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Saint Etienne
Travel Edition 1990-2005
Sub Pop Records
www.saint.etienne.net


Possibly one of the most underrated bands, at least in the US, to emerge out of the UK dance scene of the early nineties, Saint Etienne cleverly mixed the sounds of the swinging sixties alongside a steady house groove filled with trippy loops and samples from obscure movies. With the combination of perfectly pop-penned lyrics by Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs, and Sarah Cracknell's angelic vocals, their first two singles, "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" and "Nothing Can Stop Us Now" were instant club favorites around the world. However, each subsequent follow-up recording was vastly ignored by American audiences.

While there have been four preceding compilations of Saint Etienne's work, they have all been costly imports. Finally Sub Pop releases a domestic collection that won't break the bank. Travel Edition might not be as extensive as 2002's UK collection Smash The System, but it does contain some nice rarities. Included are an acoustic teaser track - "Primrose Hill" - from the bands upcoming 2005 disc, and a remix of "Like a Motorway", found on Casino Classics. In addition, there are two tasty singles included on the latest offering; "Burnt Out Car" which was featured on 97's Japanese import Continental and "Good Night Jack" which appeared on the other Japanese collection The Misadventures of Saint Etienne. Naturally, their two big hits are also included, as well four Sub Pop cuts, "Sylvie", "Lose That Girl", "Heart Failed (In The Back of a Taxi)", and "Fascination".

While trying to package Saint Etienne's work into a comprehensive collection would be impossible, Travel Edition offers fine examples of some of the Surrey trio's best work.

-Tony Engelhart

Track Listing:

1. Primrose Hill - (previously unreleased)
2. Only Love Can Break Your Heart
3. Nothing Can Stop Us
4. Avenue
5. Mario's Café
6. Hobart Paving
7. Hug My Soul
8. Like A Motorway
9. He's On The Phone
10. Burnt Out Car
11. Sylvie
12. Lose That Girl
13. Goodnight Jack
14. How We Used To Live
15. Heart Failed (In The Back Of A Taxi)
16. Action
17. Fascination - (previously unreleased)
18. Finisterre


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