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Big Al

What happened to the old XTC thread?

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but Al, it's so stupidly GOOD :P

It does have a slightly annoying quality to it (that song), but I have really grown to like it. Good record overall.

Eric

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BTW, what is the take on the Duke of Stratosphere (sp?)? I have that CD but have never been able to get into it. Anyone have any favorite tunes worth drilling into?

Eric

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I haven't listened to XTC in many years. I think I'll pull out my English Settlement LP(s) tonight and give them a whirl.

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I love 'Stupidly Happy.' Makes me feel I'm 14!

But then I like 'Shiney Happy People' so what do I know!

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Eric 

Posted: Feb 19 2004, 03:52 PM

BTW, what is the take on the Duke of Stratosphere (sp?)? I have that CD but have never been able to get into it. Anyone have any favorite tunes worth drilling into?

I've always been a big fan of 25 O'CLOCK, particularly Colin Moulding's loopy "Bike Ride To the Moon," which sounds like Herman's Hermits on mescaline.

More kudos for "Stupidly Happy" here too - up there with "The Mayor of Simpleton" and "Senses Working Overtime" in the pure joy category.

Edited by DrJ

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I guess I’ll be the contrarian and put in a good word for “Big Express” I can do without “Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her, Kiss Her” but certainly “Blue Overall” and “I Remember the Sun” rank up there with me.

As far as the earlier, louder stuff goes “Go 2” (with the most brilliant cover ever) and “Drums and Wires” are exceptional.

Also don’t overlook “Rag n’ Bone Buffet” or “Transistor Blast” (with the great version of “All Along the Watchtower”

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There is a Japanese rock group named after the song "Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her, Kiss her'. Needless to say, most people find their name distinctly odd.

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Never could get into the Dukes, but I always liked "Vanishing Girl."

I love Rag 'n' Bone Buffet. Where else can one find all those great b-sides from the English Settlement era?

Re; "Stupidly Happy," perhaps I need to listen to that song when I'm NOT in the company of various XTC haters in my family (all of them).

Any comments on the Explode Together set? Man, now THAT'S some weird shit!

And speaking of exploding, did I mention the sound on the Caroline version of Black Sea literally expodes outta the speakers? Terry Chambers kicked MAJOR ass all over that record, ESPECIALLY on "Travels in Nihilon," which is a great song anyway!

Oh yeah, as long as I'm yammering, the credits on Drums and Wires are just about as funny as the cover of Go2!!!

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I only have the Dukes original LP - "25 O'Clock". "Chips from the Chocolate Fireball" is everything on one CD. From what I remember, the other stuff wasn't as good as the original album. Is this worth getting?

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I have the Chips CD, and love the whole thing! The Psonic Psunspot tracks are every bit as good as the 25 o'clock stuff! :tup

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I went through an XTC semi-phase late in college and think I have 6 or 7 of their albums. Skylarking is my favorite. Nonesuch has some filler but also some incredible music ("Wrapped in Grey", "My Bird Performs", "Dear Madam Barnum", "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead", many more). I really like Apple Venus 1; Wasp Star has its moments (especially the last three songs) but doesn't have the same consistent brilliance. Why did Colin Moulding forget how to write good songs?

Guy

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I've always liked their earlier stuff - up through "Oranges & Lemons". "Drums and Wires" was one of the great albums of the "New Wave" movement.

I saw them a couple of times in 1980, too. Great live show and it's too bad that they retired from performing.

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I like pretty much everything they did - definitely one of my all-time favorite bands. One of those bands that has an amazingly high number of quality songs. If Andy Partridge had had a "prettier" voice, these guys would have been huge in the US ... although personally I think his voice is a perfect fit for the music.

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I'd love to pick up some XTC but the word on the street is that the CD versions out there are all terrible-sounding, including the oop Mobile Fidelity gold discs. I once came close to buying a Japanese import (for chump change... maybe $10?) but then I checked and found out the treble is painfully boosted on all of these remasters.

Kevin

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If Andy Partridge had had a "prettier" voice, these guys would have been huge in the US ... although personally I think his voice is a perfect fit for the music.

i don't think it was the quality of his voice that hindered the band's success so much as it was their inability to tour. partridge has suffered from severe panic disorder with agoraphobia for many years and finds live performance unbearable. it's a real shame. one of my favorite bands of all time.

btw, i don't think my xtc cds sound terrible at all, especially my mfsl copy of skylarking. if the sound isn't perfect, it certainly shouldn't keep anyone from enjoying this exceptional music imo.

