Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #419

              Chalkhills Digest, Number 419

                 Wednesday, 15 March 1995

Today's Topics:
                   DON'T steer me, Anna
      Press release for _Oranges and Lemons_ (long)
                    Whats the deal . .
                        The Tubes
                        Go2 Cover
               Re:  Chalkhills Digest #418
                         TEA COZY
                     Colin a pervert?
                  Tubes and other pipes
                 Re: baffling lyrics etc
             Crowded House and other cramming
                        GO2 cover


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Date: Wed, 15 Mar 95 13:34:52 EST
Subject: DON'T steer me, Anna

Hi all,

Just wanted to give my $.02 on a few topics discussed recently.

First of all, I find that the numerous posts concerning peculiarly
English references in XTC songs have been enormously enlightening.
If anyone knows of others, please let us colonials in on the secret.


James Dignan writes:
>One lyric does constantly puzzle me though - what does "Steer me, Anna" mean?

I never really thought about this line before now, but what with all the
talk recently concerning Andy's Appendage, my thoughts are drawn
irresistably to the agricultural use of the word steer, which is,
of course, a castrated bull.
(steer me Anna, steer me OH!) :-)

J.P. Harkness asks:
>And am I the only person alive that think that 'Travels In Nihilon'
>is the best song ever written ?

If it isn't THE best, it's certainly up there. It's one of the few XTC
songs that I find best when played at volume levels which cause my
chesterfield to walk across the floor. BTW, I think I heard that Andy
got the title of this song from a book. My library doesn't have it.
Anyone have info on this ?

Andy Manion notes:
>Speaking of Monty Python, I have noticed that fans of XTC tend also to be
>fans of Python.  Anyone else notice this connection?

I can't say that I've met enough XTC fans to notice any trends, :-)
but I'm certainly a Python fan, and I know that Andy is, and I believe
Colin is as well.

Jon asked:
> From "The Everyday Story of Smalltown, " the line "think I'll drink my oxo
>up, and get away..."  What in the WORLD (as the Dukes might say) is "oxo?"
>Just wondering...

OXO = Cup'o'Soup - Noodles
You may know of a product called Bovril, which is pretty much the same thing.

Arlo Leach writes:
> so i'm wondering, do we know anything about andy's personal eating habits or
>beliefs on the subject, for example, is he a vegetarian or anything like

Well Arlo, I'm glad you asked, because I got motivated to dust off some of
my old XTC fan club stuff and I had a good read. The info about Andy's
gastronomic preferences was contained in a bio. released by Virgin around
about '82 (just a guess at the date).

"Favourite food: Marianne's tuna salads, stinking curries, all vegetarian
stuff, nuts, loads of rice, home made bread, sweet and sour sauce,
pineapple, unstinky cheese. I've just rediscovered eggs. Hate snob food."

Just for completeness, and because I know that you want to know, Colin's
answer was anything but seafood, and Dave said that his diabetes put a
damper on his eating, but his preference was just about anything, as long
as it didn't have shells or bones or other hard bits to slow him down.

That's all from the culinary corner for this week, and now back to the
rest of the show...


"you've learned no lessons,
all that time so cheaply spent"


Date: Wed, 15 Mar 95 13:51:23 EST
Subject: Press release for _Oranges and Lemons_ (long)

Here's the press release blahdeblah for _Oranges and Lemons_.  I'd already
typed in Andy's comments on each song a few digests back.  Enjoy.  Spelling
and grammatical booboos are theirs. (And there're quite a few.)   _Drums
and *Wines*_?  Does anyone have the Chateaubriand (sp?) mix of this?
And I'm assuming Billy Bolis is a comic book character--can someone fill
in the blanks?

"Even I never know where I go when my eyes are closed."

Geffen Records, XTC, _Oranges and Lemons_
Street Date:  February 28, 1979  Two Record Set, One Cassette and CD

