This album saw the Bonzos at their peak, and this version is enhanced with some extra tracks which unlike most 'undiscovered treasures' do fit particularly well onto the original roll call. It wasn't a concept album typified by tracks following a single theme but it is a dazzling array of musical and lyrical styles which hang together perfectly and benefits from sitting down and listening to the whole album from start to finish. There are no highlights in this album simply because there are no weak tracks, showing just how far the Bonzos had come since their early days doing music hall pastiche. The immense influence which Neil innes exerted in the band shows through clearly in this album and that's not to belittle the contribution of anyone. "Beautiful Zelda" was at least as commercial as 'Urban Spaceman' and listening to 'Postcard' alongside 'My Pink Half of the drainpipe' invokes so many memories our working class life in the late 60's it is scary. (Adults did used to hang over the garden fence blethering on a Sunday afternoon whilst rice puddings were burning in the oven. If Neil Innes had written the Small Faces hit 'Lazy Sunday' what a fantastic trio of songs that would have made.) Stanshall was talented and a great figurehead, but Innes always had the potential to take the band to undiscovered heights which perhaps he got to in the Rutles eventually.
I've waited a lot of years for the cd re-issue of this classic '60's album - more literate, funny and downright 1960's weird than any of their contemporaries could achieve through a thousand overdubs or mangled chords. "We are normal and we dig bert Weedon' they claim on the opening track, and suddenly digging Bert Weedon doesn't seem so strange anymore. This is a great legacy for an idiosyncratic bunch of talented musicians and performers.
....... and thanks to the entertaining booklet I now know what 'The Doughnut in Granny's Greenhouse' was!