'Oranges & Lemons' by XTC: Classic or Dud

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This period of the band seems lost compared to some of their classic early singles.

yesca, Sunday, 23 July 2017 04:31 (four months ago) Permalink

even if Oranges & Lemons sucked it would be classic for getting them to sorta play live again... closest we'll ever get

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTtFTHI7Or0

flappy bird, Sunday, 23 July 2017 04:41 (four months ago) Permalink

garden of earthly delights is my favorite... mayor of simpleton is a perfect pop single, etc etc etc

flappy bird, Sunday, 23 July 2017 04:43 (four months ago) Permalink

I love this album despite the production. Andy's writing ranges from sadly prescient ("President Kill") to ridiculous ("Pink Thing") and Colin had one of his last great songs ("One Of The Millions").

The bootlegs of the in-station performances are a treasure.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Sunday, 23 July 2017 07:29 (four months ago) Permalink

is this the one with Poor Skeleton Steps Out? One of my favourite XTC deep cuts

Shat Parp (dog latin), Sunday, 23 July 2017 08:12 (four months ago) Permalink

It is indeed, Across This Antheap and One Of The Millions are the two songs that really stand out for me.

MaresNest, Sunday, 23 July 2017 08:59 (four months ago) Permalink

The stereo remix is pretty good, it manages to remove some of the late eighties sheen afforded by those somewhat artificial sounding reverbs and SW does a little bit of decluttering.

MaresNest, Sunday, 23 July 2017 09:02 (four months ago) Permalink

This album is my favorite of the later-period XTC stuff, maybe even overall. it's hard to compare it against Drums and Wires and Black Sea; it's like two different bands. I've heard a lot of complaints about the production but I'm not sure what it is that bothers people exactly: recording? overstuffed with ideas? it's always sounded excellent to my ears

Vinnie, Sunday, 23 July 2017 09:52 (four months ago) Permalink

For me it's those robust drum sounds/samples that are a bit over the top and the excess of percussion elements.

MaresNest, Sunday, 23 July 2017 11:00 (four months ago) Permalink

'mayor' is a perfect pop puzzle where all the elements fit together in the solution

calstars, Sunday, 23 July 2017 12:46 (four months ago) Permalink

but I think Skylarking is more consistent as a complete album

calstars, Sunday, 23 July 2017 12:46 (four months ago) Permalink

I like this album a lot and got used to the production eventually, but while I like a lot of the material on here it's still one of my least favourite XTC records post-Go 2.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Sunday, 23 July 2017 13:09 (four months ago) Permalink

but I think Skylarking is more consistent as a complete album

I agree, and the best songs on Skylarking are so much better than anything on here (supergirl, ballet, summer's cauldron, season cycle).

flappy bird, Sunday, 23 July 2017 15:01 (four months ago) Permalink

Wrong. Skylarking is one of their very best and works great from front-to-back (it isn't one of the most acclaimed records of the '80s for nothing) but no way is there a better song on it than 'The Mayor of Simpleton' ...

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Sunday, 23 July 2017 15:23 (four months ago) Permalink

lmao "Wrong." trumpian

flappy bird, Sunday, 23 July 2017 15:32 (four months ago) Permalink

To be fair, I didn't really need to point it out since it's generally par for the course with you.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Sunday, 23 July 2017 15:39 (four months ago) Permalink

I think I'd probably have most of Skylarking over MoS

MaresNest, Sunday, 23 July 2017 16:23 (four months ago) Permalink

The are songs that stand out individually on Skylarking - 'Sacrificial Bonfire' is one of my favourite XTC songs (fabulous string arrangement) and 'The Meeting Place' and 'Earn Enough For Us' are great pop - but I think Skylarking works better as a whole in a greater-than-the-sum-of-its-parts way. None of those songs have the utter joy and "fuck, must play this over and over" factor of 'The Mayor of Simpleton', IMO.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Sunday, 23 July 2017 16:56 (four months ago) Permalink

"King for a Day" is a little over produced but it still sounds really pleasant to my ears.

This album has the very important distinction of introducing me to Captain Beefheart as the b-side for the 12" of "The Mayor of Simpleton" contained a very faithful cover of "Ella Guru". First thought: "what the FUCK is this?"

yesca, Monday, 24 July 2017 01:06 (four months ago) Permalink

Hey, me too! But it took me many more years before the Captain clicked for me.

