Samples The Very Best Of the Samples

Though most best of compilations are collectors items for sucker fans, it's not a completely superfluous medium. Case in point: despite selling over a million records worldwide, chances are you aren't overly familiar with the Samples' legacy, one which hasn't aged terrifically outside of their faded cult following. As such, this new CD/DVD set aptly performs the supposed job of a best-of collection — it collects 17 tracks between '89 and '94 that sells their hugely accessible sound, anchored heavily with the Police's signature pop/jazz/reggae fusion with hints of XTC and the instrumental dexterity of a restrained jam-band, with the fervour of a desperate salesman. Sure, not even the collection's finest could be considered earth-shattering, but for those still uninitiated, it could very well be a dream come true for those who saw Sting's post-Blue Turtles output as lacking edge, and very possibly the underground's answer to Frosh compilations. The accompanying DVD features a slew of unreleased audio and a few short videos, including a documentary, that make this a worthwhile purchase for long-time fans as well, but it's the newcomers that stand the most to gain from this collection. (What Are Records)