        How does Andy Partridge, one of rock's most fascinating interviews
and a member of one of modern music's most intriguing bands, describe XTC's
ninth album, _Oranges and Lemons_? by talking about colors and nursery
        "We always think in terms of a color for each album.  The last one,
_Skylarking_, had a pastoral, paisley feel.  This album is more aggressive.
The songs are up and positive.  I'm a pretty optimistic person myself,
sometimes aggressively jolly sandpaper.  This album has a 1,000-
watt bulb where there used to be a 40-watt.  It's fluorescent.
Definitely bright colors."
        Those colors inspired the title, as did an English nursery rhyme
little known in America also called "Oranges and Lemons."
        "The more we looked at the songs the more they seemed like nursery
rhymes themselves," he suggests "that's what we're peddling really.  Today's
pop tunes are the nursery rhymes of the future."
        But make no mistake about it, the eloquent Partridge takes these
nursery rhymes very seriously indeed.  The 15 selections on the two-record
_Oranges and Lemons_, ranging from hard pop to jazz, ooze with gentle satire
and tender feelings but also take bites out of subjects such as politics.
        "If the whole world's going to listen for an hour, you've got a
soapbox.  You don't pass it up.  Say what you want to say.  The songs are
about us and how we feel, about money, sex, our own failings.  Though we
do disguise them a bit because it's difficult to be stark naked.  We put
on the occasional fig leaf."
        XTC found itself in the midst of a controversy in 1987 when it
took on the subject of a Supreme Being.  "Dear God" became the bands
biggest hit in America, yet Partridge almost wishes the song hadn't been
included on the _Skylarking_ album--not because of the brouhaha it caused
but because it was too ambiguous, it wasn't blunt enough.
        "I was surprised that anyone could get so upset.  The idea that
religion is about people wanting power and using adult fairy tales to keep
other people in line is age-old.  As far as I'm concerned, if there is a
God, he or she or it has nothing to do with religion.  If it upset people,
it serves them right for listening.  What bothered me was that some people
thought the song meant I believed in God.
        "It should've been more poisonous.  But it's tricky being honest.
You have to dress it up so people can take it in and swallow it.  You have
to coat it in sugar and make it bite size.  The problem is that to do it
in three and a half minutes you have to edit out a lot of bones.  You take
it down from dinosaur bones to chicken bones and hope one sticks in their
        XTC has been a unique band right from its start forged in the
industrial town on Swindon in north Wiltshire, England, where it's still
based today.  The original foursome of Partridge on guitar and vocals,
Colin Moulding on bass, Barry Andrews on keyboards, and Terry Chambers
on 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 not in the States.
        In 1979, Andrews left and was replaced by fellow Wiltshire native
and guitarist Dave Gregory.  Later that year, XTC released its breakthrough
album, _Drums and Wines_, which includes its first English Top 20 hit,
"Making Plans for Nigel," and laid the foundation for success in the U.S.
The next album _Black Sea_ (1980), charted in the American Top 50.
        Major changes, however, were in the offing.  Following the
release of _English Settlement_ in 1982--which included the U.K. hit
"Senses Working Overtime"--four years of grueling tours (from Venezuela
to Japan to New Zealand and all points in between) came to a screeching
halt.  While on stage in Paris, Partridge collapsed.  Shortly after, XTC
stopped touring for good.
        "I think the top of the iceberg is stage fright," he explains.
"I'm not a physical person.  I'm wimp stuff.  It got crushing and wound
me up nervously.  I was losing pounds.  But the mass underneath is
malcontentment in reproducing the music when it's not satisfying to do so.
You don't see the audience when you're on stage and they became more and
more remote as we moved from small clubs to big halls.  I believe in the
songs but I wasn't doing them justice with me screaming on stage."
        His solution is the envy of many bands.  "I do the songs as best
as they can be done in the studio.  It changed the music for the better.
Our music was black and white until then.  Suddenly it became multi-
        That's not to say, however, that song writing and recording is
an easy process for Partridge, either.
        "When I'm under pressure, like making an album, and my brain is
working hard, I have a lot of trouble sleeping.  My brain doesn't turn
off at night.  I wake up screaming.  It's Wolfman behavior.  I go howling
and scratching at myself.  I don't know what I'm doing.  A few years ago
I might've been put in Bedlam for it but it's an actual medical condition.
It's scared a few producers to death, that I can tell you.  It's white
hair inducing if you're in the same room when it happens.  Those who have
shared a hotel room with me call the creature Billy Bolis."
        With the band studio bound, Chambers soon exited for Australia,
reducing it to a three-piece, and XTC left Epic Records for Geffen
Records.  _Mummer_ (1983), acoustic-based as was the double-album _English
Settlement_, then gave way to the harder, bluesier _The Big Express_.
        1985 saw the debut, on another label, of the band's psychedelic
alter egos, The Dukes of Stratosphear, a retro-cool parody of eccentric
'60's pop on _25 O'Clock_.  The Dukes returned in 1987 with the once more
critically acclaimed _Psonic Psunspot_.
        Between those two homages came _Skylarking_ (1986) and its unlikely
hit.  In fact, the album's first single was "Grass."  But when college
and alternative radio DJs turned to the B-side, they discovered "Dear God."
Breaking down pre-conceived notions of what a pop song should be about or
sound like has helped make XTC the truly unique band it is.
        "In England some still us as a punk art rock group.  But our
personalities have changed.  We're a billion miles away from that now.
We're all my favorite groups that ever were.  I'm the mincing machine.
Some of our music is placid, some borders on heavy metal, some is out and
out pop.  Calling it any one thing is lumping all furniture under Furniture.
We make one or two under each style.  We were quirky in 1977 but not anymore.
Only people who haven't really listened to us might think that."
        Still, Partridge thought _Skylarking_ would be labelled Weirdo Pop
and sell a few copies here and there in England and America.  Instead, it
was a certified hit in both places.
        The results brightened the bands mood considerably and the trio
was anxious to begin recording its next album.  The answers to questions
about a producer, a drummer, and where to record _Oranges and Lemons_
were all unexpected and pleasant surprises.
        The producer is the unheralded Paul Fox.  "Paul was a gamble,"
Partridge admits.  "We didn't know anything about him except he had done
some Yes mixes and worked with Boy George.  But we met and got on.  He
bothered to come down and see us and we didn't have to grovel at some
huge corporation.  He had a beer and a sandwich.  He was a regular person."
        As per usual since 1982, the band also enlisted a new drummer
specifically for the project.  This time it was Pat Mastelotto of the
Los Angeles band Mr. Mister.
        "Each time we use a new drummer it's a great injection of their
personality.  Pat got us to play our old material and he knew the drum
patterns beat for beat.  We were quite knocked out.  In a strange way,
he's the nearest of the drummers we've had to Terry Chambers.  Both strike
the drums very hard.  Pat's also one of the happiest individuals I've ever
met.  He's ludicrously enthusiastic and that infected all of us.
        Perhaps as too did the recording locale.  For the first time, XTC
recorded in Los Angeles.
        "I'm sure something must've seeped through.  If it was done in
rainy old England, maybe it would've been less orange and slightly muddier."
        There's a touching childlike quality to the album, both melodies
and words, and that's no coincidence.  The births of two children, the now
3 year old Holly and 1 year old Harry, have unquestionably had a great
effect on Partridge.
        "The songs stopped being about me in disguised lyrical form and now
are about my children in disguised lyrical form.  The songs are me talking
to them, leaving them entertainment, or sending messages."
        His children also help explain the numerous references on the
album to the classic movie musical _The Wizard of Oz_.
        "It's well known in our house.  We played it twice a day because
my daughter was in love with it.  It's so open, and wonderful.  And when
we started to think about it, we realized that the three of us in the band
were the Tin Man (Gregory), the Cowardly Lion (Partridge), and the
Scarecrow (Moulding).  Our personalities are so much like those
characters-- what we want, the way we behave, our physical appearances
even.  It's frighteningly us."
        For the members of XTC, heart and courage and sense of "there's
no place like home" is all part of their colorful trip down the yellow
brick road of rock n' roll.