I always felt "King For A Day" was a rewrite of Tears For Fears "Everybody Wants To Rule The World".

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Monday, 24 July 2017 01:48 (four months ago) Permalink

I read that claim at the time.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 24 July 2017 01:55 (four months ago) Permalink

In the XTC Song Stories book the band refer to it as Everybody Wants Bo be King For A Day.

I'm not a big fan of this album overall, but it does have one of my favourite album covers ever. It was my first XTC album.

kitchen person, Monday, 24 July 2017 02:16 (four months ago) Permalink

A friend of mine went straight for O&L on the strength of the cover and was really disappointed. He said it sounded like a psychedelic Rick Astley album

PaulTMA, Monday, 24 July 2017 13:08 (four months ago) Permalink

well, now that you mention it...

frogbs, Monday, 24 July 2017 13:28 (four months ago) Permalink

Well, the cover is kinda misleading in the sense that it gives the impression that the album is more like the Dukes stuff, but in reality it's a really brash, produced-to-within-an-inch-of-its-life, over-stuffed record made in LA with then-cutting edge technology and containing some really odd songs. Partridge always had a unique way with chord choices and voicings, but there's portions of this record where he outdoes himself.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Monday, 24 July 2017 16:15 (four months ago) Permalink

man I totally forgot about that Ella Guru cover

Οὖτις, Monday, 24 July 2017 16:31 (four months ago) Permalink

I got all excited when I saw a promo 2LP of this in a thrift store last week, but it was trashed :(

sleeve, Monday, 24 July 2017 16:50 (four months ago) Permalink

the songwriting on this record is really all over the place, in a way that is more distracting than the production imo. This is not entirely unusual for the band post-Drums and Wires but it makes for an exhausting listening experience, I never listen to this album all the way through. Same goes for Nonsuch.

Οὖτις, Monday, 24 July 2017 16:59 (four months ago) Permalink

I'm exhausted two minutes into "Garden of Earthly Delights."

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 24 July 2017 17:01 (four months ago) Permalink

"King for a Day" was the first XTC song I ever heard. My college station was fond of it.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 24 July 2017 17:05 (four months ago) Permalink

'Making Plans For Nigel' was the first one I heard, and 'Senses Working Overtime' was the second. 'The Disappointed' was the third. I didn't hear any of the others until later - UK radio would barely touch any of their other songs, and 'The Disappointed' was a one-off late at night VH-1 thing.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Monday, 24 July 2017 21:02 (four months ago) Permalink

It's easy to forget this, but Skylarking couldn't have been any more of a flop in the UK. The album didn't make the Top 40. It did manage to scrape itself into the Top 90, but in the UK that was a woeful position, even then. Their time had been and gone, their commercial peak being the Drums and Wires to English Settlement period.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Monday, 24 July 2017 21:07 (four months ago) Permalink

This album was a huge disappointment to me, besides "Chalkhills and Children", after the beauty that was "Skylarking". Haven't listened to it straight through in over 20 years. Just a sonically ugly sounding thing.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Monday, 24 July 2017 21:10 (four months ago) Permalink

perhaps it depends on when you came into xtc. if you were in before english settlement i can see how heavy production could turn you right off. because i came in at nonsuch, my scope of what was acceptable xtc included shiny pop, and o&l blew me away. still does.

blink truther (Autumn Almanac), Tuesday, 25 July 2017 00:11 (four months ago) Permalink

It was the first album of theirs I heard (though I didn't like it much at first), which might explain why I don't have problems with the production. Shiny and brassy suits them, I feel. Nonsuch is the album I can't listen all the way through

Vinnie, Tuesday, 25 July 2017 01:22 (four months ago) Permalink

The first XTC album I owned, Nonsuch, and it repelled me. It sounded like a parody of the band I'd read about.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 25 July 2017 01:42 (four months ago) Permalink

Nonsuch melodically outshines O&L by some margin, imo

PaulTMA, Tuesday, 25 July 2017 11:41 (four months ago) Permalink

I agree - Nonsuch is one of their best records.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Tuesday, 25 July 2017 11:42 (four months ago) Permalink

I can't get past the obviousness of "Peter Pumpkinhead," "My Bird Performs," "Crocodile," "War Dance..."

