XTC-where to start?

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

  1. Stencil

    Stencil Forum Resident

    Lockport, IL
    Ive been a fairly big fan of theirs since English Settlement. I think the two Apple Venus albums are amazing. Ive been playing Wasp Star (Apple Venus 2) for the last couple weeks. Its such a great summertime album. Its a bit harder than #1 but great fun.
    George Co-Stanza likes this.
  2. Echo

    Echo Forum Resident

    Here a kind of measuring by music fans at a Dutch music site (Musicmeter.nl). Of course, these are not scientific results, but it's giving you another notion of the popularity of XTC albums by their fans and regular listeners:

    Reguliere albums

    George Co-Stanza likes this.
  3. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    Interesting. I would say I love half of it, most of Side 1 (minus Great Fire) and Human Alchemy, and am ambivalent about the other half.

    Okay, good to hear. I have not gotten to the 2nd Apple Venus album yet, but it is coming soon. :cool:

    That looks pretty similar to the reviews and ratings I have seen elsewhere, so I think I have a pretty good grasp of what albums are generally considered the best and which ones are not. :)

    Apple Venus, Part 1 have the highest rating there did throw me off a bit.
  4. malco49

    malco49 Forum Resident

    when trying to get into a band with a significant discography( i will use 10 or more lp's as a marker).i think it might be best to simply start at end and work one's way back. or start at the beginning and work forwards.
    a lot depends on the band.
    for the band i was in and we had 11 records i would hope someone would start at the end and work backwards.
  5. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    That is easier said than done.

    When a band has a big discography, there is no guarantee that I will like enough to keep going, and what if the last few albums aren't that good? Then I would have given up on a band before hearing any of the good stuff. I had no idea that XTC was going to grab me like this. I think I had kind of forgotten about Senses Working Overtime, heard it and was reminded of how good it was, read that the album it is from is supposedly really good, and thought, what the hell, I will check it out. And here I am months later! :)
  6. DetroitDoomsayer

    DetroitDoomsayer Forum Middle Child

    Detroit, Michigan
    You may find that songs or even albums that you are lukewarm on now may grab you later on down the road.
    XTC has a way of worming into your head and heart.
    George Co-Stanza likes this.
  7. DirkM

    DirkM Forum Resident

    MA, USA
    George Co-Stanza and RTW like this.
  8. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    Oh yeah, I fully expect that to happen. Heck, a lot of Black Sea was kind of meh to me at first, yet I like most of it a lot now. The journey shall continue! :)
    DetroitDoomsayer likes this.
  9. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    To expand a little more, a friend who is a fan asked me the other day what songs I was liking the most and I was like, "There are so many good ones, I don't know where to start!" :laugh:

    Going through the albums I have so far, I would go with these (album by album):

    Drums and Wires
    I like a few songs from it, but nothing stands out

    Black Sea
    Travels in Nilihon
    Respectable Street
    Rocket from a Bottle
    Towers of London

    English Settlement
    No Thugs in Our House
    Jason and the Argonauts
    Senses Working Overtime
    All of a Sudden (It's Too Late)
    Ball and Chain
    Knuckle Down

    Deliver Us from the Elements
    Love on a Farmboy's Wage
    Human Alchemy
    Beating of Hearts

    25 O'Clock
    The Mole from the Ministry
    Your Gold Dress (I just obsessed with this one!)
    My Love Explodes

    Sacrificial Bonfire
    The Meeting Place
    Ballet on a Rainy Day
    Dear God
    Earn Enough for Us
    Summer's Cauldron

    Oranges & Lemons
    The Loving
    The Garden of Earthy Delights
    King for a Day
    Chalkhills and Children
    The Mayor of Simpleton

    Dear Madam Barnum
    Books Are Burning
    Wrapped in Grey
    The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead
    Then She Appeared
    The Disappointed

    Apple Venus, Part 1
    River of Orchids
    Frivolous Tonight
    prognastycator likes this.
  10. SJB

    SJB Beloved Parasitic Nuisance

    It's a shame Todd wasn't involved, but the really big missing voice is that of original keyboardist Barry Andrews, who played on the band's first two (and most punk/new wave) albums. He was invited to participate, but declined.
    uzn007 likes this.
  11. Which is interesting given that Andy and Barry worked together on Monstrose.
  12. SJB

    SJB Beloved Parasitic Nuisance

    I don't think Barry's absence from the documentary had anything to do with bad blood against Andy. Andy recently tweeted that he's on friendly terms with all the ex-members except Colin (who did participate).
  13. I think that he doesn't really look to the past and that's why he really didn't want to participate.
  14. brimuchmuze

    brimuchmuze Forum Resident

    It's 2018 folks.

