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'I danced myself out of the womb . . . I danced myself into the tomb'. If you're the type who dances from womb to tomb, or even just around your living room, you're bound to embrace this sentiment from T-Rex's fabulous Cosmic Dancer.

"Actually, the song is more psychodelic than toe-tapping, and it opens and closes (with an extensive reprise) a disc that is far more than just a bevy of beats. Certainly there's plenty of rhythm to shake your booty to if that's your inclination, but unlike a lot of dance-oriented compilations these songs have more than enough class to captivate the sedentary along with the swingers.

T-Rex contribute five tracks in total, including their seminal hit, Get It On, and the even better Children Of The Revolution, while Eagle-Eye Cherry turns up the heat with the rhythm guitar and hi-hats fuelled Burning Up.

Sounding as slick as ever are two pop classics from the aptly named The Style Council: Shout To The Top and Walls Come Tumbling Down (now there's a line that's served a subsequent lyric or two hundred. If imitation be the highest form of adulation . . .). Along with The Clash's London Calling - one of the few compositions to demonstrate that 'punk music' is not an oxymoron (though punk includes many ox-like morons among its devotees) - these are fine selections from the top shelf of British pop/rock before it was buried under the industrial jungle of techno.

Bringing a little modern mellowing to the lively collection is Stephen Gately's I Believe. A simple sentiment delivered with convincing soul and sincerity.

In addition, there's a QuickTime video file of the cinema trailer, and five vignettes of film dialogue interpolated among the songs. It's a beaut trailer and it's not hard to enjoy dialogue featuring the inimitable Julie Walters, but, as often, the construction seems contrived. The potentially synergistic blend of thespian and musical performance is not being realised on most of these soundtrack albums. A couple of the excerpts serve as effective epigraphs, and a couple are novelty value only.

Still, it's rare to find such a consistent compilation of terrific tunes. You don't have to be a certified dance-a-holic to appreciate this compilation. There's melody, character and variety aplenty to satisfy budding Billy Elliots and dual left-footers alike."
Brad Green

Published: December 7, 2000

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TITLE: Billy Elliot (music from the original motion picture soundtrack)

ID: 549 360-2

FEATURED ARTISTS: T-Rex, Stephen Gately, The Jam, Eagle-Eye Cherry, The Clash, The Style Council

PRODUCER: Nick Angel

TRACKS: 17 + video trailer

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