“The Best of Rare Cult” is a compilation of tracks from the exhaustive “Rare Cult” boxed set, and much to the chagrin of someone like myself who ponied up the cash for the box, also includes five tracks not in the “Rare Cult” boxed set. I’m actually a bit shocked that Beggars’ Banquet would have resorted to this sort of marketing ploy, but nonetheless, the set is what it is.
For the casual fan of the Cult, there’s really not a whole lot here that’s worthwhile– yeah, you get an early take of “Love Removal Machine” replete with overdubs galore, different (although in many cases subtlely) mixes of some early tracks like “She Sells Sanctuary” and “Go West”, an acoustic version of “Edie (Ciao Baby)” and a couple leftovers, b-sides and so on that are really worth noting (“Zap City”, “No. 13″), but really it’s hard to judge this as critical.
If you’ve gotten all the albums and are looking for more, then this has more value– admittedly– the above mentioned material as well as some other leftovers, usually those that are glaringly in some camp or another (uber-goth “Little Face”, melodrama monster “Bleeding Heart Graffitti”) are probably of interest to deeper fans. And of course, if you’re totally hardcore, five tracks here are not readily available elsewhere, so it’s essential.
But truthfully, this one kind of stinks of marketing to me, and I always hate that. I’d give it 3.5 stars, but I’m always bothered by these sorts of compilations.