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Subject: Chalkhills #187


                  Chalkhills, Number 187

               Wednesday, 27 November 1991

The deadline for the Chalkhills Reader Survey is 1 December!
Send in NOW!

Today's Topics:
              1991 Geffen XTC Press Release
         _This_Is_Live and the Chalkhills tribute
     Any XTC connection to a band called Shriekback?
                     Re: This is Live
             Re: Chalkhills XTC Tribute Tape
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Date: Mon, 25 Nov 91 17:34:59 PST
From: Chalkhills Administration <chalkhills-request@chalkhills.org>
Subject: 1991 Geffen XTC Press Release
Organisation: Chalkhills Anonymous

I found this press release at a record swop this weekend.  Enjoy!

	-- John

---

                            GEFFEN RECORDS

For Immediate Release                                   March 26, 1991

        GEFFEN RECORDS RELEASES FIVE XTC ALBUMS FOR FIRST TIME
        ON COMPACT DISC -- INCLUDING SONGS NOT ON ORIGINAL LPS

  Geffen Records is releasing five early albums from XTC on compact
disc in the United States for the first time.  One of alternative
rock's most respected, successful and prolific bands, XTC's initial
four albums, White Music (1978), Go 2 (1978), Drums And Wires (1979)
and Black Sea (1980), plus XTC's original Geffen debut, Mummer (1983),
are also being released with additional songs.  All else, including
the albums' original cover art, remains the same as their original
releases.

  Because of the greater amount of time allowed on CDs as opposed to
LPs, Geffen has added a total of 20 tracks recorded during the albums'
respective sessions to the songlists.  Of these songs, 17 have never
before been released in America on album.  For long-time fans of XTC,
they expand not only the length but the breadth of the band's work as
it's reflected in each album.  With these albums now on CD, it's also
expected that new fans will be attracted to this critically-applauded
and pioneering commercially-successful alternative group.

  XTC's most recent album, Oranges And Lemons, was the No. 1 alternative
album of 1989.  The singles "The Mayor Of Simpleton" (No. 1 on
alternative / modern rock charts, staying there for a solid five
weeks) and "King For A Day" (which also reached the Top 10) became the
band's best-selling hits to date.  Following on the heels of 1986's
Skylarking, XTC's last two albums have signalled a high water mark for
the band's recognition in America.  This first-time CD release of
catalog albums and new material is a measure of that success.

  Now, of all the band's 10 albums -- the last four recorded for
Geffen -- all but one has been released or re-issued on the label in
all formats (only Waxworks: Some Singles 1977-1982 has not been
released on CD).

  The history of XTC was forged in the industrial town of Swindon in
north Wiltshire, England, where it's still based today.  The original
foursome of songwriters Andy Partridge (guitar and vocals) and Colin
Moulding (bass and vocals), plus Barry Andrews (keyboards) and Terry
Chambers (drums), burst onto the London scene in 1977 during the
height of the punk explosion.  But these urban rebels quickly carved
their own niche, impressing both critics and audiences with their
humor, sharp intelligence and vitality as well as their innovative
rhythms and melodic twists.  In 1978, two cult status albums, White
Music and Go 2, were released, though they were available only as
imports in the States.

  In 1979, Andrews left and was replaced by fellow Wiltshire native
and guitarist Dave Gregory.  Later that year, XTC released its U.K.
breakthrough album, Drums And Wires, which included its first English
Top 20 hit, "Making Plans for Nigel", and laid the foundation for
success in the U.S. with an official American release.  The next
album, Black Sea (1980), subsequently charted in the American Top 50.

  Major changes, however, were in the offing.  Following the double
album English Settlement in 1982 -- which included the U.K. hit
"Senses Working Overtime" and took a more acoustic approach to the
band's music -- four years of grueling tours came to a screeching
halt.  While onstage in Paris, Partridge collapsed, from a combination
of stage fright and frustration with reproducing the band's music
live.  Shortly after, XTC stopped touring for good -- and added yet
another chapter to the eccentric legend of the band.

