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Retrospective Rarities & Instrumentals
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Album: Retrospective Rarities & Instrumentals
# Song Title   Time
  Disc 1
1)    Checking In, Checking Out More Info... 5:45
2)    Glide Time More Info... 4:27
3)    Nomads More Info... 4:01
4)    Literature Is Fluff More Info... 4:59
5)    Bach Ze Edit More Info... 4:56
6)    The Sun Beats Down More Info... 3:57
7)    The Goat Looks On More Info... 6:14
8)    Harpers Romo More Info... 4:20
9)    Ill Fitting Suits More Info... 3:40
10)    Three Point Scrabble More Info... 5:24
11)    Sparkle Up More Info... 4:53
12)    Triads More Info... 5:49
13)    Green Coaster More Info... 4:06
14)    Apricots More Info... 2:20
15)    The Dutchman More Info... 4:30
16)    Holland More Info... 4:06
  Disc 2
1)    It Might As Well Be Dumbo More Info... 4:54
2)    Over The River More Info... 4:06
3)    Beachy Bunch More Info... 2:50
4)    Janet Jangle More Info... 3:49
5)    In The Yacht More Info... 6:16
6)    Vampo Brazil More Info... 5:24
7)    Mini-Management More Info... 9:05
8)    Shuggie Todd More Info... 3:39
9)    Harmonium More Info... 5:47
10)    Stop Trainer More Info... 3:33
11)    Elliot Bridge More Info... 1:32
12)    Hi Ball Nova Scotia More Info... 4:48
13)    Showstop (Op Art Informal) More Info... 5:00
14)    Homespin Rerun More Info... 3:46
15)    Cropduster More Info... 7:47
 

Album: Retrospective Rarities & Instrumentals
# Song Title   Time
  Disc 1
1)    Checking In, Checking Out More Info... 5:45
2)    Glide Time More Info... 4:27
3)    Nomads More Info... 4:01
4)    Literature Is Fluff More Info... 4:59
5)    Bach Ze Edit More Info... 4:56
6)    The Sun Beats Down More Info... 3:57
7)    The Goat Looks On More Info... 6:14
8)    Harpers Romo More Info... 4:20
9)    Ill Fitting Suits More Info... 3:40
10)    Three Point Scrabble More Info... 5:24
11)    Sparkle Up More Info... 4:53
12)    Triads More Info... 5:49
13)    Green Coaster More Info... 4:06
14)    Apricots More Info... 2:20
15)    The Dutchman More Info... 4:30
16)    Holland More Info... 4:06
  Disc 2
1)    It Might As Well Be Dumbo More Info... 4:54
2)    Over The River More Info... 4:06
3)    Beachy Bunch More Info... 2:50
4)    Janet Jangle More Info... 3:49
5)    In The Yacht More Info... 6:16
6)    Vampo Brazil More Info... 5:24
7)    Mini-Management More Info... 9:05
8)    Shuggie Todd More Info... 3:39
9)    Harmonium More Info... 5:47
10)    Stop Trainer More Info... 3:33
11)    Elliot Bridge More Info... 1:32
12)    Hi Ball Nova Scotia More Info... 4:48
13)    Showstop (Op Art Informal) More Info... 5:00
14)    Homespin Rerun More Info... 3:46
15)    Cropduster More Info... 7:47
 
Product Description
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • The High Llamas: Sean O'Hagen (vocals, various instruments); Jon Fell, Marcus Holdaway, Rob Allum.
  • Additional personnel: Dominic Murcott, Pete Aves, John Bennett.
  • Recorded between 1992 & 1999. Includes liner notes by Sean O'Hagan and Jonathan Coe.
  • Audio Mixers: Fulton Dingley; The High Llamas; John McEntire; Jim O'Rourke.
  • Liner Note Authors: Sean O'Hagan; Jonathan Coe.
  • Recording information: Blackwing Studios; Drugstore, London, England; Stone Room, London, England.
  • Unknown Contributor Roles: Marcus Holdaway; John Bennett; Dominic Murcott; Rob Allum; Pete Aves.
  • Retrospective, Rarities & Instrumentals is a double-disc summation of the High Llamas' recordings for V2 (and two early records that V2 bought the rights to). The first disc is a collection of 16 songs from the Llamas albums: two tracks from 1992's Santa Barbara, three from 1995's Gideon Gaye, four from 1996's Hawaii, three from 1998's Cold & Bouncy, and four from 1999's Snowbug. The sequence of tracks is quite stunning. Many critics wrote the band off as mere Beach Boys copyists whose albums all sounded exactly the same, but hearing their best songs back to back, one can see they wrote a lot of killer melodies and while the songs are all based on the same template -- soaring strings, smooth harmony-laden background vocals, chamber pop accouterments like vibraphones and bells, Sean O'Hagan's honest and sweet voice, and a classic feel for melody -- there are enough differences to be found from track to track to make this disc a standout. It is fun to see how the early, relatively stripped-down sound of "Apricots" or "Holland" from their first album progresses to the lush, majestic sound of "Nomads" from Hawaii to the intricately arranged and easy listening-influenced sound of "Bach Ze" from Snowbug. Disc two collects 14 B-sides and songs that were bonus tracks on Japanese or U.S. editions of the albums. Three of the songs come from the limited-edition bonus disc that came with Hawaii, including one of O'Hagan's best songs, the arch and lovely "It Might as Well Be Dumbo." The rest of the tracks are a mix of space-age instrumentals and bouncy pop. The rarest track is the previously unreleased "Vampo Brazil," which was recorded for Cold & Bouncy but didn't make the final cut. This is a disc that fans will find to be a real treat, though not as essential as the first disc. Retrospective, Rarities & Instrumentals is the definitive High Llamas record. It makes a strong case for them as one of the best pop bands of the 1990s and is a heck of a lot of fun to listen to also. ~ Tim Sendra
Professional Reviews
Uncut (6/03, p.118) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Carefully plotted and meandering, lush and angular, predictable and unpredictable, the Llamas offer an avant-garde MOR that's disquietingly reassuring..."

The Wire (4/03, p.56) - "...Head Llama Sean O'Hagan has pursued his vision with determination and reasonable consistency over six albums...."
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