Release Date: July 15th 2016
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- History Maker (from King of Fools)
- Rain Down (from World Service)
- Deeper (from King of Fools)
- I Could Sing of Your Love Forever (from The Cutting Edge 1 & 2)
- Majesty (from World Service)
- Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble? (from The Cutting Edge 3 & 4)
- Find Me in the River (from The Cutting Edge 3 & 4)
- Obsession (from The Cutting Edge 3 & 4)
- Lord You Have My Heart (from The Cutting Edge 1 & 2)
- Shout to the North (from The Cutting Edge 3 & 4)
- Thank You For Saving Me (from The Cutting Edge 1 & 2)
- Oh Lead Me (from The Cutting Edge 3 & 4)
- What A Friend I’ve Found (from King of Fools)
- Jesus’ Blood (from GLO)
- My Glorious (from GLO)
- Our God Reigns (Live) (from Live From Willow Creek)
Delirious? is one of my favourite bands. Ever. Period. Of all time. No matter how many new bands come after, this humble quintet from the U.K. will always hold a special part in my heart. It was the band that introduced me into the world of Christian pop/rock/worship. Prior to Delirious?, my music listening was limited- I listened to gospel singer Carman…a lot. Not that there’s anything wrong with Carman’s music, in fact, I reckon he was way ahead of his time in terms of music and content for someone who was popular during the 1990s. But then there was Delirious?, a band who was not afraid to release albums in the mainstream, while still holding onto their roots of being a band focused in delivering music for the CCM circle. And while the band has parted since their final concert in 2009, here we are, 7 years later, and another greatest album has released. And so much has happened throughout the years. Martin Smith had a stint at a solo career and released two albums (God’s Great Dance Floor Vol. 1 & 2), and is now part of the group Army of Bones. Jon Thatcher and Stu G. were part of One Sonic Society for a while since their inception in 2010, yet they’ve both since departed and moved on to other projects. And with keyboardist Tim Jupp now heavily involved in the Big Church Day Out movement and drummer Paul Evans helping out Soul Survivor events every year, along with former drummer Stew Smith now realising his passion for art and painting; a reunion of sorts for Delirious? is looking grimmer as the years go on. So what did Integrity Music do for a bout of nostalgia? Release a best of project of course. Ultimate Collection released July 15th, and featured a bunch of hit songs from Delirious?’s 13 year career.
This review of the album, dare I say from the outset, will be very similar to the review of Newsboys’ greatest hits collection that I reviewed earlier on during the year. Check out the review here. Now before you all are up in arms, let me give you the facts- Delirious? are a great band, no doubt about it. They have produced great songs and have given us melodies that have been impactful for millions of people around the world. Yet when a label releases a best of album, in the age of Spotify and Pandora, it seems to me more like a money grab than anything else. Not to dig into the intentions of Integrity Music as a label, but sometimes I wonder whether the track listing reflects the bold statement, that this collection of 16 songs is indeed the ultimate collection. Looking through the track list, I am pleased to see songs like “History Maker”, “Deeper”, “Rain Down”, “Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble”, “Jesus Blood”, “Majesty” and “My Glorious” on the album, all hits over their career spanning the 1990s and the 2000s. But then herein lies my point- 16 tracks to highlight a 13 year career? Too short! In fact, you would have about 30 tracks and you wouldn’t even cover all the singles of their career. Integrity Music, though their intentions are right in giving respect and honour to a band that revolutionised modern worship music, with a compilation, the compilation in and of itself should’ve been longer and maybe two discs, even three.
This album is full of nostalgia, yet it is heavily rooted in the Cutting Edge/King of Fools days. While those days are to be celebrated, there are some notable absences on the album of 16 songs. Songs like ‘Waiting for the Summer’, ‘Follow’, ‘Bliss’, ‘My Soul Sings’, ‘Love Will Find a Way’, ‘Inside Outside’, even ‘Sanctify’, ‘Paint the Town Red’, ‘White Ribbon Day’, ‘Louder than the Radio’ and ‘Come Like You Promise’ are all absent from this collection that is to be deemed the Ultimate Collection. While I’m not having a dig at the songs themselves, I’m having a dig at the process of making the album, and who actually decides which songs make it and which songs don’t. To be fair, the label probably needed to keep the track list shorter, to not let it drag on too much and to highlight the best of the best, maybe even to draw in newer fans of Delirious?.
At a glance this is a pretty good snapshot of their career. Yet looking deeper, it probably would’ve been better to release a double (or maybe triple) disc and titled it the same thing. Delirious? has been and will continue to be a major influence in my life in terms of spiritual growth during my teenage years. But in a world of Spotify, this album sadly seems redundant. And it probably is, because I’m sure many Delirious? enthusiasts would’ve had these songs before from albums released previously. This sadly is a marketing ploy by Integrity Music. If you want to listen to a Delirious? album that is a great snapshot of their career, then I suggest you try to find the 2 Disc version of History Makers that released in 2009- much more comprehensive than Ultimate Collection. In fact, if you haven’t listened to Delirious? that much, start with that 2009 album and work your way to whichever album you want to afterward. For Ultimate Collection, it is a great album if you want nostalgia from the Cutting Edge days. But if you’re like me and want to take a journey throughout their whole career, then History Makers (the 2 Disc limited edition version) will be more of an enjoyable experience to the listener!
3 songs to listen to: History Maker, Majesty, My Glorious
RIYL: Jesus Culture, Tim Hughes, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, David Crowder*Band