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From the XTC website:

Andy Partridge Writes With A Kitten

Date: 11/10/04

Recently Andy has been co-writing songs with Liz McClarnin of Atomic Kitten for her forthcoming solo album. The first sessions produced amongst others a song Liz will record called ‘You’re Everything I’ve Never Had’. Further hopefully productive get togethers have been pencilled in for the next few weeks. Andy has also written with another Liverpool pal of Liz’s, Ste McNally (ex of BB Mack) for his album and has a handful of other artists lined up to cross pens with.

I don't know if Atomic Kitten mean anything in the US - they are a high-gloss pop band with very attractive members.

I expect we'll be waiting a while for another XTC album! Andy is probably quite distracted.

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From the XTC website:

Andy Partridge Writes With A Kitten

Date: 11/10/04

Recently Andy has been co-writing songs with Liz McClarnin of Atomic Kitten for her forthcoming solo album. The first sessions produced amongst others a song Liz will record called ‘You’re Everything I’ve Never Had’. Further hopefully productive get togethers have been pencilled in for the next few weeks. Andy has also written with another Liverpool pal of Liz’s, Ste McNally (ex of BB Mack) for his album and has a handful of other artists lined up to cross pens with.

I don't know if Atomic Kitten mean anything in the US - they are a high-gloss pop band with very attractive members.

I expect we'll be waiting a while for another XTC album! Andy is probably quite distracted.

Not sure if I should be disappointed or envious ...

Edited by Eric

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I expect Andy's senses will be working overtime.

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I expect Andy's senses will be working overtime.

:D:g;)

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Just listened to this again, and it's fast becoming my all-time XTC fav. Beautiful music that grows with each listen.

xtcenglish_front.jpg

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Just listened to this again, and it's fast becoming my all-time XTC fav.  Beautiful music that grows with each listen.

xtcenglish_front.jpg

I like English Settlement, but seem to remember a lot of filler.

Guy

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I've been an XTC fan since Drums and Wires was released in the U.S. while I was in college. I immediately went out and bought their first two records, which were only available as imports. WhenBlack Sea came out I listened to it constantly for a while. Might still be my favorite. I liked parts of English Settlement when that came out in the U.S. in a truncated one-LP version, but even that shortened release seemed to have a bit of filler.

I lost interest in them after I graduated from college and my jazz obsession took over almost entirely for the rest of the 1980s, or as I call them, "the Early Mosaic Years."

I've regained interest in rock over the last ten years, and going back to XTC has been rewarding. I missed out on Skylarking during my years away from rock. I got a Toshiba-EMI mini-LP format CD of that last year and WOW! Sounds like some kind of classic. It fit right in with some of the other rock records I'd missed and had been catching up with: Love's Forever Changes, The Zombies's Odyssey and Oracle.

In the wake of inhaling the two Rhino Nuggets boxes, I even bought The Dukes of Stratosphear Chips From the Chocolate Fireball, which is a hoot and a blast. I understand that "Vanishing Girl" will be making an appearance on the forthcoming third Nuggets, which covers the 70s/80s garage rock revival that was largely inspired by the original Lenny Kaye Nuggets LP compilation.

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SKYLARKING still sounds wonderful to me, nearly 20 years (gasp!) later. One I never heard and would like to is MUMMER... which came out, ironically enough, around the time that R.E.M.'s MURMUR did. It was the first I heard of XTC, but I never bought an album by them until SKYLARKING.

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I hate to admit this, but my history with XTC almost exactly parallels Kalo's. The two differences are: 1) Mummer helped to shock me out of following their career. I remember actually feeling burned when I got it, like I'd been ripped off; there were only a couple of songs I liked, and the rest just left me cold. Then I got sucked too deeply into jazz to keep up (Early Mosaic Years, etc.) I missed Skylarking entirely.

2) I haven't really caught up with them in a big way, despite having gotten more back into rock lately. Everyone recommends Skylarking so highly that I strongly feel I should get that, but haven't done it yet.

Kalo was good enough to send me a tape of Chips from the Chocolate Fireball, which I got a huge kick out of. Then when I saw it in a store, I couldn't quite justify spending full price on the damn thing when I already had the music. There are times when I regret selling all my XTC albums other than Drums and Wires (which for me remains the "touchstone" album), but hey, that's life.

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"Mummer" is a gorgeous album, but very, very English. Has virtually no connection to the punky XTC. As a listener with a strong affection for English folk it connected with me immediately (though it's far from a folk record).

I can see why it might be mystifying to listeners expecting the more jittery earlier XTC; I prefer the widescreen, multilayered, richly melodic XTC of English Settlement, Mummer, Skylarking, Oranges and Lemons and Apple Venus.

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