When Cole and Eric get it right, though, they get it very right. They have glorious ears for arena rock, for instance: the "Rock" set has a sequence that goes "Born to Run""Carry On Wayward Son""More Than a Feeling""(Don't Fear) the Reaper"'This Way," which would be the greatest album side of its kind. They're justly proud of Columbia's catalog of Broadway productions by Goddard Lieberson; having heard Glynis Johns's shattered "Send in the Clowns," I now understand what that song was before it was a joke. The Sony two's insistence on craft above all else keeps most of the country set pretty tight-assed, but also means it barely falters for a disc and a half. And the first disc of Jazz: The Definitive Performances, covering 19171959, is an oh-my-God revelation. I'm not sure how I'd lived this long without hearing Bessie Smith singing "St. Louis Blues." At least I have the rest of my life to adore it.
100 Years is 33 hours of peaks with their mountains cut off, and sometimes the air around them is pretty thinit's hard to get a sense of how they all connect. The Warp and Matador sets contextualize their grand moments with stuff that explains a way to under stand them, and to like them (the Warp set is arguably all context for their "real" releases). Sony's box, though, doesn't have that luxury. It can't imply something other than economics holding it together, for the same reason Cole and Eric can't exist. It's impossible to imagine two people who could like all of it.
Everything Is NiceMatadorWarp 10+1 Influences; Warp 10+2 Classics; Warp 10+3 RemixesWarp/MatadorSony Music 100 Years: Soundtrack for a CenturySony