Our Tired Our Poor Our Hiddled Masses
Our Tired, Our Poor, Our Huddled Masses (1997)

This 25th anniversary release is available as a 4 CD box (as above) or a 2 CD set. The 2 CD release just doesn't have some of the fabulous tracks that the full monty offers though. We pay big prices for CDs in the UK (£48 for the 4 CD set here) and I would have like a 2 CD set consisting of Jefferson and Roosevelt.

I'm not so sure about the concentrates, I mean they're very well done and all, but it seems criminal to compress classic albums like The Third Reich And Roll and Not Available. The Jefferson CD is interesting in that it's a kind of nearly-greatest-hits album. What makes this beautiful and expensive artifact worth buying, apart from the gorgeous packaging, well written booklet etc., is the previously unavailable or hard to get stuff. All the Prelude To The Teds tracks are present as are some real oddities; the exotic Spaghetti Sunda, the frustratingly short Trying To Beat It (eat shit Jacko), the classic Love Me (a cowboy's strange relationship with his horse), the haunting Siren Song (Of The Shrunken Head) and last but not least, a brilliant interpretation of America written specially to round off this collection that, to me, somehow sums up everything that's great and scary about the USA. It's Vietnam, it's Bill and Monica, it's a classic.

A superb Tour de Force, including rarities you actually can't get anywhere for a reasonable price. Great packaging, and a good (if a bit expensive) introduction to the band. And the album concentrates actually make you like some of the albums you never play! The box itself, the individual sleeve designs, the excellent 32-page booklet, all combine to make this history-box a delight to handle, to look at, and to own. For all but the most fanatical anti-compilationist, the music on all four discs is also a delight. Where albums are not represented by individual tracks, the 'Concentrates' are well constructed and in no way perfunctory.