Date: Wed, 15 Mar 1995 13:15:27 -0600
From: (Tom Keekley)
Subject: Whats the deal . .

Why are we listing bands that 'XTC fans' don't like??

>As for bands that an XTC fan does not like I'll limit my list to
>major offenders (and there's no use in listing obvious targets like
>Michael Bolton or Kenny G): Rush, Pearl Jam, most of Gabriel-
>era Genesis' work, and Snoop Doggy Dogg (Scoop Pooper Scoop, as Ray
>Cokes has been known to call him).

Rush has been my 'favorite' since I was a young 'un, and I LOVE PG-era
Genesis, AND I like Pearl Jam. . . not that this matters.

The strength of CHalkhills is the fact that XTC fans come from MANY
different wavelengths on the music spectrum, not JUST rock, or pop,
prog-rock, or classical, or whatever . . .

Lets continue to suggest bands that XTC fans might enjoy without
classifying their other tastes . .


Date: Wed, 15 Mar 1995 13:21:13 -0600
From: (Tom Keekley)
Subject: The Tubes

Nick Rhodes wrote:

>song overall as well.  One unrelated question, on Skylarking, the liner
>notes say thanks to the tubes for loaning us their amplifiers and the Dukes
>of Stratosphear for their guitars.  I know who the Dukes are (obviously),
>but who are the Tubes?  Another pseudonym?

