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The Greatest Hits: Why Try Harder

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Album Review

Who could have predicted that the bass player from a Smiths-ish pop combo called the Housemartins could change the face of dance music with a controlled noise jumble that was ridiculously infectious and extra thrilling, all while sounding virtually impossible? The story behind Norman Cook's evolution into dance music's savior is fascinating, but you won't find it here. With one of the most honest titles for a compilation, The Greatest Hits: Why Try Harder goes for the big numbers — and sometimes the smaller numbers from the big full-lengths — without pretending to be a history lesson or an attempt to define the scattershot career of Cook. Maybe it does try a little harder by including his remixes of Cornershop's "Brimful of Asha" and Groove Armada's "I See You Baby," both of which went "Ka-Boom!" across dancefloors worldwide. While it would complete the trilogy of important Cook remixes, the absence of his take on Wildchild's "Renegade Master" is telling, since the hit is just as important but a bit more underground and raw. Instead, Why Try Harder goes for the gloss, and does so triumphantly. "Praise You," "Weapon of Choice," and "Right Here, Right Now" are all instantly recognizable tracks and packed so tight together that they create a whirlwind of big beat excitement. The curious can now skip the so-so Palookaville since its best is here, but those bitten by the big beat bug will have to go further, because Cook's best productions weren't always his singles. Two new numbers — "Champion Sound" and "That Old Pair of Jeans" with Lateef of Blackalicious on the mike — fail to thrill, but with so much imagination and over the top brilliance elsewhere on the disc, they can't keep this collection from being vital for budget-minded clubbers.

Customer Reviews

This is a radio edit collection.

I bought the physical disc of this, and was very disappointed. Yes, it's a Greatest Hits collection, but what you get are the shorter and edited radio versions of the songs.

So fun

Every song is a perfect dance song and so fun and funky. Perfect for a party. I love it!!

Clean or Explicit? Fatboy goes both ways.

Mr. Slim has done some great work, much of which you’ll find collected here in one place. However, I can’t tell if the tracks are “clean” or “explicit”. A US-made CD I bought has clean tracks. I don’t see the “E” here, so I assume this is the same thing. I know the explicit versions can be obtained from other sources.

Biography

Born: July 31, 1963 in Bromley, England

Genre: Dance

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

Norman "Jack-of-All-Genres" Cook, in addition to his former occupations as bassist for the Housemartins and one-third of acid house hitmakers Pizzaman, is also the man behind one of the most popular of the new flock of English "Brit-hop" producers, Fatboy Slim. Releasing his Fatboy material through club staple Skint, Cook's raucous blend of house, acid, funk, hip-hop, electro, and techno has added to his already formidable reputation as one of the foremost all-around producers on the U.K. club scene....
Full Bio
The Greatest Hits: Why Try Harder, Fatboy Slim
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  • $7.99
  • Genres: Electronic, Music, Jazz, Bop, Dance, Breakbeat, Electronica
  • Released: Jun 20, 2006

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