The Woodworm Years was originally released on Dave Pegg's own Woodworm Records label in 1991; the label went under shortly thereafter, but this compilation was reissued twice. The 16-track set (up from 14 in its original form, the two additions being a rollicking live version of the bluegrass standard "Orange Blossom Special" and a sensitive yet playful reading of Mike Waterson's "Rubber Band") collects '80s recordings not only from the band, but from its members' occasional solo albums. That means that The Woodworm Years starts off with a solo electric guitar performance from Pegg and features not one but three solo performances from Simon Nicol's Before Your Time album, not to mention one each from Martin Allcock and Ric Sanders, leaving only ten scattered performances by the full group. The solo tracks aren't bad at all, but they're primarily of interest to die-hard fans, making The Woodworm Years an enjoyable but hardly necessary collection of intriguing side trips.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason
feat: Dave Pegg
feat: Martin Allcock
feat: Ric Sanders