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landgrabber
Sep 12, 2015


i'm a little fuckin BABY but got in to them a good amount lately, really like what i'm hearing. i've heard nonsuch, skylarking, oranges and lemons, and apple venus so far. it seems kind of hard to find people that are big fans so i figured i'd pop a thread

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bobz0r
Jul 8, 2008

I have faith in us, if we don't self-destruct


so when i was 18 i worked in a sandwich shop with this really angry older guy, but he loved XTC and we listened to skylarking like every day and eventually it grew on me enough that i actually enjoyed it

anyways thats my xtc story.
how could you post this thread with no vids?

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

landgrabber
Sep 12, 2015


bobz0r posted:

so when i was 18 i worked in a sandwich shop with this really angry older guy, but he loved XTC and we listened to skylarking like every day and eventually it grew on me enough that i actually enjoyed it

anyways thats my xtc story.
how could you post this thread with no vids?

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

apologies.

my favorite one is big day:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpF-pHAv65g

i also dig grass:

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

and "the loving" is a cheesy favorite. oranges and lemons is really manic but it's super fun

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSuEDByvC3o

my story is very dorky (much like this band) in that as far as i remember, xtc songs were used three times in gilmore girls; man who murdered love, earn enough for us, and then she appeared. each stuck out to me and upon finding that they were in fact an old band with an interesting cult status i listened to nonsuch and liked it, then skylarking and really really loved it.

1000 umbrellas
Aug 25, 2005

We thought we'd base our civilization upon yours, 'cause you're the smartest animals on earth, now ain't you?

See avatar. I used to be fanatical. Don't skip out on the double whammy that is Black Sea and English Settlement. I don't listen to as much XTC as I did back in the day, but Nonsuch will always be central to my idea of a perfect pop record (minus track 1; should have just been a standalone single and kick the album off with My Bird Performs).

Astrochicken
Aug 13, 2007


Side 1 of English settlement is perfection.

landgrabber
Sep 12, 2015


i listened to wasp star yesterday and uh



really not good.

guess i'll stick to the older stuff

HP Hovercraft
Dec 31, 2005

one thing a computer can do that most humans can't is be sealed up in a cardboard box and sit in a warehouse

I've been listening to them a lot lately, yeah. Mayor of Simpleton is the perfect pop song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Da9sc6YDBo

Also I love early punk XTC.

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

landgrabber
Sep 12, 2015


HP Hovercraft posted:

I've been listening to them a lot lately, yeah. Mayor of Simpleton is the perfect pop song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Da9sc6YDBo

Also I love early punk XTC.

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

the shot in the mayor of simpleton vid where andy looks at the camera and does a really goofy cry after the tip of his flower gets cut off is so weirdly cute?

landgrabber
Sep 12, 2015


unsure how sizzling of a take this is, but i think oranges and lemons (at least for now, i still haven't heard everything they've made, only skylarking on) is actually my second favorite, next to skylarking of course. nonsuch is close, but oranges and lemons 1. feels like the victory lap, orgasmic release of all of the tension on skylarking and 2. feels a lot like being at the beach or in a tropical environment which goes well with skylarking's seasons and nature-y summers

Probably Magic
Oct 9, 2012

someone, somewhere, has talked trash about the university of kansas, and this is very unacceptable


Black Sea's one of my favorite albums ever.

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

If you're into '60s psychedelic rock and pop (or the Ween approach to genre parody/homage), you must listen to the EP and album they released as The Dukes of Stratosphear. It's some of their very best work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30XdxwZb0kc

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


I had no idea Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson) was with XTC for a while. That's awesome.

Rollersnake fucked around with this message at May 8, 2018 around 08:40

landgrabber
Sep 12, 2015


Rollersnake posted:

If you're into '60s psychedelic rock and pop (or the Ween approach to genre parody/homage), you must listen to the EP and album they released as The Dukes of Stratosphear. It's some of their very best work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30XdxwZb0kc

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


I had no idea Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson) was with XTC for a while. That's awesome.

there's surprising overlap. andy and david byrne were pals for a long time

landgrabber
Sep 12, 2015


listening to english settlement for the first time tonight. at least for the first song, it's more psychedelic than i expected based on having only listened to skylarking and everything that came after it

Douglas Dinsdale
Oct 13, 2006



You've already backtracked to album 5.
You may as well do it right and track their evolution from the start.
The first five are pretty much the only albums I've liked by them (the ones with drummer Terry Chambers) after which I found them too pastoral and folksy.

