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Various - Still In A Dream : A Story Of Shoegaze 1988 - 1995 Boxed Set

Still In A Dream doesn't set itself out to be the definitive record of the first shoegaze movement. As its subtitle says it's a story, not the story. There are bound to be minor controversies over inclusions and exclusions - were The Jesus And Mary Chain ever considered shoegaze? Not as far as I knew. But, including as it does both the influences and the influenced of the scene, those that stuck it out for their whole career or the ones who'd gone in a different direction by 1995 (such as scene-setters Ride) there's enough breadth here to satisfy those in need of some nostalgia and those wanting a fast-track into where the new crop of such acts first heard the sound they love.

Across the five discs of the set some 85+ bands are featured, a bunch of which are as unknown to me as they may well be to you. Therein lies the beauty of such a collection as it's as educational as it hopefully is fun to listen to. To aid that element the booklet has band biographies etc. amidst 12,000 words on the genre. Very nice it is too, at least as a pdf.

For the nostalgia hounds there's the chance to hear bands you may have previously assumed to be goths (The Ecstasy Of Saint Theresa), those whose albums you bought late and realise you hardly ever played, for good reason (Moose) & you can ask yourself why you ever found the precocious child vocals of Cranes affecting. You can also discover gems such as 'Godlike' by The Dylans, whose organ-heavy sound then leads you to wonder why the Inspiral Carpets aren't included as genre boundaries seem to be getting blurred by somebody. Then again you can't include everything & licensing agreements may not be available.

Listening to over five hours of shoegaze straight through is quite a task & not something I've managed to do at one sitting in the writing of this review but it's safe to say that, should you wish to do that very thing, this set from Cherry Red Records should be your first port of call before you try to branch out and create your own mega-playlist on the streaming service of your choice (assuming of course that any one such service has all the necessary tunes).

Still In A Dream is available from amazon.

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