Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

The Big Bang!

Released 2000 on Rhino Records
Reviewed by Le Samourai, 16/12/2000ce

For many, any form of “Best Of” package (whether it’s called “Greatest Hits”,“The Best Of”, “The Very Best Of”, “The Singles Collection”, “The Ultimate Collection”, etc.) is a pathetic waste of money. Why bother buying one when you probably have all the songs on it already? Well for me I like “Best Of” packages for one thing - it helps the newcomer figure out where to start and what discs to get in an artist’s career. But actually what we have here is an amazing “Best Of” for an act that never had any hits (even in the so called liberal 1960’s and early 1970’s.) So really it’s not a “Greatest Hits” package but more like “An Appreciation Of” package.

And what a package it is. Let’s start with the re-mastering. WOW! extreme digital dirt done properly! Even the early 45’s “I Can Only Give You Everything”, “Looking At You” and “I Just Don’t Know” rip and crackle through the speakers losing nothin’ to digital technology! All the album cuts from Kick Out The Jams!, Back In The U.S.A., and High Time explode fiercely and the live for French TV version of “Thunder Express” is one hell of a closer. But if you’re still wondering “okay Le Sam but why get The Big Bang! when I already have all The M.C.5’s albums?” Well my best answer here has to be the pre-Kick Out The Jams singles, "Thunder Express", the amazing pics and essays in the well annotated liner notes.

Rhino Records (http://www.rhino.com) is known worldwide for quality musical preservation and The Big Bang! is certainly no exception. I got this for myself for Christmas 2000 and was not disappointed. Hopefully it should be the same for you. And don’t forget to check out Mrs. Cope’s piece on the 5 in the Unsung “Features” section (if you haven't already:-) and see the documentary on this almighty Motor City group “A True Testimonial” when it hits your nearest “arthouse” theater. Happy Holidays!

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