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Subject: Chalkhills, Archive B


	       Chalkhills Archives, Part B

		  Tuesday, 18 April 1989

Today's Topics:
                           Go 2
                   Re:  XTC preferences
                           Go 2
                         Black Sea
              Dear God on Canadian Skylarking
                      Your first time
                        Faves......
                      Re: Black Sea
                      Your first time
                   Re: Your first time
                      Re: Black Sea
                Buy the imports.  Usually.
                       Re: Black Sea
                           Go 2
                        Faves......
             Re: XTC Imports vs. US Domestics
                      Canadian Virgin
                    Re: Your first time
                      Your first time
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From: dschmidt@athena.mit.edu
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 89 12:30:54 EDT
Subject: Go 2

Barry Warsaw sez:

   I've got Go 2 and while I love the cover art, and the inside sleeve,
   the music, alas, is not my favorite.  There are some noteworthy songs
   on the album ("Red"), but all in all, of their older albums, I prefer
   their more melodic, harder-edged stuff, especially English Sttlement
   and Mummer.

The cover is of course one of the great covers of all time.  I
personally think the music is great too - is there anyone who agrees
with me here?  The entire first side is great, and there are some gems
on the second side as well (Life Is Good in the Greenhouse, I Am the
Audience).  I love the whole sound - the "wrong" notes in the bass,
the jerky guitar, and the wacky organ solos.  I find myself listening
to White Music and Go 2 at least as often as English Settlement and
Mummer.  Another good place to find tunes like Go 2's is the first side
of Beeswax (77-82 B-sides compilation).

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Date: Tue, 18 Apr 89 10:15:14 PDT
From: duane@ebay.sun.com (Duane Day, I.R. - Applications Development)
Subject: Re:  XTC preferences


>	Date: Tue, 18 Apr 1989 9:06:55 PDT
>	From: John M. Relph <relph@presto.ig.com>

>	And I find there are few people who think _The Big Express_ is XTC's
>	best LP, as I do.  I think I played that album for more than six
>	months straight before I got tired of it.  It's still my favourite.
>	And "Wake Up" begs to be played really loud.  Definitely my favourite
>	XTC track.  I always play it first when I move in to a new place,
>	before there's furniture.

I'm starting to agree that _The Big Express_ might be their best album; it's
certainly very adventurous musically and has to be one of the most underrated
albums ever.  Oddly enough, although I was already an XTC fan at that time,
I didn't buy the album for some time after it came out, because all I was
hearing from it on the radio was "All You Pretty Girls" - a nice song, and
a real timbral extravaganza on a good system, but it didn't grab me.  As soon
as I bought the CD, however, I was sold.  Aside from the previously mentioned
"Wake Up" (a masterpiece, I agree), there's the countrified jump of "Shake
You Donkey Up" and the sonic assault of "Train Running Low on Soul Coal",
which would have done any edition of King Crimson proud.

For years, _English Settlement_ was my favorite XTC album.  I also really like
_Oranges and Lemons_ - I think it finds them playing and singing better than
ever, and most of the compositions are incredible.   I have to admit, though,
that _The Big Express_ has been spending the most time in the CD player lately.

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Date: Tue, 18 Apr 1989 10:15:34 PDT
From: John M. Relph <relph@presto.ig.com>

Liz sez:

>Well, I have the Geffen CD, and it does indeed lack "Mermaid Smiled"
>(a song I have never heard).  However, I understand that when
>"Skylarking" was originally released in the US, "Dear God" was not on
>the album.  (I don't know if "Mermaid" was.) I remember overhearing
>two women discussing the album in a record store.  One was
>recommending the album when she observed "That's funny.  "Dear God"
>isn't on MY copy of "Skylarking"."
>
>Anybody have the TRUE scoop?

Well, it's in the discography.  But, the bottom line is, the UK
_Skylarking_ CD has "Mermaid Smiled" following "Another Satellite".
The US Geffen CD has "Dear God" in its place.  The Canada CD has
"Mermaid Smiled", and also has "Dear God", which I assume is at the
end of the disc.

