2008 four CD anthology that covers Ayers' musical career from 1969 to 1980; a period most fans and critics deem his best. Ayers remains one of Rock's oddest enigmas. He makes ordinary subjects extraordinary with his rich low vocals and inventive wordplay. He projects the image of a Prog-Rock beach bum writing about life's absurdities with a celebratory, relaxed detachment, yet he is also one of Prog- Rock's more important innovators, helping to launch the Soft Machine, and working with noted progressive musicians Mike Oldfield, Lol Coxhill, and Steve Hillage. Ayers' solo material reflected a Folksier, lazier, and gentler turn than Soft Machine. He was often compared to Syd Barrett, but without the madness and is never less than enjoyable and original, Discs One to Three contain 49 hits, album tracks and more while Disc Four was recorded at The Queen Elizabeth Hall, London on 25th May 1973.
This double-CD contains three programs Ayers broadcast on the BBC from 1972 to 1976. A January 6, 1972 concert at the Paris Theatre in London takes up all of disc one, which is certainly the better half of this package, as it was almost a reunion of the Kevin Ayers & the Whole World lineup that had done Shooting at the Moon in 1970. Whole World-ers Mike Oldfield (guitar), Lol Coxhill (sax), and David Bedford (keyboards) are on hand to support Ayers, along with drummer Dave Dufort (who was not on Shooting at the Moon). Some singing accompanies the band, and orchestral arrangements also accent their playing on six of the nine songs.
From the moment Tosh refuses to fill in his assessment form and serenades us with a remarkably good Sinatra song, this documentary grabs life through song. Six hospice patients allow us into tender, vulnerable and funny moments of their lives. Singing unlocks the patients' pasts, guides their dreams and their futures. Encouraged by one nurse who loves to sing, and a collaborative filming process, they wrestle with the new insecurity facing us all: recent advances in biomedicine mean we can now live for years rather than months after a terminal diagnosis. Sometimes. But not every time. How do we cope with this uncertainty? Strathcarron's patients are quirky, wry front-runners in a journey that we will all face. Each patient deals with enormous change during the three years of filming.
Mary Scott learns she only has ten months to live before dying of an incurable disease. She manages to keep the news from her husband, Brad and daughter, Polly. She tries to make every moment of her life count, but her effort is weakened by the discovery that Brad is interested in his assistant, Chris Radner. But when she learns that Brad does indeed love her and not Chris, and that Chris is leaving town, she realizes what she must do to ensure the future happiness of Brad and Polly. She persuades Chris to stay, makes a genuine friend of her and watches Polly grow towards Chris.