I didn't have to listen to this one to learn the songs so I could write a review - these songs are already hard wired into my heart and soul.
Saint Etienne came into my life a couple of years ago - late by many long time fan's barometers, and leapt straight to the top of my consciousness in lightning bolt fashion.
I came to love this band so fast that I never bothered to learn the names of the songs I loved. I would just absorb the tunes and the lyrics.
Never had I loved a band with less pretense about them. Saint Etienne were not "stars" - they just sounded like them. It was very cool to hear the effect of 3 creative people collaborating on a band instead of one persons vision carrying a band's identity.
Too 'dance' for the underground, too 'strange' for the mainstream, Saint Etienne seemed to be a fan's band, releasing hard to find singles and Japanese CDs, and fan club only cassettes and discs that made me join a club for the first time since I was a kid.
This double CD set is like having studio versions of a Saint Etienne live show. Every song is well-chosen. Many discs pass through my hands via the gullbuy, but I will have to buy my own copy of this one quite soon.
I probably have all these songs on the original releases, but put together in this way the collection achieves life as something new and separate and worth owning.