Compiled by Anna as a tribute to her late sister, this is a joyous and triumphant collection of outtakes, demos, alternative versions and other material recorded over the years for various side projects, some of it already familiar to diehard fans and some previously unheard. But all of it still of the highest quality, a benchmark set by their stunning debut in 1975 and meticulously maintained over the decades.
The compilation follows the pattern of Kate & Anna's studio releases, some frolicking toe-tapping interspersed with sombre and often heartbreakingly beautiful ballads. OK, so the audio quality of "A La Claire Fontaine" - presumably a private recording never originally intended for commercial release - may be a bit on the ropey side and Kate's "Lullaby For A Doll" may be uncharacteristically mawkish but, even then, such is the quality of the performances that such minor infractions can readily be forgiven.
"Louis The Cat" sounds more like something that The Roches would have recorded in a throwaway moment, and in the absence of any sleeve notes it's fun trying to place the tracks in some kind of career chronological order but standing head and shoulders above everything else is Wade Hemsworth's sweeping, soaring, magnificent "My Mother is The Ocean Sea", an epic that should rightfully find a home on the inevitable "Best Of" collection one day.
Nonesuch Records are also reported to be releasing a box set consisting of remasters of the McGarrigles' first two albums with another disc of previously unreleased material that will doubtless also be worthy of investigation. The magic lives on.