Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Cracker - Greatest Hits Redux

Among hardcore fans, the story has been retold many times, but here goes... Cracker were dropped from Virgin around the release of Countrysides, a country album which recounted their tour under the name "Ironic Mullet". Virgin hadn't really promoted the band's previous album, the excellent "Forever", and so perhaps the handwriting was on the wall. Cracker was planning on releasing a new record this spring on their own label, but Virgin went and released a greatest hits record at the same time. Realizing that it would be better to delay the release of the new record until the summer, Cracker went ahead and released their own version of a greatest hits record on the same day as the Virgin disk - with a difference. They re-recorded all the songs in updated versions and added a new track from the forthcoming album "Greenland".
Just to make a point to Virgin, they released their "Greatest Hits - Redux" on the same day as the Virgin release and included the utterly brilliant record company kiss off song "Virgin Records - it ain't gonna suck itself" on the disk.

This is an excellent record, even though all but one of the songs are on other records. The new versions are fresh, bright, clear and frankly revitalized versions of the originals. Well worth it for fans, and a must for someone who perhaps like Cracker years ago and wants to renew the relationship. (8/10).

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