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Boomkat Product Review:
Domino aren't half spoiling us with all this Robert Wyatt reissuing that's currently afoot. Not only have we been reintroduced to his back catalogue of LPs, but we're now on the receiving end of this fine EP boxset, comprising some five discs of material, beginning with Wyatt's breakthrough single, his cover of the Neil Diamond/Monkees hit 'I'm A Believer', which featured Fred Frith on violin and guitar and Pink Floyd's Nick Mason on drums and production duties. The version listed here is a previously unreleased and extended cut, representing the first in a host of hitherto unheard renditions smattered across these five CDs - amongst them a remastered version of 'Shipbuilding', the wonderful hit single penned for Wyatt by Elvis Costello, which surely features some of the very finest lyrics of any pop song you could care to mention. The fourth disc breaks the format slightly, containing what could be salvaged from Wyatt's soundtrack to the controversial Victor Schonfeld & Myriam Alaux documentary, The Animals Film, recently issued on the BFI. Wyatt's twenty-minute composition is a very strange blend of drifting synthesizer tones, murmured vocals and experimental harmonic exchanges. The fifth and final disc boasts four alternate mixes of songs that appeared on the 1997 LP, Shleep, as overhauled by Angie Dial and Nigel Butler. Perhaps inevitably, this disc is the weakest, leading us away from Wyatt's own vision. Wyatt pens funny, insightful liner notes along the way, rounding off a fantastic package that will helpfully fill in the blanks once you've picked up all those reissued Wyatt albums.