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Thread: XTC ... any fans?

  1. #1
    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
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    XTC ... any fans?

    of course, I know there are fans but... I used the 'search' and even 'advanced search' and found absolutely no discussions

    so... discuss

    for me, they really begin with Drums And Wires. The first 2 are herky-jerky, of which style only Outside World carries into D&W

    but my absolute favorite is the original UK/double album release of English Settlement. Tons of sublime nuance in that album!
    Last edited by MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER; 2 Weeks Ago at 01:21 AM.
    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

  2. #2
    Progdog ThomasKDye's Avatar
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    I'm on the "artsy later period" side of the fence with XTC. Skylarking is pure Brian Wilson-Beatles genius from beginning to end, Oranges and Lemons and Nonsuch are patchy but have many moments of brilliance, The Big Express an underrated collection of pounding (yet melodious) new wave songs.

    The early material has a number of great songs, but I've grown tired of Partridge's hiccuping/braying vocal style. He got better when he settled down.

    YMMV IMHO and other such abbreviations.
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    Geriatric Anomaly progeezer's Avatar
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    I have (almost) everything, and as Thomas says, YMMV, as Oranges is my favorite (Skylarking is #2 though).

    At their best, their songwriting rivals L & Mc imo.
    "My choice early in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician, and to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference"

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  4. #4
    A great band. English Settlement, Skylarking and Oranges & Lemons are nearing masterpiece status.
    Macht das ohr auf!

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    Worthy of Laudation thedunno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spacefreak View Post
    A great band. English Settlement, Skylarking and Oranges & Lemons are nearing masterpiece status.
    This.

    One of my favorite art pop bands. Great stuff.

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    I like/love everything from the debut up to English Settlement. Dont know how anyone could not like the debut, full of cracking, snappy pop tunes along with an inspired cover of All Along the Watchtower.

    Also, don't forget the Dukes of Stratosphear, the ultimate psychedelic pastiche project.

  7. #7
    Worthy of Laudation thedunno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovecraft View Post
    I like/love everything from the debut up to English Settlement. Dont know how anyone could not like the debut, full of cracking, snappy pop tunes along with an inspired cover of All Along the Watchtower.

    Also, don't forget the Dukes of Stratosphear, the ultimate psychedelic pastiche project.
    The debut is great but personally i am not that keen on the follow up. The only 'weak' spot in their discography imho.

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    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovecraft View Post
    I like/love everything from the debut up to English Settlement. Dont know how anyone could not like the debut, full of cracking, snappy pop tunes along with an inspired cover of All Along the Watchtower.

    Also, don't forget the Dukes of Stratosphear, the ultimate psychedelic pastiche project.
    Quote Originally Posted by thedunno View Post
    The debut is great but personally i am not that keen on the follow up. The only 'weak' spot in their discography imho.
    Interesting that you guys like the debut. There are some tunes on that album that are downright fun, like Statue Of Liberty and X-Wires but it wears my ears out when I try to listen to the whole thing in one shot.

    Also interesting that O&L is highly regarded. I got into them when Black Sea came out and then bought the first 3 after that. By the time of O&L I got off the bandwagon cause when I heard that one, it seemed like they lost the script.

    heh... everyone's different
    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

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    Yeah, Go2 is a bit difficult to love, I agree, but it does repay some effort.

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    Agree with Skylarking nearing masterpiece status, although their other albums are frustratingly uneven, especially Oranges & Lemons and Nonsuch which could have benefited from a shorter tracklist with less filler.
    This might be heresy but I think their singles collection Fossil Fuel is stellar from beginning to end and really brings out their strengths while showing their gradual evolution over time.
    Not just a Genesis fanboy.

  11. #11
    Am I the only Apple Venus Vol. 1 fanboy here?
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  12. #12
    You are not, Apple Venus perhaps shades it for me, but I adore Skylarking and English Settlement too, indeed there are gems throughout the catalogue and something to love on every album.

    Always worth a mention for our friend Mike Keneally’s Wing Beat Fantastic, for the collaboration with Andy, I love this album.

    I follow Mr P on Twitter, always interesting and quite fun!

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER View Post
    of course, I know there are fans but... I used the 'search' and even 'advanced search' and found absolutely no discussions

    so... discuss

    for me, they really begin with Drums And Wires. The first 2 are herky-jerky, of which style only Outside World carries into D&W

    but my absolute favorite is the original UK/double album release of English Settlement. Tons of sublime nuance in that album!
    Drums & Wires, Black Sea, English Settlement. After that they lost me.

  14. #14
    One of my favorite bands of the 80s that tickled by prog instincts. I'm sure they have some clunkers in their repertoire but I'm quite forgiving of them. I never quite understood Todd Rundgren's dislike for Andy Partridge versus Colin Moulding but I suppose it was probably personal taste and having to work with him directly. I just loved the quirkiness of their songs but also just how darn good many of them were and always done with a wink and a smile. To this day, "The Mayor of Simpleton" is one of my favorite songs (and videos) because it is simply so endearing.

