Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #421

              Chalkhills Digest, Number 421

                  Friday, 17 March 1995

Today's Topics:
       First Cuts, St. Christopher and A Good Laugh
             Re: New Subscriber Introduction
                    Re: How Many Sold?
                        Lilac Time
                   I beg forgiveness...
                   Least Favorite Bands
                 Vertical Colour of Sound
               The Crash Test Dummies - PPH
                  Anna one, Anna two ...
           re: Crowded House and other cramming
                       settle a bet
                   Re: My Bird Performs
                    Taking My Lumps II
                     bits and pieces
                       Season Cycle
                   First Tubes of Grass
                      XTC AND STING
                    Re: the Go2 cover
             Re: #1(2) Chalkhills Digest #420


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Spokes of the Sun God delay you, spray you.


Date: Thu, 16 Mar 95 16:06:11 EST
From: (Patty Haley)
Subject: First Cuts, St. Christopher and A Good Laugh

Hi everyone:

> From:
> Well, the Tubes are a 70s/80s band from San Francisco who had
> hits in the early 80's like She's a Beauty and Talk to Ya Later....
> (remember those gems?  ....probably not....)

The Tubes were a blast live.  I saw 'em live a coupla times (no raunch
in either of those shows--apparently their old days could get pretty
interesting on stage).  I am glad that Todd recruited Prairie Prince
for _Skylarking_ -- PP did a swell job.

> From: Thomas  Chao <tqc8542@is.NYU.EDU>
> Subject: Your Chalkhills Entrance Exam (compulsory)

[exam deleted]

>       [ Do NOT send your answers to Chalkhills!  -- John ]

Calm ye down, Johnny boy.  I think our man Thomas provided this strictly
as a yuk, and if he didn't, I still laughed muchly, thanks, Thomas.

> From:
> My feeling has always been that the bird in this song is a certain
> bird named Partridge.  Yes, I know the song is addressed to a woman,
> but so was The Beatles "Sexy Sadie" and that was about the Maharishi.

Wow, here's a new one.  Geez, I was an English major as an undergrad,
and hence therefore trained to write 1,000 pages on the meaning of a
single haiku, but I always looked at this as just being a man (I've never
viewed this as being autobiographical by Colin, by the way), who doesn't
give a hot goddamn about what others collect or call valuable because he's
got a terrific relationship with a woman who's keeping him sexually satisfied.
And yeah, my "bird" may be sexist, but look at the respect they have for one
another!  She can leave if she wants but has no desire to (so she's happy,
too).  They're happy together, and more power to 'em.  That's all I ever
think of when I think of this song.  A song of a happy couple.

> From:
> Is it me or is the first song on almost EVERY album the weakest?

It's you.  "Wake Up", which happens to be in my headphones this minute,
is a _great_ song.  And "Respectable Street"!  And "Runaways"!  "Making
Plans for Nigel"!  Artists intentionally put a good-to-great song on
as the first cut, 'cause if the beginning of the album arfs, what's to
keep 'em listening?

Thanks to those who pointed out to me that St. Christopher was the patron
saint of travelers.

"Now you forced to walk/Laden down with shame."


Subject: Re: New Subscriber Introduction
Date: Thu, 16 Mar 95 15:19:43 MST
From: "Chad DeLand" <>

Hello to all XTC fans,

My name is Chad DeLand, and although I've skimmed through four or
five digests and FTP'd some stuff from the archives, I've never
formally introduced myself.  I am currently a student at the
University of Calgary doing a Master's degree in Economics
(almost finished, I hope).
        My interest in XTC first appeared when English Settlement
came out in '82, quickly faded as I was only 13 years old, and
was into the early 80's hardcore thing.  However, it quickly
reappeared when I was introduced to Oranges and Lemons by a
coworker with a landscaping firm (summer job).  I went out and
bought all the albums, subscribed to The Little Express, and
started collecting stuff.  Since then I've made it a goal to get
all I could by the band, such as singles.
        Let me relate to you a little tale of which I'm very
proud.  In the fall of 1991, I was in England working at a hotel
in London (sort of a don't know what to do after graduation so I
might as well travel thing).  One weekend, I travelled out to
Swindon to meet a guy who I knew would show me around the town.
When I got there, he found out I liked XTC, and he said, "my
brother is a friend of Andy Partridge's, maybe we can meet him".
        I, of course, jumped at the chance.  We phoned, but Andy
was in the bath at the time, so we decided to just go to his
house.  Marianne and Holly answered the door and went to go get
Mr. Partridge.  Of course, I was very nervous, and acted like a
complete idiot, grabbing his hand and pumping it furiously like I
had met a long lost friend.  Although taken aback, Andy was very
kind and thoughtful, talking with us for about 15 minutes at his
front door, allowing me to take his picture, talking about the
mixing and producing problems with Nonsuch, and letting me play
with Charlie, his dog (named after Charlie Parker).  When I asked
for an autograph, and only had a piece of paper for him to sign,
he went back inside the house and got me a tape of Rag and Bone
Buffet, which he signed and drew a little picture of himself on.
I couldn't believe he had been so nice when I had bothered him at
his home and all.  I think this shows how little of the "star"
image has gotten into his head, and that this is partially why he
writes songs that grab you at the core.
        Anyway, it was a dream come true, and I am grateful that
there is a forum such as this to discuss the truly inspirational
music of XTC.
                                Chad DeLand