The Tubes were the band that sang 'Talk to Ya Later' and 'She's a Beauty'
as well as some other fine tunes. They had/have quite a cult following and
were famous for outrageous and creative stage shows. I can imagine Andy
liking their stuff . . .


Date: Wed, 15 Mar 1995 12:01:40 -0500
From: (Alex Stein)
Subject: Go2 Cover

There's a goofy four-page (folded) insert that came with the LP that has the
"missing" text from the cover.  At least there was when I bought mine.  Has a
strange map that includes things like places where Andy was beaten by bullies,

I've always liked the cover of this album.



Date: Wed, 15 Mar 1995 15:20:04 -0500
From: Joe Turner <>
Subject: Re:  Chalkhills Digest #418

>From: "Gene (Sp00n) Yoon" <ST004422@BROWNVM.BROWN.EDU>
>Subject:      Fruit Nut?!
>As for baffling lyrics,
>What's the Sally Army that wakes everyone up in their Sunday
>marchround in Smalltown?

This confused me, too, until recently.

Salvation Army, of course.

>What's a "multi-colored tea-cosy"?  I'm Dying to know.  [Am I
>killing you with my humor or what?--sorry, couldn't resist.]

A tea cosy is the thing you set your teapot on when you put it on the
table, I beleive.  Colin's deceased family member must have had one
that was multicolored.

>Who or what are Kath McGowan and Lord Sutch (it!) in She's So
>Square?  This is probably more of a generational ignorance than a
>cross-Atlantic one.

Not sure about McGowan; must be a Personality from about '67 or so.
Screaming Lord Sutch is this jokey rock star/politician who runs for
office every election, never wins anything, but I gather their
fundraising parties are pretty rockin'.

Don't quote me on this, but I seem to think it's correct.

>From: (James)
>Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #417
>It's a quote from the wonderful song "By this river" off Brian Eno's album
>"Before and After Science". XTC fans would, I think, like the albums where
>Eno actuallly sings songs, rather than doing ambient doodling: B&AS,
>Another Green World, Taking Tiger Mountain, Here Come the Warm Jets and
>(with John Cale) Wrong Way Up)

Eno is like, cool.  He rules.  I second this reccomendation; I first
heard "Before and After Science" when I was about 14 or so, and it's
remained one of my top-10 albums ever.

"Back to silence, back to minus, with the thoughtless sky behind us
 in these metal days... in these metal ways..."

>From: (David Webb)
>Subject: Oxo, Grass & Helium Kidz
>5)      Does anyone know what Shriekback or Barry Andrews is up to
>        these days?

There is no Shriekback, only what I like to call The Barry Andrews
Band.  Shriekback died for me when both Martyn Barker and Dave Allen
were no longer in the band, and they lost any edge they once had.
LAME songs like "Intoxication" are not what I think of as Shriekback.

I saw them for the "Sacred City" tour, and boy, it sucked.

>From: "Russell Shaddox" <>
>Subject: Steer me, Anna
>(2) For some reason, I always associate Andy's "steer me, Anna" with Brian
>Eno's "Anna with her feelers moving round, round, round, is sharpening her
>needles on the wheel" in "Kurt's Rejoinder." Don't ask me why I make this
>association. At any rate, an investigation of "Anna" as it relates to Kurt
>Schwitters or Dadaism in general might shed more light on the figure/symbol of
>Anna. Or maybe it's just the name of Kurt's girlfriend or pet insect or

Grab a copy of "Brian Eno and the Vertical Color of Sound"; Eno makes
the case quite emphatically that his lyrics are there as an
afterthought, and that while they might sound coherent, what you get
out of them is what YOU get out of them, because he really didn't care.

>From: "Jim Slade" <>
>Organization:  The Current Science Group
>Subject:       Snappy Remarks and More
>As for bands that an XTC fan does not like I'll limit my list to
>major offenders (and there's no use in listing obvious targets like
>Michael Bolton or Kenny G): Rush, Pearl Jam, most of Gabriel-
>era Genesis' work, and Snoop Doggy Dogg (Scoop Pooper Scoop, as Ray
>Cokes has been known to call him).

