There was a bit of a trend at the end of the last century where underachieving pop bands (and as you'll know by now I'm a big fan of underachieving pop bands) started to sell massive quantities of their greatest hits lp. It was as if despite a lack of sales , their singles had wormed their way into a collective sub consciousness prompting repeated ...."I didn't know that was by them".. etc. The phenomena started with the Beautiful South and continued with James. Alas in every case the wave had gone with the next release which took these bands back to largely disappointing sales of any follow up.
As with the Beautiful South, there was no indication that James's 1998 release would sell so many copies. The last lp Whiplash had given them a decent hit in She's a Star but not set the world on fire.
It did help a bit that one of the 2 new songs on the lp was one of the best , classic radio material , taking a sly dig at the emerging manufactured pop trend with a killer hook and a shout along chorus
Released today it could be an X factor tribute song
Some fat cats playing roulette with lives
This game is fixed its all a lie
The video was pretty good as well
I saw them live at this time twice. The first was an acoustic gig at an hmv store which was before the lp was released and attracted about 30 people. Later I saw them on the main tour when they knew the lp was massive. Is there anything better than one of your favourite bands playing the ideal set list at the top of their game. They've only bettered it once but that is for another post
Initial copies of the lp came with an extra disc in the most annoying packaging ever. Both discs were stuck on a bit of circular foam that either failed to hold the cd in place or fell off themselves so that every time you opened the gate fold sleeve you ended up trying to catch both cds as they made a break for freedom
The second lp is a short live acoustic set ( the same one i saw at hmv) and it is from this that I've posted the other new track on the lp
You can buy their greatest hits here and remind yourself on how good their singles are