Peter Murphy Wild Birds (1985-1995)

As singer for Bauhaus, Peter Murphy firmly established himself in the goth hall of fame, and with his solo career he managed to rise above the gloomy mess that often followed his former band. With more freedom to spread his wings, Murphy edged his way into a more mainstream sound over the course of his five solo albums - the best of which is collected on Wild Birds. With 16 tracks in total, very little is left out, with the only oddity being an alternate version of "Jemal," from his first solo release Should the World Fail To Fall Apart (1985). Continuing up through 1988's Love Hysteria, the collection sensibly includes his first breakthrough single, "All Night Long." Presenting his best material from Deep, Holy Smoke and Cascade, Wild Birds takes the obvious road and brings together his best known work. Unfortunately, there's nothing here for die-hard fans looking for rarities. This is definitely a get-to-know-ya collection for passive fans. With such classics as "Cuts You Up," "Strange Kind Of Love," "Indigo Eyes" and "The Sweetest Drop," the album is more than worth it in that respect. Thankfully, the liner notes are extensive, and the history - although a bit flowery - is well explained, as is the relevant information for each of the tracks. A predictable, but worthwhile collection. (Beggars Banquet)