Operators Are Standing By: The Essential Gary Lucas is a second collection of songs originally released on the Enemy label (the first was Level the Playing Field). Fortunately, despite being on two different labels, there is no overlap between these collections, and each is augmented by a couple previously unreleased tracks. As with any Gary Lucas release, there is a wide range of music presented, the common denominator being his virtuosic guitar playing. From the beautiful acoustic fingerpicking of "Fool's Cap" and Percy Grainger's "Children's March to the fried psychedelia of "Astronomy Domine" (a killer version), Lucas' guitar talents are undeniable and impressive. This would be a good place to start for anyone interested in Gary Lucas' music specifically, or for someone who's way into guitar in general.
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AllMusic Review by Sean Westergaard