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Subject: Chalkhills #107


                  Chalkhills, Number 107

                Sunday, 30 September 1990
Today's Topics:
                     XTC Radio Blurbs
                Guesses for Rag 'n' Bones
                    Geffen's Dukes CD
                    Various and Sundry
                      X-plaining XTC
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Date: Fri, 21 Sep 90 05:13:16 PDT
From: "Rain falls in gray far away..." <wilson@psylo.enet.dec.com>
Subject: XTC Radio Blurbs

A few weeks ago while listening to WFNX FM radio (Lynn/Boston, MA), Andy
Partridge came on and said, "Hello, great FESTERING world out there,
this is Andy Partridge..."

Do you hear any interesting XTC radio blurbs in your area?

Wes

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Date:         Tue, 25 Sep 90 05:09:55 EDT
From: Ben Zimmer <ZIMBENG@yalevm.bitnet>
Subject:      Guesses for Rag 'n' Bones

Still no word on Rag 'n' Bones Buffet?  All I know is it'll have B-sides and
rarities, so I figure it could have some from the following categories:

1) Songs on Beeswax not yet released on CD: Pulsing Pulsing, Blame the Weather,
Tissue Tigers, Punch and Judy, Heaven is Paved With Broken Glass.
2) Other B-Sides not yet on CD: Strange Tales, Strange Tails, Officer Blue,
Take This Town, Extrovert.
3) Demos, already released, possibly shaped up: Terrorism, Let's Make a Den,
Find the Fox, The Troubles, Living in a Haunted Heart, The Good Things, ...
Angry Young Men, Happy Families, My Paint Heroes.
4) Unreleased demos: All of JV's Sketchbook, Pearl, Oh Little Baby, Monkeys in
Human Skin Suits, Dream Down, Gangway for Electric Guitar, Blue Beret, etc.
5) Edits, mixes, live tracks.

What am I forgetting/getting wrong?  Seems like there's enough for 2 or 3
CDs-ful of odds and ends.  I'd personally love to see some obscure demos see
the light of day.  Or a cleaned-up selection from JV's Sketchbook, or un-
released Dukes songs!  But I'm dreaming.
Anyone know the likelihood of such stuff being released?

                                                        Ben Zimmer

"Cough and wheezing,
 They dribble pretensions..."

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Date: Wed, 26 Sep 1990 13:46:11 PDT
From: John M. Relph <relph@presto.ig.com>
Subject: Geffen's Dukes CD

For all you Dukes fans wondering if Geffen forgot the tail end of _25
O'Clock_ when they released the _Chips from the Chocolate Fireball_
CD, here's a piece of evidence to the contrary:

dkletter@adobe.com (It's all fun and games until someone PUTS AN EYE OUT) says:
>
>i listened to my Dukes CD tonight and it definately has that
>little bit you mentioned. it also seems to have the entire song that
>you described being played backwards (but slower) right after the "mole,
>mole, mole.." part fades out. the only way i could tell really is that
>it sounded a lot like what you had sung (only backwards). so, i guess
>Geffen didn't stiff me after all!

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Date: Sat, 29 Sep 1990 16:17:11 PDT
From: John M. Relph <chalkhills-request@chalkhills.org>
Subject: Various and Sundry

		   Random XTC News and Trivia Time!

Hey friends,

  Yes, indeed, we here at Chalkhills central have been able to verify
the rumour that Virgin UK had taken the time and care to go back and
remaster their _English Settlement_ CD.  The newly available CD has all
fifteen tracks from the original double-LP release and in addition has
a redone booklet which includes all the lyrics, transcribed from the
liner notes to the original album.  The cover art has been redone as
well, and there are a few more graphics, though no pictures.  The
remastering was done by Nimbus UK, and although our methods are not
rigorous, we will attest that the new CD sounds better than its Geffen
US counterpart.  The sound is clearer and has a much expanded
soundstage and better imaging.  Especially noticeable is the clarity of
the reverb on the vocals and the acoustic guitar sound.  And besides,
you don't get lyrics with the Geffen disc.

  Highly recommended.