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 25 July 2017 11:44 (four months ago) Permalink

I love Andy's obviousness. Political/personal songwriting doesn't always have to be wrapped in analogy or metaphor. "Melt The Guns"! YMMV.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 25 July 2017 12:12 (four months ago) Permalink

Some of his lyrics have been that way from the beginning. "Melt the Guns" and "Knuckle Down" succeed for me based on the music, in spite of the lyrics. No, I just find Nonsuch a tiring listen. Probably with four or five songs trimmed I'd enjoy it a lot more. "President Kill" (speaking of obvious lyrics) is really the only one I skip on O&L

Vinnie, Tuesday, 25 July 2017 12:56 (four months ago) Permalink

Nonsuch is clumsy, I appreciate that it's a corrective to the hectic welter of O&L but I just can't get on with it.

or at night (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 25 July 2017 14:36 (four months ago) Permalink

"Hectic welter" nice

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 25 July 2017 14:45 (four months ago) Permalink

Nonsuch is the only double album length XTC record I can get through from start to finish.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Tuesday, 25 July 2017 16:37 (four months ago) Permalink

aren't there only two?

I kinda feel the opposite - Nonsuch to me would be much better off if they lopped off 4 tracks, while I'm cool listening to English Settlement all the way through, even if there are a few duffers.

frogbs, Tuesday, 25 July 2017 16:45 (four months ago) Permalink

I've got Nonsuch but I can't remember anything about it, it was the last dying embers of my XTC fandom tbh.

weird echo of the falsies (Tom D.), Tuesday, 25 July 2017 16:56 (four months ago) Permalink

I remember thinking that Colin Moulding seemed to have totally lost it though.

weird echo of the falsies (Tom D.), Tuesday, 25 July 2017 16:58 (four months ago) Permalink

The start of Moulding's tweedy degeneration into really boring and quotidian songwriting.

MaresNest, Tuesday, 25 July 2017 16:59 (four months ago) Permalink

Yeah Colin's songs took a big drop in quality on Nonsuch. "Didn't Hurt a Bit" is his last great song, and it didn't make it onto an album. Tears for Fears rewrite or no, I think "King for a Day" is a wonderful song, but after O&L, I can't think of many songs of his I even like

Vinnie, Tuesday, 25 July 2017 17:18 (four months ago) Permalink

"One of the Millions" is excellent
"King For a Day" is very good but you can really only give half credit for that
"My Bird Performs" is at least pretty

but yeah everything else is a lowlight, save for maybe "Boarded Up" which I like for some dumb reason

frogbs, Tuesday, 25 July 2017 17:32 (four months ago) Permalink

Black Sea goes in my 'how one ought to play electric guitar' folder

or at night (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 25 July 2017 22:17 (four months ago) Permalink

wait back up Black Sea has more tracks on the CD?

― sleeve, Tuesday, July 25, 2017 10:11 PM (two minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Only bonus tracks, so stuff like 'The Somnambulist', 'Smokeless Zone', 'Don't Lose Your Temper' - otherwise my UK vinyl has the same amount of tracks as the album on CD. Jon not Jon might have a different vinyl issue.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Tuesday, 25 July 2017 22:18 (four months ago) Permalink

(xpost)

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Tuesday, 25 July 2017 22:19 (four months ago) Permalink

Having said that, Black Sea is a pretty long album even without the bonus tracks... almost 50 minutes, which is long for the time.

I realised recently that Black Sea is my favourite ever XTC album, bar none.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Tuesday, 25 July 2017 22:21 (four months ago) Permalink

I have to agree

or at night (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 25 July 2017 22:23 (four months ago) Permalink

I've only kept/like less than half of it's songs (6 to be exact) so no

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 25 July 2017 22:40 (four months ago) Permalink

Yeah, I taped Black Sea for a friend, he supplied me the C90. Got quite stroppy when the tape clicked off during 'Nihilon' I mean whoa I didn't make the record unh..

Mark G, Tuesday, 25 July 2017 22:42 (four months ago) Permalink

Every track is a killer from 'Respectable Street' to 'Travels in Nihilon' ... the most complete LP they made until Skylarking, which I'm a bit sick of these days.

xpost:

What, really Shakey? Which ones?

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Tuesday, 25 July 2017 22:43 (four months ago) Permalink

Respectable Street
Generals and Majors
No Language in Our Lungs
Towers of London
Burning With Optimism's Flames
Sgt Rock (Is Going to Help Me)

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 25 July 2017 22:44 (four months ago) Permalink

"No Language in Our Lungs" is my favorite XTC track and precisely how electric guitars should sound.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 25 July 2017 22:47 (four months ago) Permalink

All great, but you don't like 'Rocket from a Bottle' or 'Paper and Iron'!?