White Music:
Science Friction
This is Pop

Go 2 (with art by Hipgnosis, the design house doing artwork for such prog-rock luminaries as Yes, Pink Floyd, Osiris, Alan Parsons Project, etc.).
Original keyboardist Barry Andrews leaves after this album (he went onto form Shriekback with Gang of Four bassist Dave Allen).
Are You Receiving Me?

Drums and Wires
With the addition of second guitarist Dave Gregory, they probably were at the height of US popularity with the hits Making Plans for Nigel and Life Begins at the Hop.

Black Sea
Virgin Records was desperate to turn XTC into huge stars (which probably didn't help with Andy Partridge's crippling stage fright that made them stop playing live entirely), but by about now English music press like the NME were turning against them for their stateside success.
Generals and Majors featuring a cameo by Virgin Chairman Sir Richard Branson.
Sgt. Rock
They were electrifying on a double bill with the Police (touring behind Zenyatta Mondatta, their third).

And you're now caught up.

Astrochicken
Aug 13, 2007


Are we all in agreement that Mummer and Big Express are less than stellar?

landgrabber
Sep 12, 2015


Douglas Dinsdale posted:

You've already backtracked to album 5.
You may as well do it right and track their evolution from the start.
The first five are pretty much the only albums I've liked by them (the ones with drummer Terry Chambers) after which I found them too pastoral and folksy.

White Music:
Science Friction
This is Pop

Go 2 (with art by Hipgnosis, the design house doing artwork for such prog-rock luminaries as Yes, Pink Floyd, Osiris, Alan Parsons Project, etc.).
Original keyboardist Barry Andrews leaves after this album (he went onto form Shriekback with Gang of Four bassist Dave Allen).
Are You Receiving Me?

Drums and Wires
With the addition of second guitarist Dave Gregory, they probably were at the height of US popularity with the hits Making Plans for Nigel and Life Begins at the Hop.

Black Sea
Virgin Records was desperate to turn XTC into huge stars (which probably didn't help with Andy Partridge's crippling stage fright that made them stop playing live entirely), but by about now English music press like the NME were turning against them for their stateside success.
Generals and Majors featuring a cameo by Virgin Chairman Sir Richard Branson.
Sgt. Rock
They were electrifying on a double bill with the Police (touring behind Zenyatta Mondatta, their third).

And you're now caught up.

you don't like skylarking????

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

Astrochicken posted:

Are we all in agreement that Mummer and Big Express are less than stellar?

It's been a while since I listened to either in their entirety, but I remember thinking Mummer started strong and kinda petered out, while The Big Express was maybe one of their best. Train Running Low on Soul Coal is one of my favorite XTC songs, and it would be their best closing track if not for Travels in Nihilon.

landgrabber
Sep 12, 2015


i really sincerely hope this thread stays afloat somehow. i love this band and it's so hard to find people talking about them

El Gallinero Gros
Mar 17, 2010



Douglas Dinsdale posted:

You've already backtracked to album 5.
You may as well do it right and track their evolution from the start.
The first five are pretty much the only albums I've liked by them (the ones with drummer Terry Chambers) after which I found them too pastoral and folksy.

White Music:
Science Friction
This is Pop

Go 2 (with art by Hipgnosis, the design house doing artwork for such prog-rock luminaries as Yes, Pink Floyd, Osiris, Alan Parsons Project, etc.).
Original keyboardist Barry Andrews leaves after this album (he went onto form Shriekback with Gang of Four bassist Dave Allen).
Are You Receiving Me?

Drums and Wires
With the addition of second guitarist Dave Gregory, they probably were at the height of US popularity with the hits Making Plans for Nigel and Life Begins at the Hop.