The LP was released by Geffen with "Mermaid Smiled", as it was on the
UK LP.  But when "Dear God" became popular, the LP (and cassette) was
re-released with "Dear God" instead of "Mermaid Smiled".  The catalog
numbers are the same on the two versions, so you have to look at the
track listing.

Personally, I prefer the version with "Mermaid Smiled", because the
song fits better with the concept of the album.  "Dear God" seems
terribly out of place.  However, there is a UK CD single with "Dear
God" and the "Homo Safari Series", so one can have both "Mermaid" in
the right place, and have "Dear God" on CD.  I suppose, if you don't
care about "Homo Safari", then the Canadian CD is the best, but
finding one is another matter.

	-- John

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Date: Tue, 18 Apr 89 13:45:18 EDT
From: klm@cme.nbs.gov (Ken Manheimer)
Subject: Go 2

yes yes yes.  I love Go 2 and Drums and Wires, that pair (which go as
a pair by me) alternate as my all time favorite XTC (and further)
albums with the double-album version of English Settlement.
(_Runaway_ is probably one of my all time favorite cuts, but there are
so many good ones...)  I don't like White Music as much as the rest,
though i would rate The Big Express up there - maybe i don't so
immediately because i only have it on tape (a very rare pre-recorded
tape buy, i don't recall why) instead of record.

Funny, mummer is a bit cold for me, but maybe i have to spend more
time with it.  I definitely haven't been compelled (especially not
like i've been with the old stuff) by the new stuff (Skylarking, etc).
Maybe some day, but i don't know.  When i'm in the mood for Go 2 or
Drums and Wires (!) i'm very very happy they're there...

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Date: Tue 18 Apr 89 14:25:50-EDT
From: Mark Edward Davis <DAVIS-M@osu-20.ircc.ohio-state.edu>
Subject: Black Sea

Black Sea is my favorite XTC album. I became interested in XTC through the
video for 'Dear God'. I thought it was interesting, but I didn't hold out
much hope for 'Skylarking' based on it. Imagine my surprise! I was so hung
up on this album that I searched desperately for more XTC. I couldn't find
any more on CD at the time, so I bought the vinyl Black Sea (a very out of
character move for me). I listened to it non-stop for a week just prior to
going to England for two weeks (a week in London, a week at the Silverstone
racing course). The songs were playing through my head during the whole
vacation. Now that album remains my sentimental favorite. Which brings me
to my question: would anyone like to explain the context of 'Towers of
London'? It seems to be a straightforward historical reference, but I've
never known exactly what the lyrics are about. I suppose looking it up
in an encyclopedia would help, but this way is more fun. Also, when are
the remaining albums going to come out in US CD versions? I've managed
to find a few imports, but I'm still missing several albums. Should I just
go ahead and search for vinyl versions, or are the CDs coming?
-------

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Date: Tue, 18 Apr 89 14:32:08 EDT
From: Mike Godfrey <migod@csri.toronto.edu>
Subject: Dear God on Canadian Skylarking

> Well, it's in the discography.  But, the bottom line is, the UK
> _Skylarking_ CD has "Mermaid Smiled" following "Another Satellite".
> The US Geffen CD has "Dear God" in its place.  The Canada CD has
> "Mermaid Smiled", and also has "Dear God", which I assume is at the
> end of the disc.

Right, "Dear God" is put at the end of the Canadian CD of "Skylarking"
and "Mermaid Smiled" is after "Another Satellite" as on the original LP.

The catalogue number for this release is CVD 2399 on Virgin Canada.
This is also the same catalogue number as the UK Virgin CD that lacks
"Dear God" so you'll have to check the songs if you're buying.

Mike.

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Date: Tue, 18 Apr 89 14:32:14 EDT
From: rpk@goldhill.com (Robert Krajewski)
Subject: Your first time

When was the first time you encountered the music of XTC ?

Well...

