the loud bassoon online zine - records: andy partridge - fuzzy warbles volume 3

Andy Partridge
Fuzzy Warbles Volume 3
(Ape CD 003)

The third of Andy Partridge's Fuzzy Warbles discs offers more of the same, but it's a goodly bunch of same. There's the expected faux-psychedelia and Beach Boys rip-offs, but some truly weird shit as well.

The way these discs are rolling out, it can be expected that they'll all be approximately equally good. Since they draw from disparate sources and dates, there's no historical perspective … and that's fortunate. Instead of being a musty tour of the mansion, it's a wild and unhinged romp through the hidden passageways.

That element is helping to make Fuzzy Warbles arguably the best thing Andy Partridge has ever done … it's an even more accurate musical autobiography than his band's back catalog.

My favorites on Volume 3 are the brilliant fake-60s pop of "My Train is Coming" (submitted to, and rejected by, Phil Collins for the Buster soundtrack … how sad is that?) and the completely gonzo "You Like Me" (described in the liner notes as "disco music from 1920s Shanghai"). There are some sublime demos, too: "Little Lighthouse," "Collideascope," "Child's Crusade," "Great Fire," "Work," and a remarkable re-creation of "Strawberry Fields Forever" produced by XTC's Dave Gregory.

A few clunkers don't offer much beyond one listen (if that), such as the two tracks of fake-Mali guitar playing and the simply bad "Goodbye Humanosaurus," which suffers from some of the most wretched rhymes ever ("Sweep up the floor-us"?).

The disc closes with "This is the End," a superb Oranges & Lemons outtake, followed by "Put it On Again," which is the sort of thing Queen might have done to end an album. You have to admire Andy's airborne versatility as he bounds across the tightrope high above your head … even if he does fall with amazing frequency, and the dull thud-clatter of his bones hitting the dusty floor has become almost as central to the show as his spectacular feats.

Review by Suzie Cant