    It's trivial to start or re-start wherever you want.

    Spend $10 a month or less and sample whatever you want, and then buy something you can hold.
  15. RTW

    RTW Forum Resident

    I'm no Luddite, but this approach is why people have devalued music.
    It costs nothing (err, $10 a month to have access to nearly every song in print) so you take no value away from it. When you invest in an album upfront, it feels—at least superficially—like you have to give it your money's worth. Being able to sample music drives musical tastes based purely on immediate gratification and/or first impressions, and as far as I'm concerned that's the downfall of the music taste of the public.
    Etienne Hanratty and modenaboy like this.
  16. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek Please label the photos you post

    Austin, TX
    Did you miss true part about also purchasing the albums that appeal to the listener or is that devaluing music as well?
  17. RTW

    RTW Forum Resident

    That’s not what’s happening. People are streaming instead of buying.
  18. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek Please label the photos you post

    Austin, TX
    You should probably take that argument to a general streaming thread instead of one where it was specifically mentioned that people are making physical purchases as a result of streaming. This is an XTC thread.
  19. RTW

    RTW Forum Resident

    Indeed, and I've been contributing. Why are you here exactly?

    The Big Express LP originally came in a round sleeve with a round inner liner in order to maintain the artistic concept of a train wheel. It's the only LP of that fashion in my collection and made a great impression on the shelf, intriguing audiences to try the music within. Remarkably the sound of the album has a slightly industrial feel that fits the package. Whether it's 2018 or not, streaming as a method of discoverability is never going to make that kind of impression.
  20. Escalon

    Escalon Well-Known Member

    Nonsuch in a college dorm room started my XTC love (culminating in paying a ridiculous amount of money for the out of print Fuzzy Warbles Collectors Album...and it's worth it)
  21. pudgym

    pudgym Well-Known Member

    I picked up a cassette of "Oranges And Lemons", I think at Camelot Music when it had its cut-out sale (20 for $9). "The Mayor Of Simpleton" wound up being placed on the memorial cassette I gave to my ex-indoor soccer players.
    I have sung "The Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead" in karaoke. :)
  22. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    Nonsuch has really snuck up on me lately. I liked it quite a bit at first, but while I cannot say it is my favorite, I can see why some say it is theirs. It definitely would have benefited by losing a few songs and making it more concise and not so long, but many of what I would call their best songs are on that record.

    Did you mime the harmonica lead? ;)
  23. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    Not sure what I think of The Big Express. I listened twice and only a few songs grabbed me at all. Hopefully, it's a grower.
  24. DirkM

    DirkM Forum Resident

    MA, USA
    Which is all good, but The Big Express is probably only second to Go 2 in terms of being XTC's least-beloved album. Even many of the fans on the old xtcidearecords.co.uk forum had a hard time with the album.

    ...the point being that, no matter how impressive and appropriate the packaging may be, it's the music that really matters to listeners. In that sense, one could argue that digital services are doing artists a favour by allowing their music to stand on its own, without having to worry about the aesthetics of cover design, their "image," etc.

    For what it's worth, I first heard TBE via CD, complete with the wrong tint on the cover. It's a hideous travesty of an album cover. It's also my favourite XTC album. Go figure.
    George Co-Stanza likes this.
  25. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    This might make some want to throw stuff at me, LOL, but very few XTC album covers stand out to me at all. I think the Apple Venus, Volume 1 cover is neat, and the first Dukes album is pretty cool, but that's about it. Black Sea is pretty good as well, I suppose.

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