To some, the Captain's 1982 No 1 romp through Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Happy Talk" was the ultimate punk sell-out. Silly beggars! It was, of course, a hilarious act of screwball subversion.
Either way, its Goonish novelty was unrepresentative of the two albums that followed. As the best bits collated here show, solo Sensible traded in the same satirical Englishness as The Kinks and Madness ("Croydon", "A Nice Cup Of Tea").
This legendary album, the centrepiece of the so-called "Doom Trilogy", has waited nearly 30 years to be issued on CD, such has been its author's reputed disenchantment with it. Over that time, On The Beach has become a sort of Holy Grail to Neil Young CD buyers, its continuing unavailability adding to a notoriety which began with the first round of reviews the album received in summer 1974. Early reaction to On The Beach was almost entirely negative and it was only after a certain amount of hindsight had set in that it was accorded any respect, let alone admiration.