Monday 16 March 2020

Album Review: THERAPY? - Greatest Hits (2020 Versions)

Therapy? - Greatest Hits 2020

01. Teethgrinder
02. Screamager
03. Opal Mantra
04. Turn
05. Nowhere
06. Trigger Inside
07. Die Laughing
08. Stories
09. Loose
10. Diane (Husker Du cover)
11. Church Of Noise
12. Lonely, Cryin' Only

Instead of a generic 'greatest hits' album, Therapy? are celebrating their 30th anniversary with an album of re-recorded versions of their biggest hits, recorded at the legendary Abbey Road studios with classic-era producer Chris Sheldon at the helm. In addition, there's an 'official bootleg' bonus disc of rarities for the Therapy? connoisseur. It's also worth mentioning that this album has since been renamed '2020 Versions'. Abbey Road clearly don't want their beloved studios being associated with one of the best bands in the world. Maybe more cash would have made them change their minds?

When I was a teenager, I absolutely worshipped Therapy? I still consider their Troublegum album to be one of the greatest albums ever made. The follow-up albums Infernal Love and Semi-Detached are also not far behind, and are essential listening in my humble opinion. As they were on a major label back then, as well as being the right age, the right band at the right time etc, that era of the band had the biggest reach. It's no surprise that their biggest hits come from the 90's and consequently that's the music that has been re-recorded for this album. After all, it's 'Greatest Hits', not 'The Best Of..'.

On one hand, "if it ain't broke why fix it?". Then again, no-one wants to buy music they already have. Being a life-long fan, I pre-ordered this album without question. Obviously, it's amazing. Are these recordings an improvement on the originals? In some ways 'a little', in others, not really. Having Troublegum's producer involved was only going to cement the sonic similarities. The re-recordings do have more of a live session feel about them. The cello-free version of Diane is the track that's the most different from it's original counterpart, and I think I like this 2020 version more.

I haven't played the originals for a little while, so I loved listening to this Greatest Hits album. For newcomers, I'd say this is an essential release and a great introduction to the band. For old gits like me, it's the bonus disc of live material that'll be of the most interest in the long term.


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