(xpost:)

'No Language in Our Lungs' is one of my favourite XTC lyrics, and excellent middle 8.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Tuesday, 25 July 2017 22:50 (four months ago) Permalink

Black Sea > Skylarking > Nonsuch > Chips from the Chocolate Fireball > The Big Express > Mummer (with bonus tracks) > Drums and Wires > Apple Venus > English Settlement > Oranges & Lemons > Mummer (without bonus tracks) > White Music > Go 2 > Wasp Star

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Tuesday, 25 July 2017 23:11 (four months ago) Permalink

Otm 'language' middle eight is amazing

or at night (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 25 July 2017 23:12 (four months ago) Permalink

I find it fascinating how differently people hear this band's tracks than I do. For example:

"Red Brick Dream," a Big Express b-side, is one of my favorite XTC songs.

― flappy bird, Tuesday, July 25, 2017 9:12 PM (one hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Hell yes, my absolute favourite XTC song

I've never thought about this song once while it's not playing.

And to go back to O&L, my own example of this is "Miniature Sun", a song I love but I've never really heard anyone here say a good word about

Vinnie, Wednesday, 26 July 2017 01:02 (four months ago) Permalink

That's a good one, but the dated synth horns hold it back a bit.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Wednesday, 26 July 2017 01:14 (four months ago) Permalink

Miniature Sun is one of my absolute favorite XTC songs, and one that saves the album for me (its follower Chalkhills & Children being another).

O&L overall has always seemed overly labored to me. To say nothing about the production, I find that the songs themselves aren't generally very memorable/hummable/emotionally engaging (2 above being big exceptions). When I first heard it, I thought it sounded inappropriately bright and garish, especially compared to Skylarking. Now, I just find it busy & a little contrived. If you listen in, there's a lot to appreciate, but IMO Big Express was a better execution of essentially the same writing and production perspectives.

Dominique, Wednesday, 26 July 2017 01:17 (four months ago) Permalink

Big Express was a better execution of essentially the same writing and production perspectives.

Yes!! But the production was kinder - I think O&L was using the most 'modern' techniques which, of course, didn't age well. But also the idea behind "This World Over" is so much more elegantly expressed than "President Kill", same with "Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her" vs "Miniature Sun".

"The Big Express" has always been one of my favorites, not the least because it was my introduction to the band.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Wednesday, 26 July 2017 01:49 (four months ago) Permalink

We should stop saying this or that technological innovation did or did not age well or is "dated." Technology by nature becomes obsolete. Yet no one says electric guitars tuned a certain way sound "dated."

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 26 July 2017 02:05 (four months ago) Permalink

If, however, the drums are programmed ineptly, that's another question, a valid one.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 26 July 2017 02:06 (four months ago) Permalink

oh yeah "All You Pretty Girls" and "I Bought Myself a Liarbird" are in my top 5 XTC songs. Never understood the indifference towards TBE.

flappy bird, Wednesday, 26 July 2017 02:34 (four months ago) Permalink

and "I Remember the Sun."

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 26 July 2017 02:35 (four months ago) Permalink

i really like TBE, it felt like a normal step after the pop formalism of Mummer, which i thought was underrated. and it had no funkpoparoll, which was nice. it preceded 25OClock and Skylarking, though, which too me were massive massive. if anything, if i wanted great pop formalism i went skylarking, if i wanted great pastoralism i went mummer, and if i wanted cool weirdness i went dukes. so TBE was kinda left alone. boy do i fucking hate oranges and lemons though and i feel i've addressed that shitheap elsewhere.

popcorn michael awaits trumptweet (Hunt3r), Wednesday, 26 July 2017 02:43 (four months ago) Permalink

"to," too.

popcorn michael awaits trumptweet (Hunt3r), Wednesday, 26 July 2017 02:43 (four months ago) Permalink

(A probably incomplete list of) The Complete XTC Non-Album Tracks (by year of original release, and the most common place it can be found, because why not)

