With the recent suggestion that XTC’s recording days may be over (at least as far as founding bassist Colin Moulding is concerned), one is left to wonder about the future of Swindon’s finest. Actually fans don’t need to imagine anything—they can simply pick up this magnificent eight CD set of demos (along with a bonus ninth disc and a companion book penned by guitarist/god Andrew Partridge) and hear all the songs that may forever be lost on the winds of artistic destiny. Criminally unappreciated in their time, XTC is comparable only to The Beatles in breadth and scope of their musical acumen. Though only Andy participated here, the link to XTC’s overall sound is never too far away. As either a testament or tombstone, pop doesn’t get any more masterful than this.