Great live energy...Somewhat stale studio reworkings
Paul Reynolds | Watertown, Mass (USA) | 03/11/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For any long-time XTC fans who are wondering about their 'live-playing' days but never had a chance to see them perform, CDs 3 and 4 provide the answer. CD3, from the early Barry Andrews days, is an engaging blast of colorful, carnival energy. These early songs, soaring with fast-paced goofiness, but lacking in the maturity that the group began to develop with 'Drums and Wires', require and thrive on that energy. CD4 combines the live energy with improved musicianship and Colin Moulding and Andy Partridge's maturing songwriting skills that developed after the arrival of Dave Gregory. Overall it seems to me that XTC was indeed an excellent live act, despite Partridge's many remarks since stating the contrary. As far as the BBC studio outtakes, I find many of them to be relatively flat and lacking compared with the original album versions - which goes to show that some of the production values and studio effects put into albums like 'English Settlement' and 'Oranges and Lemons' were not for naught."
Classic Example of band at their performing peak!
Paul Reynolds | 12/10/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wonderful set of derivitive versions of XTCs songs. 2 Live CDs plus 2 discs of Peel session versions = a Dynamite value for the money. A must buy for every XTC fan."