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Andy Partridge: Fuzzy Warbles Vols. 1-3, 4-6, 7, 8 & Hinges

Three triple-CD sets of oddities from the XTC genius.

Andy Partridge Fuzzy Warbles Volumes 1 to 3 album cover

This is your chance to buy 2006’s lavish but limited-edition nine-CD box set, The Official Fuzzy Warbles Collector’s Album, in small, bite-sized chunks. Smallish, anyway: it’s now available as three separate three-CD packages, with Hinges the exclusive ninth extra disc now at the end of the third disc.

Fuzzy Warbles is the generic name given to the series of individual CDs issued by former XTC man Andy Partridge between 2002 and 2006, each comprising demos from various points in his career, some of which were intended for XTC, some written with other performers in mind, and assorted other odds and sods that never made it to any XTC album. They’re all from the wacky creative powerhouse behind the band that many swear to this day were the natural heirs to The Beatles.

And listening to tracks of the calibre of I Defy You Gravity, all finger-snapping groove and laconic lyrics (‘Isaac Newton’s annoyed with me, now I defy you, gravity’), or the snarkily insidious guitar-pop earworm that is Cherry In Your Tree, it’s hard to disagree. A treasure trove of unknown studio doodles and hummable delights.

Paul Lester is the editor of Record Collector. He began freelancing for Melody Maker in the late 80s, and was later made Features Editor. He was a member of the team that launched Uncut Magazine, where he became Deputy Editor. In 2006 he went freelance again and has written for The Guardian, The Times, the Sunday Times, the Telegraph, Classic Rock, Q and the Jewish Chronicle. He has also written books on Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Bjork, The Verve, Gang Of Four, Wire, Lady Gaga, Robbie Williams, the Spice Girls, and Pink.