Ooh Las Vegas Vox November 1990

IT TAKES A CERTAIN amount of arrogance to release what is bacically a B-side retrospective abum only three albums into your musical career. Still, that's exactly what Ross & Co have done and if nothing else they're to be congratulated for sheer gall.

The mammoth 23 track 'Ooh Las Vegas' double boasts (thankfully) not just an assortment of B-sides, but four new tracks - 'Love You Say', 'Let Your Heart Be Troubled', 'ls It Cold Beneath The Hill' and 'Killing The Blues', a gutsy pop track promising to catch regular Deacon fans unawares. Coupled with three previously unrecorded tracks, a dreamy 'That Country'. 'Christine', and the folky pub-track 'Gentle Teardrops', Deacon Blue have attempted to spike the guns of anyone bemoaning a sell out. The B-sides themselves offer no surprises. lnstantly likeable but then instantly forgettable. Deacon Blue's catalogue of cuts offers pure easy listening. Not a quality Deacon Blue would feel comfortable with, but nevertheless. . . High points include 'Don't Let The Teardrops Start', 'Circus lights' - both country-style tunes, although the latter does swing alarmingly near Neil Diamond territory . . . honestly.

'Back Here In Beano Land' from the popular single "Fergus Sings The Blues' is where side two peaks. 'Little Lincoln' is the first B. side to make its mark on side three. Originally cut with 'Real Gone Kid' even this track pales beside the likes of the fresh 'Gentle Teardrops' and begs the question - Shouldn't it have stayed a B-side? With this one exception, side three is easily the strongest side of the album - 'Gentle Teardrops', 'That Country', and 'ls It Cold Beneath The Hill' making sure of that. 'Ooh Las Vegas' is a premature album and one which benefits existing fans rather than attracts new ones. But when you're a hugely successful band with a captivated audience, who gives a toss? James Anthony