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Push Barman to Open Old Wounds

Belle and Sebastian

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Album Review

Belle & Sebastian never felt tied down to the album as the ultimate expression of a band's worth. Put simply, they didn't feel the need to hold back their best songs for albums; the fourth song on a four-song EP was just as likely to be among their finest as any other. For proof check out Push Barman to Open New Wounds, a handy compilation of the group's EPs recorded between 1997 and 2001 for Jeepster and Matador. Beginning with "Dog on Wheels" all the way through, the band used its EPs as means of exploring new sounds and angles (check the groovy '60s spy song "Legal Man," the epic in length and scope "This Is Just a Modern Love Song," the bubbly sunshine pop of "I Love My Car," or the silly instrumental "Judy Is a Dick Slap") as well as an outlet for great songs that wouldn't fit on albums, like "Slow Graffiti," "A Century of Fakers," and "Lazy Line Painter Jane." Some of the tracks here would be pillars on a B&S greatest-hits compilation too; fantastic songs like "Dog on Wheels," "The State I Am In," "I'm Waking Up to Us," and "Put the Book Back on the Shelf." Push Barman to Open New Wounds is essential listening, the third disc you should get by the band behind If You're Feeling Sinister and Dear Catastrophe Waitress. Even if you already have all the EPs, you'll want to get this disc. It is reasonable priced, housed in the usual attractive package, and hearing all the songs back to back reinforces what an amazing group Belle & Sebastian were and are. [The disc also comes in a deluxe package, though all that means is that instead of a jewel case it comes in a hardcover book-style jacket.]

Customer Reviews

A Definitive Collection (but don't buy it from iTunes!!! - costs less for hard copy)

Belle & Sebastian is my absolute favorite pop band ever, and Stuart Murdoch has been one of the scene's forefront singer/songwriters for the past ten years. Belle & Sebastian utilized EPs like no other band. Their great popularity and inside/cover photography made these highly collectable - but many were British imports, driving prices way high. This album collects their best EPs including those released on Jeepster (before signing with Matador). Besides including 7 EPs into one collection (one of which was never released in USA), the songs have all been re-recorded by the band, and sound better than the originals. No song need be skipped, an impressive feat for an album of 25 songs, and something that must be accredited with the prowess of this band for crafting catchy and poignant pop melodies. And yet, this is by no means a "Great Hits album". Belle & Sebastian have loads of terrific LPs full of fantastic songs, so hopefully this album will incite your to explore their substantial back catalogue. Note: DO NOT BUY THIS FROM iTUNES FOR $19.98! The official label price for the standard version of this album is only $15.99; yes this is the price for this double CD. sells it for $13.98 and the Borders price is $15.99 (if you don't want to put credit info into amazon you can order the CD to borders for in-store pickup, with no fee). I bought this version and if comes with the two discs and a booklet featuring pictures of the EPs and full lyrics. Not only that, but if you really want to spend $20 you can buy the Limited Edition of this album. This edition encases the double-disc in a hard-cover booklet. Moral of the story: the iTunes Version is overpriced, and this album is a must-have masterpiece.

Belle and Sebastian's solid EP work all in one collection!

Belle and Sebastian are one of the few bands that continue the tradition of releasing non-album singles and EPs. They also use these breaks to their advantage, by placing on their EPs songs that break new ground but probably wouldn't fit on any of their proper albums. Push Barman to Open Old Wounds collects all of this material on two CDs and it's a collection any fan should not be without, especially since some of their finest work is showcased here.

Belle and Sebastian was actually a french cartoon show

This is just a modern rock song is beautiful I have never heard a song like that even by Belle and Sebastian that is my favorite song by them ever. Slow Graffiti is actually my second favorite song by them which is actually extremely nice because I have my two favorite songs by one band on a kick butt cd. I have to give this a 5 Belle and Sebastian are still original and more soulful than they were in 1996. They go down as my favorite group of the 90's even taking down the smashing pumpkins. I mean thats just plain amazing. Belle and Sebastian come out with a superb album that will always go down as one of the best in history. Nice Job! Enjoy!


Formed: 1995 in Glasgow, Scotland

Genre: Alternative

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

A band that takes its name from a French children's television series about a boy and his dog would almost have to be precious, and to be sure, Belle & Sebastian are precious. But precious can be a damning word, and Belle & Sebastian don't have the negative qualities that the word connotes: they are private but not insular, pretty but not wimpy; they make gorgeous, delicate melodies sound full-bodied. Led by guitarist/vocalist Stuart Murdoch, the seven-piece band has an intimate, majestic...
Full Bio

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