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To: chalkhills@presto.ig.com
Subject: Chalkhills #205


                  Chalkhills, Number 205

                  Sunday, 22 March 1992
Today's Topics:
       THORN EMI buy out Virgin for GBP510 million
                   Re:  Chalkhills #204
                  Shonen Knife/SWO CD-3
                      A Sleeve Story
                       Virgin Music
                 Re: Chew Some Cud Today!
                    psyched to the max
               Les Inrockuptibles Interview
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From: brian@mel.dit.csiro.au (Brian May)
Subject: THORN EMI buy out Virgin for GBP510 million
Date: 10 Mar 92 04:58:02 GMT
Organization: CSIRO DIT (Melb.)

        LONDON (UPI) -- British entertainment group Thorn EMI announced Friday
it has agreed to buy the world's largest privately owned music group,
Virgin Music, for 510 million pounds ($877 million).
        Virgin's chairman, flamboyant entrepreneur Richard Branson, said the
deal would allow him to concentrate on his ``new love,'' his airline,
Virgin Atlantic.
        Branson has built up Virgin Music over the past 20 years into the
sixth-largest recording, music publishing and record label firm in the
world, signing top name recording artists, including the Rolling Stones.
        Branson said the airline, which has been involved in a bitter price-
cutting war on transatlantic fares with other airlines, needed new funds
to help it compete. Virgin recently accused British Airways of trying to
squeeze it out of business with low fares.
        ``Obviously it (Virgin Atlantic) does need funds and this is one way
of getting funds into the airline and at the same time without
compromising our record company,'' Branson said.
        Thorn said Virgin Music will maintain its artistic independence under
Thorn EMI and Branson would be appointed president.
        Virgin recently signed a three-album deal with the Rolling Stones and
produces such top-selling artists as Phil Collins, UB-40 and Genesis.
        Branson will continue to control the remaining interests of the
Virgin Group, which include its travel operations, entertainment
software interests and a large retail chain that the company expects to
have a combined turnover of 750 million pounds ($1.3 billion) this year.
        Thorn EMI chairman Colin Southgate said he was ``delighted'' with the
agreement, adding, ``EMI Music and Virgin Music will, together, form a
strong and exciting force in the worldwide music industry.''

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Date: Thu, 19 Mar 92 00:11:01 -0800
From: will kreth <kreth@well.sf.ca.us>
Subject: Re:  Chalkhills #204

NONSUCH S'MORES CODE

(Mark Isham trumpet goes here)

Geffen people say "The Disappointed" will be the UK single. AND the US
single will be "Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead." (Guess pumpkins go over better
on this side of the Atlantic). Tentative single release date - April 7th -
only one week before the 4/14 release date.

The other weird thing is that there was an internal recall of all the cd's
of the first pressing. Wait, perhaps they weren't cd's (just tapes?) or
maybe not - BUT.... the feeling I get is that there are probably a
considerable number of the first version of the album mix floating around
still- AFTER the Partridge recall. WHICH will be fun to compare to the FINAL
version that comes out (supposedly) just b'fore TAX DAY. (Uggh!).

Sorry, I guess the three hours of "Ren and Stempy" tapes I watched today put
me in a weird mood.

krethead-

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From: wilson@psylo.enet.dec.com
Date: Thu, 19 Mar 92 10:14:45 PST
Subject: Shonen Knife/SWO CD-3

Hi,

Did a little bit of research into Shonen Knife and what's available from
them on CD out of Japan.

These are the titles I know of:

SHONEN KNIFE
PRETTY LITTLE BAKA BOY
712
SPACE CHRISTMAS (this one's a CD single)

Now, if I could only figure out which of these has the XTC stuff on
it! (From a previous note we've already eliminated "712" as having
no XTC stuff...).

Ah well, from reading previous notes, they sound like a truly fun
band.

* * * * *

I picked up the CD-3 of Senses Working Overtime at TOWER records
in Harvard Sq. They may still have another one there. I thought
about buying the other disc but...I figure most people have
this already. It doesn't have anything not available on other
5-inch regular releases.

Bye for now...

Bison :-)

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Date:         Thu, 19 Mar 92 22:55:15 EDT
From: Emmanuel Marin <MARINP92@frecp12.bitnet>
Subject:      A Sleeve Story

I was reading a magazine about UFOs the other day and suddenly I noticed
on a little map on page 23 ... yes ! Swindon !

