Travel Edition 1990-2005

Travel Edition 1990-2005

by Saint Etienne
     
 

Though they were never included in the Britpop movement that spawned Blur, Oasis, and Pulp, one could argue that Saint Etienne were the most British band of the '90s. Comprising music journalists-turned-musicians Pete Wiggs and Bob Stanley, plus glamorous singer Sarah Cracknell, Saint Etienne had one foot on the dance floor and theSee more details below

Overview

Though they were never included in the Britpop movement that spawned Blur, Oasis, and Pulp, one could argue that Saint Etienne were the most British band of the '90s. Comprising music journalists-turned-musicians Pete Wiggs and Bob Stanley, plus glamorous singer Sarah Cracknell, Saint Etienne had one foot on the dance floor and the other on Carnaby Street circa 1968. Early singles were so au courant that they felt like diary entries from the hippest kid in Camden Town. Travel Edition 1990-2005 charts the trio's career to date with a mix of singles, album tracks, U.K.-only releases, rarities, and the now-requisite New Song. Two-thirds of the songs here -- including "Nothing Can Stop Us," "Mario's Cafe," "Hug My Soul," "Sylvie," and a cover of Neil Young's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" -- are essential and exemplify the lush, witty dance music at which Saint Etienne excel. Unfortunately, the disc also errs on the side of inclusiveness, with classics "Pale Movie," "Join Our Club," and "You're in a Bad Way" omitted in favor of a few rare-but-throwaway tracks. And while 2000's Sound of Water worked as an album, the two down-tempo tracks included here all but pull the plug on the party. On the plus side, this collection does feature "He's on the Phone" and "Burnt Out Car" -- two of Saint Etienne's best singles, neither of which have ever seen this side of the Atlantic. A pure singles collection might have been better, but Travel Edition is a fine introduction to Saint Etienne's swinging, groovy world.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
Along with Associates, the Smiths, and Pet Shop Boys, Saint Etienne has been one of the great U.K. singles groups of the past few decades. They've been England's equivalent of the Beastie Boys -- obsessive record collectors who pull from numerous beloved elements of the past while remaining cutting-edge -- only they've never sounded tired or short on new ideas. Travel Edition 1990-2005 is the first best-of the group has had distributed in the U.S., and it focuses on the A-sides but, due to space constraints, stops short of being thoroughly representative. This can also be credited to Saint Etienne's strength as an album group. As of late 2004, they had yet to release a less-than-good full-length. If you want to go beyond the singles but aren't able to commit to the albums (you really ought to consider them, though), there's the 2001 double-disc Smash the System, which shouldn't be hard to find on import in the States; though it was released too soon to include songs from The Sound of Water and Finisterre, it features essential non-singles ("Who Do You Think You Are," "Archway People," "The Process," "Wood Cabin") and also includes a handful of just as desirable singles ("Join Our Club," "You're in a Bad Way," "Angel") that weren't able to be squeezed into this disc. Perhaps some of Saint Etienne's songs have dated -- just as the average Beach Boys or Blondie singles point directly toward their respective years of release -- but all of them have aged exceptionally well, as well as anything recorded by the groups they hold dear to their hearts. Taken purely as a gateway compilation, Travel Edition should do its job with no trouble. Regardless of what it's missing or what it includes, the disc contains some of the most fun, warm-spirited music money can buy.

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/09/2004
Label:
Sub Pop
UPC:
0098787066029
catalogNumber:
660

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Saint Etienne   Primary Artist
Sarah Cracknell   Vocals
Etienne Daho   Vocals
Moira Lambert   Vocals

Technical Credits

Neil Young   Composer
Saint Etienne   Producer,Audio Production
Ian Catt   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Sarah Cracknell   Composer,Producer
Bob Stanley   Composer
Robert Stanley   Composer
Pete Wiggs   Composer
Etienne Daho   Composer
Gerard Johnson   Digital Editing
Steve Rodway   Producer
Jeremy Wheatley   Engineer
Brian Higgins   Producer
Tore Johansson   Producer,Audio Production
C.A.T.T.   Composer
Guy Davie   Mastering
Paul Henderson Kelly   Cover Illustration
Mister Joshua   Producer
Lawrence Oakley   Programming,Producer,Audio Production
Mark Waterfield   Producer
Rick Smith   Programming
Martin Kelly   Management

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