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Subject: Chalkhills #121

                  Chalkhills, Number 121

                Tuesday, 11 December 1990
Today's Topics:
                   Re: Chalkhills #120
                     Chalkhills #120
                         Drummers
                   Re: Chalkhills #120
            Record Collector Magazine Article
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Date: Fri, 7 Dec 90 17:05:36 -0500
From: Rotund For Success <jsd@gaffa.mit.edu>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #120

>From: Emmanuel Marin <MARINP92@frecp12.bitnet>
>Subject:      XTC in France
>
>OK First of all hello everybody, and First hello of France, since
>I think I must be the first French to join this list.

Bonjour!  (OK, that's all the French I know...)

>So I am here reading all kinds of titles that I 've never heard of
>(let's say I am proud of my live 'Nigel', but I am unable to find
>BeeWAX or Jules Verne etc.. I even do not know what they are|), hearing
>about videos..(The French system is SECAM, The English PAL, and US again
>something else no?)

Yes. The US television system is NTSC.  Some wags claim it stands for
"Never Twice the Same Colour."

Beeswax is an LP of b-sides that used to be packaged with the Waxworks
LP (a collection of a-sides).  I don't think they sell it any more,
except as a used item.  You can get most of the things on it by buying
the CDs.  And of course, the wonderful new Rag And Bone Buffet collection.

>Of course I am unable to participate to the 'What are they saying?' questions:
>I am not English native speaker. (BTW, When you don't understand the lyrics
>I can told you Travels in Nihilon is the worst XTC song ever)

Even if you do speak English, it's just as bad!  (Although "I Need
Protection" and "Take This Town" are also driving me crazy).
Maybe I'll attempt a French translation of "Nihilon" on Monday...

>Before to end just a question : In Paris , I have seen a strange little box
>Oranges & Lemons being sold. I dont know what it was : it has the size
>of a large playing cards box ,and i first thought it was a tape
>as in the mid-60's (I mean not a tape as now but a large wheel -shame
>I don't know the word).Can someone help me ?

This was probably the 3" CD set.  It was basically the same as the
album, except that it was spread out across three small CDs, and two
tracks switched places.

>From: Emmanuel Marin <MARINP92@frecp12.bitnet>
>Subject: Ghost titles (are going to kill me)
>
>This morning I have bought 'Big Express' on CD.
>            6.RED BRICK DREAM
>                7.WASHAWAY
>              8.BLUE OVERALL
>I open the box.okay it is written too on the CD.
>I open the boolklet. okay there are the lyrics of these three songs.
>BUT THEY ARE NOT ON THE CD ||||||||

C'est terrible!!  I've never heard of this before - even the American
version has the three extra songs.  Perhaps you could tell us the
label and catalog number of the compact disc?  I'm sure John wants to
put that in his discography (along with a warning: stay away!)

Those songs are great... tant pis!

>I should have see something was wrong because there was not written
>'3 additional tracks that were not on original LP' on the CD.

It doesn't say that on my CD.  It just lists the songs on the disc as
if they were part of the regular album.

+---------------------- Is there any ESCAPE from NOISE? ---------------------+
|  |   |\       | jsd@gaffa.mit.edu | ZIK ZAK - We make everything you need, |
| \|on |/rukman | -Fight The Power- | and you need everything we make.       |
+----------------------------------------------------------------------------+

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Date: Mon, 10 Dec 90 12:55:19 GMT
From: toby@hce.computer-science.manchester.ac.uk
Subject: Chalkhills #120

In this month's Q there's a review of a new album by a band called (I
think) Cud, produced by former (sic) XTC guitarist Dave Gregory.

			???? FORMER ?????

Toby

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Date: Mon, 10 Dec 90 14:47:08 EST
From: poole1@husc9.harvard.edu (Geoffrey Poole)
Subject: Drummers

	Good to hear that XTC are recording again.  I haven't been able to find
the _Record Collector_ article, unfortunately.  Did it say who is drumming on
the forthcoming album?  I'd love to see Ian Gregory get the call.  I loved his
playing on the Dukes albums.  At the top of my wishful thinking list, though,
is Stewart Copeland.  I think he'd make a fantastic addition to XTC's music.
Maybe he could even be persuaded to dissolve Animal Logic.  Probably just
wishful thinking, though.....

Geoff

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Date: Tue, 11 Dec 1990 20:05:01 PST
From: John M. Relph <chalkhills-request@chalkhills.org>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #120

Emmanuel Marin <MARINP92@frecp12.bitnet> says:

>(BTW When you don't understand the lyrics
>I can told you Travels in Nihilon is the worst XTC song ever)

Actually, since the song is about nihilism (a doctrine that all values
are baseless and that nothing is knowable or can be communicated) it
doesn't really matter what the words are.  And it's definitely not the
worst XTC song ever.