Gosh, I think I'm a HUGE xtc fan and I *love* Gabriel-era Genesis, and
even a couple of Pearl Jam songs here and there, and even a SDD song
or two.  Then again, I also like Spacemen 3, Richard Thompson, Severed
Heads, and Debbie Gibson.

>Crowded House
>spent a special day with the show last year, and they were excellent.
>Crowded House, BTW, is a rare band of late that I've dubbed "great"
>based soley on their latest album, Alone Together.  I heavily suggest
>it for XTC fans.

I can't reccomend Crowded House enough, or the band they grew out of,
Split Enz.  Great Beatle-esque pop, great playing.

>From: "Russell Shaddox" <>
>Subject: XTC "Englishisms"
>Speaking of references better known in England, one of my favorites is "La la
>Londinium" off of "Towers of London." "Londinium" is the Latin name for
>London, and thus (obviously) dates back to the days when the Roman Empire's
>presence was felt in that green and pleasant land. I've always loved this line
>because it's right at the end of the song, when most bands would have faded
>out with some "oohs" and "aahs," but leave it to Andy to add yet another level
>of meaning.

I always figured he was just metaphorically reducing London to some
sort of elemental level.. London's not made of stone or brick or iron,
it's made of Londinium, of course!

>One more thing: While I don't agree that "All You Pretty Girls" is sexist
>(although it is clearly sexual), I do think that "My Bird Performs" is sexist

Blah.  Not only does this get discussed to death now and then (perhaps
an entry into the FAQ is in order?), but clearly, ANY song about
ANYONE can be painted as objectifying that other person.  I like the
play on "bird" as slang for a woman, I really don't think it's meant
to be analysed that much.

>(or "sexually asymmetric," as academic feminists say).

Q: How many academic feminists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: (in an enraged voice) One, and that joke isn't funny!

>From: "Wesley Wilson" <>
>Subject: Good News, Indeed/Terry Hall CD
>Oh, and all of you who recommended Talk Talk's "Laughingstock." You are
>right.  You play it over and over and it turns into an immensely enjoyable
>album.  Thanks. It reminds me of the group Traffic for some reason,
>although more laid back.

Laughing Stock is great.  Get "Spirit of Eden", too.

>From: (Nick Rhoads)
>Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #416
>One unrelated question, on Skylarking, the liner
>notes say thanks to the tubes for loaning us their amplifiers and the Dukes
>of Stratosphear for their guitars.  I know who the Dukes are (obviously),
>but who are the Tubes?  Another pseudonym?

The Tubes are/were a California band that began in the 70's, making a
name for themselves with songs like "White Punks on Dope" and a stage
show that was patently obscene.  They toned it down and had a minor
hit with "Talk to You Later", where lead singer Fee Waybill (is it me, or
IS this a pun on "Way Feeble"?) showed he has a decent voice and can
write good pop tunes when he wants to.  They had another hit with
"She's a Beauty" in the 80's.  Todd Rundgren is close with them, thus
the appearance of Prairie Prince's drums on _Skylarking_.

I beleive this is covered in more detail in The Book; you may want to
check that.

>From: (Patty Haley)
>Subject: Steer Me Red Brick Jellyfish
>Took me a *looooooong* time, but I'm finally a Jellyfish fan.

I saw the video for "Baby's Coming Back".  I liked it.  Should I buy
Jellyfish albums?

You should all go out and buy the album _Pure Phase_ by Spiritualised.
Arista releases it on March 28.  It's monster.  Not very XTClike, but
hey, if I like it, maybe one of you all will, too.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Joe Turner               Cambridge MA                      System Administrator
The Concorde Group, Ltd. 617/491-0400                         Technical Support                    not officially speaking for CGL
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The songs are so short because none of them are long.   -- Bruce Gilbert (Wire)


Date: Wed, 15 Mar 95 19:54:01 -0500
From: "David Harris" <>
Subject: TEA COZY

[This message is converted from WPS-PLUS to ASCII]

A tea cozy is a fitted sometimes knitted covering for a teapot.

I don't know if you have your answer already but I figured I'd
give it a go.


Date: Wed, 15 Mar 1995 14:33:52 -0700
From: James Robert Campbell <>
Subject: Colin a pervert?

Russell Shaddox wrote....

