Sigue Sigue Sputnik - Best Of.... / Pirate Space

Just what the world has been waiting for with baited breath, a Best Of album from, yes you've guessed it - the one, the only Sigue Sigue Sputnik. Yes the one hit wonders from the 80s have released a retrospective, a classy collection of unforgettable songs on one album. From my tone I'm obviously being flippant and perhaps just a little facetious.

Whose idea was it to release a greatest hit collection from a band who looked even more ridiculous than they sounded. Those haircuts, those clothes and the music was laughable even back in the decade which made stars of pretty boy bands Brother Beyond and Big Fun. As Lloyd Grossman would no doubt delight in telling us "lets take a look at the evidence". Signed by EMI, Sigue Sigue Sputniks assault on the charts was short lived but they were colourful and lively - but then so again are The Tweenies.

"Love Missile F1-11" was the bands first single and their greatest achievement chartwise. Do you remember the video? Its high tech visuals of space age images all furiously edited - certainly a sight for sore eyes. The song itself begins with an immediate synth sound, repetitive yet instantly recognizable. The vocals are over enthusiastic and over powering but lets face it, the last thing you could accuse Sputnik of being is subtle. Extreme guitars bring back memories of vintage Sex Pistols while explosions fizz in the background. Imagine the Clash meets Westworld with sequencers and synthesizers - its so nostalgic.

After the lazy follow up of "21st Century Boy" they sold out big time by letting S.A.W produce "Success", a lame song that chugs along without really going anywhere. The chorus is so cheesy even Jason Donovan would have rejected it. The line "Fantasy and ecstasy, you got it" sums its up perfectly. With a few remixes and a live track "The Best Of" would test the patience of a saint. For committed and dedicated fans only - you have been warned!!!!

Not content with the Best of" the band have recorded and album of new material. "Piratespace" is a brave return for a band who've been in the wilderness for a few years. "Slave Trade" has phat beats, a sample of a Scottish man with more restrained vocals. "Up 4 It" with vocodered vocals, scratching and a divine guitar solo make this a winner. Its clear that Sputnik have been listening to a lot of the Utah Saints recently. Mixing dance and rock together Prodigy style on the track "X Ray Eye" and the slow refrain of "Out with the Old, In with the New" on "Zero Zero is just an unexpected pleasure.

Whether the great British public will make Sputniks comeback a successful venture is another matter. For me its a joy that the lads are back with a vengeance ready to rock the nation like no other band can.

Nicholas Paul Godkin