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Senses Working Overtime: XTC and Dukes of Stratosphear Song-by-song

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Lance LaSalle, Dec 25, 2021.

  1. pbuzby

    pbuzby Senior Member

    Chicago, IL, US
    If I recall right, Andy and Barry collaborated again recently too.
    hvgrace and AlienRendel like this.
  2. redmedicine

    redmedicine Pop Punk Psych Prog

    Portland, OR
    A decent song for the time, but maybe not too distinct from the other uptempo Andy numbers that made it on the album. 2.5/5
    dthomas850, hvgrace, Bungo and 2 others like this.
  3. pocketcalculator

    pocketcalculator Forum Resident

    New York City
    "Hang on to the Night" - one of my favorite b-sides from this period, lots of energy even if the tune is no great shakes. Andy's funhouse keyboard part fits, but it could have used some of Barry's sideways chaos. 3.5/5
  4. pocketcalculator

    pocketcalculator Forum Resident

    New York City
    On an improvised album called Monstrance (which I haven't heard).
  5. plentyofjamjars67

    plentyofjamjars67 Forum Resident

    Hang On To The Night: As far as B-sides go, it's no She's So Square, but it's got a nice vibe and I've always liked it well enough. I can't hear it as an album track though (unless that album is the Beeswax comp of course), and it's just a bit pedestrian to me when talking XTC, but I'm still throwing a 3/5 at it.

    White Music: I remember ordering this one (on LP) from the local (very much heavy metal based) small town record store in the early 80s. My mother took me in to pick it up and I'll never forget the excitement of seeing the record sitting there during the transaction as the two grown-ups (who had long ago attended highschool together) held a conversation that seemed to take hrs! That copy is long gone and unfortunately I can't even remember what pressing it was, but it took him a long, irritating while to get it in so I'm guessing it had to be from overseas.

    I already had albums 3, 4 and 5 (the single disc US Epic, unfortunately) by the time I acquired this one. Thanks to the library's rock books or Trouser press or something else, I kinda even knew what to expect. I liked this album well enough, but I'll be honest I never could warm up to Barry Andrews' contributions. I did end up liking the first couple Shriekback albums though and was glad he went on to his own significant success. My first girlfriend had most of their albums. X Wires was a huge revelation to me at that young age, it's a bummer to see it score so low here but we all came in where we did and when it comes to XTC, there are plenty of different styles that would have originally attracted us anyway. 3/5
  6. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    I have this, but to be honest I haven't played it for years. Being a double CD, it's quite long.
    Lance LaSalle likes this.
  7. I picked this up years back - I recall it being difficult to listen to. Sadly, I wonder if in the years since, my position on it would have changed. I think I got rid of it in a purge.
  8. hvgrace

    hvgrace Forum Resident

    Brooklyn, NY
    Team X Wires!!
  9. ciderglider

    ciderglider Forum Resident

    You've made an old man very happy. I have been waiting years for "Win A Night Out" to become available on CD.
  10. dthomas850

    dthomas850 Forum Resident

    Cleveland, Ohio
    Hang on to the Night: this is a good track, but I don't think its much better than any of Andy's songs on the LP, still a fun b-side though!
  11. Michael Macrone

    Michael Macrone a roMance anagram

    San Francisco, CA
    "Hang On to the Night": See, these were times when the B-side was often half the point (or more) for buying the single. I don't think XTC were of a mind to save everything worthwhile for the albums.


    Or at least a less tin-eared, mechanical fade. This one has no finesse at all.
  12. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Our votes for "Hang On to the Night"

    Average: 3.0056
  13. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Today ,two related songs.

    Today's first song is "Heatwave", written by Colin Moulding and produced by Robert John "Mutt" Lange.

    XTC – Heatwave Lyrics | Genius Lyrics

    A version was recorded at The Manor for White Music, but that version is unreleased. This is a re-recording done during the This Is Pop single session along with the A-side in February 1978.
    QUOTE]I sometimes think that women love their beauty ‘enhancers’ just as much as their fellas. Are they attached more to their attachments than their attachments? Are sun beds better than their partners beds? This song is about women's love for their machines. I know what you're thinking. Can this be extended, for want of a better word, to the bedroom? I can assure you I was as white as the driven slush when this song was written and that no such thought entered my mind.

    The Lange version is once again supremely better than the outtake version. [/QUOTE]

    Line UP:
    Colin Moulding: lead vocal, bass guitar
    Andy Partridge: guitar, backing vocal
    Barry Andrews: keyboards, clavinet
    Terry Chamber: Drums

    A remix based on the October 1977 White Music outtake was released on Coat of Many Cupboards in 2002. Video below
  14. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    "Heatwave Mark 2 Deluxe", recorded in 1977, remixed and released on Coat of Many Cupboards in 2002:
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  15. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Today's second song is "The Day They Pulled the North Pole Down", written by Colin Moulding and Andy Partridge; produced by John Leckie and Andy Partridge.

