Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #123

                  Chalkhills, Number 123

                  Friday, 4 January 1991

                     Happy New Year!
Today's Topics:
               Three Wise Men and a request
    new demos broadcast/andy interviews robyn in 1984
                     Chalkhills #121
          Record Collector interview (continued)

Date: Tue, 25 Dec 90 09:21:48 CST
From: oconnor!siouxsie! (Joe Lynn)
Subject: Three Wise Men and a request

This past Sunday afternoon, my wife and I were baking Christmas
cookies and pies (oh, how wholesome) while listening to WXRT-Chicago.

As Wendy Rice was ending her show, she said "I have a special treat
for you folks... the Three Wise Men!"  And with that, she launched
into "Thanks For Christmas."   That made *my* afternoon complete...

(My wife said, "Hey, these guys are pretty good;  do we have anything
else by them?  Then Wendy came back on and identified the boys as
who they really are.  My wife said "Those guys are pretty cool, I guess.")


Now for a request:  would any of our Canadian Chalkhillians be
willing to work a trade with me?  I've been looking for an NTSC-VHS-Hifi
copy of _Look Look_ (known in Japan as _Best Hits_) for a couple of
years now.  (A video store near me used to have a second-generation
VHS copy from a laserdisc, but he moved, leaving me video-less.)

I have a couple of XTC rarities for trade, or maybe we could work
something else out.  Failing that, the name and phone number of a
Canadian record/video store that would ship to the US would be


As today is Christmas day, I'd like to wish all Chalkhills readers
a Merry Christmas and a Happy 1991!   (And special Yuletide greetings
to our moderator, John Relph, for keeping this all together...)

Joe Lynn	{!oconnor!jtl}


Date:     Sat, 29 Dec 90 14:08:14 EST
From: the element of laughter <>
Subject:  new demos broadcast/andy interviews robyn in 1984

i had just returned to my apartment from the winter holiday and turned on
the radio to hear the deejay say "i hope you enjoyed those new demos from
xtc for the upcoming album". needless to say, i was peeved. i called them
up (wfmu in east orange, nj) and talked to the deejay for a bit. seems that
a friend of andy's lives in new york city (martin friedman i think is his
name or something like that) and was given a set of the demos. he then sent
a copy to 'fmu. they played 45 minutes of demos. more exists, but i'm not
sure just how much. i wasn't told. i was told that more would be featured
in coming shows, so i'll see if i can sync my listening habits to their

also, someone sent me another robyn hitchcock radio session. andy partridge
makes an appearance as an interviewer. as you might guess, with these two
cards, it's not as a much an interview as it is a stream of nonsense. :)
maybe i'll write down this nonsense later.

oh - thsi radio session is from 1984 and a programme called "the basement".
does anybody know about this programme? i'm not a listener of the bbc (being
grounded in new jersey) and have wondered about this show for a while.



Date: Wed, 2 Jan 91 14:30:02 GMT
Subject: Chalkhills #121

Feb's Q reports that XTC are to enter the studio with Steve Lillywhite and
Hugh Padgham as producers.


Date: Fri, 4 Jan 1991 18:41:28 PST
From: John M. Relph <>
Subject: Record Collector interview (continued)

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

      After a short U.K. tour, XTC reconvened at the newly-
    built Townhouse studios.  Dave recalls: "At the time, we
    were really getting into big drum sounds, and I remember
    Andy saying to engineer Hugh Padgham, `I want the drums
    to really knock your head off!'.  That really was the
    start of the big XTC drum sound which has since become an
    industry standard."

      "Drums and Wires", the band's third album, was issued on
    17th August with the first 20,000 copies containing a free
    7" coupling "Chain of Command" with "Limelight". . .

      Virgin, keen for another hit, pressed for the release of
    a second album track, Colin Moulding's "Making Plans for
    Nigel", as a single.  Issued in September, and coupled
    with two non-LP cuts, "Bushman President (Homo Safari
    Series No. 2)" and "Pulsing, Pulsing", the first 20,000
    copies came in a fold-out game-board sleeve, complete with
    cardboard playing pieces. . .

      "Nigel" reached No. 19 and gave XTC a far higher public
    profile.  Dave: "The single came out while we were doing
    the `Drums and Wires' tour.  By the time we'd finished, it
    had become a hit so we ended up touring constantly until
    Xmas.  Things really started happening.  All our gigs were
    sold out and we were playing 2,000 seater cinemas instead
    of clubs.  We finally felt we were getting somewhere."

