Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #125

                  Chalkhills, Number 125

                Wednesday, 23 January 1991
Today's Topics:
                France Radio discovers XTC
                    New/old producers?
                       More XTC CDs
          Record Collector article (part three)

Date:         Tue, 22 Jan 91 12:25:03 EDT
From: Emmanuel Marin <MARINP92@frecp12.bitnet>
Subject:      France Radio discovers XTC

Well this example just to tell you how XTC is very much unknown here
in France:

The week before, on 'Les Inrockuptibles', a radio program which
is specialised in 'alternative music', that means the music you do not
hear elsewhere (All the Manchester Stuff and so...), the weekly
'novelty of the novelty' was.... Rag'n'Bone Buffet. (I have bought it
on a French shop about 1 month ago...).
So they passed each day one song (beginning with 'Respectable Street'),
and manifestly the DJ was quite ignorant about the band, not even mentioning
the interest of this song was that it has cleaned-up lyrics.
Anyway I think this DJ is stupid anyway (he's always saying that
if an alternative band is successful in France it is only because he
presented us its songs...)
And of course he gave no news about them...


Technical PS : Sony will release this year a video tape recorder working
with all standards through the world... so if you are planning to buy one
wait.. you will be able to watch XTC videos from anywhere. (Realise that
though trying a lot, I have not yet seen XTC videos, just vinyls an
d photos...that is..ugh..and we are in 1991, not 1965 | ugh...)


Date:    Tue, 22 Jan 1991 16:22:32 CST
Subject: New/old producers?

So both Lillywhite and Paghdam are producing the new album.  Wow.  Could
this signal the final shedding of the Dukes' psycheledic skin?  Could this
signal a return to their old sound?  I hope not.  Time for something new.

Does anybody know who selected these guys?

Gary Jedlicka


Date: Wed, 23 Jan 91 06:55:52 CST
From: oconnor!siouxsie! (Joe Lynn)
Subject: More XTC CDs

In the February issue of _ICE_ (International CD Exchange newsletter),
a few of our favourite CDs are mentioned:  _White Music_, _Go 2_,
_Drums and Wires_, _Black Sea_, and _Mummer_ are all slated to
be released in the USA by Geffen on March 19.  Hooray!!

(Normally, I don't like quoting sources like _ICE_ without letting
them get mileage out of their info themselves, but this seemed
pertinent to the Digest.  _ICE_ sells for $2.00 a copy (13-issue
subscription for $24.00) from: International CD Exchange,
P.O. Box 3043, Santa Monica, CA 90408.  I am not affiliated with
_ICE_:  I'm just a satisfied three-year subscriber.)


Kevin Carhart said:

> Is anyone familiar with XTC's origins in relation to the drug?  People
> who i am talking to about XTC will occasionally snicker, "ah yes, Ecstasy."

In the interviews I've heard (and with my scant knowledge of the 'Ecstasy'
culture), XTC (the band) was around way before the drug.
The first XTC record came out in 1977.

------- said:

> I have read in more than one place that listeners feel that Skylarking
> was a continuation of the Dukes of Stratospheare's "feel", but
> personally I don't see it at that much.

I don't see that either.  I was under the impression (and I could go
through old _Chalkhills_ to find out) that XTC did the second Dukes
project to "clear their systems" and have some fun after having worked
with Todd Rundgren (this is not a slam to you Todd fans :-).

Many critics (and Chalkhillians) have said that on _Oranges and Lemons_
XTC *became* the Dukes of Stratosphear.  I find _O&L_ much more Dukes-ish
than _Skylarking_.

Joe Lynn


Date: Wed, 23 Jan 91 12:14:15 PST
From: (James McGowan)

>Date: Sun, 13 Jan 91 15:15:20 PST
>From: (Kevin Carhart)
>Subject: XTC drug
>Is anyone familiar with XTC's origins in relation to the drug?  People
>who i am talking to about XTC will occasionally snicker, "ah yes, Ecstasy."
>Kevin Carhart

There's no relationship at all, dude.  The band's been around for over
a decade now and has no obvious links to "the drug culture".  Sounds
to me like you're dealing with the old UCSB party mentality. :-)

Besides, isn't XTC weird enough *without* drugs?