Well, I am sure you all know that the White Horse reproduced on the
English Settlement sleeve is near Swindon (let's say 40 km SSW ).
Now, draw a line between Swindown and The White Horse and what have you
got right in the middle ? The famous "crop circles(1)" ! Swindon is a
UFO(2) highlight place !

((1) if you don't understand, see below)
((2) to be honest, the magazine frankly writes it IS human work, but anyway
it is very nice to look at ;) )

Conclusion :
Alas, XTC will never use such another typical mysterious Swindon drawing, very
meaningful and attractive... Why ? Well because Led Zeppelin's Remasters
already used it....

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
C'est en suivant l'etoile du berger,
Sans me soucier des mages,
Que j'ai appris a faire voler,
Ce que j'avais en cage.                    Emmanuel "I bet you this biography
                                           won't be translate in French" Marin

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Subject: Virgin Music
Date: 18 Mar 1992 11:09:43 GMT
From: dss@minster.york.ac.uk

I just read Chalkhills #204, and was surprised to see that no-one had
mentioned the announcement on Friday 6 March that Richard Branson had
sold Virgin Music to Thorn EMI (I can't remember the price).
Branson (well known to XTC enthusiasts for his appearance in the
"Generals and Majors" video) will remain president of the company for
life, and states that the other "key people" in the company will keep
their jobs.  I wonder if this will have any effect on the less
famous artists (ie. not the Rolling Stones and Phil Collins etc) who
are signed to the label?

I'm sure we're all fed up with the delays in the release of the new
album, but there is an encouraging precedent...  the last time they
had so much hassle over an album was with "Mummer", which I think
turned out to be one of their best (although I know some people
would disagree).

Also, the observation that this album and the previous one have
taken their names from lyrics on their predecessor; I don't think
anyone has mentioned yet that this would have applied even to the
working title of the new album ("Balloon")!

Dave

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Date: Fri, 20 Mar 92 15:21:57 PST
From: "John M. Relph" <relph@presto.ig.com>
Subject: Re: Chew Some Cud Today!

Wes <wilson@psylo.enet.dec.com> asks:

>Cud intrigues me.
>
>Is LEGGY MAMBO worth getting?

Of course, since I am the biggest Space CUDet in this here neck o' the
woods, I say "YES!"  Deafinitely (sic).  I really think that "Leggy
Mambo" was one of the best albums (and probably most overlooked) of
1990 (or 1991, since it didn't come out until October 1990).

E-mail me for more CUD news.

On a more XTC-related note (or riff), Primus' "Miscellaneous Debris",
containing the cover of "Making Plans for Nigel", has been released in
the U.S.of.A. by Interscope/Atlantic.  It comes in one of those
horrible DigiPaks, but it contains all cover songs, including Peter
Gabriel's "Intruder", Pink Floyd's "Have a Cigar", The Residents'
"Sinister Exaggerator" (didn't I just see the Residents mentioned in
Chalkhills recently?) and The Meters' "Tippi Toes".

	-- John

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Subject: psyched to the max
From: ine@darkside.com (Re Ine)
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 92 14:38:11 PST
Organization: The Dark Side of the Moon +1 408 245 SPAM

wow - Nonesuch is now imminent...
I got home for spring break and found a new Little Express waiting,
and a new years card, which is incredibly cool!  And inside
is John's report on the convention, in which a tape of Andy
said that he had been given some printouts of some issues of
chalkhills! :-(    wow.   )
Since the new album became imminent, I have heard about thirty
titles for new songs, and since only some of them are on the
album, this is a new era of demo-hunting and stuff.
Spring is in the air, and the seagulls are screaming, and then it
will be summer and the copper droning petals and skreeching dew and
everything will rumble to life again...
thats enough...
Kevin
(ukevc@mcl.ucsb.edu and ine@darkside.com at the moment)

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Date: Wed, 18 Mar 92 20:32:21 EDT
From: Emmanuel Marin <MARINP92@frecp12.bitnet>
Subject: Les Inrockuptibles Interview

Les Inrockuptibles, March 1992
Interview by Christian Fevret
Translated by Emmanuel Marin
Part One of Five

