Empire Of Potential (Transistor)
Monday 07 November 2011
The idea of an "obscure hit" is an oxymoron in itself, but considering that Anton Barbeau has frequently been dubbed a cult hero it may be an appropriate term to describe his music.
This 18-track retrospective of 18 years of Barbeau's work explores his many different styles.
There's the nasal and infectious melodies of his Sacramento pop roots to more psychedelic forays with Julian Cope, showcasing Barbeau's undoubted songwriting gifts.
As an introduction it's perfect but some of the tracks have been reworked, presumably as an attempt to at least keep the most diehard fanatics interested.
The Banana Song was re-recorded in Berlin with Soft Boys bassist Andy Metcalfe and drummer Morris Windsor.
And former Pretenders member Robbie McIntosh plays electric guitar on a new version of opener Losing You Makes Crucifixion Easy.
A well-intentioned cash-in.