Collectables combined Guadalcanal Diary's first two albums -- 1984's Walking in the Shadow of the Big Man and 1986's Jamboree, both originally released on Elektra -- for this 2003 release. The first album, produced with a small budget by Don Dixon, helped establish them as a cult group, while the second -- produced mostly by Rodney Mills, with a couple songs produced by Steve Nye -- laid the foundation for 2X4, their third and best album. While 2X4 was easily the group's apex, the two albums on this disc are hardly baby steps, and some devout fans even view them as their favorites. Though the group strikes a strong resemblance to peers R.E.M., Murray Attaway's unique songwriting is enough to make the musical similarities seem less problematic.
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman