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Re: XTC

Posted: 26 Apr 2016, 08:11
by MsMagicAmerica
XTC is one of those bands that I've always wanted to get into, but never know where to start. I've heard "Making Plans for Nigel" & "Dear God" and liked them a lot. Any recommendations as to which album I should listen to?

Re: XTC

Posted: 26 Apr 2016, 13:23
by MrMagpie
MsMagicAmerica wrote:XTC is one of those bands that I've always wanted to get into, but never know where to start. I've heard "Making Plans for Nigel" & "Dear God" and liked them a lot. Any recommendations as to which album I should listen to?

Start with these to get a good feel for their various eras: Black Sea, Skylarking, Oranges and Lemons.

Re: XTC

Posted: 22 Sep 2017, 04:55
by AdvertBreak
I love this band so much.

Sooo much.

Re: XTC

Posted: 24 Sep 2017, 16:21
by Sledge Hammer
Checking out Black Sea for the first time (heard the singles) and yup the biggest influence on Modern Life Is Rubbish era Blur imo. Can see why they got Andy Partridge in as producer.

Along with Talk Talk i would say XTC are the most underrated British band and should have had much more success.

Re: XTC

Posted: 29 Sep 2017, 06:07
by Mallard No. 22
Interesting points. As the 80s wore on, 'party pop' type music, or slick AOR, were the required thing.

A lot of artists like XTC and Talk Talk fell between both stools and the period was not kind to them.

Re: XTC

Posted: 03 Oct 2017, 03:28
by AdvertBreak
My (entirely online) social life for the past three or so months has mostly revolved around a Facebook chat dedicated to XTC (though they aren't the only thing discussed there, but they're the reason we're all there). I made the chat last year to introduce two XTC fans to each other but its mutated into something else entirely. My friend who I've met up with before is easily the biggest XTC fan I know and he not only attended the XTC convention in Swindon last month but played a set there too.

I wrote 8 full length Wikipedia pages in September and Nonsuch was the most extensive. Not only that but its the only page to date I've had any direct help with, as I asked said friend if he could provide quotes regarding each song from an XTC book he has. So that's cool.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonsuch_(album%29" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Rook is perhaps my favourite song of 1992 alongside The Cure's This Twilight Garden and Julian Cope's Necropolis

Re: XTC

Posted: 07 Oct 2017, 23:03
by AdvertBreak
My thoughts on This is Pop: The XTC Story

Okay so this has just finished. I was anticipating it like mad and mostly it delivered. Andy was fantastic, his humour constantly splashing through when he was speaking. The intro and outro pieces about his dislike of rockumentaries, for example (the Rick Wakeman bit was brilliantly on-point). The rest of the band (minus the non-showing Barry) were also very laidback. The general presentation of the doc was great too, with the toy steam train passing through the countryside. Starting and stopping when band members leave and so on. It was all frankly an ingenious touch.

The main story then. It wastes no time getting to the point. We have Andy's background, the numbness of Swindon, Andy and Colin starting the band etc. All very on point. Barry was fortunately given a bit of time and the early years had a very nice section. The more canonical albums were named, with the more 'lesser' albums not so much. White Music was briefly discussed, whereas Go 2 wasn't mentioned by name. Then there's a brief bit on Drums and Wires that focused naturally on Making Plans for Nigel and - surprisingly and fortunately - on the fantastic drum sound. Black Sea was overlooked whereas English Settlement was sadly briefly mentioned (again with a single song - guess which - and a bit about the expansiveness of the sound).

Naturally you can't put all these things in though and it does a great job in being a primer on their history. The stage fright and end of the touring years is naturally a big point (soundtracked by Soul Coal, almost the only reference to the Big Express, whereas Mummer isn't mentioned directly at all), while the band's studio rebirth is thankfully extensively covered. The major talking points surrouding Skylarking, like the Rundgren feud and the Dear God controversy/US breakthrough are there and righfully so. Through to the end of the band we have nice sections on the Dukes (pre-Skylarking), Oranges and Lemons, Nonsuch and one on Apple Venus that focuses more in the exit of Dave.

When talking about individual songs, I was expecting the documentary to only really talk about the big hits - which it does at first - but surprise sections on Love on a Farmerboy's Wages and That Wave were fantastic touches. as was the section about Andy's synthesia. The talking heads throughout - incl. Stewart Copeland, Harry Shearer and Steven Wilson - were generally alright if not adding too much until the end, where praises for the aforementioned That Wave and indeed Nonsuch (if only I waited to write my wiki page for that album until after this (!)) were lovely.

Then there's the ending. (Non)future for the band coverage? No, thankfully. The band's slow reappraisal? Yes! And a lovely bit with the music from XTC's best song - Rook - played underneath a pastoral fly over the Marlborough Downs (after Andy speaks of the dreams he has doing this) while certain Andy lyrics are recited atop it was easily one of the nicest moments overall.

So all in all a really good documentary. Doesn't really tell you anything fans don't know, but that's not the point. Its more than serviceable, lavishly and passionately produced and easily one of the best r..r..rockumentaries I've seen (being bias perhaps).

Re: XTC

Posted: 11 Oct 2017, 04:59
by Mallard No. 22
I don't think I will see it :( I understand the BBC passed over the opportunity to broadcast it.

Re: XTC

Posted: 13 Feb 2018, 18:52
by AdvertBreak
Okay, album ranking time

5/5:
1. Apple Venus Volume 1
2. English Settlement
3. Nonsuch
4. Drums and Wires
5. Black Sea
4.5/5:
6. The Big Express
7. Oranges and Lemons
8. Skylarking
4.0/5:
9. Mummer
10. White Music
3.5/5:
11. Wasp Star
12. Go 2

Re: XTC

Posted: 17 Feb 2018, 20:49
by Moritz
1. English Settlement
2. Oranges and Lemons
3. Drums & Wires
4. Black Sea
5. Skylarking
6. Nonsuch
7. The Big Express
8. Mummer
9. White Music
10. Go 2

I never was into Wasp Star and Apple Venus Voulme 1. Is it a closer look worth?

Re: XTC

Posted: 22 Feb 2018, 17:21
by AdvertBreak
Moritz wrote:I never was into Wasp Star and Apple Venus Voulme 1. Is it a closer look worth?
Yes, especially Apple Venus which has been one of my top 20 albums ever for years. Was just playing Easter Theatre actually, probably their best song (except maybe Rook, not sure). What a totally gorgeous masterpiece.

Re: XTC

Posted: 22 Feb 2018, 20:59
by Moritz
Allright. I am always a bit critical with the later works of some groups. But at least you can say that Andy is one of the big "forgotten" masters of pop songwriting. So I will give a listen to it.

Re: XTC

Posted: 30 Apr 2018, 19:10
by Forever Low Man
ok let me try

1. big express
2. drums and wires
3. english settlement
4. mummer
5. skylarking
6. go 2
7. black sea
8. oranges and lemons
9. white music




10. nonsuch (made it halfway)

Re: XTC

Posted: 23 May 2018, 20:54
by Moritz
The No. 1 is interesting. I guess that a lot of people were rather amused with Big Express, and especially with the drum computer sounds of some songs. But 'Wake Up' and 'I Bought Myself A Liarbird' are appreciable tunes.

Re: XTC

Posted: 24 May 2018, 02:07
by Forever Low Man
the list looks different now

now D+w IS AT ITS RIGHTFUL #1 SPOT