> i first thought it was a tape
>as in the mid-60's (I mean not a tape as now but a large wheel -shame
>I don't know the word).

A reel-to-reel tape.

>PS : Do you know if XTC ever toured in France ?

Yes, they did, a number of times.  According to my sources, they
played the following dates in France:

    Paris, Paris Theatre, March 28, 1978
    Paris, Bataclan, December 18, 1979
    Paris, L'Empire, (month/day unknown) 1979
    Toulon, (venue unknown), August 26, 1980
    Lyon, Palais d'Hiver, Match 17, 1982
    Paris, Le Palace, March 18, 1982

The last concert was videotaped for broadcast on French TV, but Andy
left the stage because of a paralysing attack of stage fright, right
in the middle of the first song, "Respectable Street".  That song and
the sound check were captured on video, and I must say it is a very
sad and disturbing thing to watch.

                                . . .

Tom Paluzzi <paluzzit@merrimack.edu> sez:

>Hi!  I'm relatively new to the band and to the lyrics and I was wondering
>what's available on the list as far as lyrics, discography, and bootlegs are
>concerned.

The list itself, that is, Chalkhills proper, maintains a detailed
discography and a lyrics database.  Information concerning known
"released" bootleg or other unofficial recordings may appear in the
discography, but their sources are unknown.  Chalkhills does not
distribute bootleg or other unofficial recordings nor does Chalkhills
know of sources for these recordings.  Individual subscribers may have
further information on bootlegs, and the want ads in _The Little
Express_ and _Limelight_ may also have information on these recordings
as well.

Dave Datta, maintainer of the discography archives and numerous
discographies of other bands had this to say on the subject:

    ANY BOOTLEG MATERIAL LISTED IN THIS DISCOGRAPHY IS NOT
    AVAILABLE.  I WILL NOT ASSIST ANYONE IN OBTAINING COPIES OF
    VIDEOS, LIVE BROADCAST RECORDINGS, OR ANY OTHER UN-OFFICIAL
    PRODUCTS.  DUE TO SUCH REQUESTS, I HAVE REMOVED THE SOURCES
    OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.  PLEASE DO NOT ASK.

The maintainers of the Bremerton, Washington, XTC Discography say:

    For copies of these [recordings] please solicit your wants
    in either "The Little Express" or "Limelight".

                                . . .

Duane Day <duane@ebay.sun.com> muses:

> "Extrovert".
>  However, an acquaintance of mine named Dave
>Bendigkeit is credited on _Skylarking_; Dave's a really great jazz
>trumpet player.
> it might easily be Dave on "Extrovert"
>as well.

Any way of finding out, short of asking Andy?

                                . . .

Emmanuel Marin <MARINP92@frecp12.bitnet> mourns:

>This morning I have bought 'Big Express' on CD.
>I have had it already on tape (recorded on a LP from a friend-hopefully-
>see later why) but on the sleeve there were 3 more titles that I have never
>heard of before.
>BUT THEY ARE NOT ON THE CD !!!!!!!

Terrible.  A travesty.  Please send Chalkhills all the catalog
information about this CD so we can warn other XTC fans, including
record company, catalog number, year of release, etc.

	-- John

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Date: Tue, 11 Dec 1990 21:08:01 PST
From: John M. Relph <chalkhills-request@chalkhills.org>
Subject: Record Collector Magazine Article

The first part of a recording history of XTC found in the
November 1990 issue of the U.K. magazine _Record
Collector_, by Gary Ramon:

      XTC are one of those quintessentially English bands who,
    like the Kinks before them, enjoy more popularity in
    America than at home.  Having progressed from punk-rock
    origins, the Swindon band have issued ten albums in their
    own right -- two under their psychadelic alter-ego the
    Dukes of Stratosphear -- plus an armful of classic pop
    singles, many of these in highly collectable editions.
    When we last featured them back in 1982, XTC were about to
    embark on their ill-fated world tour, which proved to be
    their last real concert dates.  In that same article, we
    valued their debut 45, "Science Friction", at #3.50
    [pounds Sterling]: today, that same disc, complete with
    picture sleeve, is worth 70 [pounds]!  For this update,
    which pays particular attention to overseas rarities, we
    journey to Swindon to jog the memory of the group's
    guitarist Dave Gregory.

      The band's roots date back to the mid-60s when Dave
    began taking an interest in playing guitar.  Around 1967,
    he formed a school band which, by the end of the decade,
    had acquired the name The Pink Warmth (inspired by a
    petrol ad on TV!).  This psychadelic group performed
    irregularly at various youth clubs in Swindon, one of
    which providing the meeting-place between Dave and
    15-year-old Andy Partridge, who'd just taken up the
    guitar.  Over the next few years, the pair met up at
    various guitar shops, where they auditioned new models and
    traded the leading rock riffs of the day; but it wasn't
    until 1979 that they actually teamed up in the same band.