    I'm not sure how influential they were (others can supply that analysis), but I do hear a bit of them in the work of The Decembrists.
    No matter what anyone says, you are the decider of how you will listen to music.

  15. #15
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spacefreak View Post
    A great band. English Settlement, Skylarking and Oranges & Lemons are nearing masterpiece status.
    These are my three favorites, with Oranges & Lemons being #1. Don't see how anyone could call it "patchy" or say it contains "filler"; I hear a 100% solid album.

  16. #16
    Member Guitarplyrjvb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mascodagama View Post
    Am I the only Apple Venus Vol. 1 fanboy here?
    I love it and find it to be the most underrated work in their catalogue. The use of string quartets and brass make this record stylistically stand out from the others. Dave Gregory is not much of a factor, but the songs are great. The follow up, Wasp Star or Apple Venus Vol. 2 is great, too, although it's probably the most conventionally rockin' XTC ever got. Dave Gregory is gone on this record. There's also a good XTC documentary out there, the name of which escapes me.

  17. #17
    XTC are one of my very favorite bands. Glad to see some fellow fans here! For me they really hit their stride with English Settlement, and then going into their pastoral English pop phase.


    Quote Originally Posted by progeezer View Post
    I have (almost) everything, and as Thomas says, YMMV, as Oranges is my favorite (Skylarking is #2 though).

    At their best, their songwriting rivals L & Mc imo.
    Oranges & Lemons is my number one fave by them too, and I think Skylarking is a close second place. So, so many great songs on those discs.

    And I agree with you on their songwriting rivaling Lennon and McCartney when XTC were firing on all cylinders. Purely my opinion, but glad to know I’m not the only one who feels that way.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarplyrjvb View Post
    I love it and find it to be the most underrated work in their catalogue. The use of string quartets and brass make this record stylistically stand out from the others. Dave Gregory is not much of a factor, but the songs are great. The follow up, Wasp Star or Apple Venus Vol. 2 is great, too, although it's probably the most conventionally rockin' XTC ever got. Dave Gregory is gone on this record. There's also a good XTC documentary out there, the name of which escapes me.
    It is shame that Dave Gregory jumped ship at this point, he was such a vital part of the mix and I have seen Andy post that he regrets how this ended up.

    The documentary is “This Is Pop” and it is a brilliant watch for any fan, made with self deprecating humour, but it tells the story in a positive way that warms your heart.

  19. #19
    Sunlight Caller and guitarplyrjvb, you are my Apple Venus homies!

    Not to take anything away from the rest of the XTC corpus. One of the great bands to emerge from the eighties. It may have been a lousy decade for symphonic rock, but it was a great one for art pop (among other things...).

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER View Post
    I used the 'search' and even 'advanced search' and found absolutely no discussions
    I am pretty sure that I have read tons of posts on XTC here, maybe it was a post-punk thread or something. I remember Kavus commenting on the relationship between XTC and Cardiacs. But I don't mind at all discussing anew any subject, since I am also a latecomer in PE.

    Back to the subject: Too British for me! Which means I have to struggle in order to connect, it doesn't come naturally, although I understand the huge talent, the great songwriting, the band's significance etc

    I prefer the early, rockier, stuff - up until and included Black Sea. Drums and Wires is just great. But the rest still hasn't clicked. I promise to give it another shot. I already do.

  21. #21
    One of my fond memories is of me and a group of friends getting really into Dukes of Stratosphear when that stuff came out (we were in Sixth Form). Our enjoyment was unimpaired by the fact that we we were almost entirely ignorant of the material they were pastiching

    Come to think of it, it was a while before we even realised they were actually XTC

    EDIT: Maybe I should've taken Lord Cornelius Plum as my username...
    Last edited by Mascodagama; 2 Weeks Ago at 01:38 PM.
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  22. #22
    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    Back to the subject: Too British for me! Which means I have to struggle in order to connect, it doesn't come naturally
    Interesting that you say that; perhaps the first tune I heard by them was Nigel... all about Brits, but that sound, that wonderfully quirky songcraft! I had no idea who Nigel was but I loved that sound
    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

  23. #23
    Member No Pride's Avatar
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    I'm a huge fan, but can't go back any further than "Black Sea." My favorites are "Oranges and Lemons" and "Nonsuch."

    There's a thread on them somewhere in the OT Music forum. To me, they were the greatest thing to happen to pop music since The Beatles.

  24. #24
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Black Sea is probably still my favorite, but Wires and Settlement are close behind....maybe Skylarking really close too.
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER View Post
    Interesting that you say that; perhaps the first tune I heard by them was Nigel... all about Brits, but that sound, that wonderfully quirky songcraft! I had no idea who Nigel was but I loved that sound
    Nigel is a favorite of mine. But the really hard to digest is the English pop stuff that followed. Of course this is completely my fault, I even strive with the Beatles or the Kinks for that matter.

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