Silence is Golden: 60 Hits From the Original Chilled Generation

12th January 2016

Title: 60 Hits From the Original Chilled Generation

Label: Sony Music

Compilations, eh? What are they good for? A rhetorical question that often, where the major labels are concerned, most people can’t even be bothered to answer. There are still plenty of worthy compilations out there, of course. The best are seen from the niche record labels such as Jasmine, Bear Family, Ace and the like. The major labels tend to handle the compilation in a rather slapdash manner, shovelling tracks onto multiple CDs with all the care of a coal man filling a shed.

This 3CD set’s title didn’t initially hold out a great deal of hope but looking closer at its contents, there are some intriguing songs on there which may even hold some interest for the dedicated music fan.

Yes, you get the tired old compilation entries, as is always the case with major labels compilations (I wonder if they are closest to hand on the suit’s desk). Hence, The Moody Blues’ Nights In White Satin and Simon & Garfunkel’s Sound Of Silence are only pipped to the yawn by Procol Harum’s A Whiter Shade of Pale and Dave Brubeck’s Take Five. All great songs, you must understand but these are tracks which occupy so many compilations you begin to wonder if back-handers are involved somewhere along a line.

What does interest me, though, is when you start finding songs such as The Flowerpot Men’s Let’s Go To San Francisco, Tim Hardin’s Shiloh Town and John Renbourne’s Judy. Someone has actually bothered, it seems. Then the compilation fillers attempt to drown you again (Otis Redding’s (Sittin’ On) the Dock Of The Bay), Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On and Dionne Warwick’s Do You Know The Way To San Jose but, bang, there they are again. Songs of interest: The Velvet Underground feat. Nico and Sunday Morning alongside Johnny Cash’s It Ain’t Me Babe, followed up by The Lemon Pipers’ Green Tambourine.

Bit of a Curate’s Egg, that’s for sure but, if you are looking for something mellow to play on a Sunday morning, you could do much worse than this compilation.