1977
Dance Band --White Music--
Science Friction --White Music--
She's So Square --White Music--
1978
Are You Receiving Me --Go 2--
Hang on to the Night --White Music--
Heatwave --White Music--
Instant Tunes --White Music--
Traffic Light Rock --White Music--
Beat the Bible --Explode Together: The Dub Experiments--
Clap Clap Clap --Explode Together: The Dub Experiments--
Dance with Me, Germany --Explode Together: The Dub Experiments--
A Dictionary of Modern Marriage --Explode Together: The Dub Experiments--
We Kill the Beast --Explode Together: The Dub Experiments--
1979
Bushman President (Homo Safari No. 2) --Dear God/Homo Safari Series EP--
Chain of Command --Drums and Wires--
Homo Safari (Homo Safari No. 1) --Dear God/Homo Safari Series EP--
Life Begins at the Hop --Any 'Best Of'--
Limelight --Drums and Wires--
Looking for Footprints --Rag and Bone Buffet--
Cairo (Mr. Partridge) --Explode Together: The Dub Experiments--
Commerciality (Mr. Partridge) --Explode Together: The Dub Experiments--
The Day They Pulled the North Pole Down (Mr. Partridge) --Explode Together: The Dub Experiments--
The Forgotten Language of Light (Mr. Partridge) --Explode Together: The Dub Experiments--
I Sit in the Snow (Mr. Partridge) --Explode Together: The Dub Experiments--
Madhattan (Mr. Partridge) --Explode Together: The Dub Experiments--
New Broom (Mr. Partridge) --Explode Together: The Dub Experiments--
The Rotary (Mr. Partridge) --Explode Together: The Dub Experiments--
Steam Fist Futurist (Mr. Partridge) --Explode Together: The Dub Experiments--
Work Away Tokyo Day (Mr. Partridge) --Explode Together: The Dub Experiments--
1980
Don't Lose Your Temper --Black Sea--
The History of Rock and Roll (Andy Partridge) --Rag and Bone Buffet--
I Need Protection (Colin Moulding as The Colonel) --Rag and Bone Buffet--
Officer Blue --Rag and Bone Buffet--
Pulsing Pulsing --Rag and Bone Buffet--
Smokeless Zone --Black Sea--
The Somnambulist --Black Sea--
Strange Tales, Strange Tails --Rag and Bone Buffet--
Take This Town --Rag and Bone Buffet--
Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen (Colin Moulding as The Colonel) --Rag and Bone Buffet--
1981
Wait Till Your Boat Goes Down --Some 'Best Of's'--
1982
Blame the Weather --Rag and Bone Buffet--
Egyptian Solution (Homo Safari No. 3) --Dear God/Homo Safari Series EP--
Heaven Is Paved with Broken Glass --Rag and Bone Buffet--
Over Rusty Water --Rag and Bone Buffet--
Punch and Judy --Rag and Bone Buffet--
Tissue Tigers (The Arguers) --Rag and Bone Buffet--
1983
Desert Island --Mummer--
Frost Circus (Homo Safari No. 5) --Mummer--
Gold --Mummer--
Jump --Mummer--
Procession Towards Learning Land (Homo Safari No. 6) --Mummer--
Toys --Mummer--
1984
Blue Overall --The Big Express--
Countdown to Christmas Party Time --Rag and Bone Buffet--
Mantis on Parole (Homo Safari No. 4) --Dear God/Homo Safari Series EP--
Red Brick Dream --The Big Express--
Thanks for Christmas --Rag and Bone Buffet--
Washaway --The Big Express--
1986
Dear God --Skylarking—
Extrovert --Rag and Bone Buffet--
Find the Fox --Coat of Many Cupboards--
Let's Make a Den --Coat of Many Cupboards--
Terrorism --Coat of Many Cupboards--
The Troubles --Coat of Many Cupboards--
1987
Bags of Fun with Buster (Andy Partridge & John Otway) --Johnny Japes and His Jesticles 7"--
Scrotal Scratch Mix (Andy Partridge & John Otway) --Johnny Japes and His Jesticles 7"--
1988
Ella Guru --Mayor of Simpleton 12"--
Happy Families --Rag and Bone Buffet--
1989
The Good Things (demo version) --Mayor of Simpleton 12"--
Living in a Haunted Heart --Mayor of Simpleton 12"--
My Paint Heroes --King for a Day CD single--
Skeletons --King for a Day CD single--
1990
Strawberry Fields Forever (Dave Gregory & Andy Partridge as Colin's Hermits) --Andy Partridge – Fuzzy Warbles Vol. 3--
Third Stone from the Sun (Dave Gregory as David Dreams) --V/A - If 6 Was 9: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix--
1991
Rocket (Andy Partridge) --Andy Partridge – Fuzzy Warbles Vol. 1--
The World Is Full of Angry Young Men --Rag and Bone Buffet--
1992
Always Winter Never Christmas --Demo Tracks EP--
Didn't Hurt a Bit --Coat of Many Cupboards--
Down a Peg --Demo Tracks EP--
1993
Cherry in Your Tree --V/A - Carmen Sandiego: Out of This World--
1994
Candymine (Andy Partridge) --Andy Partridge – Fuzzy Warbles Vol. 7--
It's Snowing Angels (Andy Partridge) --Andy Partridge – Fuzzy Warbles Vol. 2--
Prince of Orange (Andy Partridge) --Andy Partridge – Fuzzy Warbles Vol. 6--
Some Lovely (My Brown Guitar) (Andy Partridge) --Homegrown: Wasp Star Demos--
1995
The Good Things (band version, as Terry and the Lovemen) --V/A - Testimonial Dinner: A Tribute to XTC--
2000
Bumpercars --Wasp Star (Japan Bonus Track)--
2002
Fireball XL-5/Fireball Dub --Coat of Many Cupboards--
Let's Have Fun --Coat of Many Cupboards--
Things Fall to Bits --Coat of Many Cupboards--
Us Being Us --Coat of Many Cupboards--
Sleepyheads ("Looking for Footprints" early version) --Coat of Many Cupboards--
2005
Say It --Apple Box--
Spiral --Apple Box--
Where Did All the Ordinary People Go --Apple Box--
2009
Black Jewelled Serpent of Sound --25 O'Clock--
Nicely Nicely Jane --25 O'Clock--
Open a Can of Human Beans --25 O'Clock--
Susan Revolving --25 O'Clock--
Tin Toy Clockwork Train --25 O'Clock--

