Like the similarly reviled Stone Temple Pilots a couple of years before them, Bush were the people’s grunge band. When they rocketed to popularity and up the charts just months after Kurt Cobain’s death, their detractors slapped them down as cynical bandwagon jumpers, although the six million people who bought their 1994 debut album Sixteen Stone had no such qualms.
Chronologically charting the ex-pat Londoners’ journey from post-Nirvana buzz band to latter-day 90s survivors, this ‘greatest hits’ collection is front-loaded with the big numbers from Sixteen Stone and its Steve Albini-produced follow-up Razorblade Suitcase.
Frontman Gavin Rossdale’s post-punk roots are buried deep in the likes of Everything Zen, Machinehead, Glycerine and Swallowed, supplanted by his band’s ability to write gleaming, if knotty, arena-sized anthems. As that initial rush of success abated, things got more interesting. Overlooked late-90s gems The Chemicals Between Us and Letting The Cables Sleep shake off the vestiges of grunge, adding electronics and sawing strings to the mix.
And if the band’s more recent albums mostly get shorter shrift here, that’s not to detract from the quality of the material. With 21 songs, including new song Nowhere To Go But Everywhere and an unnecessary cover of The Beatles’ already overdone Come Together, it’s a great primer for a band who eventually proved their worth.