Back in the winter of '79/80, when I was still a high school lad, I was
at home watching (please do not gag) _Don Kirschner's Rock Concert_.
I was desperate for new stuff; it's hard to get it when your appetite
has been whetted by Elvis Costello, but you're out in the 'burbs,
effectively cut off from the any record stores, magazines, or radio
station that could help you explore the whole New Wave thing.  Anyway,
there I was on a Saturday night, resigned to be bored out of the my
skull, when that balding schlock merchant (Archies, Kansas) was
prattling about some ``adventurous'' new group from England.  What
could HE possibly consider adventurous, anyway ?  Then next thing you
know, there's these four jokers bopping around a room lined with graph
paper squares, and the one who looks like a punk John Lennon (must be
these glasses) gets little signs that say things like ``banker'' on
them hung around his neck.  All this tomfoolery is set to a circular
musical backdrop that manages to be both astringent and melodic at the
same time.  (That was the video for Making Plans for Nigel.)  The next
clip (Life Begins at the Hop) had cool New Wave chicks dancing around
the band, and every so often there's a shot of them bouncing around on
a couch in the studio, with a cutout cardboard front of a car in front
of them, and flat scenery rolling behind them.

I've never seen the videos since, but I did manage to track down
_Drums and Wires_ in Boston a few months later.

And by the way, is the purported video collection ``Look Hear''
available either in the US or in NTSC format in Japan ?

I know full well that XTC have often been criticized for being New
Wave Pop (by the Byron Coleys of this world), or they've been
criticised for being too clever (by the _Rolling _Stone_ reviewers of
this world), but in 1989, where are the Bush Tetras or Steve Forbert ?

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Date: Tue, 18 Apr 89 11:50:03 PDT
Subject: Faves......
From: Living%Respectable_Street.EBay@sun.com

>I love Go 2 and Drums and Wires, that pair (which go as
>a pair by me)

	Actually, those two don't much go together; On Go2, Barry Andrews
was still with the band (Manic keyboards, Nasty, nasty songs....), whereas
on D&W, Dave Gregory had joined. D&W is much more a pair with Black Sea....

>I don't like White Music as much as the rest

	Oh, Lord.... That's one of the great 'Punk' albums of all time,
'cause they were playing the part, much as they played the part of a
psychdelic band on 'Dukes', and are playing a beatles-influenced 1970
pop group on Oranges and Lemons.

	I mean, how could any album that contains 'Radios in Motion'
not be a top fave?

>Funny, mummer is a bit cold for me, but maybe i have to spend more
>time with it.

	There are two different 'Mummer's; the CD, and the album. The
album is limp-wristed and weak; the CD is great. There are six extra
tracks on the CD, three or four of which beat anything on the rest
of the album (Other than 'Funk Pop A Roll' which is an all-time great).

>Andrews left, did a couple of singles, and worked with The League of
>Gentlemen.

	Then (I think) Gang of Four, and the Shriekback. My advice
regarding that is, **GO BUY SHRIEKBACK RECORDS***, particularly
'Oil and Gold'.

	Y'know what's funny? I've yet to hear about what I consider
not only my favorite, but I think the one 'Must Own' XTC record;
Black Sea.

	In any case, since we're dicussing favorites, her are mine, in order:

Black Sea
English Settment
Go2/Drums and Wires (Tied)
White Music
Mumer (CD Version)
Big Express
Skylarking
Oranges and Lemmons

	If I were to include the 'Dukes' album, it would go
after Big Express.

	As to why I like the ones I like, I could go one and on... But
I will say this; if you don't like the oldest ones (White Music/Go2),
try listening again; *really* listen. They sound crude, sloppy and
noisy, but really, what's going on on those records is every bit as
sophisticated as most of the stuff on O&L and Skylarking.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
 Karl MacRae     UUCP: sun!batman        ARPA:batman@sun.COM
  Sun Microsystems, Milpitas, Ca. (The armpit of Silicon Valley)
  "And all that we're saying's that your're deaf to the fact that there are
		RADIOS In MOTION!"
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
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Date: Tue, 18 Apr 89 14:57:28 EDT
From: "Elizabeth H. Bonesteel" <eboneste@ccm.bbn.com>
Subject: Re: Black Sea

>Buy the imports.  All of the albums are available on CD, in some form
>or other.  Then write Geffen and tell them you want the entire XTC
>catalog on CD, including Beeswax.
>	 -- John

I remember reading (I think in Rolling Stone) that the release of
their older stuff on CD is contingent with the success of Oranges and
Lemons.  (Should I go buy it again?:-))

Also, has anyone else had trouble finding the import CDs?  I bought
Mummer last fall, and at that time I saw both Black Sea and Drums and
Wires fairly frequently.  Shortly thereafter ALL XTC imports seemed to
disappear from the Boston shelves.  Do these stores just have lazy
ordering departments, or is something up?

