Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #322

                  Chalkhills, Number 322

                Saturday, 29 January 1994
Today's Topics:
                         lead vox
                   Re: Chalkhills #321
   a belated martin newall review/Partridge productions
                    dear god vocalist
                  A Skylarking Question
                     re: xtcyclopedia
                 Andy's Nonsuch songs...
                   Re: Chalkhills #321
                     Funk Pop A Roll
                      A bit of news
                        Re : women
                   Re: Chalkhills #321
                   Chalkhills Newcomer
                       Re: Dear God


Date: Mon, 24 Jan 94 13:33:10 PST
From: Jon Drukman <>
Subject: lead vox writes:

>I always thought that the guys had been generally following the "rule" that
>whoever wrote the song sings the lead vocal.  But it sounds to me like Andy
>singing lead on "Wake Up" and "Too Many Cooks...".  Are these exceptions to
>the rule, then?

nope.  your hearing is shot, that's all.  "wake up" and "too many
cooks" both feature colin on lead vox.

Jon Drukman                               
This calls for a very special blend of psychology and extreme violence.


Date: Mon, 24 Jan 1994 14:39:00 -0800 (PST)
From: Langley <>
Subject: (none)

i am a new kid, Counsel is my name, i listen to XTC.
in response to the worst songs discussion i would like to
bring up Pink Thing.  a song that i have grown to dislike more and more
as some other people and i can't decide if he is singing about his son,
his cock, or both.  i would just prefer not to get these things
confused.  on the other end of the scale is Skylarking, the entire thing
in its cohesive magic is beyond happiness.  so, i got to go, the time is
limited to briefness for now.


From: uswnvg! (Robert Frangooles)
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #321
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 1994 15:32:28 -0800 (PST)

> Wasn't one of the members of The Beautiful South in another band, who's name
> escapes me at this moment, that was remarkably XTC-like? TBS had some great
> promotional artwork for their last tour...

Kyle,  the name of the band was... the Housemartins, and while they were
quite "pop", I am not sure I found them to be too XTC like.  Check out
_London 4 Hull 0_.

> Please! All of you with strong opinions on other bands. More recommendations!
> It's interesting to see that us XTC fans don't have generic musical tastes.
> As if that were a surprise...

other bands on my current listening stack include
  Maria Mckee  _You Gotta Sin to be SAved_
  The Pogues _Waiting for Herb_
  Heavenly _Le Jardin de Heavely_ (?title?)
  Velocity Girl _Copacetic_

I just got the _The Greatest Living Englishmen_ and like it quite a bit.
Does anyone else liken it strongly to the Kinks _Village Green
Preservation Society_ (to which I was just exposed recently and
absolutley love).



Organization: SLAIS, UBC
Date:         24 Jan 94 16:30:51 GM+5
Subject:      a belated martin newall review/Partridge productions

After listening to discussions about this album for three months, I
finally found a copy of "The Greatest Living Englishman" (at a
hideously expensive price, but I think that was because it came with
the bonus poetry CD) (which they forgot to give me! I'm going back

I'd have to say that this album is a must for fans of Skylarking,
Mummer and the Dukes; it's thoroughly charming and enjoyable.  If
Andy hadn't given this his stamp of approval by producing it I'd
think he'd be upset at someone muscling in on XTC's territory.  The
first four tracks are particularly good; I think Newell actually
sounds like some kind of Cronenbergian melding of Partridge and
Moulding on the title track and songs like "Before the Hurricane" and
"Goodbye Dreaming Fields."  The only song I haven't taken to is the
Christmas one (of course with Andy producing there'd have to be one).
The sound is a bit rough but it's amazing how much detail they got
onto an 8-track recording.

I do think that mentioning Andy so prominently is a bit dubious (he's
only credited with drum machine programming, percussion and one
guitar solo, though I'm also fairly sure he sings backup here and
there), but if it draws attention to the album then its ok.  Of
course, Andy's influence is very obviously present in the songs (you
have to wonder if he secretly co-wrote a couple).  Dave also gets a
thank-you, but didn't play on it.

What's the verdict on other Partridge productions?  Peter Blegvad's
"The Naked Shakespeare" is an interesting album; "Weird Monkeys" is
very XTC-like.  I prefer Blegvad's folkier stuff, however (though of
course, Andy also produced some of PB's brilliant "King Strut" album).
These albums are _impossible_ to find, unfortunately (at least in
Canada).  I've always been curious about the Lilac Time.  It seems to
me Andy is as capable as say, Paul Fox or Gus Dudgeon,
though I get the feeling he imposes his own sensibility pretty
strongly on other artists, like Daniel Lanois or, well, Todd Rundgren.


