Disc 1 CD:
1.Release The Pressure
3.Song Of Life
9. Afrika Shox
11.A Final Hit
15.More Than I Know
4.Release The Pressure
- A Final Hit (Sony)
Daley and Neil Barnes once had the world at their feet.
One of the few acts to drag dance music from it's scruffy,
white-gloved, rave roots, they helped polish and refine
D.I.Y. drug-inspired music, turning it into a more sophisticated,
multi-influenced mix that had mass appeal. Alongside Underworld,
The Prodigy, Orbital and The Chemical Brothers, Leftfield
helped lead the charge that took dance music out of muddy
fields and put it, well, just about everywhere, converting
countless rock and indie kids along the way.
album Leftism really heightened standards of quality and
imagination in dance music as a whole and the 700,000 plus
copies it sold could even be found in the collections of
those who previously sneered at the genre.
it was down to the duo's willingness to experiment, the
broader palette they afforded themselves by dropping elements
of dub and reggae into their uplifting house productions.
Or perhaps it was their ability to take singers not normally
associated with dance music and not just make them fit into
a dance track but create instant classics like Open Up,
featuring John Lydon's fire-starting wail
of "Burn Hollywood! Burn!" or Original with Curve's
Toni Halliday transplanted into a foreboding, dub-heavy
electronic landscape. The album was a celebrated victory
for what many had previously perceived to be a narrow, limited
genre with little to say beyond the usual ecstasy references
and cheesy piano breakdowns, and progressive house was born.
severe bouts of perfectionism saw follow-up Rhythm and Stealth
delayed, revised, put back, re-written and tweaked to within
an inch of its life before finally being able to stagger
out on to the street, gasping, bruised and creatively winded
in 1999. The attempts to produce a perfect second album
that took their now much-copied sound forward may have provided
an instant number one success and also secured their only
top ten hit, Afrika Shox featuring Africa Bambaataa,
but it had neither the accessible warmth or pioneering creative
spirit to ensure it the same longevity as its predecessor.
on to the present day. With Leftfield having long since
split up, perhaps they, or their record company, have seen
just how surprisingly lucrative the 'hits' album can be
for veteran dance acts following the runaway chart success
of retrospectives from Basement Jaxx and
Faithless. Under the guise of a tenth birthday
celebration of Leftism's release, A Final Hit sees no less
than six of the tracks from that album repackaged alongside
the four from it's inferior younger sibling. The rest of
the album is cobbled together from first single, Not Forgotten
and a handful of tracks created for film soundtracks including
Trainspotting, Shallow Grave and Go!.
the music still sounds excitingly fresh on the whole, yes,
the bonus disc of videos is appealing, featuring as it does
Chris Cunningham's typically twisted short
for Afrika Shox, but if you want to hear Leftfield at their
best, you're better off sticking on Leftism and enjoying
their finest moments without having to be reminded of the
relative disappointments that followed.
music may continue to soundtrack every hard-hitting documentary
about inner city living for all eternity and their best
known video will always be the one that never was, the horses
galloping through the waves on that Guinness commercial,
as "tick follows tock", but it's hard to see how
this album from an already departed act is anything more
than an opportunistic cash-in. Little more than a final
hit for the completeists' pockets.