Mighty compilation of LA country-punk pioneers

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X – The Best: Make The Music Go Bang!

While it’s tempting to go straight to the (recently remastered) albums (especially the first four), John Doe does an exemplary job here of skimming the high points, 1978-’93 (only “Nausea”is notably MIA). Balancing out 1997’s Beyond And Back, which focused more on demos and other ephemera, Make The Music Go Bang! provides the laudable consumer service of plucking the half-dozen or so most essential cuts off each album, thereby making the case to even the most casual listener that X were, except perhaps for The Ramones, the most vital band of their era. Plus, the time-capsule testimonials among the sleevenotes are priceless.