Hideous Lump, Wednesday, 26 July 2017 03:41 (four months ago) Permalink

My 19 favorite non-album tracks (in roughly this order, determined when we did the XTC poll)

Chain of Command
Life Begins at the Hop
Are You Receiving Me
Pulsing Pulsing
Blame the Weather
Science Friction
Terrorism
Jump
Instant Tunes
Punch and Judy
Take This Town
Red Brick Dream
Washaway
Heaven Is Paved with Broken Glass
Thanks for Christmas
Smokeless Zone
Extrovert
Happy Families
The World Is Full of Angry Young Men

Hideous Lump, Wednesday, 26 July 2017 03:48 (four months ago) Permalink

Life Begins at the Hop? that's on both of my copies of Drums & Wires (one of which is missing Making Plans for Nigel).

flappy bird, Wednesday, 26 July 2017 03:57 (four months ago) Permalink

It wasn't on the original UK Drums & Wires, but going through the original releases on Discogs, most other countries swapped out "Day In Day Out" and stuck in "Hop" instead.

Hideous Lump, Wednesday, 26 July 2017 04:10 (four months ago) Permalink

Yeah, 'Life Begins at the Hop' was a non-album single, like 'Wait Till Your Boat Goes Down'... like many albums at the time, Drums and Wires had a US configuration, and 'Life Begins at the Hop' is on that - it was a bonus track in the UK later.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Wednesday, 26 July 2017 06:57 (four months ago) Permalink

'Miniature Sun' is great and very underrated - there's so many little details in that track, and it's one of the best lyrics on the album, IMO.

The Big Express has only grown more with me over the years, although I think side one has the advantage over side two.

'Train Running Low on Soul Coal' still one of my absolute, all-time favourites.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Wednesday, 26 July 2017 07:03 (four months ago) Permalink

'Train Running Low on Soul Coal' still one of my absolute, all-time favourites.

― The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Wednesday, 26 July 2017 17:03 (twenty-seven minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

andy was especially great when he was working the lyrical concept into the sound of the song itself (can't think of the word for this just now). 'train' shunts to a halt just like a big steam train; 'helicopter' is a chopper taking off; 'poor skeleton steps out' bumbles along like a skeleton trying to walk; 'across this antheap' is ants in procession; 'that wave' is water swelling and crashing; 'summer hot as this' is taking place in a heatwave; 'ra ra for red rocking horse' is a toy horse that's totally out of control; 'broomstick rhythm' is mindful sweeping; 'the bland leading the bland' is soulless plebs trudging in circles

blink truther (Autumn Almanac), Wednesday, 26 July 2017 07:56 (four months ago) Permalink

