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Stereophonics Decade in the Sun: Best of Stereophonics Review

Compilation. Released 2008.  

BBC Review

This is a fantastic selection.

Sophie Bruce 2008

Stereophonics are the latest Brit band to bring out a greatest hits, but unlike Oasis and Radiohead, Decade In The Sun was the band's own decision to, in their own words, ''celebrate ten fantastic years''. In a recent interview, Kelly Jones said people are quick to be negative about ''some exec making a compilation on his laptop'', but that the new songs included here (and more of that later) show rather than dying quietly, Stereophonics are focused on new material.

So this is the story of how Cwmaman's Tragic Love Company became 2008's nine-million-selling global superstars - via being Branson's first ever signing to V2 records – and with just the one major line up change on the way. But with Cable or without him, this disc shows what most won't realise: just how many hits Stereophonics have had.

The best of six albums (five of those chart toppers) are here, starting with their only number one single Dakota and ending with the inevitable – the hit that isn't theirs, Handbags And Gladrags. All moods of the Welshmen are here, from the flippant, whiney classic Have A Nice Day to the more political A Thousand Trees with its incendiary line: ''It only takes one tree to make a thousand matches, it only takes one match to burn a thousand trees''.

There are two new tracks on the album, You're My Star and My Own Worst Enemy. The former is stylish and steady, more Superman than Just Looking.

The balance from across the ten years in the 19 tracks is good, though notable exceptions are two of their biggest hits, Madame Helga and Moviestar. You have to question the decision to overlook the pair in favour of their dirgey, lowest ever charting single, More Life In A Tramp's Vest. True, it was their debut, but it's the rare occasion when an exec's choice might have beaten the band's sentimentally-clouded judgement. Nitpicking aside though, this is a fantastic selection sure to thrill Stereophonics superfans and new recruits alike.

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