      Dave takes up the store: "Andy met Colin Moulding in the
    early Seventies.  He wasn't in a band or anything; he was
    just a rock fan, though with a bit of coaxing from Andy,
    he decided to learn bass guitar.  It was a case of, `you
    hair's long enough, you can be in my band!'  Through
    Colin, Terry Chambers joined on drums.  They were
    augmented by a short-lived guitarist Steve Phillips, and
    basically grew up together learning to play.  In those
    early days, they couldn't play very well -- none of us
    could -- but they played very loudly and put off a lot of
    people around town!"

      By the mid-Seventies, after constant practising and
    playing, the band improved.  Aided by Andy Partridge's
    rapidly-developing songwriting, and billed as the Helium
    Kidz, they became an exciting live act.  One witness
    compared their early performances to watching a 3-D
    `Marvel' comic with bright primary colours come to life on
    stage.  However original they were, the band couldn't
    single-handedly shake the mood of the mid-70s, when the
    music industry was virtually monopolised by guitar or
    keyboard virtuoso acts.  Within a year, that ethos would
    be broken by a new breed of guitar groups.

      In 1976, the newly-christened XTC, now with Barry
    Andrews on organ, obtained a handful of gigs at `The
    Affair' in Swindon.  Having established themselves
    locally, the band next looked to London and booked some
    club dates.  With the capital buzzing to the sound of
    punk-rock, XTC quickly became seen as part of a second new
    wave, alongside Elvis Costello, Squeeze and the Police.

      Virgin picked up on the group, hastily arranging a
    recording session with produced John Leckie at Abbey Road
    studios around August/September 1977.  A debut 45,
    "Science Friction", was rush-released on 7th October,
    complete with limited edition picture sleeve. . . .

      There was also a 12" edition, "3-D EP", which boasted a
    third track, "Dance Band".  This was kept on Virgin's
    catalogue until the end of the decade, and isn't that hard
    to find . . .

      "Virgin assumed that Swindon was a hotbed of musical
    talent," Dave recalled, "and so they decided to put on a
    show to see who else they could sign!  By this time, I was
    in an R&B band called Dean Gabber & His Gaberdines and, as
    well as us, there were about eight other Swindon bands
    doing this show for the benefit of the A&R men, but
    nothing came of it.  I think XTC was a one-off!"

      The second single, "Statue of Liberty", [was] issued on
    6th January 1978 . . .  "White Music", their album debut,
    followed soon after, and was met with critical acclaim,
    prompting one journalist to call it: "the equivalent to
    eating sherbet dip!".  With well-crafted songs, it
    confirmed that the band's unique brand of high energy pop,
    laced with a steam-powered organ sound, put them into a
    different league from their contemporaries.

      After the group set off on a tour of Europe supporting
    Talking Heads, Virgin released a third single, "This is
    Pop?", backed by the non-LP "Heatwave". . . .

      By August, XTC were back in Abbey Road studios recording
    the "Go 2" album, issued two months later.  The first
    15,000 copies came with a 5-track 12" EP called "Go +",
    featuring dub versions, plus a two-sided gatefold insert
    which included a map of Swindon! . . .  Overseas pressings
    didn't include the bonus 12" initially; instead the disc
    had an extra track, "Are You Receiving Me?", not included
    on U.K. pressings.  This song was subsequently released in
    its own right as XTC's fourth single on 27th October.

      To promote the LP, the band toured the States -- again
    with Talking Heads -- but on returning, Barry Andrews
    announced his intention to leave.  He had been far from
    happy with the inclusion of just two of his songs on "Go
    2" and left to record several solo singles, enjoy a brief
    spell with the League of Gentlemen, before eventually
    settling with Shriekback.

      Back in Swindon, Dave Gregory got the call from Andy
    Partridge requesting him to join the band.  An audition
    was quickly arranged at the group's rehearsal studios on
    the outskirts of town, and on 27th January Dave became a
    fully-fledged member.  "I think it was a question of
    learning some new songs and re-designing the band again,
    but I seriously didn't think I'd last more than one
    album!", recalls Dave today.

      The new line-up debuted 12 days later on a session taped
    for Radio 1's Andy Peebles, after which they began work on
    a new single, the first to be written by bassist Colin
    Moulding.  "Life Begins At The Hop", coupled with an
    off-the-wall Partridge instrumental "Homo Safari" (the
    first in a series of six instrumentals), was issued on 4th
    May 1979, the first 30,000 appearing on clear vinyl with a
    gatefold insert inside a plastic printed sleeve.  Rarer
    still are edited DJ-only copies, again on clear vinyl. . . .
    The song's up-tempo 60s flavour took the band to within
    four places of the Top 50, close enough to warrant an
    appearance on "Top Of The Pops".

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