				-------

  Other trivial XTC notes: mark these down as forgettable.  The last
issue of _The Little Express_ had a picture of a product called
"Hug-a-Planet", a soft stuffed globe designed for kids (and adults --
hug your planet today).  "Hug-a-Planet" is manufactured by XTC
Products.  XTC Products has now branched out and is making a Mars
version of its soft planets.

  The September 1990 edition of _Tower Records' Pulse!_ magazine has a
review of the latest album from Robert Wegmann.  Here's an excerpt:

	Robert Wegmann: Private Yellow Submarine

      "Brian Wilson" put his fingerprint on the face of modern
    music and essentially has been passed over for his just
    desserts," says Tampa, Fla.-based singer/songwriter Robert
    Wegmann.  "But for me he represents every aspect of music
    that I can aspire to and achieve."

      Cut very much in the mold of World Party's Kurt
    Wallinger, Wegmann is capable of echoing as well as
    expanding on a handful of elite pop influences -- the
    Beach Boys, XTC and the Beatles...

  Andy Partridge has also evinced love for Brian Wilson's musical
achievements, witness his songs "Pale and Precious", "Season Cycle",
and surprisingly, "Chalkhills and Children", which Dave Gregory said is
"as good as any Brian Wilson song with the added bonus of brilliant
lyrics, an area in which Andy scores over Brian Wilson."

				-------

  Chalkhills is having trouble understanding the lyrics to a number of
XTC songs.  If you would like to help decipher the words to any of
these tunes, please, give it a go.  We can send you what we've figured
out so far, or you can give it a try without our preconceptions.
Here's the list of songs we don't quite get:

	Pulsing Pulsing
	Strange Tales, Strange Tails
	Officer Blue
	Take This Town
	Terrorism
	The Troubles

  Your mission, if you decide to accept it...  Thanks.

	-- John

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Date: Sun, 30 Sep 1990 13:37:49 PDT
From: John M. Relph <chalkhills-request@chalkhills.org>
Subject: X-plaining XTC

Here are some quotes from "X-plaining XTC Part 2" by Steve Kolanjian
and David Dasch, from 1983:

      Andy on the two "Are You Receiving Me?" takes: "'Are You
    Receiving Me?' with wah-wah organ tone -- originally
    recorded at Abbey Road with Leckie in _Go 2_ sessions and
    was included in some foreign pressings -- song later
    restructured and rerecorded at the Manor with Martin
    Rushent as a single, may have been substitute on some
    albums?"  The Virgin single credits John Leckie as the
    producer, and the same version appears on several non-UK
    pressings or _Go 2_.  We have heard a tape of an alternate
    version of "Are You Receiving Me?" very much as Andy
    describes as the _Go 2_ Abbey Road piece.  This means that
    the Virgin single is actually the Martin Rushent Manor
    version, and the Leckie take is the ghostly wah-wah
    incarnation.  This theory is borne out by the Rushent
    producer credit on the _Waxworks_ LP, the 1982 compilation
    of singles.  In spite of Andy's claim that the Leckie
    version cropped up on some foreign pressings, we have not
    yet been able to locate it anywhere on vinyl.

Has anybody else heard the wah-wah version of "Are You Receiving Me?"

      What might have been: Pat Travers asked Andy to join the
    band in 1977 -- Barry Andrews nearly joined The Jam that
    same year -- Eno had expressed interest in joining XTC in
    1978.

      An alternate unreleased take of "Life Begins at the Hop"
    features the Police's Sting and his wife handclapping.

			.  .  .

      Al Clark, Virgin press officer, sings on "Roads Girdle
    the Globe", a tune recently recorded (but not yet
    released) by Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin.  As we said
    in part one, "Millions" features the oriental guitar riffs
    Andy wrote for "Things Fall to Bits", an outtake from _Go
    2_ written by Barry Andrews...  During the _Drums and
    Wires_ sessions, an Andy song called "Primitive Now", also
    titled "Drum and Wire", was rehearsed.  Actually, the band
    had worked on it as early as the _Go 2_ sessions.  In any
    event, it ultimately came to light on _English Settlement_
    as "It's Nearly Africa".  Other outtakes include four
    Colin songs: "Cheap Perfume" (later recorded by Paul
    Jones, apparently unreleased), "Beautiful People",
    "Someone's Been in my Room", and "I Feel Blue", which
    later became "I Need Protection" and released as the
    B-side of "Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen" on the single
    Colin issued as "The Colonel".  Andy wrote the lyrics to
    the _English Settlement_ tune "Leisure" during the _Drums
    and Wires_ sessions.

