Ten Years of Toys

Toy Dolls - CD - Rating: 9/10

I got this back when it came out and it was about the only way to get Toy Dolls on CD here in the States (I only had the first LP on vinyl at the time). I absolutely loved it at the time. Now, more than 20 years later, I still like the compilation but I can hear its flaws.

First and foremost these are not the original versions of the songs (in the case of songs from the Idle Gossip, it’s an improvement over that LP’s terrible production). I imagine this was just a way for the new record label to cash in on the band’s early hits without securing the rights to the original recordings (The tracks from Bare Faced Cheek are all the LP versions). For the most part, Toy Dolls are a consistent and professional band so new renditions aren’t going to differ much from the originals. However, listen closely… they are using a drum machine on 90% of the tracks! When I finally noticed this it almost killed this record for me. The drums are just so perfect and sterile sounding, especially when compared to skilled playing on their later records.

That said, it took me a decade to realize that those weren’t real drums. So, if you just want a good overview of some of the band’s finest songs this is a nice place to start.

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