A fairly standard trawl through Lene Lovich
's back pages, rounding up all the hits and near misses that punctuated her four years at Stiff Records, backed up by more choice album cuts than one might remember there being. For obvious reasons, the Stateless
debut album predominates here, with the manic flurry of "Lucky Number," "Say When," and "I Think We're Alone Now" positively refusing to leave your head once you've heard them again. Moving on, the enthralling "Bird Song" reminds you what Kate Bush
once seemed capable of accomplishing (at least until Hazel O'Connor
came along and devalued the whole thing), while a delicious cover of Frankie Valli
's "The Night" still out-dramas any other version you could name. Lovich
's later years, however, still sound as unremarkable as her early releases were astonishing, with the annoying "New Toy" single, and 1982's barely memorable "It's You (Only You)" closing the chronology in disappointing fashion. For anyone uncertain about rushing into Stateless
itself, however, this is where you test the water. You'll be plunging in at the deep end soon enough.