Virgin Released "Fossil Fuel" As A Way Of Bidding Farewell To XTC. All The Singles Released Within Their Career Were Featured.
At roughly the same time that Geffen issued “Upsy Daisy Assortment” (a collection of hits and some noteworthy tunes from the Swindon’s outfit that was a bit whimsical to say the least) Virgin issued this 2-CD compilation. In the case of the British company, the focus was solely on singles. No track strayed from that conceit. The one exception was “Wrapped In Grey”, the song that caused the rift between XTC and Virgin way back in 1992, and which resulted in the band going on strike for the best part of the decade. Virgin decided to include it either as a way of burying the hatchet or as a final insult, a way of saying “there you go, take the goddamn song, it is now officially a ‘single’”. Which is which depends on the astute listener.
So, the album goes all the way from Andy’s much-despised “Science Friction” (from their debut EP) to Andy’s beloved “Wrapped In Grey” (from “Nonsuch“, their final album for Virgin).
"Upsy Daisy Assortment" Compiles Most Of XTC's True Classics WIth A Few Rarities Thrown In For Good Measure.
“Upsy Daisy Assortment” was released by Geffen (XTC’s American record company) in 1999, as the legal battle with Virgin was finally being dispelled and the band was to regain its freedom. It is a single CD that has some truly idiosyncratic cuts in addition to their indisputable classics.
Now, Andy says that the disc feels as if someone at Geffen had thrown darts at a chart with all their songs and assembled the compilation like that. Such a theory would explain why singles like “All You Pretty Girls” and “Wake Up” have been omitted, why “Funk Pop A Roll” found its way here instead of “Great Fire” and also why we have tracks such as “Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her, Kiss Her” at the expense of others.
I have to be very honest with you. The disc does not feel as if someone had randomly thrown darts at a chart, it feels as if Andy had overseen the whole thing from start to finish.
Exhibit 1: The compilation omits both “White Music” and “Go 2”, albums that he actively dislikes (and even despises). The first track is “Life Begins At The Hop”.
Exhibit 2: “Sgt. Rock”, a track Andy reviles despite being one of the highest-charting singles of his is absent. Continue reading →