                          QUALITY SWEET

Born with the punk acne, the vivacious young men of XTC already saw
themselves adulated billionaires of the new-wave movement with "Making
Plans For Nigel".  Andy Partridge and his squad decided, on the contrary,
to avoid the spotlights and to devote themselves, secretly in their
imaginary pagan monastery, to the making, very much in the style of a
cottage industry, of musical toffees.  To talk to Sir Partridge is to be
subjected to the British insularity propaganda, to tickle the man's
enigma, to attempt to visit the scullery of the masterpiece "English
Settlement".  It means to glance through fifteen years of a career
concentrated, in the announcement of a spring album, into a winter
compilation, "The Tiny Circus Of Life".  The metamorphosis of the
woodlice.

Les Inrockuptibles: You do not like to show yourself, you have not played
on stage for ten years.  What are you still doing in the world of pop?

Andy Partridge: No idea.  I feel like a blundering prehistoric creature,
lost in a ridiculously mean world of pop.  Now, we are dinosaurs, but if
you are interested in dinosaurs, why not?  From a musical point of view,
we are now much more selfish.  We must neglect the audience.  In the
beginning, we were willing to do some pirouettes for the record
companies, but we felt we did not look the part.  We did not feel at ease
in the role of idols; I could not bear the idea of being idolized.  That
is all over.  But since we sell more and more records, our stubbornness
proves us right.

LI: When did you decide to go back into your shell?

A: In 1982, when I decided to stop playing on stage.  I realized we were
not destined for this pop life, for fooling around, for this professional
teenager job.  We were so aware of and ill at ease with being in the
window.  We are three woodlice, we work very well hidden.  But as soon as
we are in the light, the three woodlice simply do not know what to do.

LI: By existing only in studio, are you not afraid of becoming a navelist
and claustrophobic band, without flesh nor blood, an abstraction?

A: We are a band without flesh nor blood in the sense that one can not
come and smell our sweat on stage.  We exist in a more magical way, by
capturing these songs on tapes.  I have never been to concerts, live
presentations do not do anything at all for me; I prefer to play at home
with a desk pad, writing or drawing.  This disappearance from public life
may have made us less adventurous, but what we do is more genuine.  Like
a tree with deeper roots, perhaps less loud, but a damn good tree,
strong, resistant to storms and to diseases.

LI: In the beginning, did you like to play on stage?

A: I began by telling myself, "Great!  That's what I'd always dreamt of
when I was a schoolboy!".  And we toured a lot, all around the world.
Then, the lack of financial fall-outs, combined with the lack of real
recognition, combined with the lack of self-confidence, the confusion and
the fright that my presence on stage brought to me, all that made a
rather dangerous cocktail...  I hence drew the conclusion: I was not made
for that kind of life.  On the other hand, I think I am made for
songwriting and for the cottage industry of music, if such a category
exists.  I announced the death of the pop band, and the birth of the
artisan.

LI: Has your family life been another reason for your withdrawal?

A: I must have felt it was time for me to start a family.  I now have two
children; I would like to have more...  Let's say at least six, but I do
not have enough room for them, unless I put them in the drawers.  When
everything goes wrong, it is a good way to win immortality.  Immortality
for everybody, the immortality for common people.  I love children, well,
mine, because I hate others'.

LI: Had you thought of the mystery and the cult following such behaviour
would create?

A: I first thought, as did our record company, that we simply were going
to disappear from the surface of the Earth.  I thought, "Here it is, we
had our time".  But the fact that we had remained in the shadow for so
long has made people come towards us.  We were not shouting to people,
"Hey! Buy us!" any more, but people were going towards us, saying,
"Excuse us, but we would like very much to buy you."  In the shadow we
have become exotic creatures, we have been transformed into rare birds
[laughs]...  People are more fascinated by what we have to offer.

LI: Do you like the mystery around you?

A: It is very pleasant, because I do not have to be a public character,
to tour, to be "rock 'n' roll".  I can then avoid this routine, this
mediocrity of rock 'n' roll.  I was very relieved to leave this spiral
which, in my opinion, seemed to be negative.  I then thought that the
band would very quickly fall into pieces.  Honestly, I really did not see
us continuing to record music, at least not as well as we have done
since.  I simply could not imagine stuff like Skylarking.  I thought it
was the end.

       COMING SOON: MY LACES, MY TIE

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