XTC-where to start?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Etienne Hanratty, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    Location:
    America
    Yep, I am realizing that. Take a song like No Thugs in our House. Given how punk some of the vocal lines are, I shouldn't like that song (I am not a fan of punk), but the melodic hooks thrown in are just so good.

    Take a look at just the first verse and chorus. Most of the lines are delivered in a very punk, but the melodic delight of the lines I bolded are so great that I can't help but love it.

    The insect-headed worker-wife will hang her waspies on the line;
    The husband burns his paper, sucks his pipe while studying their cushion-floor;
    His viscous poly-paste breath comes out,
    Their wall-paper world is shattered by his shout,
    A boy in blue is busy banging out a headache on the kitchen door

    And all the while Graham slept on,
    Dreaming of a world where he could do just what he wanted to


    No thugs in our house, are there dear?
    We made that clear,
    We made little Graham promise us he'd be a good boy

    No thugs in our house, are there dear?
    We made that clear,
    We made little Graham promise us he'd be a good boy
     
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  2. DirkM

    DirkM Forum Resident

    Location:
    MA, USA
    Funny; I'm not a fan of the song, but I do like that part! I wish the rest of the song were just as catchy.
     
  3. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    Location:
    America
    Checked out Black Sea tonight and like most of it quite a bit. Love the sound of it, especially the drums, which sound massive.

    Travels in Nihilon is just...wow. I cannot wait to get that in the car and crank that up on the freeway at night when going 70. :cool:
     
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  4. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    Location:
    America
    Still working my way through their catalogue.

    I wasn't that fond of Drums and Wires. A bit too punk for me, and I am generally not much of a fan of punk. I know this will make some heads explode, but I can't believe how putrid Making Plans for Nigel is. That is one of their most popular songs?? Yikes. I hope I never hear it again.
     
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  5. privit1

    privit1 Forum Resident

    Yieks you re probably not going to like 'white music' or 'go2' then.
     
  6. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Location:
    Baja Virginia
    Yeah, I would probably jump ahead to Skylarking or Oranges and Lemons and try again.
     
  7. KenJ

    KenJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Flower Mound, TX
    I would start with a comp like Fossil Fuel amd get the highlights across the eras. You can dig deeper on the periods you like best. The earlier tracks are more quirky and I have a nostalgic fondness for those new wave sounds. “This world over” is a fav from mid to later and much different.

    Check out the Steve Wilson Blurays.



    Xtc - Fossil Fuel The Xtc Singles 1977-92

    Album Tracks

    1. Science Friction
    2. Statue of Liberty
    3. This is Pop?
    4. Are You Receiving Me?
    5. Life Begins at the Hop
    6. Making Plans for Nigel
    7. Ten Feet Tall
    8. Wait Till Your Boat Goes Down
    9. Generals and Majors
    10. Towers of London
    11. Sgt. Rock (is Going to Help Me)
    12. Love at First Sight
    13. Respectable Street
    14. Senses Working Overtime
    15. Ball and Chain
    16. No Thugs in Our House
    17. Great Fire
    18. Wonderland
    19. Love on a Farmboy's Wages
    20. All You Pretty Girls
    21. This World Over
    22. Wake Up
    23. Grass
    24. The Meeting Place
    25. Dear God
    26. The Mayor of Simpleton
    27. King for a Day
    28. The Loving
    29. The Disappointed
    30. The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead
    31. Wrapped In Grey
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
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  8. Fuzzbee

    Fuzzbee Active Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Black Sea
     
  9. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    Location:
    America
    Already have them. So far I have:

    Drums and Wires - not much of a fan, outside of a few songs.
    Black Sea - I like this one, although still not nutty about it.
    English Settlement - I love this one to pieces. Easily my favorite.
    Mummer - has a few skippers, but the keepers are really good.
    Skylarking - most excellent! 2nd favorite.
    Oranges & Lemons - not quite as good as Skylarking (it has a few skippers near the end), but still really, really good.
    Nonsuch - I need to revisit this. I listened twice and liked it quite a bit.
     
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  10. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Location:
    Baja Virginia
    Cool. Sounds like your impressions line up pretty closely with mine, except for D&W.
     
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  11. Imperious Leader

    Imperious Leader Well-Known Member

  12. Then you may want to avoid their first two albums. There's a strong punk vibe running through both of them and Andy does his barking seal vocals throughout the album (as he called them).
     
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  13. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    Location:
    America
    That's the plan. I am sure I will hear them eventually, as I always like to check out everything by a band I like a lot, but I am in no hurry to check out their earliest albums.
     
  14. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    Location:
    America
    Just listened to this for the first time. I like it. The first song was out there, but in a good way. Greenman is catchy as heck.
     
