The arrival on the shelves of Wackerman's FORTY REASONS seemed a long time coming. After Wackerman's tenure with Zappa and his continued work with Allan Holdsworth (who, naturally, lends his guitar prowess to FORTY REASONS), it seemed only logical that the crafty beatsmith would go out on his own. FORTY REASONS is a tidy thesis of lessons well learned, a snazzy musical diary of 20 years of modern fusion surfeited with complex drumming, a multitude of elastic-time changes, and attractive, high-tech melodies. There's also a healthy funk base anchoring it all. This brazen re-thinking of the form renders its future prognosis quite healthy, thanks not only to Wackerman but also to bassist Jimmy Johnson and keyboardist Jim Cox. Wackerman's choice in sidemen gives FORTY REASONS drop kick, punch, and top-notch performances by an airtight band.
There have been previous attempts to marshal a lot of British psychedelia into one compilation, but Real Life Permanent Dreams is a little different from those. This four-CD, 99-song box set isn't a best-of, but more like an attempt to assemble a very wide (though still representative) cross section of material, most of it pretty obscure to the average listener. For the most part, it succeeds in delivering a high-quality anthology that manages to offer a lot to both the collector and the less intense psychedelic fan, though it's by no means the cream of British psychedelia.