Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #238

                  Chalkhills, Number 238

                Wednesday, 26 August 1992
Today's Topics:
                     Chalkhills #236
                  US Waxworks CD delayed
             New Producer For Next XTC Album
           The 1st / not 1st Skylarking effect
             More Peter Pumpkinhead nonsense
                XTC Merchandise (T-Shirts)
                   producers as nauseum
                Black Sea errors (again?)

Date: Fri, 21 Aug 92 9:41:03 PDT
From: "John M. Relph" <>
Subject: Chalkhills #236

Wes Wilson <> gushes:

>I also have the 12'' The Meeting Place with the demos "Find the
>Fox," "The Troubles," "Terrorism," and "Let's Make a Den." These
>demos are great!

Yeah, I think "Terrorism" could have been marvellous, but of course
Todd nixed all the political songs.  Nonetheless, I like the middle
eastern sounding keyboard solo (Dave?) and attempted to learn the song
myself.  Lyrics are available.

>Anything else noteworthy on any of the vinyl material? Other
>than the cool picture sleeves, colored vinyl, and bigger
>type and pictures! What do the cut-out figures look like on the
>"No Thugs in Our House" 7'' p/s?

Well, there's the "insect-headed worker wife" and her very English
husband.  And of course, the boy in blue busy banging out the
headache.  You know, I never noticed just how alliterative that line
is until now.  I think.

Ingrid de Beus <> asks:

>Do the songs get noisier the farther
>back you go in the Discography?

Well, "The Big Express" was made after "Mummer", and I'd say that the
latter was much quieter and sparser than the former.  I guess that's a "no".

David W. Millians <> pens:

>I think the next album's material,
>combined with a good producer (butch Vig? Rick Rubin? Trevor Horn) will
>be the real return of XTC.

I think the producer needs to be somebody who can keep a rein on Andy
and who can also make good suggestions, AND be listened to!  Trevor
Horn's sound is just too big.  Yuck.  Butch Vig might be good, I think
he tries to capture a certain "live" sound, and does a fairly decent
job of it.  Who is it that produced the last Meat Puppets LP?  That
producer might also get a sparse (but interesting and complex) sound
>from XTC's work.

K!z!K <> gets upset and rants:

>  Now, I hear XTC are contractually obligated to find an outside producer.
>  I'm not saying XTC should ALWAYS be their own producers, but can't these
>  guys at least do SOMETHING they want to?

I think Andy WANTS a producer, except that he's too damn tyrannical to
allow the producer to actually PRODUCE!  As he said, "time has humbled
me into admitting that Todd conjured up some of the most magical
production and arranging conceivable."  Quite a statement from someone
who has called Mr Rundgren "Todzilla"!  If another producer could be
found who could stand up to Andy, AND work with him, magic could be

Wes Wilson <>, at some point at some time in
the dark and lonely past, asks:

>I just recently got the BALL AND CHAIN 12'' and noticed a
>voice at the end of "Cockpit Dance Mixture." Who IS this?
>(Is this in the FAQ?) The voice is not in the Rag n' Bone
>version of the same song. Oh well...

It's NOT?  Which voice are you talking about?  The "gorilla in the
zoo" voice?  I guess I'll have to hook my turntable back up and give
it a spin!

	-- John


Date: Fri, 21 Aug 92 12:49:22 PDT
From: "John M. Relph" <>
Subject: US Waxworks CD delayed

I just read in the latest issue of the Upcoming Releases newsletter
(electronic, that is) that the Geffen USA CD of Waxworks will not be released
until next Tuesday, the 25th of August.  Has anybody actually seen this CD
yet?  I heard reports that it was already available (perhaps as a promo).


	-- John


Date: 21 Aug 1992 20:10:06 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: New Producer For Next XTC Album

This is my first message into Chalkhills.  Having just received my
first issue, I thought I'd like to add my opinions on the new producer
subject.  I've always thought that George Martin would be an fab choice.
Although, I believe he's gone into semi-retirement.  If

e was I
think it would be a great match.  Colin and Andy's take on McCartney and
Lennon would only benefit from Martin's production and arranging.

Another member from the Beatle camp might be Geoff Emerick.  After all,
the man engineered Sgt. Pepper & Abbey Road.  He also did an excellant
job on Elvis Costello's  Imperial Bedroom.

Speaking of Elvis Costello, what about T-Bone Burnett?  He's produced
or co-produced the last few Elvis albums

n fact we was working on
Spike at Oceanway Recording Studios the same time XTC was recording
Oranges and Lemons!

I hope everyone out there has gotten their copy of Chris Towney's book
on XTC, appropriately titled "Chalkhills & Children".  Read the book
in two sittings!  One thing comes to mind when reading it, Dave and
Colin sure don't trust Andy when it comes to him producing or
co-producing the band!  So I guess this rules out the band producing


Brooks Hocking


Date: Mon, 24 Aug 92 13:26:15 GMT
From: (Emmanuel Marin)
Subject: The 1st / not 1st Skylarking effect

Well I have discovered XTC with Oranges and Lemons,and since then,
I have bought the whole back catalogue. It began with Mummer and
The Big Express (just because there were the only ones in the shop
I went) and Skylarking only came on to 5th or 6th...
Anyway I LOVE Skylarking and it is one of my all time , all bands, favourite
LPs.. LP indeed, and this point seems important because
I have already read here that on CD the poor quality of the mixing was much
more heard than on the vinyle ("sounded like as if it was mono").
Incidentally , when I come back to France, I will call the DIY music
show and what I will ask is "Ballet For A Rainy Day + 1.000 Umbrellas"
That's my favorite part of the album along with "The Man Who Sailed
Around His Soul".
So there is no relationship without buying it first or not ! I think
in fact the relationship is whether you have or not the same musical
tastes as the one who told you first about XTC. A friend of mine which
is not at all into music (but has a CD player !) told me, when I gave
him the "Mummer" CD to put it on a tape for me, that it was the first
time he liked something from a foreign band ! But I knew he liked weird
things such as "Procession" and that is why I didn't give him first the
"Big Express" CD which indeed he didn't like at all.

that's all.