Date: Thu, 16 Mar 95 17:19:24 EST
From: (Tim Snyder)
Subject: Re: How Many Sold?

Mark Rushton notes:
> The Big Express....."sold as poorly as Mummer" (p.139)
> UK edition of Mummer.....20,000 (p.135)
> ES.....sold over 60,000 copies in UK within first 2 months of release (p.125)
> Drums and Wires.....around 100,000 in the States (p.117)

I can give one reason for the Big Express not selling well: The cover.
It gives no indication of what is happening, musically.  On the other
hand, Skylarking, O&L, English Settlement, Drums and Wires, Nonsvch,
and others give a "sell."  I think it's that simple!

100,000 copies of Drums and Wires astounds me.  At that time, that kind of
music was selling quite well, and though XTC were not mainstream, it seemed
lots of people were aware of Drums 'n Ws (as witnessed by buttons, cover band
play, record store employee suggestions, and so on).  How many copies did
Talking Heads More Songs about Buildings and Food sell?  That was similar
in exposure at that time, in a sense.



Date: Thu, 16 Mar 1995 16:15:23 -0600
From: gmerritt@MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU (Greg Merritt)
Subject: Lilac Time

A few newsletters ago, Patty Haley asked about The Lilac Time and Andy's
work with them.  I'm sure most of us know by now but I thought I'd plug that
band a little.

Indeed, Andy did produce most of TLT's 3rd album, "& Love for All", and he
even plays on a couple of songs.  Unfortunately, in my opinion, this album
is not their best.  Actually, while all four of their albums are good, they
get worse with order of release.  That is to say, their first "The Lilac
Time" is their best (spectacular... I rank it in my top 10 albums of all
time) and their last, "Astronauts", is far and away their worst.

So while no one XTC-like is on their first album, I highly recommend it over
the Andy-produced "& Love for All".  Patty, I believe, you are dialing in
 from the UK, so I hope you have better luck finding ANY Lilac Time than we
tend to have here in the US.  All of their albums, except, arguably, their
last, are pure pop, and more than a few songs sound like XTC.

Anyway, these are my opinions.  Does anyone agree?

- - Greg Merritt


Date: Thu, 16 Mar 1995 17:35:02 -0500 (EST)
From: SPORTO <>
Subject: I beg forgiveness...

The reason why I said I was 95% sure _Youth_ was a member of Therapy? was
that I had a nagging voice in the back of my head saying you're a bit off
Gord. About an hour after I sent my message, I realized that it was
Killing Joke and not Therapy? to whom Mr. Youth belongs.

Good call Mr. Harris. Anyway, in order to make up for my grievous error,
I have a question for you erudite folks: I would like to know if any
fellow Canucks have a copy of a radio show done by the boys in Toronto
for the Oranges & Lemons tour. I was driving home from basketball
practice when the show came on the radio. Living in radio wasteland, and
having just discovered XTC, I was amazed to hear "Love on a Farmboy's
Wages" over the car stereo. Needless to say I broke several traffic laws
to get home and tape the rest of the show.

