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Subject: Chalkhills #135


                  Chalkhills, Number 135

                Thursday, 28 February 1991
Today's Topics:
                     Alternate Takes
                        theremin?
                       Flame Fodder
                        Boxed Set
                     Historical Notes
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Date: Mon, 25 Feb 91 08:23:25 PST
From: "WES WILSON, PKO3-2/T12, 223-4891" <wilson@psylo.enet.dec.com>
Subject: Alternate Takes

This past weekend I picked up the soundtrack for "She's Having a
Baby" on CD. The mix of "Happy Families" is different. Wimpier,
with plucked violin strings. Still, because I'm a budding CD
completist, it's a good addition. Also interesting to note on
that is the version of The Smith's "You Just Haven't Earned It
Yet, Baby" done by a female performer (can't recall her name
right now), and produced by *Steve Lillywhite*...

Also of note is the "URGGH! A Music War" soundtrack, which features
XTC's "Respectable Street" live. Is this live version elsewhere on
CD? I doubt it.

Wes

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Date: Thu, 28 Feb 91 17:52:53 GMT
From: toby <toby@computer-science.manchester.ac.uk>
Subject: theremin?

Do the Dukes use a theremin on Pale and Precious?

Toby

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Date: Thu, 28 Feb 91 17:43:11 CST
From: rhb9805@usl.edu (Bird Rendell H)
Subject: Flame Fodder

Dear Chalkhillians--

I am a subscriber to some of the "music-related" mailing lists
which exist in NetLand. Two of my favorite lists have recently
spawned some interesting discussions by picking *least* liked
songs off albums.

Therefore, I am ready to possibly start a flame war, by posting
my own least liked XTC songs.

Note: I have only the CDs to go by. If I pick "bonus cuts" it's because
the songs are there. Also, my collection of XTC is not complete.

THIS IS NOT A LIST OF SONGS I DISLIKE (per se), just the ones
I like least.

*Black Sea*
Travels in Nihilon -- easily the worst XTC song I have ever heard.
                      One of the few XTC songs I actively dislike.

*English Settlement*
All of a Sudden (Its Too Late) -- seems to slow the momentum of the
                                  album down. A great song, though.

*Mummer*
Gold -- ?Horn charts?  on such an idyllic album?

*Big Express*
The Everyday Story of SmallTown - Another one of the few...

*Skylarking*
Big Day -- disturbs the ordering of the album, somehow. It just doesn't
           seem to fit.

*Oranges and Lemons*
The Loving -- too idealistic, too upbeat. The remainder of the album is
              wonderfully twisted. This is my favorite XTC CD.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Rag and Bone Buffet*
Over Rusty Water - 1.5 minutes of one chord?  XTC is usually more original
                   than that!   If 'one chord' was all I wanted I would
                   listen to more Philip Glass.    :-)

*Dear God EP*
Mantis on Parole - just doesn't do much for me. But I like the other pieces
                   of the Homo Safari Series (especially "Procession").

*The Compact XTC*
This World Over - XTC imitates The Police on downers. Still a great song.

...And I think that is enough flame-fodder for now...

Rendell H. Bird
rhb@usl.edu

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Date: Fri, 1 Mar 91 13:17:39 EST
From: graeme@research.canon.oz.au (Graeme Wong See)
Subject: Boxed Set

Greeting Chalkhillers,
	Yesterday I went to the "Virgin Megastore" in Sydney to see if there
was anything interesting. As I was walking around I came across the boxed set
section and saw a Simple Minds boxed set. Lo and behold behind Simple Minds
was .... XTC. It was a Collectors Edition 3 Limited Edition Picture Discs!!
Of course I immediately grabbed the XTC boxed set and bought it. It has three
CDs, Go 2, Drums and Wires and Black Sea. The CDs have a portion of the front
cover on the CDs. Best of all (for me anyway) was that the Drums and Wires CD
had "Life Begins At The Hop" on it! Every other Drums and Wires CD I've
listened to always had that track missing, even if the CD says it had it on it.

However the listing of songs on the outside of the box was still incorrect as
it had the song "My Weapon" from Go 2 missing, but it's on the CD. Don't
understand why Virgin doesn't get it right!! Anyway I'm a happy little
XTCer at the moment.

My question is are there anymore picture discs available? Either singularly
or in boxed sets? If there are I'll diligently seek them out!!

			Graeme

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Date: Thu, 28 Feb 1991 20:11:08 PST
From: John M. Relph <chalkhills-request@chalkhills.org>
Subject: Historical Notes

Aware Paints XTC
by David Dasch
Aware No. 8, Winter 1981-82
[reprinted without permission]

  The drums assault the off beat, the music jolts one moment, races
the next, the lyrics flash with playful wit, and the vocals either hop
with the melody or get shot out of a cannon.  This is XTC, and somehow
it all works -- with a passion.

  XTC is one of the most distinctive bands to emerge in the last few
years.  On vinyl since 1977, the core of the group we know today was
molded in 1973 in Swindon, England, by locals Andy Partridge (guitar,
vocals), Colin Moulding (bass, vocals), and Terry Chambers (drums).
They've been joined by a conveyor belt of fourth members in the past
eight years, including keyboardist Barry Andrews, who played on their
first releases, and guitarist Dave Gregory, who came aboard early in
1979 when Barry left after the second album had been recorded.  Before
he got the XTC call, Dave had been in the local Swindon bands The
Alehouse, and Dean Gabber and the Gabberdines (there are tapes
floating around of the latter conglomeration).