      To follow their first Top 20 hit, XTC recorded a new
    Andy Partridge song, "Wait Till Your Boat Goes Down", and
    a re-recording of "Ten Feet Tall" from "Drums and Wires",
    bringing in legendary 70's glam-rock producer Phil Wainman
    for the session.  "Ten Feet Tall" was coupled with
    "Helicopter" and a new song, "The Somnambulist" for their
    first U.S. 45, while in the U.K., "Wait Till Your Boat
    Goes Down" was the top-side, issued in a Partridge-
    designed sleeve in March 1980.

      While the band were in the States, a solo album of sorts
    was issued by Andy Partridge.  Due to the success of the
    "Go +" EP (it was subsequently sold separately from the
    "Go 2" LP), he took the multi-track recordings of the
    previous two LPs to a studio, electronically reprocessed
    some of the songs, then rebuilt them with effects and the
    odd new lyric.  The result was the mid-price LP, "Take
    Away (The Lure of Salvage)", by Mr. Partridge.  Original
    pressings came in a brown textured sleeve. . . .

      While "Drums and Wires" had caught the group between
    their old style and a softer, more melodic approach, the
    next album, "Black Sea", was a much more definite
    statement by the new line-up.  Initial quantities came in
    an outer green paper sleeve and a lyric insert.  Preceding
    the LP was another Colin Moulding-penned 45, "Generals and
    Majors" with early copies available as a double-pack
    backed with three non-LP cuts including "Smokeless Zone"
    and "The Somnambulist".

      XTC broke the European leg of the world tour (with the
    Police and UB40) to fly home and recreate a recording
    session for the BBC, who were making a documentary on the
    group.  This was later broadcast as "XTC At The Manor" on
    BBC-2 in October 1980, and the song heavily featured on
    the special, "Towers of London", was rush-released on 10th
    October to coincide with the screening.  An edited version
    of the album cut, this was coupled with a live recording
    of "Set Myself on Fire", while additional pressings housed
    in a plastic outer sleeve contained a bonus 7" of "Scissor
    Man" (from a John Peel session) and "Battery Brides"
    (live). . .  Despite bearing all the hallmarks of a
    classic pop song, the Partridge-penned single failed to

      Several other XTC rarities surfaced around this time,
    the first being The Colonel's one and only single release,
    "Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen".  The Colonel was Colin
    Moulding aided by Terry Chambers; the single was quickly
    deleted.  Also worth mentioning here is "Take This Town",
    the band's contribution to the "Times Square" film.  The
    song appeared on the soundtrack LP and was coupled with
    the Ruts' "Babylon's Burning" on 7".

      The next track to be issued as a single from "Black Sea"
    was "Sgt. Rock (Is Going to Help Me)". . .  Once again,
    initial pressings featured something to attract the
    collectors, on this occasion a fold-out poster sleeve.
    The real reason for buying the single, though, was for
    live versions of "Living Through Another Cuba" and
    "Generals and Majors" on the flip.  For U.S. and Canadian
    consumption, the record company chose to remix the song,
    which amounted to little more than speeding it up!

      In early 1981, as an adjunct to the U.S. tour, the group
    played some unnerving dates in Venezuela.  Dave recalls:
    "Caracas was like an organised riot!  We played on a
    circular stage, and at the front was a rope where security
    guards stood to keep fans from getting too near us.  The
    had their swords drawn, ready to lash out at anyone who
    dared too near the rope, but they didn't seem to mind that
    someone had stacked up chairs at the back of the hall and
    set fire to them!"

      The band returned home unscathed for the last leg of the
    "Black Sea" tour, and performed for the very last time in
    England in Cardiff on 2nd June.  During the tour, one
    final single was squeezed from the album, "Respectable
    Street" (with altered lyric), coupled with two new songs,
    "Strange Tales, Strange Tails" and "Officer Blue".

      During preparations for their fifth album, several
    overseas compilations surfaced.  In Japan, the "Live and
    More" mini-LP collected various live and studio non-album
    tracks, its sleeve die-cut to reveal a picture label. . .
    Over in Canada, a similar exercise was performed, where
    various B-sides were rounded up and issued as a five-track
    12" EP "Five Senses".


Sorry for all the duplicate digests you may have received,
our mailer has been dying all too often recently.

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