Backyard Babies – ‘Them XX Box Set’ (Sony Sweden/Versity Rights) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Johnny H   
Tuesday, 29 December 2009 08:43

Backyard_Babies_Them_XXWay back in 1998 the world was changing fast, the Internet was exploding all around us with the introduction of streaming media, and as such the music industry was effectively changed forever.  Being stuck in Hicksville UK, I was still reliant on catalogue Mail Order companies to get my Rock 'n' Roll kicks, and I was fast losing my faith in anything ever coming out of the UK's stagnant music scene. Especially with the Wildhearts having imploded in a wall of white noise at the end of 1997.  For us rockers with a penchant for a bit of kohl eyed Rock 'n' Roll, Mansun was about as good as it got in the UK and I could fast see myself retiring from music forever at this fucking rate


Then as if by some sort of small miracle I heard about the buzz surrounding an about to be released album all the way from Sweden, via my old chums at Sonically Speaking, that album was called 'Total 13', I ordered it on pre release and at that moment my life changed forever.


Them_XX_bookFast-forward eleven years and I find myself holding Backyard Babies Twentieth Anniversary package wondering what could be next for the band that gave me back my love for music?


Released in Europe via a different exclusive online Mail Order retailer, 'Them XX' in the UK is limited to 300.  So you can bet this is going to be as much a holy grail item for serious collectors as the Tyla drawn 'Total 13' tour poster in years to come. 


So what do you get for your entrance fee with 'Them XX' I hear you cry?  Well you get three CD's (Four in the UK, via an additional exclusive 2 track remix CD) and a DVD all housed in a hard backed coffee table book, which for a band who deals in down and dirty Rock 'n' Roll is about as juxtaposed a product as you could ever wish for, and for that reason alone this is what I would call absolute per-fucking-fection.


Disc one of the 'Them XX' set is a career retrospective, that ultimately everyone who has followed the band would have their own track listing for given half the chance. What this twelve-track disc does quite succinctly is distil your thoughts around just how consistently top notch the writing has been behind bands most 'popular' tracks since 'Diesel & Power' was released in 1994.


Book_2Discs two and three are where things hot up for those pondering on whether to buy this set, as you get thirty eight tracks that are either hard to get or nigh on impossible to get these days in career chronological order. Even the hardcore collectors will be pawning their finest leopard skin brothel creepers to get a look in here, as there are tracks committed to CD for the first time anywhere, like the exclusive remixes that end disc three, and the box set exclusive track 'This Is How The World Ends' on disc two.  Where better a place to bring together all those old single B-sides and outtakes... eh?


For those ordering in the UK you also get the two track remixes of 'Abandon' and 'Degenerated' that make up the additional fourth CD which come hand numbered along with your box set.


Book_4Moving to the final disc and the DVD. This is an updated version of the 'Jetlag' movie that was released to celebrate fifteen years of the Backyard Babies career. It has a 'Them XX' additional chapter added and also all the additional promo videos since the release of the then current album 'Stockholm Syndrome'  Which leaves us with the book that houses this cornucopia of musical delight; this is the band's story told in non-sequential order, and made up of some of the best photography you'll see this side of otherwise premium priced products like the 'Kisstory' or AC/DC's 'Backtracks' coffee table books.  I'd have bought this box set just for this book; such is the quality throughout the 120 pages.


'Them XX' is a sumptuous Twentieth Anniversary celebration of those sleazy Rock 'n' Roll muthafuckers known to you and I as the Backyard Babies, and you can but wonder where they might be in say twenty of thirty years time, as the band themselves allude to within the updated DVD.


But for those like I wondering what's immediately next for the band, they are just about to ready themselves for their 'Them XX' 2010 tour, on which I'll certainly be taking in the London date.  And ahead of that tour you can still pick up copies limited copies of 'Them XX' here.... So what you waiting for?  On you marks! Get set! Everybody ready! 


Oh.... and thanks guys I owe you one.