Organization: SLAIS, UBC
Date:         24 Jan 94 19:08:34 GM+5
Subject:      dear god vocalist

I was under the impression that its a little girl who sings the first
verse of Dear God, and Andy was annoyed about it because the whole
idea was supposed to be that it was him as a boy singing the song.
Sure, its a boy in the video, but he's not the singer on the record
regardless of what sex that person was.


Date: Tue, 25 Jan 1994 00:02:57 -0800 (PST)
From: Ethan Jones <>
Subject: A Skylarking Question

I have a question for you all about _Skylarking_.  I understand all the
business about "Mermaid Smiled" and "Dear God" and American, Canadian,
and British editions.

My question is: did they remix the American version when they decided to add
"Dear God?"  You see (and probably know), "Dear God" is directly linked
to "Dying" on the American CD by tapping.  How does the British version
of "Dying" start?  Does the single version of "Dear God" include the
tapping at the end?  Is "Mermaid Smiled" similarly linked on the British
version?  I guess I ended up aking more than the one question I thought I
would. Oh well...

Have a Good Day



From: J Ross MacKay <>
Subject: re: xtcyclopedia
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 94 8:04:37 EST proposes:

>I had an interesting idea that I probably would never be able to see
>through; what all XTC fans present and future need is an XTC song
>... be fun reading.  It would also take forever to produce.  Any takers?

This sounds like a great idea, but too much for any single human.  What we
need is a team effort.  As with any huge project, we should just jump in there
with a skeleton and see if we can build around it.  How about beginning with an
old-time 80 column data base.  If we can agree on field content and their
order, numerous volunteers can pick an album and pluck away.  The collectors of
the eXoTiC can pitch in with the unreleased demo information.  The combined
effort could be sorted by what ever field fit our fancy.   Much of the
information is already in ascii format in Relph's Discography.  At a later
time, and with the contribution of some hot shot programer's help (not me),
perhaps we could add hyperlink capability.  You know, click on a highlighted
song title and you get a page of lyrics, etc.

How's this look:
Song_Title      Author  Album           Track_#  Trivia       Still_More_Trivia

I nominate John Relph as team leader!  I know of no one else who has more
experience or knowledge of both the band and the computer.  He obviously has
nothing better to do, and if we hold our collective breath maybe he'll do it
all for us and have it done by the end of the weekend ;-) %^}

With a name like xtcyclodedia, how could we go wrong.


Date: Tue, 25 Jan 1994 10:36:55 -0500 (EST)
From: Derek Miner <>
Subject: Andy's Nonsuch songs...

        When Nonsuch arrived I heard a few reviews mentioning that "Holly
Up On Poppy" was very Paul McCartney-ish (A friend even found the whole
album to be a rip-off of Sgt. Pepper!). I was just listening to "Rip Van
Ruben" and I thought it sounded even more like Paul McCartney! To
clarify, I do not mean that Andy sounds like Paul, I mean the song
sounds like one that Mr. McCartney would create. Does anyone else share
this opinion (or want to flatly contradict it)??

        Derek Miner


Date: Tue, 25 Jan 1994 10:44:25 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #321

don't flame me for this if i am totally wrong, but was andy part of the
partridge family?


"fame, fame, fatal fame.  it can play hideous tricks on the brain."


Date: Tue, 25 Jan 1994 12:10:05 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Funk Pop A Roll

     Well, I see that a lot of people feel passionately about this song;
perhaps I should have thought twice about attacking it on my first post. :)
My opinion is that, musically, this is the sort of song that makes me
understand people attacking their music as "arid" or "fussy."  And, lyrically,
it consists mostly of the sort of "cleverness" that Andy can toss out in his
sleep by now.  Oh well - everyone is entitled to his (any women on this
mailing list?) opinion.
     BTW, someone mentioned 10cc.  Good band - get their greatest hits album
if you can find it.  (It hasn't come out on CD, unfortunately, as far as I

       Pat Buzby
       Oberlin, OH


Date: Tue, 25 Jan 1994 12:11:47 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: A bit of news

      The new issue of Modern Drummer mentions that Brian Doherty, the
touring drummer for They Might Be Giants, has been in the studio with
XTC recently.  Hope this hasn't been reported here already...