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  15. DirkM

    DirkM Forum Resident

    Location:
    MA, USA
    If English Settlement is your favourite, I'd strongly recommend picking up Rag 'N' Bone Buffet. You'll dislike much of it, as quite a few tracks are from their early days, but it also contains some English Settlement B-sides that are essential companion pieces to the album proper (Blame The Weather, Punch & Judy, Heaven Is Paved With Broken Glass). There's also a Mummer B-side (The World Is Full Of Angry Young Men) that you might find to your liking.

    Depending on how much you're into psychedelia, you might want to look into the Dukes Of Stratosphear material next. Apple Venus Vol. 1 would also make for a good next stop, particularly if you're into orchestral pop.

    As others have said, stay clear of White Music and Go 2 if you don't like Drums & Wires or punk.
     
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  16. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    Location:
    America
    Thanks for the recommendations! :)

    I will check out those b-sides, but I still want to get through the proper albums before I start tackling too much of the b-side and side project stuff. I did check out one of the Dukes songs on YouTube and it sounded pretty interesting.

    I am really liking Apple Venus so far (see the post above yours). Greenman will be stuck in my head for days now, and I love Frivolous Tonight, which sounds like XTC tried like hell to write a song that sounded like both the Beatles and early Floyd.

    I am liking Black Sea more than I did at first. While not a fan of punk in general, it seems like the album manages to have the energy and spirit of punk, while starting to focus more on melody (which I personally feel is often lacking in punk, but that is another topic for another day). Respectable Street, Love at First Sight and Rocket from a Bottle, for example, all have really strong melodies that really grab you and suck you in.

    I love more bands/artists that I can count, but XTC is moving up the list. :righton: :righton:
     
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  17. RTW

    RTW Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    You're missing The Big Express. I think it's easily the most underrated and clearly forgotten about XTC album. It's also one of the most synthetic, overproduced sounding records of all time. But as the band were purely studio oriented by then, I think it's quite great, the first half in particular. But a warning: it's not soft rock. It was mixed to have really heavy percussive elements.

     
  18. Pizza

    Pizza With extra pepperoni

    Location:
    USA
    Life begins at the hop.
     
  19. Echo

    Echo Forum Resident

    I watched some days ago a great documentary ('This is Pop' out of 2018) about XTC at tv. This documentarty is really Andy Partridge and his sometimes quirky vision on his band and all his albums. I enjoyed it a lot. You learn also where they were coming from. Pity enough I can only find the trailer of this great documentary:



    People like Steven Wilson, Stewart Copeland (The Police), some of their producers (John Leckie and Hugh Padgham), a very young indie band influenced by XTC, are giving all their opinions about the importance of this band. Yes, Todd Rundgren is to be seen also at this documentary, but is not giving his comments about his production work with XTC... :cool:
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
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  20. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    Location:
    America
    Noted. The Big Express seems to not get talked a lot and reviews weren't glowing, so I skipped over that one, but I am sure I will get to it eventually. I don't like trying to get into too many albums at once. I need to live with them a little bit - play them at home, in the car, etc. - to get a grasp of them.

    I will have to find that and check it out. I am sure it will only increase my love for this band. :cool:
     
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  21. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Location:
    Baja Virginia
    That's probably a wise approach in general. I love The Big Express and for a while it was my favorite XTC album. As RTW mentioned, the sound of the production is very synthetic, and sounds dated to me (as many 80s albums do) but this album is notable for me in that the band really started exploring a lot of different styles of songwriting, even more so than on English Settlement. There are some really amazing songs under those layers of digital reverb and whatnot.
     
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  22. Anachostic

    Anachostic Forum Resident

    I'm probably the only person that got their introduction to XTC through Rag And Bone Buffet. Looking back at that experience, it was like a non-best-of album spanning their whole catalog. That's good because when I got the albums from the respective periods, it was all new material. Well, mostly anyway.

    I will say it kind of ruined the originals for me. I prefer Buffet's version of Respectable Street, Another Satellite, and Scissor Man.
     
  23. If you have Showtime in the U.S. it is also at their website. Won’t help you but others perhaps. The first he voice that is missing is that of Todd Rundgren but Todd has made his feelings known on working with the Andy. To think, the band almost split up (or at least Colin leaving almost happened) because of the conflict over the album.
     
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  24. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    Location:
    America
    I see on several sites that The Big Express is more highly regarded than Mummer, which I like quite a bit, so if it as good or better than that, I will be more than pleased!

    I have Showtime, so I watched it on On Demand last night. Loved it. I was already becoming a big fan of this band and that made me an ever bigger one.
     
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  25. RTW

    RTW Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    Well, in my opinion Mummer is easily the weakest of their albums.
     
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