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The Best of the Art of Noise

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Album Review

As an overview of Art of Noise's brief output, this best-of can't be beat, though it does inadvertently track their slide from forerunners to recyclers and cultural panderers. The 1-2-3 rush of "Beat Box," "Moments in Love," and "Close (To the Edit)" make this CD worth the money already — at the time of their release, these singles swiped electronic music back from America (by way of Germany) and cut the whole thing up with ridiculous samples (a car starting, the omnipresent orchestral hit) and enjoyable art school posturing. It was like Dada had invaded the charts, circa 1984. But soon, after their break with ZTT and joining China Records, it wasn't long until they were parodying themselves and trying to score pop hits with a recognizable "sound." Singles featured older pop stars trying to score a hit again (Duane Eddy on "Peter Gunn," Tom Jones on "Kiss"), current celebrities riding their own popularity wave (Max Headroom), or cover songs gussied up with a few more car starting sounds (the made-for-hire "Dragnet '88," used in the regrettable film remake). The vinyl version contains the (sometimes preferable) single mixes; the CD and cassette contain 12" remixes, good for the collector, bad on the patience. A similarly covered CD, only in pink (and released two years later), is also called "The Best Of" but focuses more on the group's album tracks.

Customer Reviews

Not really the best of at all

God I hate best of albums - they rarely do a good group justice. In this particular case, the above iTunes review is for the wrong release! The release available here focuses only on the goup's post ZTT output, which overlooks half the group's history. The Art Of Noise's most influential (and inventive) period was '83-'84 and all of these songs are from later on in the band's (if you can call them that) career. There are certainly some good tracks here, but "Paranoimia" would have been better represented in it's original non-Max Headroom form and Dragnet '88 is disposable. What's more, a lot of good tracks from In Visible Silence and Below The Waste are absent. The "best of" are still to be found on the albums themselves.

Not the best of the "best of"...

Well, you maybe know that two "best of" albums of AON exist. The blue one included 12'' tracks from the whole era. The pink one (this one) came later and ignored all of the ZTT period. So, there you have a best of album that does not include "Beat Box", "Close to the edit" and "Moments in Love". But it comes with a remix of "Instruments of darkness" that has little in common with the original. Can i say: not really representative? Or: a really incomplete compilation? All that in a freakingly short 37 minutes? Well, OK, since nothing better is available, one can buy this. But not without the compilation "Daft" of the ZTT years.


This alblum is ok but my favourite would be "Moments in Love". That was a song I danced to!!


Formed: 1982 in London, England

Genre: Electronic

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

Anne Dudley, Gary Langan, and Paul Morley were members of producer Trevor Horn's in-house studio band in the early '80s before they formed the Art of Noise, a techno-pop group whose music was an amalgam of studio gimmickry, tape splicing, and synthesized beats. The Art of Noise took material from a variety of sources: hip-hop, rock, jazz, R&B, traditional pop, found sounds, and noise all worked their way into the group's distinctly postmodern soundscapes. Dudley was the center of the group, having...
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