Album Reviews (Amazon)

Kenneth F. Mcara (Dundee, Scotland)
This review is from: The Absolute Game (Audio CD)

I remember waiting for this to come out on vinyl, and being delighted with it when it did. I loved the embossed cover too, and still have it in pretty much mint condition.

Although there were apparently difficulties in the band when this was being written and recorded, every track is a gem, with the cream of the crop – for me – being the cracking "Circus Games", which starts at a incredible lick and builds and builds, eventually throwing everything in, including a didgeridoo and a children's chorus. I've often wondered why it wasn't a more successful single; perhaps it was to do with Richard Jobson's very laid-back performances on TOTP.

The lads from Dunfermline toun are on the top of their game here, and it's good to hear that "Strength through Joy" is included.

The reissue should also bring down the silly prices being asked for the previous CD version of this album on Ebay and other such sites.

Please note that the reviews below which were written prior to November 2008 refer to the previous CD release which included the shorter version of "A Woman In Winter" and did not have the tracks from "Strength through Joy".

O Hooligan

This review is from: The Absolute Game (Audio CD)

The Absolute Game – the third album from The Skids sees a maturity to the band's songwriting without losing any of their trademark calling cards. The blistering guitar riffs and stunning melodies from the late great Stuart Adamson, married to vocalist Richard Jobson's intriguing lyrics and unmistakable delivery are still there and combined with the Skids signature singalongs ensure that there's hardly any fat on this album. Add to that the fantastically solid rhythm section of Russell Webb and Mike Baillie and a great production and you've got a forgotten classic album.
This release restores Adamson's beautiful guitar solo to the brilliant A Woman in Winter (why was it chopped in the first place??) and also comes with the tracks that made up the album Strength Through Joy ( an album of more `experimental' songs that came free with initial copies of the vinyl album) well worth a listen to hear what this great band were actually capable of.
Buy it.
You won't be disappointed

harmonicaman "BK1"

This review is from: The Absolute Game (Audio CD)

At last, The Absolute Game on CD!!!!!!!,
Under normal circumstances I would not have quibbled with the lack of extra's, but only one B Side, "Specky Potter………." from the Goodbye Civilian single is the only completely original track from The Absolute Games' singles, its also instrumental, lo-fi recorded [it seems] and actually……..not very good.

While it’s good to both see and hear this album on CD, one incredulous question remains………

Why, Why, Why does this version of the album include the single edit of A Woman in Winter…. the 4 minute version, missing out Adamson’s excellent guitar solo, a full verse and shortening the fade out considerably………..

this album should get a 5 star review, in fact its worthy of a 6,
but because of the horrible edit I gave it a 4

Perhaps this album will see the CD format one day it is proper version…….until then,

if you can get it cheap, go for it …..or convert your vinyl version to cd until the day its eventually released without "errors"

Colin Smith "colinsmith761" (Eastbourne ,UK)

This review is from: The Absolute Game (Audio CD)

Finally after lengthy negotiations it is here! The bestselling Skids album with great singles and no filler, but the added bonus is the inclusion of the "Strength through Joy" bonus album that originally came with the vinyl album.
This was the band's only top ten album and Stuart Adamson was to leave the following year, but "Circus Games", "Goodbye Civilian" and "A Woman In Winter" were all cracking singles and the band are at their peak.


The Boys From Dunfermline

This review is from: The Absolute Game (Audio CD)

"The Absolute Game" was the third and most successful Skids album. Out went the theatricals of "Days in Europa" and in came a much more musically tighter album produced by Mick Glossop. From the opening "Circus Games" to the brilliant finale of "Arena" there is hardly a weak moment with perhaps "Woman in Winter" being the highlight of the entire album (the original 7" of "Woman in Winter" was actually issued with a free comic book!!)Sadly, this was to be the last true Skids release with Stuart Adamson leaving to pursue his individual project that would become "Big Country". This left Richard Jobson and Russell Webb to soldier on in their search for the true "Celtic Spirit" with the eventual release of the album "Joy".


