Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #243

                  Chalkhills, Number 243

               Thursday, 24 September 1992
Today's Topics:
                    George Martin? NO!
                      Andy in Japan
                       XTC Tidbits
                     Book review in Q
           Review: Thomas Dolby - Silk Pyjamas
                  XTC Night in Milpitas

Date: Tue, 15 Sep 92 21:05:06 EDT
From: (Tim Snyder)
Subject: George Martin? NO!

There have been two suggestions that George Martin produce the next
XTC disk.  I vote no.  Even though Martin is famous for handling
the Beatles (and doing so well), his time may have passed.

I base this on the awful job he did with Ultravox on _Quartet_.
Before that album came out, there were interviews with drummer
Warren Cann, who was astonished with Martin's knowledge of modern
(electronic) percussion.  Ultravox were excited and viewed Martin
as somebody who was implicitly assumed to be a relic, yet he was

'Til the album came out.  This was the first poor work by Ultravox.
Preceding it were the excellent three albums with John Foxx, the
equally excellent _Vienna_ with Midge Ure, and _Rage in Eden_, which
was not up to the others but was still fine.  _Quartet_ was not without
some decent music, but the production was not any good.  The album
was simply not an interesting listening experience.  It also led off
with "Reap the Wild Wind," which was a weak attempt at mainstreaming
the band.  (Nothing wrong with this, it's just that much of their
other material would have sufficed.)

Most Ultravox fans were disappointed.  'Hillians would be, too.

 Timothy Law Snyder
 Department of Computer Science
 Reiss 225
 Georgetown University
 Washington, DC 20057
(202) 687-6208


Date: Wed, 16 Sep 92 00:29:17 BST
From: Toby Howard <>
Subject: Andy in Japan

Snippet: XTC UK 92 Convention organiser Paul Wilde told me yesterday that
in the next 3 weeks Andy is going to Japan to open a new Virgin mega-store.

That's all folks



Date: Fri, 18 Sep 92 10:57:17 PDT
From: Wes Wilson @PKO3 - 223-3413  18-Sep-1992 1351 <>
Subject: XTC Tidbits

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to mention that the response to my ad in the last issue
of CHALKHILLS resulted in all items being sold within a day!
Sorry to those who asked about items after I sold them...

Not too much to report.

On WBOS, a Boston FM radio station, the DJ has on several
occasions given away a copy of NONSVCH with each "CD upgrade"
(a "CD upgrade" occurs when a listener's post card entry is
picked by someone at the station; it's basically a request
to "upgrade" an album from vinyl to CD). Anyway, I'm
glad to hear that 'BOS not only plays an odd track from
NONSVCH now and then, but that they're still promoting the album!
Now there are at least three Boston radio stations playing
XTC regularly (WFNX, WBOS, and WBCN).

Has anyone heard anything about the Rainforest album? Due out
soon? Scrapped? ...? XTC is supposed to be on this.

Also, I heard a report that the CD of demo track leftovers
is called "Scribbles". (Just a rumor, mind you. It still
could be called "Somesuch" or "Nearsuch"...).

That's it for now,



Date: 20 Sep 92 09:34:13 EDT
From: Steve Levenstein <>
Subject: Book review in Q

OK, I know lots of folks haven't read The Book yet (or even find it),
but the following review I saw in "Q" magazine doesn't give
anything away. So I'll pound out the text, "Q" is not so easy
to find, even around the Toronto megalopolis.
Perhaps people last heard of "Q" in connection with the "QCD", which
is a collection of songs by artists they liked (in '86 or so) and
includes XTC's "The Meeting Place".
Anyways, Q's reviewer (David Hepworth) gave The Book a "**" rating,
the highest being a "*****". Those Limeys!! Here 'tis:

   The involvement of the word "definitive" in the title implies
that XTC have attracted numerous biographers in the past and that
finally the band are about to be dealt some justice. The problem
is that most rock biographies deal with commercial success, how to
get it and how to deal with it, and commercial success is something
XTC have had only the briefest acquaintance with.
   Since the beginning of 1982, when Andy Partridge walked out on an
American tour and they turned their back on touring, XTC have had a
odd relationship with the music business, selling records in
quantities respectable enough for a young band breaking through
college radio but insufficiently exposed to attract new fans.
   Twomey's acount of the band's golden age in the late '70's
when they coat-tailed punk despite their birth certificates and
musical predilections is worth a skim but as soon as we arrive
at the mid-'80's, it's largely the same recurring story of "any
ideas for producers?".
   One is left admiring Partridge's single-mindedness but
sympathising with his long-suffering colleagues, stuck at home
when they could be out making some noise.

