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.
The liner notes for Barry Guy's extended composition/improvisation Folio (a printer's term for a piece of paper folded in half to create four pages) refer extensively to Nikolai Evreinov's 1912 play The Theatre of the Soul, in which three aspects of the soul are introduced by a pretentious professor who claims the Self as Trinity: Rational, Emotional, and Eternal (or subconscious). Performed a scant five years before the Russian Revolution and simultaneously as Freud's big exposition of the Id, the Ego, and the Superego, the play is one of those moments where history seems to be suggesting bits and pieces of itself. What that all has to with Guy's piece is ponderous at best and known only to Guy. Even Brian Lynch's liner essay is speculative and academic.