  With the band now studio-bound, Chambers exited for Australia,
reducing it to a three-piece (since 1982 the band has enlisted a new
drummer for each project).  The trio then exited its American label
for Geffen Records, which released an orgy of XTC: first releasing
Mummer (1984) then re-issuing not only the compilation Waxworks: Some
Singles 1977-1982 but the band's entire catalog to that point on both
LP and cassette (White Music, Go 2, Black Sea, Drums And Wires, and
English Settlement).  Later in 1984, the band presented a new studio
album, the harder, bluesier The Big Express.

  The next year saw the debut of the band's psychadelic alter egos,
the Dukes Of Stratosphear, a retro-cool parody of '60s pop, with 25
O'Clock, released only in the U.K.  The Dukes returned in 1987 with
the once-more critically-acclaimed Psonic Psunspot, including the
alternative hit "Vanishing Girl", this time also on Geffen.

  Between those two homages came Skylarking and the irony of a B-side
non-album hit -- the controversial "Dear God".  Three years later,
Oranges And Lemons chimed in with "The Mayor Of Simpleton" and "King
For A Day".

  The success of that album opened the band up to new horizons of
popularity and even prompted Partridge to venture forth and play with
XTC in public for the first time in years on television's "Late Night
With David Letterman" in 1989.  The band has since given a couple of
small concerts.

  New albums and perhaps even new concerts are expected in the near
future.

This CD-only release includes:

WHITE MUSIC

A cult classic of raw punk pop, XTC's debut album charts in the U.K.
Top 30.  An off-kilter homage to the confection that is pop (i.e.,
"white") music, the album jumps with virtually live-in-the-studio
energy.

Geffen CD Release 1991 includes seven tracks not on original album:
the alien-ated "Science Friction", stuck-in-67 "She's So Square",
darkly romantic "Hang On To The Night", and pogo-ish "Traffic Light
Rock" (written by Partridge), and the girl-loves-a-tan "Heatwave",
frothy "Dance Band", and pop culture koan "Instant Tunes" (written by
Moulding).  "Science Friction" appeared previously on album only on
Waxworks: Some Singles 1977-1982, released on Geffen 1984 on
LP/Cassette only.

GO 2

XTC's second album, and second of the year 1978, also reaches the U.K.
Top 30.  Its literate and very unusual cover reflected to very
important characteristics of the band.

Geffen CD Release 1991 includes one track not on the original album:
"Are You Receiving Me" (written by Partridge), which appeared
previously on album only on Waxworks.  All else remains the same,
except for a couple of words on the classic cover: "RECORD COVER" has
been changed to "COMPACT DISC COVER".

DRUMS AND WIRES

"Making Plans For Nigel" is XTC's first English Top 20 hit and both it
and the underground gem "Helicopter" introduce America's alternative
pop fans to the band.  Says Melody Maker: "XTC has broken cover and
broken ground."  New Music Express insists that the band's music
"demands new adjectives."

Geffen CD Release 1991 includes three tracks not on original album:
The flashback dance song "Life Begins At The Hop" and the ode to
self-love "Limelight" (both written by Moulding) and the infectious
disease-fighting anthem "Chain Of Command" (penned by Partridge).
"Life Begins At The Hop" appeared previously only on Waxworks.

BLACK SEA

Charting in the U.S. Top 50, XTC's fourth album emphasizes the band's
social commentary.  Including the alternative hit "Generals And
Majors", it becomes a breakthrough album for the band in America.

Geffen CD Release 1991 includes three tracks not on original album:
the eco-anthem "Smokeless Zone" (written by Moulding), and the plea-
for-anger-and-rough-edges "Don't Lose Your Temper" and the breathy
"The Somnambulist" (both written by Partridge).

MUMMER

Says Partridge, "Until early 1982, our work was like black-and-white
TV.  Mummer was the first in full color -- bright sky blue."  Mummer
was the band's first album on Geffen Records in the U.S. and its sixth
album overall, following the release of the similarly acoustic-based
English Settlement, a double album, in 1982 which included the U.K.
hit "Senses Working Overtime".

Geffen CD Release 1991 includes six tracks not on original album:
"Frost Circus", the fear-of-love-and-swimming-pools "Jump", Toyland-
gone-berserk "Toys", the hopeful "Gold", "Procession Towards Learning
Land" and "Desert Island", a paean to Great Britain (all written by
Partridge).

