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the best of : information

  • There's no coincidence The Best Of sat on the shirt-tails of Neon Lights; Virgin cynically planned to ride Eagle's marketing push for Simple Minds and reap some of the benefits. The timing was doubly beneficial: just in time for Christmas!

  • (It was originally planned to follow Our Secrets Are The Same's release in 2000).

  • It updated the Glittering Prize 81/92 story by delving into their early Arista albums and last two Virgin/EMI albums. Like the previous compilation, it couldn't decide whether it was an album or singles collection.

  • On the plus side, all of the tracks were digitally remastered by Simon Heyworth and the difference (especially with the earlier material) was noticable: the songs sounded cleaner and the details were far better defined.

  • On paper, the set lacked any exclusive material, although Virgin tried to tempt the punters by including Raven Maize's The Real Life, a thorough contemporary updating of Theme For Great Cities. (A last minute addition as it's omitted from the promos). But several alternative mixes did end up on the collection: an extended album version of Let There Be Love (originally promised for the single but never delivered), the video mix of Real Life (which omits all the female vocals) and previously unreleased album edits of Hypnotised and War Babies.

  • The sleeve designer, Bogdan Zarkowski, was commissioned for a range of Virgin Best Of collections and many share the same thick compact fonts and rainbow colouring scheme. His updated fussy Claddagh design appeared on many subsequent releases before reverting back to William Ryan's far simpler, iconic design for Silver Box.

  • Billy Sloan picked up the pen again for the sleeve notes, turning in a brief essay of tabloid style one sentenced paragraphs. It lacked the gravitas of Brian Hogg's essay for Glittering Prize 81/92 and the detail of Sloan's earlier writing for The Early Years 1977/1978. Unfortunately it was also peppered with several inaccuracies.

  • Although there was no single, collectors could keep an eye out for the various promo versions of the album which duly appeared. Best of the bunch, and the most common, was Selections From The Best Of, a handy single CD with choice tracks and glossy card sleeve. A very collectable four track sampler also surfaced from Spain.

  • Some copies of the standard CD were sent out as promos. These have promo stickers on the back:

  • A few months later, the album appeared as a super audio CD but wasn't noticably very different.

  • Virgin repackaged the album in 2007, when it appeared with Seen The Lights Live In Verona as part of the Gift Pack range.

  • In 2012, Vivo Concerti arranged for the album to be specially pressed as a cover disc for the newspaper Donna Moderna as promotion for the band's Italian festival appearances.

the best of: quick reference
CD #1    The Best Of Virgin CDVD 2953
1-1. Don't You (Forget About Me)(4:20)
1-2. Promised You A Miracle[Edit](3:59)
1-3. Waterfront(4:49)
1-4. Alive And Kicking(5:24)
1-5. Glittering Prize[Edit](3:58)
1-6. All The Things She Said(4:16)
1-7. Sanctify Yourself(5:00)
1-8. Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)(4:38)
1-9. Ghost Dancing(4:46)
1-10. Up On The Catwalk[Edit](4:04)
1-11. Speed Your Love To Me[Edit](3:59)
1-12. Theme For Great Cities(5:50)
1-13. Love Song[Edit](3:54)
1-14. The American[Edit](3:32)
1-15. Sweat In Bullet(4:30)
1-16. Life In A Day(4:00)
1-17. I Travel(3:56)

CD #2    The Best Of Virgin CDVD 2953
2-1. Let There Be Love[Extended Album Mix]      (5:14)
2-2. This Is Your Land[DJ Version](5:05)
2-3. Kick It In[Edit](4:20)
2-4. Let It All Come Down[Edit](3:37)
2-5. See The Lights(4:22)
2-6. Stand By Love(4:04)
2-7. Real Life[Video Mix](4:53)
2-8. She's A River[Edit](4:29)
2-9. Hynpotised[Edit](4:46)
2-10. Glitterball[Edit](4:25)
2-11. War Babies[Edit](4:24)
2-12. Mandela Day(5:41)
2-13. Biko(7:32)
2-14. Belfast Child(6:40)
2-15. The Real Life(2:55)

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