Liz

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From: dschmidt@athena.mit.edu
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 89 15:03:36 EDT
Subject: Your first time

Robert Krajewski sez:

   When was the first time you encountered the music of XTC ?

I bought Go 2 solely on the merits of the record cover, having heard
nothing of the band, nor knowing what their music sounded like.  Maybe
I should buy more albums that way...

As long as we're doing favorites lists:

Oranges and Lemons
Black Sea
Go 2
Drums and Wires
The Big Express
White Music
English Settlement
Skylarking
Mummer

They're all great; this is basically a ranking of how often I listen
to each.  On lists so far, I haven't seen Oranges and Lemons do so
well; why is this?  I think it contains some of their greatest tunes
yet.  I'd really like to see them explore further some of the
ideas in songs like Poor Skeleton Steps Out, Scarecrow People, and
Miniature Sun.  I can do without more songs like The Loving and Merely
a Man, though.

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Date: Tue, 18 Apr 1989 12:05:41 PDT
From: John M. Relph <relph@presto.ig.com>
Subject: Re: Your first time

Robert sez:
>When was the first time you encountered the music of XTC ?

I first heard XTC on Irish radio, when "Making Plans for Nigel" was as
close as it came to being a hit.  I liked it, but that was the last I
heard from XTC until I heard "Respectable Street" and "Generals and
Majors" on KROQ in Los Angeles in late 1980.  I liked it so went out
and bought _Black Sea_.  Some time later, "Generals" was being played
on the more mainstream KMET.  Yeah, that was the same time that U2's
_Boy_ was still pretty underground.

>And by the way, is the purported video collection ``Look Hear''
>available either in the US or in NTSC format in Japan ?

According to The Little Express discography, it's called _Look Look_
and is available as a Japanese video.  People on various lists and
groups have said that $100 US seems to be the going rate for the
imported tape, but others have said that they've found it cheaper.

	-- John

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Date: Tue, 18 Apr 1989 12:20:58 PDT
From: John M. Relph <relph@presto.ig.com>
Subject: Re: Black Sea

>>Buy the imports.  All of the albums are available on CD, in some form
>>or other.  Then write Geffen and tell them you want the entire XTC
>>catalog on CD, including Beeswax.

>I remember reading (I think in Rolling Stone) that the release of
>their older stuff on CD is contingent with the success of Oranges and
>Lemons.  (Should I go buy it again?:-))

That might make sense, and Geffen seems to be promoting _O&L_ fairly
heavily, unlike previous LPs.  They've released 12", 7", CD-3, and
cd-singles for "Mayor of Simpleton", and have distributed promo
materials to record stores, etc.  Sure, buy it again and give it to
your friends.

>Also, has anyone else had trouble finding the import CDs?  I bought
>Mummer last fall, and at that time I saw both Black Sea and Drums and
>Wires fairly frequently.  Shortly thereafter ALL XTC imports seemed to
>disappear from the Boston shelves.

All imports in general seem to be disappearing.  This seems to be the
result of the RIAA trying to police the market (and importers) more
heavily, in order to prevent what they term `loss of income', to make
sure that the artists they represent aren't losing royalties.  Yeah
right, what a load.

	-- John

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Date: Tue, 18 Apr 89 13:17:39 PDT
From: duane@ebay.sun.com (Duane Day, I.R. - Applications Development)
Subject: Buy the imports.  Usually.

>From: John M. Relph <relph@presto.ig.com>
>Buy the imports.  All of the albums are available on CD, in some form
>or other.  Then write Geffen and tell them you want the entire XTC
>catalog on CD, including Beeswax.

Do not, however, buy the import _English Settlement_, as it is missing
"Leisure" and "Down in the Cockpit".  The entire 2-album set is present
on the domestic release.  I haven't heard the domestic version, so I
don't know if there's any difference in quality between the two.  Has
anyone done an A-B comparison on these?

