Hits! – The Very Best Of Erasure
Just months after purchasing Mute Records, EMI released this second Erasure singles compilation after the band had enjoyed a small revival of fortunes from the Other People's Songs album. In the end, twenty songs made the grade including all the greats such as Oh L'amour, Sometimes, A Little Respect, Stop!, Blue Savannah and Always. Where this album differs from Pop! - The First 20 Hits is that singles from 1992 have also been included to bring the collection up-to-date. The problem with this is that, I Say I Say I Say aside, Erasure's biggest hits were pre-Pop! meaning the new additions are rather dubiously labelled as 'hits'. Only one single from I Say I Say I Say, Erasure, Cowboy, Loveboat and Other People's Songs are catered for, rather underlining the fact that Erasure's chart heyday was the era of 1986-1992. That said, there's nothing to fault to quality of the tracks, which serve to reinforce just how brilliant Erasure are at writing exceptional pop music, and have been for the best part of two decades. Erasure biggest hit single ABBA-esque is over compensated for, with three out of the four tracks making the tracklist. All the tracks on the album have been remastered which is perhaps reason to buy this album even if you own all the songs, but remastered tracks cannot always be appreciated by untrained ears, and can sometimes feel inferior to the original mastering. If you can tell the difference between the original recordings and their remastered counterparts, it is largely hit-and-miss.
Despite the mishandlings, there's an incredible amount of great pop and dance music here, and you can program out the fluff if you want. Just know that even as a casual fan you will at some point in your life have to get back in the car, head to the store, and buy the other Erasure collection.All Music Guide
As is the additional megamix which is featured as a bonus CD on the Limited Edition release of Hits! - The Very Best Of Erasure. It is extremely inconsistent: some tracks merge nicely together, other times the editing is harsh and abrupt. There are three distinct sections to the megamix which starts slowly with largely faithful mixes of the ballads Stay With Me, You Surround Me and In My Arms. During the middle section the mix starts to add additional beats to stripped Erasure arrangements before concluding with dance floor versions of such classics as Oh L'amour and Sometimes. The megamix is utterly dispensable and it's the inconsistent nature of the mix in its entirety that works against it. It's not dreadful, but certainly not essential.
The superb double DVD aside, the Hits! release as a whole offers little to die-hard fans (the only 'new' track being the dull and soulless August Mix of Oh L'amour). Back in 2003 when Hits! was released Pop! – The First 20 Hits! (especially the Plus edition) was still a better value purchase. With the subsequent release of the comprehensive Total Pop! - The First 40 Hits in 2009 the only reason to purchase Hits! – The Very Best Of Erasure over Total Pop! is if you are an Erasure completest.
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