>One more thing: While I don't agree that "All You Pretty Girls" is sexist
>(although it is clearly sexual), I do think that "My Bird Performs" is sexist
>(or "sexually asymmetric," as academic feminists say). Regardless of whether
>or not he leaves the cage door open, Colin is more or less equating his
>girlfriend to a pet bird, is he not? Or is the song (ahem) about Colin's
>penis? ;-)

This has been mentioned here before and I, for one, think it's
quite wrong.  If I remember the press notes for _Nonsuch_, Colin
was quoted as saying "It's a happy with my lot song".  That's pretty
much how I've always taken it.  Just because there's one pervert in
the band, it doesn't mean that the others are! 8^)

After "Pink Thing" I very much doubt that Colin would be inclined to
show up on the next album with his version.  Plus, after O&L, I think
Colin was due for a simple, happy song.

Oh, BTW, Colin is married (~20 years now?) with two kids.




Date: 15 Mar 1995 16:56:21 -0500
From: "Russell Shaddox" <>
Subject: Tubes and other pipes

Mail*Link(r) SMTP               Tubes and other pipes (Nick Rhoads) wrote:
> I know who the Dukes are (obviously), but who are the Tubes?

The Tubes are a California pop/rock band from the '70s and '80s. Their first
album, "The Tubes," came out in '75 or '76 and is one of their best, along
with the 1979 album "Remote Control." They have a reputation of being
intelligent, eclectic rockers who put on a very theatrical (if somewhat
alcohol-sodden) stage performance. Their biggest hit came in about 1981 with
the slick pop number "Talk to Ya Later," off "The Completion Backward

The XTC connections here are that Prairie Prince, drummer for the Tubes,
also played skins on "Skylarking." In addition, "Skylarking" producer Todd
Rundgren also produced The Tubes' 1985 album "Love Bomb," a schizophrenic
combination of driving power pop and funky post-disco dance tunes. I
assume the two bands (or members thereof) met sometime in '84-'85.

About the hookah and doing drugs, I don't know that Andy needs to be
hitting the old hookah to appreciate the metaphor of bubbling
intoxication. And as you mention, the song itself is fairly psychedelic
(even if Andy isn't). Maybe he's just getting into, like, the spirit, man.

Russell Shaddox
"TV is king. You're my everything." - The Tubes


From: Adrian <>
Organization: The University of Birmingham
Date:         15 Mar 95 21:35:53 GMT
Subject:      Re: baffling lyrics etc

In chalkhills 418 various people asked/commented (and I'm sorry I
couldn't keep in all the attributions):

> What's the Sally Army that wakes everyone up in their Sunday
> marchround in Smalltown?

    The Salvation Army. Founded in C19th I think, a left-field
    Christian organisation devoted to good works and (popularly)
    to organising brass-bands to play in town centres.

> Who or what are Kath McGowan and Lord Sutch (it!) in She's So
> Square?
    Kath McGowan - sorry can't help.
    Lord Sutch is presumably Screaming 'Lord' Sutch, long-time
    singer and persistent candiate in bye-elections (mid-term one-off
    elections to parliament) for the Monster Raving Looney Party.

> ... Don't know how anyone managed to get 17
> songs on two sides for Nonsuch, though.  That would be groove-cramming
> to an extreme.

    O&L was on two LPs (4 songs per side). Was N LP issue similar ?

[big snip]
> I've been meaning to put this one to the collective XTC fan-mind for
> ages.  I have a vinyl copy of GO2, the one with the print trying to
> disuade you from buying the album and get a life.  On the back is
> similar print in white though some of it is missing.  It's as though
> someone has stuck a piece of black paper over it at a peculiar angle.
> Is this normal or do I have a subnormal cover?

    My LP copy is like this an I've always assumed it was a 'mistake'
    created when an original sleeve was re-made for the re-issues. The
    CD I have has the missing bits inside (or somewhere)

>   [snip]
> >        Also, in regards to "Red Brick Dream," I am left wondering
> >whether the phrase "red brick" has a specific connotation for the British.
> >I was told that in the 50s and 60s, England developed a number of "red-
> >brick universities" in an attempt to unfortress the ivory tower and let
> >more middle class-types in. [rest deleted]
> More or less. "Suburban" would be another possible synonym.

The 'redbrick' universities were the ones created c1900-1950 (eg
Birmingham(!) Sheffield Manchester etc.  The creations of the 1960's
were 'New universities' (or sometimes "Concrete U's"). Very few were
created in the 1950's and they don't deserve a name ;-)
"Suburban" is (a) good (word).

> (1) I believe Anna was the mother of the Virgin Mary. She is often considered
> a maternal archetype.

    Wasn't that (reputedly) St Anne ?