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From: schrey@prc.unisys.com
Subject: _This_Is_Live and the Chalkhills tribute
Date: Tue, 26 Nov 91 9:18:15 EST

>
> Date: Tue, 19 Nov 91 11:13:44 PST
> From: Duane.Day@ebay.sun.com (Duane Day)
> Subject: Re:  This Is Live
>
> Regarding the new CD Boot _This is Live_ described by Tim Schreyer...
> Tim, does this sound like it was mastered from vinyl?
>
> I have a vinyl bootleg of this show and it sounds as if it were
> mastered from another vinyl recording with its own clicks and pops.
> It's interesting to hear one layer of static and snaps and then
> hear another one join in - sort of like the experience you have
> when you listen to a bad 3rd- or 4th-generation cassette copy of
> something and you hear each generation's worth of hiss kick in,
> one after the other, at the beginning of the tape.  I believe
> the title of the vinyl boot I have is "XTC - Black Sea '81".  The
> cover is a dumb drawing of a general (or major?).
>
  Unfortunate news for Duane.Day@ebay.sun.com (Duane Day):

  Having listened to this quite a few times now, I have to report
  it was mastered from vinyl. There are clicks and pops between tracks
  but I haven't noticed the tiered effect you mention.  Maybe it's
  only second generation:-).  Anyway, so much for the disk saying
  ADD.

> This also sounds like it might be the same show as the following
> entry from John Relph's discography:
>
>   "5. BBC College Concert #9
>       Life Begins at the Hop; Burning With Optimism's Flames; Love at
>       First Sight; Respectable Street; No Language in Our Lungs; This is
>       Pop?; Scissor Man; Towers of London; Battery Brides; Bushman
>       President; Living Through Another Cuba; Generals and Majors.  live
>       in London, 1981.  BBC transcription disc."
>
> The set list is the same except that "Set Myself on Fire" is omitted
> and "Bushman President" (did they really play that in concert?) is
> inserted.  (I also notice that "Set Myself on Fire" live is available
> on other "official" XTC releases.)
>
  I tried to match this with the existing live Black Sea era concerts
  in the discography, but decided it didn't because of the minor
  song selection differences and a different date.  This is the only
  one I have so I can't compare -- but who can tell, you really can't
  trust all the information on these types of CD's.

>
> From: wilson@psylo.enet.dec.com
>
> With some of the interest in Chalkhills members playing XTC
> songs, and with the abundance of tribute albums floating
> around these days, it sort of makes me wonder if we could
> compile a CHALKHILLS XTC TRIBUTE CASSETTE.
>
  A fine idea.  I work sound for a band in the east central Pennsylvania
  area and have gotten them fired up on XTC.  They currently play
  "Mayor of Simpleton", "Respectable Street", "Are You Receiving Me?",
  and have just added "Senses Working Overtime."  (We'll see if the
  last makes it into steady play:-)  More are probably on the way.

  If I can manage to get good recordings of these from a gig, I would
  be glad to donate them to the Chalhillians Tribute.

  How about _This_Is_Not_ as a working title?

> From: HAMILTON@daq.semi.harris.com (Fred Hamilton)
> I'm also interested in getting some of these videos and tapes that I
> see a lot of people talking about on the net.  I understand that there
> are some advertisements for these items in The Little Express. Does
> anyone have a recommendation for who has the highest quality/best
> selection of XTC material?  Are Chalkhill readers interested in
> trading?
>
  I'm in love with Studiosongs 1-11, a video tape of the XTC videos
  including "This Is Pop?", "Statue of Liberty", "Are You Receiving
  Me?", "Making Plans for Nigel", "Respectable Street", "Generals
  and Majors", "Towers of London", "All of a Sudden (It's Too Late)",
  "Ball and Chain", and "Senses Working Overtime".  Ooops, and
  "Life Begins at the Hop".  These are what should be on MTV. (IMHO)

      TIM
--
 Timothy M. Schreyer                         schrey@prc.unisys.com
 Center for Advanced Information Technology  (215) 648-2475
 Unisys, PO Box 517, Paoli, PA 19301         FAX: (215) 648-2288

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From: Larry W. Seals <ecsvax!seals@uncecs.edu>
Subject: Any XTC connection to a band called Shriekback?
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 91 7:58:16 EST

Hey there, Chalkhillians!

