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The Very Best of East Seventeen

East 17

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Album Review

It's hard to believe, considering the conflicting fortunes of their comebacks, but East 17 were once the major contenders to steal Take That's boy band crown. Although they didn't clock up as many number ones, they scored an impressive 18 Top 40 hits over a seven-year period, and on the basis of their second greatest-hits collection, time has actually been kinder to the boys from Walthamstow. Whereas the squeaky-clean Gary Barlow and co. relied mainly on karaoke covers and watered down soul-pop, the unpredictable East 17 were much more adventurous. Indeed their early sound owed just as much to the '90s rave scene as it did to manufactured pop, especially on the techno-encompassing storming choruses of "House of Love" and "It's Alright." Seen as infinitely "cooler" than their contemporaries, the mellow chillout of "Gold" and the quite raunchy trip-hop lite of "Deep" also revealed a much more mature side to Tony Mortimer's songwriting abilities. 1994's Steam album provided their biggest hit, the rather saccharine "Stay Another Day," which has been rendered almost unlistenable thanks to its overplay every Christmas, but it also produced their best single, the soulful "Around the World" which alerted audiences to the fact that Brian Harvey could really sing for perhaps the first time. Indeed, Harvey may now be more famous for his self-destructive streak but he was undoubtedly one of the most talented pop singers of the '90s. Mortimer seemed to recognize this for third album Up All Night and his soulful vocals were utilized more, albeit on its rather forgettable singles "Thunder," "Someone to Love," and "Do U Still." The Gabrielle duet "If You Ever," a faithful cover of a minor Shai hit, restored them to the upper reaches of the charts, but after Mortimer's departure following Harvey's ill-advised comments on ecstasy, the band seemed finished. But surprisingly, their first single as a trio "Each Time," was one of their best, a polished slice of blues-influenced R&B that repositioned them as a British Boyz II Men. But it was a slight red herring as its parent album Resurrection struggled to convince anyone of their new direction, as evident on their final single, the aimless and tuneless "Betcha Can't Wait." So they may have finished with a bit of a damp squib but overall, this collection cements their status as one of Britain's most intriguing and exciting boy bands. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Customer Reviews

East-17

East 17 were the first bad boy band to ever hit the UK and were the main rivals of Take That! East 17 were/are equally good in my opinion! Something most people don't no is that member Tony wrote most of there hits! They weren't squeeky clean this was not just reflected by lead vocalist Brian Harvey but also in their songs such as Deep which is about something completley different than it was way back in the 90's listening to it now! All the hits are here on this CD including House Of Love, Deep, It's Alright, Let It Rain and the slower numbers: If You Ever (With Gabrielle) and their 1994 Xmas No.1 'Stay Another Day' If you don't own their 1996 Greatest Hits CD 'Around The World Hit Singles' this is the album to by but if you do there isn't much point as the tracklisting is exactly the same in the same order just missing of the 'Stay Another Day Remix' and adding the two E-17 song 'Betcha Can't Wait' and the brilliant ballad 'Each Time' The reunion show should have been a success as they still are a brilliant band who can sing well live! If you want to look back at some of the greatest hits of the 90's purchase this album!

You're mistaken

I just have to say to the above reviewer... This album isn't supposed to be a critically acclaimed masterpiece. It brings back memories for those who were really into East17 when they were topping the charts... And for that reason only, I recommend it to anyone who's ever heard of East 17 and liked any one of their songs.

Nostalgia

Great to hear the old tracks again as they bring back so many memories, and it is quite conclusive in having the best of their songs, so if you're looking for a true 'Best of' album this one is definitely for you. I would have liked some extra work, though - maybe a few re-workings, or previously unreleased versions. As it stands you will probably already have all these tracks if you were an E17 fan.

Biography

Formed: 1991 in London, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s

With the notable exception of Take That, East 17 were the most successful teen-oriented dance-pop band in Britain of the early '90s. Led by songwriter Tony Mortimer, the group initially tried to emulate American rap and hip-hop, before settling down into a commercial fusion of new jack R&B, hip-hop beats, rap, and pop melodies. The stylish, accessible blend of dance music, plus the group's boyish good looks, made East 17 into a teen pop sensation. Occasionally, the band achieved some credibility...
Full bio
The Very Best of East Seventeen, East 17
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