> As for bands that an XTC fan does not like I'll limit my list to
> major offenders (and there's no use in listing obvious targets like
> Michael Bolton or Kenny G): Rush, Pearl Jam, most of Gabriel-
> era Genesis' work, and Snoop Doggy Dogg (Scoop Pooper Scoop, as Ray
> Cokes has been known to call him).

    No comment, but I feel this thread may be a little difficult to
    control.  Perhaps the original correspondent would like to
    conduct a (off-list) poll?  :-)

--- Adrian Dover ---        The University of Birmingham, UK        ---  usual disclaimers apply ---


Date:         Wed, 15 Mar 95 16:53:48 EST
From: "Gene (Sp00n) Yoon" <ST004422@BROWNVM.BROWN.EDU>
Subject:      Crowded House and other cramming

>"Jim Slade" <> said
>Crowded House, BTW, is a rare band of late that I've dubbed
>"great" based soley on their latest album, Alone Together.  I heavily
>suggest it for XTC fans.

That's Together Alone, and I wholeheartedly agree.  Songs like
"Private Universe" "Distant Sun" and "Catherine Wheels" are simply
excellent.  Does anybody know who _Youth_ is?  Whoever he is, he was an
excellent producer for Toghether Alone.  I like "Woodface" even more,
and their first two albums (self-titled and "Temple of Low Men") are
also superb.

I'm surprised Chalkhillians don't mention Crowded House (or their
predecessor, Split Enz) more often, as they have quite a lot in common
with XTC.  They both started doing disjointed, semi-punk glam rock-style
music in the late 70's, moving on to a calmer, more lyrical style into
the 80's.  Main songwriter Neil Finn shares a talent for combining
poetic words with beautiful melody and has a wide range of moods and
tones, just like our friend Andy Partridge.  The two groups even share
the same "favorite" producer, Hugh Padgham, who produced Split Enz's
masterful record "Conflicting Emotions".  And guess what? Crowded House
recently announced they'd stop touring, because it exhausts them!  Check
out any Crowded House or Split Enz LP and you won't be sorry.

>"Russell Shaddox" <>
>I do think that "My Bird Performs" is sexist (or "sexually
>asymmetric," as academic feminists say). Regardless of whether or not he
>leaves the cage door open, Colin is more or less equating his girlfriend
>to a pet bird, is he not?

I like to think Colin's just singing about a house bird (as in
domesticated feathered vertebrate), a canary maybe, who chirps very
nicely in his kitchen or something.  That's all.  Anyway, I think Colin
is very much married.  Carol Moulding probably wouldn't appreciate the
bird reference. :)

>"Wesley Wilson" <> writes:
>I think that his lyrics (and Colin's as well) can pretty much be
>taken at face value. What's there is what's there.

Not always, but hopefully I'm right about My Bird Performs!

>Spoken by Lord Gregory as transcribed by Sir Nicholls:
>So if I was to describe the direction of the new album I'd say it
>was a cross between _Skylarking_ and ...

Oh, yes.

>... and _Oranges and Lemons_.

Oh, no.  (I guess you can figure out which XTC album is my least
favorite-- I've heard someone say "bombastic production" before.  And
it's got Andy Partridge at his most politically condescending.  It's the
one album I don't mind forgetting to take on road trips to my parent's

It's sad that it's gotten to the point where Dave Gregory says
flat out "there's nothing thats going to make the Top 40".  I still
think every album (well, maybe except Mummer and Big Express) has a few
songs that could have done very well on the charts, but they're just not
singles!  Or Virgin wimps out with the sales push.  Not that being Top
40 should be the priority, but the potential is there.  XTC deserves
mass recognition at least once, and the money that goes along with it!
And it sure sounds like they want more money.



From: Louis Barfe <>
Subject: GO2 cover
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 1995 23:11:19 +0000 (GMT)

The blank bit on the GO2 cover is there because the missing text is
printed on the inner bag (along with Barry's 'roots photos' and the
sublime 'Moulding's map of Swindon'.). It's a rudimentary form of jigsaw
puzzle, I guess. You just hold the inner bag and the back cover together
in the right way, and voila. Obviously if, like me, you've got a plain
inner bag, you have to buy the CD to fully understand one of the
cleverest album covers ever perpetrated. I even sold my pop industry
dissertation to my tutor by showing him GO2. I got a 2:1 for it, in the


End of Chalkhills Digest #419

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