This review is from: The Absolute Game (Audio CD)

Having purchased both Scared to Dance & Days in Europa CD to replace my old vinyl fairly recently I thought I reminded myself how truly awesome the Skids were.

Then along comes Circus Games, although I didn't think so at the time, I now reckon this is their strongest album….no, there's not an Into the Valley or Yankee Dollar on here but there's no weak tracks either.

I grew up with The Clash, The Stranglers and the Pistols. To me, those 3 bands between them encapsulated everything that was punk. The best bands that fed off the above and continued and developed the line musically were The Skids, The Ruts & SLF.

Of all of the above the Ruts were the only ones I never saw live :( . I was fortunate enough to see both the Skids & Big Country Live. Unfortunately my Live view of the Skids was before Circus Games…always regretted not managing to get to see the Circus Games tour. Anyway, totally awesome album with an initial 3 track intro that I don't think was beaten until the Joshua Tree.

A truly underrated awesome album!!

Stuart Adamson is a god!, 1 Feb 2009

Haggis "Westy" (Yorkshire)

This review is from: The Absolute Game (Audio CD)

I've been waiting for this to be re-released on CD for ages. Well worth the wait. My favourite Skids album and it's easy to see why the Edge is such a big fan of the band. Buy it!

Second that….Where is Strength Through Joy?, 28 July 2007

Whistlekiller - See all my reviews

This review is from: The Absolute Game (Audio CD)

Another cracking outing for The Skids. Total agreement with what most reviewers have written, my favourite being Woman In Winter (despite the criminal editing!) although One Decree and Circus Games run it pretty close. I also have a soft spot for Goodbye Civilian with its camp sequencers! Anyway getting back to the case in point….one star deducted for butchering Woman In Winter AND not including Strength Through Joy, the free album that came with the original few pressings (not my copy unfortunately). A song from that called An Incident In Algiers still sends shivers up my back and I only have a rather muted version from The Old Grey Whistle Test featured on YouTube to fall back on…..never mind….Hurry On Boys!


If you're reading this, Barney from Gateshead, I know you had a vinyl copy of Strength so give me a call…soon!

Absolute genius, 20 May 2005

sonik57 "sonik57" (London, UK)

This review is from: The Absolute Game (Audio CD)

I struggle to remember now as it was a long time ago! I was only a kid when I saw them doing Masquerade on Top Of The Pops and that was it really.

Fast forward to1980. Ultravox released Vienna, Joy Division imparted their final word with Closer, The Human League's original line-up left us with Travelogue and The Skids turned in The Absolute Game, probably their finest moment.

Rarely were Richard Jobson's almost mystical lyrics and the late Stuart Adamson's brilliant guitar work as well in sync as they are here. Stunning Outstanding tracks include the great Circus Games (complete with kids' choir), the almost poppy Goodbye Civilian (yes, I've the storybook that came with the single – great stuff!) and the stunning A Woman In Winter which is the last word in rock dynamics.

If you know nothing about the greatest band to emerge from Dunfermline EVER, buy this and be educated. They were never this great again, the eventual sequel Joy being very much an acquired taste (to say the least).

Ps Speckie Potter? Yup, I remember it. I defy anyone outside not born on the Clyde to understand a word of it!

But where is "Strength Through Joy"?, 7 May 2002

By A Customer

This review is from: The Absolute Game (Audio CD)

It's great to finally get this classic album on CD along with the earlier releases.

I was wondering, however, where is the free album that came with the vinyl version, "Strength through Joy"??

Favourite track on Absolute Game has to be "One Decree"

I once met Stuart Adamson, just at the start of his Big Country career and we spent some time discussing the Skids etc. We both agreed on our favourite album being "Days in Europa". My favourite track from that album is still "A Day in Europa", whereas Stuart mentioned "Thanatos". Stuart seemed impressed or bemused by my choice of favourite track – I think he was expecting "Yankee Dollar."

While it was a real pleasure to meet the man it did make his death that bit more sad! I won't be able to attend the Tribute Concert scheduled for May 2002, as I will be out of the country, but I'll be there in spirit!


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