Black Sea
Virgin Records was desperate to turn XTC into huge stars (which probably didn't help with Andy Partridge's crippling stage fright that made them stop playing live entirely), but by about now English music press like the NME were turning against them for their stateside success.
Generals and Majors featuring a cameo by Virgin Chairman Sir Richard Branson.
Sgt. Rock
They were electrifying on a double bill with the Police (touring behind Zenyatta Mondatta, their third).

And you're now caught up.

Wasn't the height of their popularity when Dear God was released?

Astrochicken
Aug 13, 2007


IIRC they werent necessarily popular at that point, that was just a huge song. And it has a way of showing up in pop culture every few years. Like as a neat little segue in last year's It.

Pablo Nergigante
Apr 16, 2002



Tbh I like the Dukes of Stratosphear album better than any XTC album. They’re all good though

Douglas Dinsdale
Oct 13, 2006



El Gallinero Gros posted:

Wasn't the height of their popularity when Dear God was released?

They seemed to have found the most commercial success with "Drums and Wires" (#3) and "Black Sea" (#4, vinyl version originally came in a black polybag).
"Skylarking" (#8, the one with "Dear God") came close, but the preceding three "English Settlement" (originally a double vinyl record, and subsequently cut to a single with fewer songs), "Mummer," and "Big Express" (which isn't even available on Spotify) didn't perform all that well.

Once Terry Chambers and his propulsive rock drumming hosed off to Australia after "English Settlement" due to the band's abandonment of live performances, his marriage to an Aussie lady, and rumored in-fighting over lack of songwriting credits and royalties, I found the band's folksy and tricky arrangements to be quirky in an unappealing way. (I mean, they were always quirky and too clever by half, but I could take the rockier arrangements.)

I think old fans who started with the band chronologically right from "White Music" or a shade later with "Drums and Wires" share my disappointment with the later, decidedly very English compositions.

I bought this for $3 from a guy selling his vinyl collection long, long ago.

Noise Machine
Dec 3, 2005

Today is a good day to save.

Fun Shoe

Douglas Dinsdale posted:

"Mummer," and "Big Express" (which isn't even available on Spotify) didn't perform all that well.


I'm in the US and Big Express is definitely available on spotify

Douglas Dinsdale
Oct 13, 2006



Noise Machine posted:

I'm in the US and Big Express is definitely available on spotify

Not in Canada, although the other Virgin releases are all there.
Weird. (There's always Youtube.)

Gaspy Conana
Aug 1, 2004

this clown loves you

Apple Venus, Nonsuch, and Skylarking are the only albums of theirs I've properly digested. I like those three lot and had no idea there were different phases to the band, which makes me excited to dig into their earlier stiff.

Gaspy Conana fucked around with this message at May 13, 2018 around 12:26

Douglas Dinsdale
Oct 13, 2006



I found a couple relevant and relatively new articles that may be of interest.

XTC albums from worst to first--obviously this is wide open to argument

Is XTC too Competent to be Cool?


But yeah, the way I see their career is essentially three stages: Their agitpop phase with fairground keyboards with Barry Andrews (first two albums); their transitional rock-y phase with original drummer Terry Chambers, without Andrews and the new addition of second guitarist Dave Gregory (Drums, Black Sea, and English Settlement); and the final, studio-only phase as a trio without Chambers (although Gregory's gone by the final album).
As I've said before, I gave up after the fifth album (I kept buying them, but I frisbeed Mummer, Big Express, and Skylarking, and that was that).
Even as a fan I always knew them to be insufferably nerdy and annoying. (Try listening to Beeswax, their B-sides collection covering the first five albums.)

landgrabber
Sep 12, 2015


Douglas Dinsdale posted:

I found a couple relevant and relatively new articles that may be of interest.

XTC albums from worst to first--obviously this is wide open to argument

Is XTC too Competent to be Cool?


But yeah, the way I see their career is essentially three stages: Their agitpop phase with fairground keyboards with Barry Andrews (first two albums); their transitional rock-y phase with original drummer Terry Chambers, without Andrews and the new addition of second guitarist Dave Gregory (Drums, Black Sea, and English Settlement); and the final, studio-only phase as a trio without Chambers (although Gregory's gone by the final album).
As I've said before, I gave up after the fifth album (I kept buying them, but I frisbeed Mummer, Big Express, and Skylarking, and that was that).
Even as a fan I always knew them to be insufferably nerdy and annoying. (Try listening to Beeswax, their B-sides collection covering the first five albums.)

how do you not like skylarking?