If anybody has a complete copy of this show I would trade or pay for a

Thanks,      Sporto

 #  Sporto                    "All this discussion, though politically  #
 #  3rd yr Biznob & Chooch              correct,                        #
 #  Wilfrid Laurier U.         Is dead beyond destruction - though it   #
 #  Waterloo, Ontario                leaves me quite erect."            #
 #               'White, Discussion' - LIVE      #


Date: Thu, 16 Mar 1995 17:13:05 GMT-6
Subject: Least Favorite Bands

Hi folks,

I am a little concerned about the invitation to list our least favorite
bands.  XTC fans are have discerning musical taste. They are likely to have
far more bands that they dislike than bands that they like. I could name
hundreds of bands that I dislike and still be in the country music section
of the music store.  Let's keep the conversation primarily on the important
band that we all like -- Journey. Music by the yard and all that...


P.S. When I was in college (1982 - 1986) we used to listen to Travels in
Nihilon prior to going out on Friday nights. At full volume, it was our
version of mood music.

P.P.S. Thomas Chao - An excellent entrance exam. There's a future for you
at ETS, I'm sure. As for number five, let the sun be blotted out provided
we may bask in Andy's reflective glory! You're a good man Thomas Chao, and
you was wounded in the war...

P.P.P.S. - Two questions: 1. Does anyone know whether the Homo Safari
Series has ever been packaged and sold as a unit? and 2. Is there a
non-bootleg version of I Set Myself on Fire available anywhere. I don't
have Rag and Bones Buffet but I don't recall it being on there.

"All of your colours will crash into one, monochrome living's no fun." D.o.S.


Date: Thu, 16 Mar 1995 21:14:34 -0500 (EST)
From: Tobin Munsat <tobin@phoenix.Princeton.EDU>
Subject: Vertical Colour of Sound

> Subject: Re: Vertical Colour of Sound
> >Grab a copy of "Brian Eno and the Vertical Color of Sound"; Eno makes
> means, read this book.

Read it if you can find it-- I looked for it in England last summer when
I visited, and it is out of print!  (If anyone wants to get rid of a
copy, you know where to find me...) -Tobin


Date: Fri, 17 Mar 1995 17:24:57 +1200
From: (James)

>Subject: Re: #1(2) Chalkhills Digest #418
>Regarding XTC on Vinyl:
>You bet it was! In fact, Imyself much prefer the original issue of the
>album which has "Mermaid Smiled" instead of "Dear God", although you
>can get mermaid smiled on the compilation "Rag and Bone Buffet". I
>personally think Mermaid Smiled is a much better song than Dear God,
>anyone out there agree?  Oh, by the way, can anyone tell me what the
>name of the chalkhill is on the cover of English Settlement and where
>it is located? Thanx!
>Steven Stealbeard

It's at Uffington, in the Vale of Evesham, near the borders of Oxfordshire
and Gloucestershire. And it's the most beatiful carved creature in the
whole wide world ( James wallows in waves of homesickness...)

>>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.

A different case is made in "More Dark Than Shark" (another recommended
book!), that the lyrics have meaning on a multitude of levels, some of them
not at all obvious - like for example the single "Seven Deadly Finns",
which is made up almost entirely by slang terms used by sex workers!

>Is it me or is the first song on almost EVERY album the weakest?

Resopectable Street weak? Grass weak? hmm.


James Dignan, Department of Psychology, University of Otago.

Ya zhivu v' 50 Norfolk St., St. Clair, Dunedin, New Zealand
pixelphone / steam megaphone NZ 03-455-7807

   * You talk to me as if from a distance
   * and I reply with impressions chosen from another time, time, time,
   * from another time                     (Brian Eno)


Date: Fri, 17 Mar 1995 10:10:39 GMT
Subject: The Crash Test Dummies - PPH

Dear All,

Sorry to bother you with trivia, but every time I hear XTC on the
radio I am SO shocked that I have to let everyone know.  The other
night I heard the CTD's cover of Peter Pumpkin Head.  (I know that
this isn't quite XTC but...)  It's not very good is it? (IMHO)  It
would have been better if the normal barritone lead singer had sung
the lead vocals.  Ho-hum.

Also I would like to encourage _everyone_ who hasn't to tune their
ears into the bass playing by Colin in all XTC songs.  It is truely
excellent and inspiring stuff.  It is to your average bass playing as
instant tea granules is to tea brewed in a tea pot!

Finally just to give my two gilders worth; I always thought that
Grass was simply a bi-meaning song about rolling around on turf
having fun _and/or_ smoking illegal substances.  Simple, no 'pink
thing' implied or meant.  But that's just what I think.

Dames TWD

(Life is good in the greenhouse:XTC)


Date: 17 Mar 1995 09:45:51 U
From: "Russell Shaddox" <>
Subject: Anna one, Anna two ...

