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Thread: XTC

  1. #1
    Chronic Overspender zombywoof's Avatar
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    XTC

    Hi everyone - I'm finally listening to these guys! I had Nonsuch first, but a few tracks aside, it left me a bit cold. Then, I finally bought Black Sea and WOW! Now I see what the hubbub is. Although the songwriting on Nonsuch is top notch, it seemed a bit subdued for my tastes. Black Sea, however, is incredible. Love the writing, and that incredible rhythm section, the biting lyrics, and the sarcastic tone of Andy Partridge's vocal delivery. I just grabbed Drums and Wires the other day and it seems just as good, though I need time with it.

    So, let's talk XTC! What was your intro to the band?
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  2. #2
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    My intro to XTC was Skylarking and it remains a top 10 album of all time for me. Also, English Settlement is one the greatest double albums of all time. Andy Partridge is a genius.

  3. #3
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    My intro to the band was their first album, White Music, which is more herky-jerky Devo-esque than their later, more pop-savvy stuff. I didn't really become a fan until Skylarking, which I still consider one of their best, along with English Settlement and Oranges and Lemons. So you haven't even gotten to my favorites yet!

  4. #4
    Progdog ThomasKDye's Avatar
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    My intro was also Nonsuch, which was definitely decent and felt like an oasis of melodic beauty in the era of grunge. Then I got into Skylarking, The Big Express, Oranges and Lemons, and Mummer, in that order. The only album that still does it for me heavily is Skylarking, which I consider a work of brilliance. It's just a phenomenal listen from beginning to end, if you include BOTH "Dear God" and "Mermaid Smiled."

    However, I do think The Big Express is really underrated. When I'm in the mood, I can really get into that one. It's heavy, like Black Sea, so you might appreciate that.
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  5. #5
    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    Drums & Wires was my intro. Love that album. White Music and Go 2 didn't do too much for me at the time.
    Black Sea has been a favorite since it came out, one hit ( in my book anyway ) after another .
    I can pretty much say I love all of their output.
    Perhaps not all at one sitting, but they have something for just about any of my moods.
    Nonsuch, English Settlement, Oranges & Lemons, Skylarking, Apple Venus and Wasp Star, all wonderful.
    Did not get into Mummer and Big Express, for whatever reason I didn't pick them up.
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  6. #6
    Geriatric Anomaly progeezer's Avatar
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    Oranges & Lemons, which remains my #1 XTC album.
    "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"

    President Harry S. Truman

  7. #7
    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
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    Only have Black Sea but English Settlement & Skylarking are on the too buy list.
    Ian

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  8. #8
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    The Big Express is my favorite.

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    My intro was the 70s & 80s singles on UK radio. Oranges & Lemons was the first album i bought at time of release.

  10. #10
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Trivia: my copy of Oranges and Lemons is a cigarette-pack-shaped box containing the album on three 3" CDs.

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    My copy is a cassette :-)

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    Drums and Wires and then seeing them live. Completely underrated band. Dear Gid is a favourite song for musical and lyrical reasons.

  13. #13
    Terrific band. My favourite albums would be 'Oranges And Lemons' and 'Skylarking' but enjoy them all.

  14. #14
    Member at least 100 dead's Avatar
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    I’ll go against the grain & say: Awesome band!

    If you want to delve deeper into their catalog (and you will), here are some reviews covering everything from Drums and Wires to Nonsuch.
    Last edited by at least 100 dead; 03-21-2015 at 03:58 AM.
    "Dem Glücklichen legt auch der Hahn ein Ei."

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    I knew the singles and liked some of them (though I am cooler about the 'jerky' early ones) but didn't initially go further. But when I heard it, 'Skylarking' was one album which showed me there was still music of substance and subtlety being made in the 1980s. This was in 2007 or so and right from 'Summer's Cauldron' I was blown away. There's such attention to detail. One of my favourite albums, without doubt. Todd Rundgren and XTC were musically speaking, a dream team- not so much on a personal level, I gather, but the results speak for themselves.

    'Oranges And Lemons' runs a little too long but 3/4 of it is of the same standard to my ears.

  16. #16
    Black Sea was my way in and, if I have to choose, remains my favourite but they haven't made an album that I don't love.

  17. #17
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    I had heard them before, but for me also, Black Sea was my way in.

    Next for you? English Settlement.
    Steve F.

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  18. #18
    I loved them from the earlier new wave era singles, but they grew to be such a consistently brilliant albums band, and there's much to love on almost every release. Skylarking is a real favourite, and I would choose Apple Venus and English Settlement to complete my personal top three, but everything else has huge merit too.

  19. #19
    Member at least 100 dead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post

    English Settlement.
    +1 Can't go wrong with ES.

    Also, check out this great tune from Mummer:

    "Dem Glücklichen legt auch der Hahn ein Ei."

  20. #20
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    I felt similar to you, Ian when I bought Nonsuch (my second XTC purchase). I had to work my way up from Drums and Wires to Nonsuch to really wind up loving it for what it is. I think you might too once that happens. It's very mellow and regal, but a sublime gem as well full of pop earworms.

    Omnibus is playing in my head as I write this. Hear that trumpet?

  21. #21
    Member squiz17's Avatar
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    Funk Pop a Roll (Mummer) is Partridge at his most cynical - a great tune too.
    I was fortunate to see XTC before his stage fright took hold and who knows how much bigger they would have been if they had toured more.
    I started at Black Sea and have them all - superb.

  22. #22
    Member bill g's Avatar
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    I pretty much like everything, especially 'The Big Express' forward, but by the time of Apple Venus, it was just scattered tracks. (Love 'Easter Theatre' and 'Can't Own Her', but the rest not so much) 'Remember The Sun' from 'Big Express' was the first XTC song that blew me away. Honestly, 'Nonsuch' could be a favorite, but on another day 'Oranges & Lemons' will be my favorite.

  23. #23
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    I had a friend who was a total XTC head and tried and tried to get me into them, but they never clicked with me. I did like the hit single "Dear God", but then bought the "Skylarking" album and it was not even on it (I think it may have been added later?). The rest of the album did nothing for me. I tried a few others too, but for some reason they just aren't my thing.

  24. #24
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Although I used to like them a lot, I long ago lost the desire to listen to them for some reason.

    The Big Express is probably the only album of theirs I'd still listen to because I always felt it was such ear candy.

  25. #25
    Come on, folks - nobody's mentioned Dukes of Stratosfear yet?
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