This 19-track, career-spanning compilation of the erratic career of Mick Farren and the Deviants might span 1967-1996, but it basically plucks from three eras. Most heavily represented is the original incarnation's punk/blues/psychedelic era, with nine tracks from the late '60s, including selections from all three of the Deviants' LPs from that era, and Farren's cover of "Mona" from his 1969 solo album. Then there are half a dozen cuts by the revived Deviants that recorded in the early punk/new wave era in 1976-1977, and as a capper there are four items from 1996 (including three from the Eating Jello With a Heated Fork album). This is often entertaining, and at times even inspiring, but it's kind of hit-and-miss, due both to the sometimes questionable selection of what constitutes the Deviants' "best," and because the group's basic, aggressive satire so often treads the line between stupid and clever. Where, one wonders, are first-album highlights like "I'm Coming Home" and "Child of the Sky"? Well, the latter's most likely missing because Farren has since expressed his dislike of that acoustic, pretty track, but the exclusion of the Yardbirds-like "First Line, probably the best cut off 1969's #3, also hurts this anthology. So do the absence of liner notes, although personnel, dates, and original release info are provided in the track listings. As a point in its favor, it's good to have the fairly humorous almost-punk 1976 cuts "Screwed Up" and "Let's Loot the Supermarket Again," with Deviants/Pink Fairies associates Paul Rudolph, Larry Wallis, and Andy Colquhoun, in the lineup.
AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger