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May 23, 2024

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The Bolshoi
Away (Best Of) (Beggar's Banquet)

By: Geoff Melton

Okay, I know most of you are saying "Best of Who?", and while it surprised me that Beggar's Banquet released a "Best Of" disc from this band, largely unheard of in the States, I would like to thank them. As soon as I threw on Away it was like greeting a long lost friend. I first came across The Bolshoi through a video for "Away", a guitar and synth driven pop gem that fit right in with the likes of '80's bands like Simple Minds and Gene Loves Jezebel, and was the first single from their 1986 debut Friends (they released a mini-album called Giants the previous year). Friends quickly became a favorite with other highlights being "Sunday Morning" and "Books On the Bonfire" (both included here). Cuts here from the aforementioned Giants, recorded as a 3-piece prior to the addition of keyboardist Paul Clark (and before they really found their sound) are not quite as strong as the latter cuts, showing a strong resemblance to early U2. While tracks from their swansong album Lindy's Party like the infectious "TV Man and the title track found the band following the same path as Friends, "Barrowlands" showed a new side to the band with a dark, almost theatrical sound. For dedicatedfans of the band Away also contains a few B-sides they may not have heard before, including the beautiful acoustic "A Funny Thing ...", "Foxes" and "West of London Town", as well as two new cuts from frontman Trevor Tanner (according to the website Tanner has a new solo album and a new album from The Bolshoi due later this year).
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