ARTIST: David Gray
TITLE: Greatest Hits
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: #96 US, #11 UK
SINGLES: Top 40: This Year’s Love (#20 UK), Babylon (#57 US, #5 UK), Please Forgive Me (#18 UK), Sail Away (#26 UK), The Other Side (#35 UK), Be Mine (#23 UK), The One I Love (#8 UK), Hospital Food (#34 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Shine (though this is live, another collection has a 25th anniversary version, which isn’t the original either. That’s on yet ANOTHER collection)
LINEUP: David Gray, Craig McClune, and others.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: This collection captures his hit making era, mostly, and it’s a decent introduction to the singer-songwriter.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: After struggling for years to make it in a more acoustic manner, producing some unheard songs for his cult, Gray moved into an electric and electronic milieu, combining electronica and lush production with his songs.
Commercially, in the UK, it was a hit. Here in the states, he’s still a cult artist. These things happen.
Gray’s got a touch for melody and sings from the heart, but while the sheen of his production may have gotten him on the radio, in my ears it sounds a bit busy and over-produced.
There’s another, later, collection which has a later version of the song that introduced him (“Shine”), and a collection of his folkier stuff (which I like “Late Night Radio”) but this is as good as you’ll get for the most part.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The British press dubbed him ‘folktronica’, though only a few songs really fit that, and that’s because it has electronic drums.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE B: The cult has all of his records, but for me, this is about all I need.