As a document of this ever-inventive band's earliest material dating from 1975 to 1979 -- before they signed with Virgin -- B&W Minstrels encompasses the Monochrome Set singles for Rough Trade and Disques Bleu, as well as previously unheard demos. This marks an engaging period in their development, though to some extent, the group seemed to be born fully formed anyway. Most bands at this stage in their career haven't a clue as to what they want to sound like. For spoiled kids the Monochrome Set, however, the problem seemed to be one of choosing from their innumerable options; here's a band who could settle happily in any style they wanted, from straight pop to ballroom or cabaret. B&W Minstrels provides an entertaining run through their early repertoire, and it saves you from having to hunt down those singles.
AllMusic Review by Alex Ogg