James McGowan				Internet:
Network Research Corporation		Phone: (805) 485-2700
2380 North Rose Avenue			FAX:   (805) 485-8204
Oxnard CA 93030


Date: Wed, 23 Jan 1991 22:47:33 PST
From: John M. Relph <>
Subject: Record Collector article (part three)

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

      Having spent some six weeks in the studios with producer
    Hugh Padgham (who'd worked on "Drums and Wires" and "Black
    Sea" as Steve Lillywhite's engineer), the group finished
    the record by the end of the year.  As a taster, "Senses
    Working Overtime" was issued as a 45 . . . coupled with
    "Blame the Weather" and "Tissue Tigers".  Initial copies
    came with an open-out panel sleeve, and for the first time
    since 1977, an XTC single was released in a 12" format.
    The single's Beatle-esque chorus and guitar-work took them
    into the British Top 10 for the first time.

      Having recorded some 30 songs, the group's failure to
    agree on a track listing for a single disc meant that
    "English Settlement" ended up as a double LP set. . .
    Compared with their previous albums, which contained
    reasonably straightforward pop songs, "English Settlement"
    was more experimental with greater emphasis on creating
    different styles.

      Incredibly, several countries including France opted to
    release the set as a single disc, omitting several of the
    best tracks!  Fortunately, this was quickly rectified,
    with the strange result that these butchered versions have
    become sought-after on the collector's market.

      "Ball and Chain" became the band's next 45, available
    initially in a choice of matte or gloss finish sleeve, and
    again supported by a 12" edition.  This included "Cockpit
    Dance Mixture", a remix of the "Down In the Cockpit" album
    track.  The Canadian edition is of most interest, being a
    10" pressed on green vinyl, backed by "No Thugs in Our
    House" and "Punch & Judy". . .

      For the next world tour, an elaborate stage set
    including a huge white horse (as featured on the LP
    sleeve) was built, but the jaunt ended in disarray.  Dave
    remembers: "We got halfway round Europe and Andy wasn't
    well.  He was on a vegetarian diet and just not eating
    properly.  He was also getting very nervous about
    audiences, and it all came to a head at our Paris date at
    Le Palace on 18th March.  Halfway through the first song,
    `Respectable Street', he just ran off stage and we found
    him in a heap in the dressing-room, very upset and
    distraught.  He obviously couldn't go on with the show."

      The group announced that Andy was unwell and that they'd
    perform the next evening, but it rapidly became clear that
    he wasn't fit to play that, or any other show.  XTC left
    for home the following day, and the remaining European
    dates were cancelled.  Everyone hoped that Andy would be
    ready for the U.S. leg of the world tour.

      Dave Gregory: "The first show of the tour was in San
    Diego and we were terrible!  We were totally unrehearsed
    'cause we'd not played together for two weeks.  Andy still
    wasn't well but had convinced himself to do the tour.  As
    soon as he got back on stage, all the old symptoms came
    back.  The following day in L.A., he said that he couldn't
    go through with it and that he had to go home.  It was
    obvious that he was ill, but exactly what it was, no-one
    knew.  The tour was cancelled and we all came back home:
    from that day to this, we've not played any concerts."

      One further 45, "No Thugs in Our House", was released
    from "English Settlement".  This was backed by "Chain of
    Command" and "Limelight", both from the "Drums and Wires"
    freebie, plus a third track, "Over Rusty Water".  Initial
    copies came with a die-cut `theatrical' gatefold sleeve
    with a lyric insert.

      Andy Partridge's nervous breakdown cast a shadow of
    doubt over the future of the band, and when they regrouped
    to rehearse songs for their next LP, all was not well
    within the camp.  Terry Chambers had grown increasingly
    dissatisfied with the material, and as they weren't now
    playing live, he chose to leave and uproot to Australia
    with his family.


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