  In April of this year we had the opportunity to chat with XTC, and
as the conversation started perking, the subject turned to the great
wealth of original material composed since the band's formation.  Some
of the early titles suggest pure XTC, and we decided to bring all the
early works to light in a discography with enough detail to satisfy
even the most possessed of anal compulsives.  Strange trivia of the
group's recorded history is also included in this mega-discography.
The band's members warmed to the exhuming of the information (even
though when we walked in, at the end of another interview, Andy was
holding a "Do Not Disturb" sign in front of his face), and perhaps in
wading through the discography the reader will garner a hint of the
fun we all had in piecing these (sometimes ridiculously) obscure facts
together.

X-plaining XTC
(based on an interview by Steve Kolanjian & David Dasch)

                       Compositions, 1973-1976

  During the period of 1973 to 1976 the band played under the names
Helium Kidz, Skyscraper, Star Park, and Snakes.  Too proud to perform
more than a handful of cover versions, the group was writing from the
start.  As Skyscraper they recorded material for Pye Records, and some
of the songs on this first list might have been put down on the Pye
tapes.  The names Star Park and Snakes were short term affairs.  "We
were Star Park for a week", quipped Andy.  What about Snakes?  "For a
day", answered Colin.

  Adrenaline                            My Baby Was A Reptile
  Boogie Woogie City                    Neon Shuffle (Metal Version)
  Bus Station Bully                     Phaser Force
  Cafe                                  Real Teenager
  Don't Anger The Snakes                Robotic Romance
  I Really Feel Mean With My            Rock 'n Roll Road (From 1973)
      Leather Jacket On                 Something Simple, Something
  I'm From Outer Space -- Baby              Swift
      Smash My Face                     South Side Taxi Ride
  I'm In Love With The Hurt             Take An Elevator
  Just A Message To A Sleepwalker       What The Hell Do You Want?
  Little Gold Roller                    Yabber Yabber Yabber

  "Don't Anger the Snakes" tells of the ups and downs of "a frustrated
penis", recalled Andy.  His "Just A Message To A Sleepwalker" was
inspired by the 1919 Fritz Lang film, "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari".
Andy was to return to the subject of sleepwalking in 1979 with "The
Somnambulist".

             The 1975 Decca Recordings by The Helium Kidz

In 1975 the Helium Kidz recorded these seven songs for Decca Records:

  Do You Really                         Shark In The Pool
  I'm The Alligator On Your Block       She Fell In Love With A
  It's About Time We Had Some               Detective
      Rock And Roll                     Teenage Planet
  Saturn Boy

  "It's About Time We Had Some Rock And Roll" was a hard-rocker, the
memory of which prompted Colin to gesticulate wildly in an attempt to
recreate the song's fury.  "She Fell In Love With A Detective" was
originally called "Private Eye."

                       The 1976 Sun Recordings

  Early in 1976 the group recorded seven songs for Sun, all but one of
which later surfaced on Virgin releases.  At this point, the keyboard
player was Johnny Perkins, who left the band in December of that year.
He went on to join Stadium Dogs, who issued records on the Audiogenic
and Magnet labels.

  Hang On To The Night                  Science Friction
  Neon Shuffle                          She's So Square
  Quicksilver                           Spinning Top
  Refrigeration Blues

  "Quicksilver" remains the only unreleased song of this group.
"Refrigeration Blues" was later rerecorded during the sessions for the
_White Music_ LP, but was left unfinished at that time.  Andy took the
second version and adapted it for "Commerciality (Signal Ad)" on the
_Take Away / The Lure of Salvage_ LP, released by Mr. Partridge in
1980.

  Sometime in 1976 the band distributed handouts describing their
music as "ant music", a term coined by Andy.  This tag was later
picked up by Stuart Goddard, who eventually became Adam of Adam And
The Ants.  Andy was also responsible for naming the Talking Heads' LP
_More Songs About Building And Food_.

                           The CBS Sessions

  With Barry Andrews on keyboards, in January of 1977 the group
recorded songs in two sessions for CBS records.  The first session
included:

  Monkey Woman                          Tired Of Waiting For You
  Science Friction

  The band wasn't sure in which session, the first or the second,
"Science Friction" was recorded.  "Tired Of Waiting For You" is the
Kinks classic.  The second session featured:

  Saturn Boy                            Star Park
  She's So Square                       Statue Of Liberty

  "Star Park" is a "spacey ballad" named for one of the group's own
monikers.

  By the fall of 1977, the band signed with Virgin Records, and in
November their first record was released.  Andy had flirted with the
idea of calling the band "The Dukes of Stratosphere", but by the time
the first record came out, he had settled on "XTC" for its distinctive
sound and high visibility.

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Thanks to Ira Rosenblatt.

For all administrative issues, such as change of address,
withdrawal from the list, discography requests (last
update 14 February), back issues, etc., send a message to
the following address:

	<chalkhills-request@chalkhills.org>

All views expressed in Chalkhills are those of the
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