Astrochicken
Aug 13, 2007


If the melodies and hooks on Skylarking don't grab you then there's nothing really there except a cloying britishness.

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

My ranking goes Apple Venus Vol. 1 > Chips from the Chocolate Fireball > Skylarking > Drums and Wires > Black Sea, and I'm not too sure after that. I binge-listened almost their whole career several years ago, and a lot of it runs together in my memory—I recall English Settlement and Oranges & Lemons being my least favorite, but gently caress if I can even remember why at this point. The only album of theirs I still haven't heard at all is Go 2.

Rollersnake fucked around with this message at May 14, 2018 around 03:54

DONT THREAD ON ME
Oct 1, 2002



Floss Finder

I love XTC. It's cool that there's a thread for them

DONT THREAD ON ME
Oct 1, 2002



Floss Finder

XTC was the first band I ever got into. I was 8 or 9 when Nonsuch came out (my dad was a fan) so that was my gateway.

Nonsuch had a big impact on me at that age.

abraham linksys
Sep 6, 2010



the only XTC albums I've heard are Drums and Wires (which I love) and Go 2 (which I found for $3 at a record store), so I suppose I should listen to more of their stuff, huh

Drums and Wires is a fuckin incredible album though. Complicated Game is one of the best album closers of all time

trem_two
Oct 22, 2002



abraham linksys posted:

the only XTC albums I've heard are Drums and Wires (which I love) and Go 2 (which I found for $3 at a record store), so I suppose I should listen to more of their stuff, huh

Drums and Wires is a fuckin incredible album though. Complicated Game is one of the best album closers of all time

You should definitely spend some time with Black Sea

abraham linksys
Sep 6, 2010



trem_two posted:

You should definitely spend some time with Black Sea

generals and majors

landgrabber
Sep 12, 2015


MALE SHOEGAZE posted:

XTC was the first band I ever got into. I was 8 or 9 when Nonsuch came out (my dad was a fan) so that was my gateway.

Nonsuch had a big impact on me at that age.

nonsuch was my first, a few months ago. listening to their other records, it does give context for how goddamn good it is - i probably like skylarking and even oranges and lemons more, but drat, nonsuch feels like they know it's their last chance and they're working really loving hard to go out with a bang.





then they came back in 1999 and those almost feel like a tv show does when it's canceled and brought back

A Big... Dog
Mar 25, 2013

HELLO DAD


XTC are my favourite band, and have been since raiding my dad's record collection as a wee guy.

Nonsuch is the current obsession. Crocodile and The Ugly Underneath, ya kiddin me??

Venomous
Nov 7, 2011



White Music is underrated as gently caress, Barry Andrews’ keyboard gave them a sound that predated Cardiacs by a few years and it has the second best cover of All Along The Watchtower ever

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qXxOSYZi7U

also Plus Chicker by Polysics is one of my favourite songs but listening to Neon Shuffle it’s easy to see how Polysics came up with that riff

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFYnIx9mjbQ

basically White Music loving rules and you should give it a shot if you like stuff like Devo or Cardiacs or Polysics or whatever

Venomous fucked around with this message at May 23, 2018 around 19:16

GoutPatrol
Oct 17, 2009

Coal Jobs for the Coal God


Nap Ghost

First time I tried mushrooms I put on Skylarking. It was a great experience and I'll praise that album forever.

landgrabber
Sep 12, 2015


GoutPatrol posted:

First time I tried mushrooms I put on Skylarking. It was a great experience and I'll praise that album forever.

i did NOT think of skylarking as a psychedlics album until now but my mind is scanning over it all and it makes total sense. what 1000 umbrellas like?

anyway i'm listening to apple venus 1 again and it's actually very good. probably just wasn't in the right mood right now - it's like if every lovely stripped down/acoustic/orchestral indie band (shins and their knockoffs) were actually good (there are maybe two good shins songs do not @ me)

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landgrabber
Sep 12, 2015


also andy was wrong about big day being the weakest song on skylarking. it is actually the best song on skylarking

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