From Madonna to the Ramones, Ice-T to the Barenaked Ladies, Talking Heads to the Pet Shop Boys, and much more - an all-star 3-CD plus 1 DVD retrospective of the revered, groundbreaking label and its legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted founder, Seymour Stein.
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1324 stars out of 5
- "What elevates this collection above typical label retrospective fare is its appropriately quirky juxtapositions of major players with one-offs and oddities."
It can safely be said that the history of late-20th century pop music would have been entirely different if not for Sire Records. Though it might seem like an extravagant claim, it can be confirmed by one glance at the track listings for the four discs included in this box set--a spectacularly eclectic hodge-podge of music by the label's artists. Is it conceivable to imagine pop music without Madonna? Or the Ramones? Or the Cure? Or the Talking Heads?
In short, some of the best bands of the '70s, '80s, and '90s had their work released under the watchful eye of label-head Seymour Stein, an executive uncommonly devoted to taking artistic risks and fostering new talent. Beautiful packaging, sequencing, and liner notes testify to Stein's vision and integrity, but the real treat is the music, which plays like a greatest hits of New Wave and first wave "alternative." Even the lesser known cuts (like the irresistible robotic funk of German duo Laid Back) are gems, while songs from the Smiths and Lou Reed to the Pretenders and the Replacements make one grateful for the gift of good music in general, and very grateful for Sire Records in particular.