Upsy Daisy Assortment

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Instead of releasing the complete double-disc set Fossil Fuel: The XTC Singles 1977-92, the American division of Geffen decided to assemble Upsy Daisy Assortment, a 19-track budget-priced collection that follows XTC from 1979's Drums & Wires to 1992's Nonsuch. Such a decision was conceivably driven by the idea that casual fans and the curious will want all of the band's familiar songs -- "Making Plans for Nigel," "Generals & Majors," "Respectable Street," "Senses Working Overtime," "Dear God," "The Mayor of Simpleton," "King for a Day," "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead" -- on one disc, and on that level Upsy Daisy Assortment works. However, it's not the compilation it should have been, since it bypasses such essential early singles as "Statue of Liberty," "Science Friction," "Are You Receiving Me?" and "This is Pop," which captured the band at their nerviest. It also contains several idiosyncratic selections like "Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her, Kiss Her," "Chalkhills and Children" and "The Disappointed," which were album tracks that worked better on their original albums. But, given its budget price and generous selection, Upsy Daisy Assortment makes a good introduction for indiscriminate listeners.

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