In the world of compilation albums it's a slightly different dynamic. Curating a bunch of tunes and putting them in the right order shouldn't be that difficult. After all, most of us have been doing it since we were kids, right? Mixtapes for girlfriends/boyfriends: tasteful, not too cheesy; niche, not too obscure. Our much pored over C90s were a surefire1 way to win over that girl you were always overawed by. How hard can it be, we thought. Hmm, maybe some of us found it more difficult than others; like this lunkhead for instance.
However, in the age of the DJ Set, every label under the sun is putting out bespoke compilations lovingly pieced together by all and sundry2. I've got some corkers in amongst my collection, handpicked by the likes of Lemon Jelly, Faithless and Nightmares on Wax. Only last week I was banging on about these fellas. impeccable tunes, impeccable running order, impeccable artwork. Definitely worth the admission money and an hour of your time any day of the week.
But if early seventies proggy folk noodlings don't float your boat, then maybe the chaps pictured here are more to your liking: if soul deep cuts & Blue Note jazz are your thing then actor Martin Freeman and record label impresario Eddie Pillar's crate-digging should bring any Saturday night to life. Or gently ease you into your Sunday morning, depending.
Again, great tunes, great running order. But, the artwork. Man alive, those sleeves! What were they thinking? When two self proclaimed mods of a certain age decide to put themselves on the front cover, then trying to recreate a tacky 1972 Kays Catalogue photoshoot is never a good look. What were they thinking?
Bobby Womack - How Could You Break My Heart? (1979)
1. I'm kidding. When hormones are involved, there is no such thing as surefire - no matter how many mixtapes you bring to the table.
2. File Bob Dylan under 'all and sundry' at your peril; in the world of celebrity endorsed albums - these are the benchmark.