|Front Cover||Back Cover|
|(Click on Back Cover for track listing)|
|The album is accompanied by a small booklet:|
(These pictures are very small on the CD label and do not enlarge)
"After recent compilations of Peter Hammill material, Virgin have put out this rather nice collection of odds and ends of singles, plus a few more easily available items. There are some new sleeve photos, including three of the last line-up with Graham Smith and cellist Charles Dickie. Nothing actually unreleased, but certainly some of their more obscure items here - the prize goes to the studio version of Ship of Fools, previously only obtainable on the B-side of a French single. Although recorded sometime during the final phase of Van der Graaf's existence, this is curious in that there is no discernible violin or sax - at a guess there's just Hammill, Evans and Potter on this track, played very much in the NADIR style. The rest of the obscurities are culled from the long unobtainable LP only compilations, namely Afterwards and Necromancer (AEROSOL GREY MACHINE); Refugees and Boat of Millions of Years (both sides of the single) and W (B-side of Theme One single). They've obviously hung on to the masters well, as these are all clear and crisp.
As to the less interesting stuff, there's Lemmings, Arrow, La Rossa and the Lighthouse Keepers / Sleepwalkers Medley from VITAL. This raises the usual question with compilations - who is this intended for? If it's for the VdGG enthusiast who's already bought their entire CD back catalogue, then why not include the Theme One single and the tracks which got left off the VITAL CD:- Urban and Nadir's Big Chance. That would then only leave the re-issue of AEROSOL GREY MACHINE and the Firebrand single (...we can but dream...) to complete their entire output on CD. It also raises the thought that if Virgin have the masters of two of the tracks from AEROSOL GREY MACHINE, then surely they must know where the others are?
The sleeve notes, (by Mark Paytress of Record Collector), tell us someone's taken the trouble to put together some difficult to obtain material in a decent packaging at a reasonable price - as it stands its either a good introduction to the band or a nice filler to the collection - it's just that for the sake of substituting a few tracks for some easily available ones, we could have had a much more complete collection of odds and ends. The music, by the way is superb throughout, but you don't really need me to tell you that do you?"
- Allan Terrill in Audion #27, Winter 1994.