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Voodoo Dollies - The Best of Gene Loves Jezebel

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Album Review

Looked at in the cold light of day and from some years' distance, Gene Loves Jezebel would seem like the last band whose work would stand the test of time. Weird thing, though — in all their "everything goes" exuberance, from abstract goth wailing to balls-out Sunset Strip rock, the Aston brothers, much like their labelmates in the Cult, made everything work somehow. Not all the time, certainly, but Voodoo Dollies wisely draws on the best and biggest hits of the group, not to mention a couple of rarer items for the hardcore fanbase, to make an enjoyable career overview (certainly better than Some of the Best of Gene Loves Jezebel). Following a straight chronological order and enjoying the usual high quality of Beggars Banquet remastering, the 18-track collection is a fine treat. Besides the obvious numbers like "Desire (Come and Get It)," "The Motion of Love" (appearing here in a single mix), and "Jealous," the less well-known songs help to really flesh out the band's freaked-out, glammed-up appeal. There's the psychotic drama of "Upstairs" and "Always a Flame," the self-descriptive, perfect FM radio cut "Gorgeous," the attractive psych-shimmer of "Kiss of Life," and the underrated single "Josephina," which would have given the band a hit in earlier days, but didn't connect with the 1993 zeitgeist. The most obscure cut is an interesting one — an alternate version of Promise's "Influenza," the entrancing and moody instrumental here given striking lyrics sung by Michael Aston and a slightly faster tempo. It would have worked excellently on the original album, and is a definite highlight here. Appreciative liner notes and a slew of photographs from throughout the band's career complete this collection, which will satisfy most casual fans' desires to a T.


Formed: 1981 in Porthcawl, Wales

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Twin brothers Jay and Michael Aston began playing music in 1980 when they formed Slav Arian with guitarist Ian Hudson and a drum machine. Though the Astons grew up in Porthcawl, South Wales, they moved to London in 1981 and renamed the goth-influenced group Gene Loves Jezebel. The trio played several live shows and were quickly signed by Situation 2. In May 1982, the label released Gene Loves Jezebel's demo single, "Shavin' My Neck." The band then added bassist Julianne Regan and drummer Dick Hawkins....
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Voodoo Dollies - The Best of Gene Loves Jezebel, Gene Loves Jezebel
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