I'm in search of some info concerning any affiliation between XTC and a
band called Shriekback.  An acquaintance loaned me two of their albums
("Oil and Gold" and "<<Big Night Music>>") with a comment that the band
featured "former" XTC member(s).  Since I'm a relatively new XTC fan,
what do I know about former members?

Anyway, they really weren't my cup of tea, but had their moments.

Members of Shriekback listed in liner notes for "<<Big Night Music>>"
are:

   David Allen			Steve Halliwell
   Barry Andrews		Wendy & Sarah Partridge (ah ha!?)
   Martyn Barker		Hugo Burnham
   Mike Cozzi			Gavin Mackillop

The albums are on the Island label.

Thanks for any info!

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
seals@ecsvax

"I'm not proud of the fact that I never learned much..."
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

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Date: Wed, 27 Nov 91 13:33:53 PST
From: "John M. Relph" <relph@presto.ig.com>
Subject: Re: This is Live

Duane Day <Duane.Day@ebay.sun.com> sez:

>Regarding the new CD Boot _This is Live_ described by Tim Schreyer...
>Tim, does this sound like it was mastered from vinyl?
>
>I have a vinyl bootleg of this show and it sounds as if it were
>mastered from another vinyl recording with its own clicks and pops.
>  I believe
>the title of the vinyl boot I have is "XTC - Black Sea '81".

Not only was "Black Sea Tour 81" mastered from vinyl, it was mastered
at the wrong speed (too fast) so that more songs would fit on the LP.
The voices sounds a little like Mickey Mouse.

>This also sounds like it might be the same show as the following
>entry from John Relph's discography:
>
>  "5. BBC College Concert #9
>      Life Begins at the Hop; Burning With Optimism's Flames; Love at
>      First Sight; Respectable Street; No Language in Our Lungs; This is
>      Pop?; Scissor Man; Towers of London; Battery Brides; Bushman
>      President; Living Through Another Cuba; Generals and Majors.  live
>      in London, 1981.  BBC transcription disc."
>
>The set list is the same except that "Set Myself on Fire" is omitted
>and "Bushman President" (did they really play that in concert?) is
>inserted.  (I also notice that "Set Myself on Fire" live is available
>on other "official" XTC releases.)

Actually, "Bushman President" is usually uncredited on the LPs,
because XTC play only an minute or less and then go directly into
"Cuba".  "Set Myself on Fire" is actually the version from the Towers
of London 7" single.  Why it was included on this LP I don't know...

>I really like the performance; it'd be nice to hear that this new CD
>was at least mastered from a clean copy of the original recording.

Yes, the BBC College Concert performance is very good and the
recording quality of the original is also very good.  Hopefully "This
is Live" was mastered at the correct speed as well.

	-- John

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Date: Wed, 27 Nov 91 16:35:42 PST
From: "John M. Relph" <relph@presto.ig.com>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills XTC Tribute Tape

Wes <wilson@psylo.enet.dec.com> has a great suggestion:

>With some of the interest in Chalkhills members playing XTC
>songs, and with the abundance of tribute albums floating
>around these days, it sort of makes me wonder if we could
>compile a CHALKHILLS XTC TRIBUTE CASSETTE.

I would be willing to contribute, and maybe Jon Drukman would allow
the inclusion of his version of "Wonderland".

>I think it's a cool idea; I just don't have the
>tape equipment to compile one tape from another
>source (that is, my tape player is a single tape
>player).

I have such facilities and I would be willing to master a few copies
if other people could volunteer some duplication.

If you are interested in sending in your cover version of an XTC song
(or two) or have an idea for the name of the finished Tribute Tape,
please drop a line to "<chalkhills-request@chalkhills.org>".

	-- John

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Join me in welcoming new subscriber Gary Hanley!

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Send in NOW!

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