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1992 – 2012 Anthology

Cooking Vinyl

Mar 23, 2012 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

All these years of feverishly buying Underworld releases and here they all are, nicely compiled in a three-disc set. 1992- 2012 Anthology is one of two retrospective collections the forward-thinking British dance duo is putting out at the same time, marking 20 years of Underworld. The duo released a similarly titled greatest hits collection 10 years ago: 1992 - 2002. A large number of these tracks were also on the Underworld live album, Everything Everything. And almost all of them turn up again on the second collection, A Collection, which has a coinciding release with Anthology.

The first two discs of the recent greatest hits are virtually identical to that of the decade ago installation, bar three additions replacing three omissions. Classic Underworld tracks made instantly recognizable by their inclusion on the two Trainspotting soundtracks are included. Among them, “Born Slippy” and “Dark and Long.” Also included are the usual suspects, “Cowgirl,” “Rez,” “Mmm…Skyscraper, I Love You,” “Moaner,” and “Dirty Epic,” all of which sound just as mindblowingly original as they did when they were first heard. No one had managed an imitation—no one can sustain that degree of pervasive repetition, or manage that level of manic word vomit.

The main thing that is making Anthology stand out from the other collections is its third disc. Geared towards diehards, this disc features nine rare and/or unreleased tracks. These selections are unusual representations of Underworld. From the electrified country twang of “The Hump” to the pedantic lyricism of “Big Meat Show” and the Japanese-inspired twinkling rhythms of “Oich Oich,” these forgotten numbers are not the duo’s best work.

Still, if you really need every Underworld composition, which many of us do, one almost wishes the third disc would be made available separate from the other two. It’s not that the timeless Underworld tracks on the first two discs have lost their luster over time. Quite the contrary, hearing them brings back the same level of excitement it used to, perhaps more with the added nostalgia factor. It’s just, on how many different albums do we need to hear the same songs? (www.underworldlive.com)

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