XTC in the Press: 1990

Tower Records' Pulse!
November 1990
by Harold DeMuir

The Arcane Science of Sequencing (excerpt)

Another instance where sequencing played a pivotal role in an album's creation was XTC's Skylarking. For that project, producer [Todd] Rundgren chose and sequenced the material before entering the studio, constructing a song cycle out of the 30-some-odd demos the band had sent him.

“From the batch of demos we started with, we could have come up with a completely different record,” Rundgren says. “But the agenda for the album, as I saw it, was that at that point in time the band needed to seduce people into listening to them, rather than constantly sparring with the listener. I tried to find some unifying thread to determine what songs would be appropriate for the record, and we came up with the idea of a cyclic thing — birth and death, the turning of the wheel. When we went in to record, we knew where everything went and how everything fit together; we actually laid out the timing information in a way that would accommodate the segues between songs.”

New Musical Express


In the recent Fred Fact article on IMAGINARY RECORDS, you claimed that various bands record for the label under pseudonym. That being the case, can you tell me exactly who XTC claim to be on the ‘If 6 Was 9’ Hendrix tribute? The label merely says ‘Thanks to Dave Gregory and Andy Partridge’ but omits to mention which track they have contributed.
Mark Hamilton, Holyhead, N Wales

XTC's Partridge and Gregory form David Dreams, the band that contributes ‘3rd Stone From The Sun’. The Monks Of Doom (‘Spanish Castle Magic’) are formed by members of Camper Van Beethoven; Styler & Baldwin (‘You Got Me Floatin’) hides the identity of various Green On Red twangers, bangers and crooners, while the wonderfully named Obsequious Cheesecake, the band that supplies the title track, is The Grateful Dead's Bob Weir plus Glenn Phillips and Henry Kaiser.

[Thanks to Darren Keeping]

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31 July 2016