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Absolute Classic Master Pieces

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Album Review

Absolute Classic Masterpieces documents the dark jangle pop of Felt between the years of 1979 and 1985; it's a best-of collection for a band that always deserved more attention. The tracks run in reverse chronological order, starting with "Primitive Painters," a song that charts the territory where the Cocteau Twins, the Fall, and the Smiths overlap, and ending with the very first demo single "Index." The order of the tracks means that you are listening to the band devolve into its influences, and the effect is enjoyable. "Primitive Painters" is a lost treat if ever one existed; along with the next three tracks, it was produced by Robin Guthrie of the Cocteau Twins. "Primitive Painters" also features Elizabeth Frazer of the Cocteau Twins on vocals. Guthrie is not the only famed producer whose work appears here; three John Leckie tracks are also included, from the Strange Idols Pattern & Other Short Stories album. While most of the slower songs appear toward the end of the album, making it a somewhat sleepy affair as it winds down, there are charms like "The World Is as Soft as Lace" to liven things up. "Penelope Tree" sounds a bit like Lou Reed fronting the Cure. There's great material to be found throughout the work of Felt, so this collection would work regardless of its running order. Newcomers looking for their first Felt album should start here, with the knowledge that there is quite a bit of dark atmosphere layered over the pop charms within. While these songs might not be masterpieces, as the album title would have you believe, there are many near-masterpieces of moody jangle pop just waiting to be rediscovered.

Customer Reviews

It's all said in the title!

One of the best band ever, an inspiration for Belle and Sebastian and many others. In ten years they released ten single and ten albums, not a single bad song (maybe train above the city is a bit over the top actually). The only band in the eighties without a single video! Lawrence is one of the best song wiriter of the period, probably even better than Morrissey (check the duet with Liz Frazer Primitive Painters). And The Stagnant Pool is a beautiful and epic song of pain with gorgeous guitar motifs. Also Check Stains on a decade, the compilation of their ten years of existence (with their last five years on Creation absent on this compilation and the last LP on Ché.


Forget the world ever existed. Close yr eyes. Listen. Every note
Sounds like an exploding star. Music for the void that is the universe... You will love the melodies, this feels unique and special.


Remember Lawrence & Mick back in the early 80's, halcyon days. Classic is a word often misused, but not in this case!


Formed: 1979 in Birmingham, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s

Felt was the project of Britain's enigmatic Lawrence Hayward, a singer/songwriter who transformed his long-standing obsession with the music of Tom Verlaine and Television into an impressive catalog of minimalist pop gems and, ultimately, cult stardom. The first Felt single, "Index," was produced by Hayward alone in his bedroom on a portable cassette player; released in 1979, its primitive, impressionistic sound stood in stark contrast to the sleek solemnity of the new wave (as did Hayward's much-discussed...
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