Was (Not Was)

Pick of the Litter 1980-2010

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Review

This 19-track Was (Not Was) retrospective on Micro Werks goes far deeper than 2004’s Collection, issued on the Spectrum Music imprint, which as nothing more than a slapdash licensing job. Pick of the Litter 1980-2010, is a hand-picked selection, programmed in aesthetic rather than chronological order -- though some tracks just fall that way -- of the band’s best-known tracks. More importantly, in key cases such as “Spy in the House of Love” and “Out Come the Freaks,” the original 7" versions are included rather than the album tracks. The group’s cover of “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” is a promo-only single edit that was sent to radio, and differs substantially from the one included on 1990s’ Hello Dad...I’m in Jail. Other Was (Not Was) classics included here are “Walk the Dinosaur,” “Tell Me That I’m Dreaming,” “Sky’s Ablaze,” “I Feel Like James Brown,” and “Wheel Me Out,” to name a few. The music on this set has been completely remastered, and contains a liner essay by Brian Bowe with discographical annotation by Gary Peterson. While hardcore fans may argue -- a bit -- over the sum total, even they will ultimately agree that this is the only truly representative portrait of Was (Not Was) in all their incarnations; and besides, it’s a stone killer of a party record. ~ Thom Jurek, Rovi