled material is terrific, it is annoying and rather incomplete recycling nonetheless. Now where's the live record? Where's the next archival release?

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