[Review] The Best of The Art of Noise (1992)

The blue Best of re-imagined with different versions and some different tracks, for reasons unknown to mortal man.

Kronomyth 8.0: The second-best of AON.

To the consternation of fans (and the complete indifference of everyone else), the original blue cover The Best of The Art of Noise was re-presented in a pink version that now featured shorter 7-inch versions where the original 12-inch versions had appeared and swapped out a few tracks while generally keeping the same track order as the first. The result adds nothing to the original, instead lopping off nearly 30 minutes of music plus the essential “Close (To The Edit).”

The decision to edit/remix the collection is nothing short of bizarre. While both Best of’s are flawed, the blue is generally regarded as the better entry. The decent thing to do would have been a double-disc reissue that tacked pink onto blue as a bonus EP of single mixes. Instead, pink was in, blue was out, read were the rites for a greatest hits we hardly knew.

In the brief interim since the first career compilation, AON added a few more releases which here earn one ambassador each: Below The Waste (Yebo), The Ambient Collection (Robinson Crusoe) and The FON Mixes (Instruments of Darkness). That last track is the best thing about The Best of The Art of Noise. Otherwise, this collection is too short, too superficial, barely scratching the surface of a band that deserves better than to be remembered for helping Tom Jones and Duane Eddy rediscover their mojos. In 2010, a double-disc retrospective was released, Influence, that looks to be the best introduction to AON so far. So, pink and blue, we bid adieu.

The Songs

1. Opus 4 (Anne Dudley/J.J. Jeczalik/Gary Langan) (2:00)
2. Yebo (West Nkosi/Anne Dudley/J.J. Jeczalik) (3:50)
3. Instruments of Darkness (All of Us Are One People) (Anne Dudley/J.J. Jeczalik/Gary Langan) (3:40)
4. Robinson Crusoe (Gian-Piero Reverberi/Robert Mellin) (3:47)
5. Peter Gunn (Henry Mancini) (3:55)
6. Paranoimia (Anne Dudley/J.J. Jeczalik/Gary Langan) (3:17)
7. Legacy (Anne Dudley/J.J. Jeczalik/Gary Langan) (3:24)
8. Dragnet ’88 (Walter Schumann) (2:59)
9. Kiss (Prince) (3:30)
10. Something Always Happens (Anne Dudley/J.J. Jeczalik/Gary Langan) (2:29)
*11. Kiss (7” version)
*12. Kiss (The Battery Mix)

* Bonus tracks that appear on the original Japanese release only.

CD reissue bonus tracks
11. Yebo (Trust Mix)
12. Yebo (Arkarna Mix)
13. Kiss (The Art of Noice Mix)

The Pictures

Seascape photography by Paul Wakefield. Design by Ryan Art.

The Plastic

Released on compact disc in 1992 in the US (China, 1027-2), on elpee in Italy (China, WOL-1027) and on expanded compact disc in Japan (Pony Canyon, PCCY-00365) with 2 bonus tracks.

  1. Re-released on expanded compact disc in 1995 in Japan (WEA, WPCR-224) with 3 bonus tracks.
  2. Re-issued on compact disc on January 14, 1997 in the US (China, 77056).

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