In the 11 years covered by this two-CD set, Tyla released around three dozen albums, several independently through his website, so this two-hour tour of the highlights (all remixed or re-recorded) saves a lot of time.
Around a quarter of the 30 songs (the first 27 sequenced alphabetically!) were released under the Dogs D’Amour banner, but all (even the new versions of old 80s favourites) bear the hallmark of a man reinventing himself.
Long clean and sober, Tyla has drawn a line under the sleaze-trash approach of the Dogs, emphasising that all along he’s been a gifted Phil Lynott-esque songwriter (as in Last Bandit) and, occasionally, a Tom Waits-style balladeer (Don’t Lock Me Out).
That’s not to say he doesn’t still write killer rock’n’roll tunes – All Of Them Great, Hang ’Em High and most tracks from his superb side-project series The Chard Urton Blues Treasury prove that he does. But on close to half of the 30 he paints just as vividly using only voice and guitar (Where Were You, Legend Of The Thief and In Dreams, complete with a wonderfully maudlin violin refrain).
Indeed, best of all in this vein could be Woolworth Girl, which plays like a sister track to Ian Hunter’s classic Irene Wilde./o:p