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From: sco!stewarte@ucscc.ucsc.edu
Subject: Re: Black Sea
Date: Tue Apr 18 12:39:57 1989

Mark sez:
>>Also, when are
>>the remaining albums going to come out in US CD versions? I've managed
>>to find a few imports, but I'm still missing several albums. Should I just
>>go ahead and search for vinyl versions, or are the CDs coming?

Then John sez:
>Buy the imports.  All of the albums are available on CD, in some form
>or other.  Then write Geffen and tell them you want the entire XTC
>catalog on CD, including Beeswax.

Now wait a minute...if he buys all the imports, why should he care
whether Geffen releases everything or not?  The imports do add up.
According to reports at the time of the domestic release of English
Settlement and The Big Express, Geffen _does_ intend to release all
the catalog on CD.  As to when, I'm sure it won't be for a while
(since they won't want people to get other "new" releases confused
with Oranges & Lemons).  Letters to Geffen sure couldn't hurt.
I'm still hoping that a domestic Drums & Wires will include "Life
Begins at the Hop" _and_ the 3 song from the bonus EP (LBATH isn't
on the UK CD, damn it).

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From: sco!stewarte@ucscc.ucsc.edu
Subject: Go 2
Date: Tue Apr 18 11:41:01 1989

>The cover is of course one of the great covers of all time.  I
>personally think the music is great too - is there anyone who agrees
>with me here?  The entire first side is great, and there are some gems
>on the second side as well (Life Is Good in the Greenhouse, I Am the
>Audience).  I love the whole sound - the "wrong" notes in the bass,
>the jerky guitar, and the wacky organ solos.

I like the sound of Go2 as well, but I have found that after prolonged
listening, the songs don't hold up as well as most other XTC albums.
I much prefer White Music, which has a lot of the same sound as well
as what I think are better written songs.  Not to mention the greatest
cover of "All Around The Watchtower" ever, fuck Hendrix and U2.

Stewart

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From: sco!stewarte@ucscc.ucsc.edu
Subject: Faves......
Date: Tue Apr 18 12:55:18 1989

>        There are two different 'Mummer's; the CD, and the album. The
>album is limp-wristed and weak; the CD is great. There are six extra
>tracks on the CD, three or four of which beat anything on the rest
>of the album (Other than 'Funk Pop A Roll' which is an all-time great).

I almost agree with you here; many of the bonus tracks are good, but
I feel they disrupt the flow of the album somewhat.  Particularly the
Homo Safari tracks.  Come to think of it, those are the only ones that
really bug me.  I love Homo Safari as a whole, but those two pieces
just seem out of place on Mummer.  Funk Pop A Roll is great, but don't
forget Terry's swan song, "Beating of Hearts", featuring some of his
best drumming ever.

>>Andrews left, did a couple of singles, and worked with The League of
>>Gentlemen.

>Then (I think) Gang of Four, and then Shriekback.

I don't think he was ever in GoF; at least, he didn't record with them.
Dave Allen of Shriekback was, of course.

>        Y'know what's funny? I've yet to hear about what I consider
>not only my favorite, but I think the one 'Must Own' XTC record;
>Black Sea.

Karl, you're obviously a man of great taste and distinction.
I agree wholeheartedly; Black Sea was my first XTC album, and was for
a while surpassed by English Settlement, but I've now come back to BS
as my all-time favorite.

>        In any case, since we're dicussing favorites, her are mine, in order:

>Black Sea
>English Settment
>Go2/Drums and Wires (Tied)
>White Music
>Mumer (CD Version)
>Big Express
>Skylarking
>Oranges and Lemmons

Looks a lot like mine probably would, if I could actually make up my
mind.  I'd rank Go2 significantly lower, though, and Skylarking somewhat
higher.

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Date: Tue, 18 Apr 89 16:55:25 EDT
From: Gary L Dare <gld@cunixd.cc.columbia.edu>
Subject: Re: XTC Imports vs. US Domestics

>From: John M. Relph <relph@presto.ig.com>
>Buy the imports.  All of the albums are available on CD, in some form
>or other.