Anybody out there seen or heard "Cheap Perfume" by Paul Jones?

      "The Somnambulist", a song based on a poem about a
    sleepwalker by Clodagh Simmons, was recorded in a BBC
    studio, perhaps at the time of the John Peel session
    (October 8, 1979) that produced re-recordings from _Drums
    and Wires_, of which "Scissor Man" has since been
    released.  Incidentally, the other three songs are: "Real
    By Reel", "Ten Feet Tall", and "Roads Girdle the Globe".

			.  .  .

      "Wait Till Your Boat Goes Down": Produced by Phil
    Wainman.  Andy told us in April of 1981 that "Wait..." was
    his favorite composition for XTC, and that he had had high
    hopes for it.  Unforunately, the record followed the boat
    and went down fairly quickly.  You can hear Colin sing a
    couple of lines in the bridge on this otherwise all-Andy
    vocal.  "Wait..." found a slot on _Waxworks_ in a
    different mix with a prominent synth part in the extended
    break...  The band had planned to shoot a promo film for
    "Wait Till Your Boat Goes Down" in which they would be
    seen playing their instruments underwater (literally) in
    diving gear (surely the inspiration for the _Black Sea_
    sleeve).  The BBC nixed the project for fear of
    encouraging the use of electrical instruments in water.
    Lloyd Bridges can rest easy.

			.  .  .

      _Black Sea_: Produced by Steve Lillywhite.  Working
    titles for this LP included _Tigers in Tuneworld_;
    _Quartermasters_; _Hook, Line and Sinker_; _Ship of
    Fools_; _Terry and the Love Men_ (up to the last day of
    recording -- trade ads even appears with this title); and
    many others.  The album comes packaged inside a green
    paper bag inscribed with the group's name and the album
    title.  The regular jacket bears a picture of the group in
    diving gear (shades of the cancelled "Wait Till Your Boat
    Goes Down" promo film), with a seagull, mast and balloon
    at the top spelling X-T-C.  When the paper bag was
    eventually deleted in England, the group's name and the
    album title appeared in print on the cover.  The disc
    features custom labels of white with brown print.  To
    obtain the crackles hear on the intro of "Respectable
    Street", the group used a scratched copy of Peter
    Gabriel's third album (which features Dave Gregory on
    guitar, incidentally).  The chatting deep in the mix of
    "No Language in Our Lungs" was taken from the British TV
    interview program, "Wicker's World".  The anvil sound in
    "Towers of London" was created by tapping a fire
    extinguisher with a microphone stand.  Just before the
    session of "Paper and Iron (Note and Coins)" (a song
    pieced together from five older ones), Andy brought the
    studio occupants to order by commanding, "Okay, come on
    ghoul slaves", a term inspired by a recently viewed horror
    flick.  A dumbfounded Terry replied, "What's he mean by
    that?".  Up until the final hour, through all different
    mixes, this piece of dialogue remained the intro to this
    song.  The banging of a Town House tea tray provided the
    snare drum sound.  Andy recalls that a "slower, more
    melancholy version of 'Towers of London'" was recorded, as
    well as a different version of "Living Through Another
    Cuba".  Outtakes include Colin's "Let's Ban the Bomb",
    written, according to Andy, "unknowning of my own
    anti-nuclear song 'Living Through Another Cuba'".  The
    song had a "gentle skiffle feel" but was never finished.
    "Take This Town" was recorded during the _Black Sea_
    sessions.  Andy's "She Broke the Circle" and "Pretty
    Pretty Two Face" were rehearsed but never recorded.
    Colin's "Looking for Footprints", a _Go 2_ outtake that
    showed up on a _Flexipop_ magazine flexi-disc, was given a
    second go-round in a more aggressive disco style setting.
    Colin's "I Overheard" was demoed, as was Andy's "Monkeys
    in Human Skin Suits".

			.  .  .

We'll send more excerpts from _X-plaining XTC_ to all youse Chalkhills
subscribers soon.

	-- John

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