A Secret History... The Best of the Divine Comedy

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A Secret History – The Best of The Divine Comedy
Greatest hits album by The Divine Comedy
Released 30 August 1999 (1999-08-30)
Genre Baroque pop
Length 70:53
Label Setanta
Producer Various
The Divine Comedy chronology
Fin de Siècle
(1998)
A Secret History... The Best of the Divine Comedy
(1999)
Regeneration
(2001)
Singles from A Secret History...
  1. "The Pop Singer's Fear of the Pollen Count"
    Released: 9 August 1999 (1999-08-09)
  2. "Gin Soaked Boy"
    Released: 1 November 1999 (1999-11-01)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
musicOMH positive[2]

A Secret History... The Best of The Divine Comedy is a greatest hits compilation album by The Divine Comedy, released in 1999.

The album was the last to be released by the band on the Setanta Records label, and featured a collection of singles and best-known songs from the previous five studio albums. Re-recordings of "The Pop Singer's Fear of the Pollen Count" and "Your Daddy's Car" were included, along with two new tracks, "Gin Soaked Boy" and "Too Young to Die". The Noël Coward tribute recording of "I've Been To A Marvellous Party" was also included.

A limited release edition was available with an accompanying hard-back book and extra CD. The book featured Kevin Westenburg photographs taken from previous album photo shoots interspersed with the recollections of people who had worked closely with the band. Graham Linehan and Sean Hughes were among the contributors.

The additional CD, Rarities, featured a whole album's worth of rare, live and demo recordings, including cover versions of tracks by David Bowie, Talk Talk and Kraftwerk. Of special interest was the inclusion of the demo of a track from the band's debut album, Fanfare for the Comic Muse, an album which had previously been all-but ignored from the back catalogue.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Neil Hannon except for "I've Been to a Marvellous Party", written by Noël Coward and "The Certainty of Chance", written by Neil Hannon and Joby Talbot.

  1. "National Express" – 5:06
  2. "Something for the Weekend" – 4:20
  3. "Everybody Knows (Except You)" – 3:50
  4. "Generation Sex" – 3:30
  5. "Becoming More Like Alfie" – 3:00
  6. "The Summerhouse" – 4:14
  7. "Your Daddy's Car" – 4:03
  8. "The Pop Singer's Fear of the Pollen Count" – 3:54
  9. "The Frog Princess" – 5:13
  10. "Gin Soaked Boy" – 5:03
  11. "Lucy" – 4:39
  12. "Songs of Love" – 3:23
  13. "In Pursuit of Happiness" – 3:29
  14. "I've Been to a Marvellous Party" – 3:42
  15. "The Certainty of Chance" – 6:12
  16. "Too Young to Die" – 4:20
  17. "Tonight We Fly" – 2:57

Limited Edition Rarities CD

All songs written by Neil Hannon except for "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind", Traditional, "Life on Mars?", written by David Bowie, "The Model", written by Ralf Hütter, Karl Bartos & Emil Schult, "Life's What You Make It", by Mark Hollis and Tim Friese-Greene and "Moon River", by Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini.

"Painting the Forth Bridge" is an early version of "Middle Class Heroes", featuring completely different lyrics.

  1. "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" (Live at Her Majesty's Theatre, London '94)
  2. "Bleak Landscape" (Home Demo, London '93)
  3. "The Booklovers" (Live at Théâtre de Ville, Paris '94)
  4. "The Certainty of Chance" (Home Demo, London '97)
  5. "Commuter Love" (Live at Shepherds Bush Empire, London '98)
  6. "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind" (Live TV, Belfast '98)
  7. "A Drinking Song" (Live at the Olympia, Dublin '94)
  8. "The Frog Princess" (Live at Shepherds Bush Empire, London '96)
  9. "Generation Sex" (Home Demo, London '97)
  10. "Life on Mars?" (Live at Theatre National de Bretagne, Rennes '98 with Yann Tiersen)
  11. "Life's What You Make It" (Acoustic Session – Elephant Studios, London '93)
  12. "The Model" (Live in Düsseldorf '94)
  13. "National Express" (Live somewhere in a large field '99)
  14. "Painting the Forth Bridge" (Home Demo, Fivemiletown '93)
  15. "Queen of the South" (Acoustic Session – Elephant Studios, London '93)
  16. "The Summerhouse" (Live at Théâtre de Ville, Paris '94)
  17. "Soul Destroyer" (Studio Demo, Banbridge '89)
  18. "Your Daddy's Car" (Home Demo, Fivemiletown '91/'92)
  19. [Unlisted Track] "Moon River" (Home Demo, Fivemiletown, 1991)

References[edit]