From: duane@ebay.sun.com (Duane Day, I.R. - Applications Development)
>Do not, however, buy the import _English Settlement_, as it is missing
>"Leisure" and "Down in the Cockpit".  The entire 2-album set is present
>on the domestic release.

In a past article in rec.music.misc, someone did an A-B on this one
(my favourite!) and found that it was better.  Maybe the fact that
the US Geffen is ADD while the UK Virgin is AAD has something to do
with it (or is my memory failing me?).

Could someone confirm that the US Geffen releases are ADD?

Also, the US releases have a number of bonus tracks, b-sides that are
on the Beeswax limited bonus disc that came with the Waxworks record
at its release.  Do the UK releases have no or different bonus tracks?

gld

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Date: Tue, 18 Apr 89 16:57:46 EDT
From: Gary L Dare <gld@cunixd.cc.columbia.edu>
Subject: Canadian Virgin

re: Mike Godfrey on the Canadian version of "Skylarking" (Virgin)

I was under the impression, from scanning the racks when back home,
that Virgin imports all their discs to Canada.  They are then sold
at our domestic price$.  Does this mean they are pressing in Canada
now?  I wonder if this will introduce yet another version of XTC and
other artists' releases . . .

gld
--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ je me souviens ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 Gary L. Dare				> gld@eevlsi.ee.columbia.EDU
					> gld@cunixd.cc.columbia.EDU
	"SLAINTE MHATH!"		> gld@cunixc.BITNET

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Date: Tue, 18 Apr 89 14:28:35 PDT
From: richw@sun.com (Rich Wyckoff - Marketing Communications)
Subject: Re: Your first time

>>When was the first time you encountered the music of XTC?

I first heard XTC in my college dorm room in 1980. My roommate
used to loudly play The Contortions (later James White and the Blacks),
Selecter (ska), and some Talking Heads bootlegs with the express
purpose of pissing off our next-door neighbors.

He played "Complicated Game" from Drums and Wires for me -- billing it's
proficient use of echo and delay as, "A great imitation of a man going
completely insane in the Grand Canyon." "Making Plans for Nigel" was
what really hooked me though. I was lucky enough to catch them in concert a
couple of times thereafter.

On a different tack, any nominations for worst XTC song? I'd have to give it
to "Travels in Nihilon," from Black Sea, or "Leisure," from the English
Settlement CD.

-- Rich

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Date: Tue, 18 Apr 89 17:28:26 EDT
From: warsaw@cme.nbs.gov (Barry A. Warsaw)
Subject: Your first time


> I'd really like to see them explore further some of the
> ideas in songs like Poor Skeleton Steps Out, Scarecrow People, and
> Miniature Sun.  I can do without more songs like The Loving and Merely
> a Man, though.

I agree with the part about Skeleton, Scrow People and Mini Sun.
Particular Scrow People.  But Merely a Man is one of the songs off the
album that would *not* leave my head.  I just love the beginning of
that song and the chorus is infectious.  The Loving is a nice song,
again with catchy melodies (don't they all :-) but I agree in that I
don't rank it as substantial as the other songs.

When I first copped OaL, Earthly Delights and Mayor really struck me,
particularly Earthly Delights.  Colin's bass work is so facinating on
this song and it moves along at an enthusiastic pace.  Here's a quote
form that Musician mag that I mentioned earlier (when I get more time,
I'll post more on this):

Partridge Speaks:
	"On 'Garden of Earthly Delights' I'm trying to get a message over
to my kinds, although they'll have to wait some years before they can
appreciate it: Somebody's begin born and I'm saying welcome -- like,
'Welcome to the Holiday Inn!' I'm in the foyer 'This is life. Come in
and do what you want to, but don't hurt anyone.'" (The song's lyrics
add, with Partidgian wit, "'Less of course they ask you.")  "I'm sure
that's what heaven is, really.  Heaven is not huring anyone."
	So Andy Partridge, nonbeliever, believes in heaven?
	"Yes. Here, now. This is heaven and hell. It's all metaphore
stuff." But don't get him started on the subject of religion.

I really get that feeling of enthusiastic welcome from the song.  I
just love the line: "Kid, stay and snip your cord off!"  Classic.

Anyway, gotta go.

-Barry

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