Oh, glad to see there's others that like "Miniature Sun". Yeah great lyrics on that one. I agree that the horn blasts don't sound great nowadays - wonder what it would sound like with Apple Venus-quality production

Vinnie, Wednesday, 26 July 2017 09:22 (four months ago) Permalink

While we're on:

Just passed all the new stereo mixes by Steven Wilson, now to next stage, the surround mix.
Oh, forgot to mention, it's BLACK SEA

— XTC (@xtcfans) July 25, 2017

Mark G, Wednesday, 26 July 2017 10:36 (four months ago) Permalink

I'm going to have to listen to 'Nonsuch' to remind me of it because 'Oranges & Lemons' is worse than I remembered it.

weird echo of the falsies (Tom D.), Wednesday, 26 July 2017 11:50 (four months ago) Permalink

xxxpost:

Yeah, absolutely! Also, the "cow bass" on 'Love On A Farmboy's Wages' ...

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Wednesday, 26 July 2017 15:56 (four months ago) Permalink

whoah many thanks for that list Hideous Lump!!!

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 26 July 2017 16:00 (four months ago) Permalink

"Shake You Donkey Up" is like getting bucked off a donkey, and I should know

frogbs, Wednesday, 26 July 2017 16:01 (four months ago) Permalink

I want to buy a bass just to play Mayor over and over

calstars, Friday, 28 July 2017 01:00 (four months ago) Permalink

I find it fascinating how differently people hear this band's tracks than I do.

Also interesting how split we can be on the overstuffed, abrasive stuff from Big Express and Oranges & Lemons:

Shake You Donkey Up
Reign of Blows
Train Running Low
Garden of Earthly Delights
Across This Antheap
Miniature Sun

Not just between us, but even inside our own rankings--love this one, but hate that one.

I'd rank them: Garden > Donkey >>> Miniature > Reign > Train >>>>>> Antheap

Hideous Lump, Friday, 28 July 2017 03:30 (four months ago) Permalink

I'd rank 'em:

'Train Running Low On Soul Coal' > 'Across this Antheap' > 'Miniature Sun' > 'Reign of Blows' > 'Garden of Earthly Delights' > 'Shake You Donkey Up'

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Friday, 28 July 2017 06:40 (four months ago) Permalink

don;t underestimate the power of hearing "kid! stay and snip your cord off! talk and let your mind loose!" and then being welcomed to the garden of earthly delights when you are 12 and just bought a random album by a band you had never heard of before

it was pretty great
i still feel exhilarated when i hear it!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Friday, 28 July 2017 13:20 (four months ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyeBiJssPSg

Brakhage, Saturday, 29 July 2017 03:27 (four months ago) Permalink

Yeah, GOED is in my XTC top 10 for sure.

KID!

bumbling my way toward the light or wahtever (hardcore dilettante), Saturday, 29 July 2017 15:57 (four months ago) Permalink

Those instrumental versions rule.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Saturday, 29 July 2017 21:48 (four months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Saw this in an unsorted box of donations, amongst other choice selections. I thought it was a really unique package and I, of course, had never seen a copy of the album in this format before.

he doesn't need to be racist about it though. (Austin), Tuesday, 10 October 2017 00:37 (two months ago) Permalink

For those who like the tinny, clangorous sound of the CD mastering, but miss the inconvenience of having to get up every 15 minutes to flip the vinyl.

bumbling my way toward the light or wahtever (hardcore dilettante), Tuesday, 10 October 2017 11:40 (two months ago) Permalink

How was the condition? I've never seen one of these that wasn't pretty trashed.

MaresNest, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 12:33 (two months ago) Permalink

Yeah, I've got the King For A Day 3" CD in the mini crown and that was hard to get home without a bent corner!

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 14:03 (two months ago) Permalink

I've got one of those, it's in decent nick as I kept it in a safe space, and I wasn't that taken with the album in general at the time.

Mark G, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 14:09 (two months ago) Permalink

There's a couple on EBay right now in decent nick for around £25 (starting bid)

MaresNest, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 14:15 (two months ago) Permalink

This one I came across at work was in pretty decent shape, considering it was basically tossed randomly into a bag with standard jewel cases.

he doesn't need to be racist about it though. (Austin), Tuesday, 10 October 2017 16:02 (two months ago) Permalink


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