The Best Of BoDeans: Slash And Burn


Slash/London/Rhino, 2001

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


The BoDeans was a fiercely underrated band that never quite found their footing. They would shift album to album trying to find a sound that worked. They only had one real hit, 1993’s “Closer To Free,” and that was because it was the theme from my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Party Of Five. After running aground with legal issues towards the end of the ‘90s, this compilation was put together as a contractual obligation. And it is a mess.

Of the 17 songs spread out over six albums, six live tracks are present and some of the band’s most notable songs are missing. The first two tracks, “She’s a Runaway” and “Fadeaway,” are still classics but another great (“Still The Night”) is messed up in a live rendition that takes away some of the album version’s magic.

The tracklist is relatively good until it gets to album number three, 1989’s Home. By this point, the band was reaching for the brass ring and trying anything. Consequently, we’re left with a few songs that don’t go anywhere. Same thing goes for the excellent follow-up, 1991’s Black And White, my personal favorite. While “Good Things” – probably the other big hit the band had – is represented, other goodies like “Going Home” should’ve been here and not “True Devotion.”

And talk about crappy liner notes. Rhino is usually on top of their game when it comes to the particulars of a recording. Here, all we get is a crappy UK article about the band and no recording information about anything, just which records particular songs came from. It might be because the band went through so many lineup changes, but this is the crappiest booklet I’ve come across in a while.

All in all, while BoDeans is still around, they’re nowhere near as great as they were. This greatest hits is decent but doesn’t really show off how unique they truly are.

Rating: C

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