Date: Sun, 23 Aug 92 11:51:35 BST
From: Toby Howard <>
Subject: More Peter Pumpkinhead nonsense

Julian Barnes's novel 'Talking it over' (Picador, 1991) is about a bizarre
love-triangle. The cover features 3 people, qith featureless heads -- one
of which is a pumpkin. From page 196: "It's Stewart's face I'll never
forget. He looked like a clown, a turnip head, a Halowee'n mask. Yes,
that's right, one of those pumpkins you get at Halowee'n with an atificial
smile cut into it, and some false, flickering ghostly light beamin out
through the eyes."

Apropos of nothing: I spent the last 4 weeks in the USA, and had 2 nice XTC
experiences. At a mall in New Orleans a shop played 'Mayor of Simpleton'.
And at Cobb's Comedy Club in San Francisco they played 'War dance'.



Date: 24 Aug 1992 19:22:10 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: XTC Merchandise (T-Shirts)

Has anyone tried to contact the name and number listed in the latest issue
of _The_Little_Express_  as the North American distributor of XTC merchandise?
The name of the company is Niceman and they were'nt!!!  It appears that they
are only the distributor and do not take individual orders!!  Thus my search
continues for an XTC T-Shirt to call my own!!!  Perhaps Mr. Relph can share
the address of the store in which he purchased his "Disappointed" shirt!
If anyone knows of any places that sells XTC merchandise in the northeast,
please drop me a line at:


Date: Tue, 25 Aug 92 16:47:04 CDT
From: (Tom Meyer)
Subject: producers as nauseum


Well, here's more fuel for the fire..The way I see it, ghanley's suggestion
about Eddy Offord is so far off base that I find it hard to put the words
"Eddy Offord" and "XTC" in the same sentence.  This man's name is on
some decent albums(_Fragile_ and _Close to the Edge_ most notably), but also
had a hand in one of the most pretentious, overblown pieces of dross ever to
lie on a turntable, _Tales from Topographic Oceans_.  Four sides, four songs.
What were they thinking??  I admit it, I used to be an avid fan of the whole
art-rock scene; but a collaberation with XTC by Mr. Offord would be laughable.
I can hear it now..

"Uh, Mr. Gregory, this is where we put the 15 minute guitar solo so start
 limbering up"

"Gee Andy, these are good lyrics, but you don't mention existentialism or
 metaphysics the required 10 times per song"

"Colin, you ever played a Rickenbacker like Chris Squire, boy can he play ??"

IMHO, these choices seem a bit more logical(in no particular order).

Gil Norton:  Has produced recent efforts by the Pixies, Throwing Muses and
        Pere Ubu.  Has kind of a _slick_ sound, but also leaves in the rough
        edges( eg the Pixies' _Doolittle_).  Lots o' guitar work for Dave if
        this guy was at the controls.

Gary Smith: Another one of the current crop of _hot_ producers.  Produced the
        Pixies' first explosion.  Also guided The Feelies, Blake Babies, the
        Chills, and Juliana Hatfield.  Style is similar to Norton.  Another
        field day for the fenders.

Geoff Emerick: Engineered the Beatles and later produced the Costello
        masterpiece _Imperial Bedroom_. Pretty good pedigree, if you ask me.
        Could do for Dave what he did for Steve Neive of the Attractions:
        allow him to take over almost all of the arranging chores.  The
        potential shown by Dave on _1000 Umbrellas_ could be realized by
        this guy.

All three of these guys would probably want a ton of money, but a guy can
dream,can't he??


Date: 26 Aug 92 18:19:04 EDT
From: Steve Levenstein <>
Subject: Black Sea errors (again?)

Hi all. Do we need a compliment to _FAQs_ called Frequently
Told Answers (_FTAs_) or somesuch? I may have one, here it is:

Have people noticed all the mistakes on the lyrics to Black Sea?
Spelling errors, is what I mean to say, and there are more of
them in the CDs booklet then on the album's lyric sheet.
Fer example:

>From "Respectable Street"
"A Vow" lady fills the creases (s.b. "Avon", OK on album sheet)
Saturday night saw him "wretching" (same on CD and LP)

>From "Living Through Another Cuba"
"Their" due for replay, 1998 (same on CD and LP)

>From "Smokeless Zone"
The "hole" damn place is going to turn to sand (song is only on CD)

>From "Paper and Iron"
I pray the kids aren't "starting" (s.b. "starving", like album sez)
But the church says to remain this "week" (album sez "meek")

>From "Optimism's Flames"
"Teh" cat who got the cream... (s.b. "The", like album sheet sez)

>From "Sgt. Rock"
He could "diffuse" any bombshell (s.b. "defuse", same error CD/LP)
Make the girl mine, "ware" the victory sign (s.b. "wave", album OK)

   I don't know who did the handwriting on the album's lyric sheet,
maybe even AP, but he/she made a few spelling mistakes and these
were transcribed along with some reading errors onto the CDs
booklet. Hey, I guess it happens to the best of us, even to a
certain Vice-President. : - )>
---> Steve


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