XTC Press Release, Geffen Records, March 26, 1991


For Immediate Release March 26, 1991


Geffen Records is releasing five early albums from XTC on compact disc in the United States for the first time. One of alternative rock's most respected, successful and prolific bands, XTC's initial four albums, White Music (1978), Go 2 (1978), Drums And Wires (1979) and Black Sea (1980), plus XTC's original Geffen debut, Mummer (1983), are also being released with additional songs. All else, including the albums' original cover art, remains the same as their original releases.

Because of the greater amount of time allowed on CDs as opposed to LPs, Geffen has added a total of 20 tracks recorded during the albums' respective sessions to the songlists. Of these songs, 17 have never before been released in America on album. For long-time fans of XTC, they expand not only the length but the breadth of the band's work as it's reflected in each album. With these albums now on CD, it's also expected that new fans will be attracted to this critically-applauded and pioneering commercially-successful alternative group.

XTC's most recent album, Oranges And Lemons, was the No. 1 alternative album of 1989. The singles "The Mayor Of Simpleton" (No. 1 on alternative / modern rock charts, staying there for a solid five weeks) and "King For A Day" (which also reached the Top 10) became the band's best-selling hits to date. Following on the heels of 1986's Skylarking, XTC's last two albums have signalled a high water mark for the band's recognition in America. This first-time CD release of catalog albums and new material is a measure of that success.

Now, of all the band's 10 albums -- the last four recorded for Geffen -- all but one has been released or re-issued on the label in all formats (only Waxworks: Some Singles 1977-1982 has not been released on CD).

The history of XTC was forged in the industrial town of Swindon in north Wiltshire, England, where it's still based today. The original foursome of songwriters Andy Partridge (guitar and vocals) and Colin Moulding (bass and vocals), plus Barry Andrews (keyboards) and Terry Chambers (drums), burst onto the London scene in 1977 during the height of the punk explosion. But these urban rebels quickly carved their own niche, impressing both critics and audiences with their humor, sharp intelligence and vitality as well as their innovative rhythms and melodic twists. In 1978, two cult status albums, White Music and Go 2, were released, though they were available only as imports in the States.

In 1979, Andrews left and was replaced by fellow Wiltshire native and guitarist Dave Gregory. Later that year, XTC released its U.K. breakthrough album, Drums And Wires, which included its first English Top 20 hit, "Making Plans for Nigel", and laid the foundation for success in the U.S. with an official American release. The next album, Black Sea (1980), subsequently charted in the American Top 50.

Major changes, however, were in the offing. Following the double album English Settlement in 1982 -- which included the U.K. hit "Senses Working Overtime" and took a more acoustic approach to the band's music -- four years of grueling tours came to a screeching halt. While onstage in Paris, Partridge collapsed, from a combination of stage fright and frustration with reproducing the band's music live. Shortly after, XTC stopped touring for good -- and added yet another chapter to the eccentric legend of the band.

With the band now studio-bound, Chambers exited for Australia, reducing it to a three-piece (since 1982 the band has enlisted a new drummer for each project). The trio then exited its American label for Geffen Records, which released an orgy of XTC: first releasing Mummer (1984) then re-issuing not only the compilation Waxworks: Some Singles 1977-1982 but the band's entire catalog to that point on both LP and cassette (White Music, Go 2, Black Sea, Drums And Wires, and English Settlement). Later in 1984, the band presented a new studio album, the harder, bluesier The Big Express.

The next year saw the debut of the band's psychedelic alter egos, the Dukes Of Stratosphear, a retro-cool parody of '60s pop, with 25 O'Clock, released only in the U.K. The Dukes returned in 1987 with the once-more critically-acclaimed Psonic Psunspot, including the alternative hit "Vanishing Girl", this time also on Geffen.

Between those two homages came Skylarking and the irony of a B-side non-album hit -- the controversial "Dear God". Three years later, Oranges And Lemons chimed in with "The Mayor Of Simpleton" and "King For A Day".

The success of that album opened the band up to new horizons of popularity and even prompted Partridge to venture forth and play with XTC in public for the first time in years on television's "Late Night With David Letterman" in 1989. The band has since given a couple of small concerts.

New albums and perhaps even new concerts are expected in the near future.

This CD-only release includes:


A cult classic of raw punk pop, XTC's debut album charts in the U.K. Top 30. An off-kilter homage to the confection that is pop (i.e., "white") music, the album jumps with virtually live-in-the-studio energy.

Geffen CD Release 1991 includes seven tracks not on original album: the alien-ated "Science Friction", stuck-in-67 "She's So Square", darkly romantic "Hang On To The Night", and pogo-ish "Traffic Light Rock" (written by Partridge), and the girl-loves-a-tan "Heatwave", frothy "Dance Band", and pop culture koan "Instant Tunes" (written by Moulding). "Science Friction" appeared previously on album only on Waxworks: Some Singles 1977-1982, released on Geffen 1984 on LP/Cassette only.

GO 2

XTC's second album, and second of the year 1978, also reaches the U.K. Top 30. Its literate and very unusual cover reflected two very important characteristics of the band.

Geffen CD Release 1991 includes one track not on the original album: "Are You Receiving Me" (written by Partridge), which appeared previously on album only on Waxworks. All else remains the same, except for a couple of words on the classic cover: "RECORD COVER" has been changed to "COMPACT DISC COVER".


"Making Plans For Nigel" is XTC's first English Top 20 hit and both it and the underground gem "Helicopter" introduce America's alternative pop fans to the band. Says Melody Maker: "XTC has broken cover and broken ground." New Music Express insists that the band's music "demands new adjectives."

Geffen CD Release 1991 includes three tracks not on original album: The flashback dance song "Life Begins At The Hop" and the ode to self-love "Limelight" (both written by Moulding) and the infectious disease-fighting anthem "Chain Of Command" (penned by Partridge). "Life Begins At The Hop" appeared previously only on Waxworks.


Charting in the U.S. Top 50, XTC's fourth album emphasizes the band's social commentary. Including the alternative hit "Generals And Majors", it becomes a breakthrough album for the band in America.

Geffen CD Release 1991 includes three tracks not on original album: the eco-anthem "Smokeless Zone" (written by Moulding), and the plea-for-anger-and-rough-edges "Don't Lose Your Temper" and the breathy "The Somnambulist" (both written by Partridge).


Says Partridge, "Until early 1982, our work was like black-and-white TV. Mummer was the first in full color -- bright sky blue." Mummer was the band's first album on Geffen Records in the U.S. and its sixth album overall, following the release of the similarly acoustic-based English Settlement, a double album, in 1982 which included the U.K. hit "Senses Working Overtime".

Geffen CD Release 1991 includes six tracks not on original album: "Frost Circus", the fear-of-love-and-swimming-pools "Jump", Toyland-gone-berserk "Toys", the hopeful "Gold", "Procession Towards Learning Land" and "Desert Island", a paean to Great Britain (all written by Partridge).

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