                      Pat Buzby
                      Oberlin, OH


Date: Tue, 25 Jan 1994 14:24:02 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re : women

     In an earlier post I made, I raised the question of whether there
are womensubscribed to this mailing list.  Then I realized that, in
fact, one person of this gender had made her first post on the
previous Chalkhills.  Sorry.
     I was intending to make reference to the conventional wisdom
which says that XTC is the sort of band that attracts a predominately
male audience.  This is a stereotype, but one that seems to have a
certain degree of truth behind it, IMO.  Just wanted to lessen the
amount of flames which will doubtlessly arise...

         Pat Buzby
         Oberlin, OH

P.S.  Speaking of this subject, it was mentioned before that some have
suggesteda misogynistic interpretation for "My Bird Performs."  I
really, really doubt this has much validity.


From: (Doug McBride)
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #321
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 1994 16:01:29 -0600 (CST)

] I always thought that the guys had been generally following the "rule" that
] whoever wrote the song sings the lead vocal.  But it sounds to me like Andy
] singing lead on "Wake Up" and "Too Many Cooks...".  Are these exceptions to
] the rule, then?

"Wake Up" is sung by Colin, isn't it?  I thought Andy sang "Too Many
Cooks..." too and was surprised until I realized that it was Colin singing.
I think maybe it could be Colin's parody of Andy, but who knows?

Doug McBride (                                (713) 961-9373
"Thank you for choosing Air Pacific.  You have well over a 40% chace of
landing safely."  -- stewardess, _Animaniacs_


Date: Wed, 26 Jan 94 05:44:00 BST
Subject: Chalkhills Newcomer

Hello!  I've been lurking in Chalkhills briefly (since #316) but it is time
I de-cloaked and introduced myself.  My name is Mike.  XTC is my favorite
post-sixties rock band.  I found them circa 1981 (I was a college student
and a drummer in those bygone days) when I heard "Generals & Majors" on the
radio and bought Black Sea the next day.  I still recommend Black Sea as a
first XTC album sometimes, because it is very clean, muscular, and
accessible music.  Andy deliberately composed songs that could be played
live on stage and sound the same as in the studio.

Then English Settlement came out and was hardly off my turntable for the
next six months!  XTC was catching on with the college radio crowd
(Madison, Wisconsin) too and a group called Students for Progressive Radio
actually managed to book XTC at our student union amphitheater.  I had
tickets front and center for what I knew could well be the best concert I'd
ever see in my life.

Shortly before the English Settlement tour was to leave Europe and come to
our town, Andy Partridge had his Stage Fright Episode, nervous breakdown,
seizure, whatever.  Stunned, I returned my tickets for a refund (although I
still have the concert flyer as a souvenir).  To this day I am still a
little pissed off at Andy!

But I forgave him and remain a loyal fan of XTC's music today.  E.S. is
still my favorite XTC album, and Hugh Padgham I think was their best
producer.  However, I think the band found itself again in the
post-Rundgren era and Oranges & Lemons in particular is a masterpiece.  So
is Nonsuch in its own quieter way.  The next XTC effort promises to be
quieter still: Andy says he is tired of guitars and drums, and songs like
"Rook" point the way to the next era of XTC music.  Remember this is a man
who listens to medieval choral music in his spare time, not rock-n-roll.

I found Chalkhills through my fellow Mixmaster Steven Reule.  He and I both
hang out (in the electronic sense) on the GEnie BBS, where the XTC topic in
the Music forum is one of their most long-lived and active topics.  If you
have GEnie access or ever though about subscribing to it, please drop in to
the XTC topic and say howdy!

Just to add fuel to a burning fire, I do like "War Dance" quite alot.  On
GEnie we went through the same discussion about "War Dance" right after
Nonsuch came out, and it seemed to play out the same there as it is now on
Chalkhills.  At first many people denounced it as an inferior track, don't
like the oboe, the lyric is too obvious, etc.  But then those who quietly
love the song gradually began to speak up, and in the end I think we had
about a 50-50 split.

No controversy over "Bungalow" however.  Everybody thought it sucked.  :->

Later, Mike McCormick (


Date: Sat, 29 Jan 94 16:25:41 PST
From: "John Relph" <>
Subject: Re: Dear God

Jon Drukman <> firmly states:

> exclaims:
>>> It seems XTC often slight their guest
>>> singers this way (eg the little girl on Dear God).
>>Goodness, I always thought that was a little boy!
>it is.

But according to Stewart Evans <>:

    The vocals on "Dear God" are, as I recall, by the daughter
    of one of the engineers or something; I remember Andy
    saying in an interview that he thought the voice was the
    wrong gender and the wrong nationality, since he thought
    of it as himself as a child.  I don't think the gender of
    the singer is that obvious, though.

Does anybody have an article or interview in which Andy states this fact

        -- John


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