So, there it was, a typical English review with lots of big
words and an air of looking down "one's" aristocratic nose.
I give the review itself "**".
---> Steve

"...snipping snipping snipping goes the scissor man..."


From: (Al Crawford)
Subject: Review: Thomas Dolby - Silk Pyjamas
Date: 21 Sep 92 15:07:45 GMT
Organization: The University Of Edinburgh - Department Of Computer Science

[ This review cross-posted from and slightly edited.  -- John ]

Thomas Dolby		Silk Pyjamas			Virgin VSCDT 1430

	Total Running Time: 14 min 53 sec

	1.	Silk Pyjamas (Album Version)		3:37
	2.	Airhead					3:37
	3.	Urges					3:36
	4.	Leipzig					3:51

The second single, released on September 21st, contains the full album
version of "Silk Pyjamas", without the censorship and with the witty
comment at the end left in (although the fadeout makes it difficult to make

This is followed by "Airhead". Sorry, but Virgin must be using some new
definition of "rare" that I'm not familiar with. Given the not
inconsiderable number of unavailable older tracks or rare versions of
better known tracks, it seems a little daft to put this, which was probably
Dolby's last sizable hit in the UK and which can easily be found on the
_Aliens Ate My Buick_ album, on this CD single. OK, so it's not the album
version, but if they *had* to put "Airhead" on the single, couldn't it at
least have been one of the many extended mixes of this track rather than
this shortened edited version. A shame. What makes it even more of a shame
is that they then proceeded to round off the single in *real* style.

"Urges" was Dolby's first UK single, back in February 1981 and both it and
its B-side "Leipzig" have been included here, the first time they've ever
been available on CD. Note that the track times here seem to match those of
the versions on the original release of _The Golden Age Of Wireless_ - I'm
not sure if the album and single versions differed considerably.

The two tracks, both co-produced by Dolby and XTC's Andy Partridge, are
pretty much what you'd expect - very much early Dolby in sound but with a
certain primitive quality that indicates they're even earlier in origin.
Both very good tracks indeed, although I think my views on "Leipzig" have
been twisted by the wonderful Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin cover version
besides which Dolby's original sounds a little lacklustre and lifeless.

Erland Rating: +2
Crawford Rating: Red/Cabbage/Poodle

			Al Crawford -
	  Department Of Computer Science, The University of Edinburgh
   Rm 1410, JCMB, Kings Buildings, Mayfield Rd, EDINBURGH, EH9 3JZ, Scotland
	     Tel: +44 (0) 31 650 5165  Fax: +44 (0) 31 667 7209


Date: Thu, 24 Sep 92 12:30:53 PDT
From: "John M. Relph" <>
Subject: XTC Night in Milpitas

Last Friday, 18 September, a few of us XTC crazies got together at the
home of Kathy Davis, non-net XTC fan extraordinaire, to watch video,
drool over collections, listen to music, and last but not least to
meet other fans.  Ingrid de Beus, her friend Sherman Lewis, and Karen
Schipper were able to attend.  Kathy's place is covered with XTC
pictures and other paraphrenalia.

What did we watch?  Loads of videos for songs including "The Mole From
the Ministry", parts of "XTC At The Manor", in which XTC re-create the
recording of "Towers of London".  If you watch closely, you can hear
Andy playing around with the theme to "Mantis on Parole (Homo Safari
No. 4)".  We also witnessed the infamous French concert nervous
breakdown segment (grim), and of course, the XTC "Road to Oranges and
Lemons" puppet show video.

What did we listen to?  "Strawberry Fields Forever", some of the
"Peter Who?" promotional CD with Andy Partridge and Peter Blegvad,
some of the Alice album "Il Sole Nella Pioggia", with Dave Gregory on
guitars, and other stuff...  ("Peter Blegvad / Rhymes with "egg bad" /
B-L-E-G-V-A-D / It spells Blegvaa-ee-aa-ee-aa-ee-aad" sings Andy.)

I enjoyed the visit.  Kathy's rats enjoyed the visit as well.


And on another subject, Brian Cadwell just submitted a new XTC image,
a small GIF of the cover to "Drums and Wires".  It's small, but it's
got good colours.  You can find it in the archives under the name


	-- John

P.S.  If you can remind me of what it is I forgot to say I would be
      very thankful.


For all administrative issues, such as change of address,
withdrawal from the list, fan club addresses, discography
requests (last update 9 September), back issues, FAQ list,
etc., send a message to the following address:


The Chalkhills archives are available at "".

All views expressed in Chalkhills are those of the
individual contributors only.  Gangway!

Go back to the previous page.