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Never Enough - Greatest Hits Reviews

Nothing dates as fast as being futuristic. And Jesus Jones were always looking so far into the future that they forgot where they were. There never seems to be a right revival time for bands like this, that is to say, for bands that were big a decade ago. It’s too recent for some. And too far away for others.
But when they first screeched out of their London boltholes into the real world, back in 1989, they really were trying something different. Years before the KLF tried to spotweld hard rock and metal riffs over the top of whatever the latest modern technology had to offer Jesus Jones had already done it. The Jones boys also managed to do something that others of their ilk never did. They combined this bizarre mishmash of rock band and underground dance act with tunes.

Looking back on it now, with a decade less hair and a decades more flab, Jesus Jones were one of those bands that were under-rated whilst they were around. The fickle press loved them for a short while. Smash Hits tried to sell them as poster boys for the indie girls. And them grunge happened - which made the future look horribly dated.

What about the music? Here you get every single one of theirJesus Jones 13 singles as well as a porky prime cut from each of their four EMI albums, topped off with frankly unremarkable new song “Come On Home”.

Each one of the singles is a bona-fide thrill that not even time and indie elitism can wither. The buzzsaw psychosis of “Info Freako” soon gives way incessant stomp of “Who Where Why?”, the oddly prophetic (and thematically linked) pairing of “International Bright Young Thing” and “The Next Big Thing”, to the slick “Real Real Real”: the best top 5 single to ever mock all those turgid soul singers who blather on about things being ‘real’ - Jesus Jones knew it was all fake, all an act, and yet in these lies, the devil could slip nuggets of truth through the Great Pop grinder.

“Perverse”, their third album, was a major leap forward. In fact, the band don’t even play on it. Everything they did was chopped, plugged, fed and squeezed into computers and came out the other side in Zeroes And Ones. For the whole album existed only in frequencies. There was no such thing as bass on the record - only 20hz to 4khz. And guitars becomes 300hz to 8khz. And at the time (and now) the band were lambasted for it : now everyone does it.

A four year gap - thanks to EMI’s uncertain dithering - near enough buried the band. In those four years O***s came and went. And the world could never be the same again. Five B**tles obsessed Mancunian thugs turned the NME and any attempt at an Alternative Music into a farce. The fickle press turned tail and followed whatever could boost their diminishing sales.

The second CD also shows just how oddly prescient Jesus Jones were - whilst it neglects their considerable selection of undeservedly obscure, and generally interesting b-sides - it instead previews their experimental 12" remix tinkerings. The Aphex Twin and the Prodigy turn up here, squelching the original works into something altogether unrecognisable, whilst other mixes turn far eastern chanting into convincing Stadium House epics and old-skool breakbeat experiments.

There’s been enough rose-tinted retro gushing about stuff that was crap and not very good in the first place - stand up your endless B**tles anthologies, your pale eulogies for numerous unoriginal, dead rap stars, your best of, most ofs, of people from whom the phrase “best of“ would be an oxymoron. Now it’s time to shift that around and reappraise something that was actually good then, and now, whilst dated now, still sends that intangible pop thrill up some people’s spines.

Take your pale B**tles and Rod Stewart clones, your so-inoffensive-its-offensive-stadium-miserabilism, your tuneless experimentalism, and stuff it up your arse. This is a lot more fun. It sounds like someone racing against time in the studio before the money runs out. Urgent. Desperate. And with adrenalin instead of blood pumping through the veins.

3 1/2 out of 5 Drowned in Sound

Signed to Blur's label, Food Records, Jesus Jones actually used to be bigger than Damon Albarn and co. The guitars and groovy loops of Info Freako charted in 1989 and the following year they were spearheading the same British invasion that turned EMF into American stars. Despite being inextricably linked with the era, Info Freako and Real, Real, Real sound surprisingly fresh. Sadly, later singles such as Chemical were pants and the band quietly slipped out of sight. As well as a bonus remix CD – including tracks tweaked by The Prodigy and Aphex Twin – this features a brand new single, the half-decent Come On Home. What next? Flowered Up on CD:UK?

Q Magazine May 2002 A beautiful package, 2 CDs with 1 new song and several remixes: we all know that. Here's the dissection from a longtime fan:

Also, we find that "Who? Where? Why?" is the lousy "crisis mix", rather than the incredible 1997 version (the one, true mix in my mind) found on the "Next Big Thing" single.

Besides the singles you'd expect, we find great key tracks "All The Answers," "Blissed," and "February." We miss out on past key tracks such as "Caricature," "Rails," "Song 13," and 2 songs actually released as singles by the record company "Welcome Back Victoria" and "Don't Believe It."

The new song, "Come on Home," is pretty retro for Jesus Jones-- the drums sound straight out of Liquidizer-era, not at all like current-era album "London," which does not get any kind of acknowledgement in the form of displayed record sleeve or mention or represtation. It has some humourous lyrics such as "I didn't cut my hair so now I'm looking like a bear"-- a far cry from the preceding winter depression dirge "February."

Ultimately, it's the gorgeous packaging, remastered sound, and the remix collection that make this a must have.

(mrmogwai@hotmail.com) from Omaha, NE, USA (from Amazon Reviews)

Having been a fan of Jesus Jones years ago I was surprised to hear that 1) they're still going and 2) a greatest hits (or is it just a compilation?) was to be released. Most of the tracks on here are very good and chart JJ's transition from guitar based to electronic. A few album tracks are included such as Move Mountains which did cry out to be a single. If you've ever liked any of their songs this would be a great addition to your CD collection and it's always nice to go down memory lane to see what was big over a decade ago.

terry15101 from Wirral (from Amazon Reviews)

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