Out of print in the U.S.! Collection of XTC rarities, b-sides and other assorted fun stuff including tracks recorded under pseudonyms (The Three Wise Men, The Colonel) and cuts from compilations, soundtracks etc. This compilation scrapes up tracks that didn't make the remastered editions as bonus tracks, but all of them are more than worthwhile and this makes for a great album on it's own! 24 tracks including 'Thanks For Christmas', 'Heaven Is Paved With Broken Glass', 'Take This Town', 'Extrovert', 'Ten Feet Tall' (single version) and many more. Virgin
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Rag 'N' Bone Buffet
Mr. S. St Thomas | UK | 01/27/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is when you are truly addicted.This is when you've bought all the major releases, and they are just not enough. You are thoroughly hooked, you have just found out there are more songs by Moulding & Partridge that you haven't heard, and you have to have them. And then you find out this just tips the surface, and a full, comprehensive XTC overview would take more than Coat of Many Cupboards and Fuzzy Warbles combined can accomplish. Rag 'N' Bone set out to do this quietly, offering the XTC fan some rarely heard B-sides and alternate versions of XTC material released between 1977 and 1989. Rag 'N' Bone should have been the first XTC boxset, as it barely dips into the vaults, but what it brings up in that first handful are some pretty valuable gems and trinkets.One of its shiniest, and must have gems, is Colin Moulding's 'The World Is Full of Angry Young Men', which was recorded duing Mummer (1983). Why this song was left off of that LP, no one can say, because it is truly one of the best things he ever wrote. In its demo form (you'll have to hunt), ...Angry is a good song and idea, but in this version it is absolutely beautiful. It belongs on Mummer. Another bright spot is Moulding's 'Blame The Weather', left off of English Settlement. Both of these songs deserved placement on those aforementioned albums. I can't tell you why they weren't. I just don't know.Partridge's 'Extrovert' is the album opener, and it is very un-Skylarking (when it was recorded), but a great song nonetheless. It almost sounds more like a Big Express tune, or something you'd find on 'Black Sea'. That 4 other Skylarking leftovers, Terrorism, Let's Make A Den, Find the Fox, and The Troubles were left off of 'Rag' seems unfair, but they were finally re-released on 'Coat of Many Cupboards'. Like I said, a full comprehensive boxset of XTc will probably never see the light of day, because there is just too much material onhand and available. Partridge is just too prolific, and Moulding just keeps saving his best songs for another day, you just have to wait for them to surface eventually.There are just too many songs to comment on on this collection that I grew to enjoy as much as the 'official' XTC catalogue. I wish someone would remaster the original version of 'Heaven Is Paved With Broken Glass' which had a lot of interesting things in it, and maybe a little better than the version offered here. Partridge's Punch and Judy is a highlight as well, ANOTHER English Settlement leftover, which has yet another version that I daresay is better than this one which is included on Coat of Many Cupboards. There's just too much on offer in the XTC catalogue. And one of the shortest songs 'Pulsing Pulsing' is one of my favourites of all XTC songs. XTC funk. It's like James Brown met Captain Beefheart and had a short meal and a drink.Moulding's 'Officer Blue' I can't hear what he didn't like about it. And 'I Need Protection' is just near perfection, a distant cousin of Partridge's 'Travels in Nihilon' (on Black Sea). XTC could have easily issued 2 or 3 albums a year if touring wasn't a necessity,the amount of songs at their disposal, and the quality of them, just do not one album make.Definitely go for the Buffet. It is worth it, but be familiar with the 'official' side of XTC first, and then you'll realise how much they actually offer in that second sitting."