    This is a dub version of "Heatwave", slowed down, with additional words and lyrics by Andy Partridge and "destructed/reconstructed" by Partridge and John Leckie.

    It was released in 1980 on the album Take Away/The Lure Of Salvage, credited to "Mr. Partridge."
  16. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Line UP:
    Colin Moulding: lead vocal, bass guitar
    Andy Partridge: guitar, backing vocal
    Barry Andrews: keyboards, clavinet
    Terry Chamber: Drums

    A remix based on the October 1977 White Music outtake was released on Coat of Many Cupboards in 2002. Video below[/QUOTE]

    This is better than some of Colin's songs on the album! 3/5

    When I see the title, I always assume that I'm going to be hearing a cover of Heat Wave by Martha and the Vandellas - considering their take on All Along the Watchtower, I'm glad it's not!
  17. Eh, it’s OK. Too much improv not enough tunes.
    pocketcalculator and brownie61 like this.
  18. Never a fan of the remix albums.
  19. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    "Heatwave" is (ironically?) a pretty cool song. I hadn't heard the 1977 version before, but even in that incarnation it's competing for a place on White Music as far as I'm concerned.

    The B-side version is much better, though, with the added element of the "con[pregnant pause]servatory" section. Colin already sounds like his writing is advancing, and I would take this (and his next B-side) ahead of any of his songs on Go2. Nice groove and offbeat drum pattern, and the keyboards aren't too intrusive here.

    As for the dub version - while I find Go+ is an enjoyable enough listen at times, a whole album of that feels like too much, which I why I very rarely pull out my copy of "Take Away". It's just background music really.

    "Heatwave" as a whole is 3.5/5.
  20. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    "Heatwave" does seem a bit more developed than some of the Colin songs we've heard so far. It is built around a solid, if not exciting hook; Andy, freed from worrying about singing lead and playing contributes some cool guitar; and there's a good herky-jerky new wave energy to it. It's better than a couple of songs on the album, but still just about average for the band.

    Lyrics are neither here nor there for me. I enjoy Colin's quotes above more than the actual words.


    "The Day They Pulled the North Pole Down"

    I actually like this quite a bit, as some weird background music, but I do feel that it doesn't go anwyhere that I want it to. Fascinating how such a different piece of music can be created from the original. Ultimately falls just short of being a great ambient-esque instrumental for me.

  21. HitAndRun

    HitAndRun Forum Resident


    This is a good song with a reasonably catchy chorus. It isn't yet a standout song as Colin would soon be writing. I wouldn't particularly seek this out to play, but it sounds like a reasonable pop song with an interesting new wavey arrangement and performance. Colin sings it well. As said, more or less, above, Colin seems to be finding his voice.


    The Day They Pulled The North Pole Down

    A Colin/Andy co-write. Though, only due to the original song being ... 'modified'. This is an interesting experiment.

    I'm not sure how to rate this in context, so I won't.
  22. chrism1971

    chrism1971 Forum Resident

    Glos, UK
    Great track for a b-side, good start to real pop writing by Colin and a standout on Beeswax. Plus I bought the 45 when it was released so a bit of a nostalgia fave anyway. 3.5/5.

    Not going to comment on the other versions....
  23. intv7

    intv7 Senior Member

    Boston, MA, USA
    "Heatwave" -- 3/5

    A low 3, I suppose. It's catchy, but it's rather slight for an XTC song. I think I prefer the remix of the 1977 track on Coat of Many Cupboards.

    "The Day They Pulled The North Pole Down" -- 1.5/5

    I just don't get these dub tracks. This album and Go+ don't speak to me on any level. Giving it an extra .5 for creativity, but there's nothing about this that makes me want to listen to it willingly.
  24. BigManRestless

    BigManRestless Forum Resident

    I like Heatwave a lot more than many of the other early XTC songs. I adore XTC and I adore Shriekback but XTC improved immeasurably when Barry left.
    I'd give Heatwave 3/5
  25. brownie61

    brownie61 Forum Resident

    Heatwave (B side version) - This degree of vocal affectation matched with an unmemorable melody and an angular, dissonant arrangement puts this one in the reject pile for me. 1.75/5

    Heatwave Mark 2 Deluxe
    - This version gets rid of most of what annoys me in the other version, but it’s still not a strong song. 2.25/5

    The Day They Pulled The North Pole Down
    - Interesting experiment, but it sounds like music made for an amusement park in outer space, which doesn’t seem to be my thing. 1.5/5

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