Mail*Link(r) SMTP               Anna one, Anna two ...

Dolph Chaney <ST56T@Jetson.UH.EDU> wrote:

> "Steer me, Anna"? I'll have to take a closer look at my lyric sheet! Before
> I had the CD, I always assumed that the line was: "steering, and I'm /
> steering, and I'm ..."

Although the lyric sheet does say "Steer me, Anna," your interpretation
brings up an interesting hypothesis. While writing the song, Andy sings
these lyrics for the bridge: "Steer me, and-a, steer me, and-a ..." You
know, like Lawrence Welk: "And-a one, and-a two ..." Then, while writing
the lyric sheet, he changes it to "Anna" on a whim, sending
overinterpreters like myself into overdrive. Just a(nother) theory ...

BTW: I do not actually think that "My Bird Performs" is about Colin's
penis, Andy's penis, Dave Gilmour's, Neil Kinnock's, Stewart Sutcliffe's,
etc. I was making a joke, as I think were several other people.

I also do not think Colin Moulding is an adulterer. "His girlfriend" was a
poor choice of words on my part, intended to mean "the object of desire of
the song's narrator." The song is an artistic construct that hints at
*several* realities (as our discussions show), and it doesn't need to
reflect Colin's real-life situation. Andy once mentioned about "The Mayor
of Simpleton" that he hoped people didn't think the song meant that he
himself was "dim." Same principle: The song's narrator isn't necessarily
the same as the songwriter.  I'm sure Colin is a faithful, caring hubby who
washes dishes and leaves the toilet seat down.

Russell Shaddox
I must admit, just when I think I'm king, I just begin. -- Kate Bush


Date: Fri, 17 Mar 95 09:30:22 CST
From: (Christopher Kasic)
Subject: re: Crowded House and other cramming

in Chalkhills 419, Gene (Sp00n) Yoon crooned:

>Does anybody know who _Youth_ is?  Whoever he is, he was an
>excellent producer for Toghether Alone.

It's probably been answered, but I know he did some work with Erasure
on "Chorus", among other things. I believe the CH newsgroup talked
about him last year when CH were recording in a friend's house in New
Zealand. Quite an odd character, and only one name, to boot. :)

>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

Yes, they do have that at times jangly "thought-pop" style in common.
CH tends to be a bit more "romantic" in the literary, mushy sense
whereas they lack the sometimes abrasive, yet persistently optimistic
streak in XTC (As Melissa recounted earlier about their O&L effort)
that is strikingly English.

I'm sorry to hear that CH are no longer touring. Their Together Alone
tour (at least in Minneapolis) had excellent stage presence and was
well done.

Back to the program....



Date: Fri, 17 Mar 1995 10:30:06 GMT-6
Subject: settle a bet

Hi Folks,

Please settle a bet for me. Has XTC ever had a Billboard top-40 hit in
the States? I know someone with a book that (alledgedly) lists every
band that has had a Billboard top-40 hit in the U.S. between 1950 to
1990. I looked up XTC and they were not there. Wasn't Senses Working
Overtime a U.S. hit? What about Dear God? I have the address of the
author of this book and I'd love to point out this error (?) to him.

Thanks for the info...


From: (Allender Mark)
Subject: Re: My Bird Performs
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 1995 13:24:01 -0500 (EST)

I have NEVER thought of 'My Bird Performs' as being about a woman or
anybody and between you, me, and this screen, i'd like to suggest that
the tune is about the singer's CREATIVITY.  it seems to be kind of
highbrow even (and the horns in the song only make it more so in my
my bird does not RECITE.
my bird PERFORMS.
to me, it would kill my appreciation for it if it were about a person
of either gender.
it happens to be one of my favorates by these cats.
i'll get off my soapbox now



From: (Phil Corless)
Subject: Youth
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 1995 11:38:00 +0000

>Youth made a Rave record (??) with Paul McCartney.  I forget the
>lame pseudonym that McCartney released the thing under.

McCartney called himself "Fireman"

Youth would be an interesting producer for XTC, and I base that
only on the Crowded House album.

Has anyone mentioned Jerry Harrison as a potential producer?
He did an excellent job with Crash Test Dummies on their second
album.  You can really tell the difference between that and their
first one.  Maybe he could get Andy and David Byrne together for
a duet!

Phil Corless
Boise, Idaho


From: "Jim Slade" <>
Organization:  The Current Science Group
Date:          Fri, 17 Mar 1995 13:50:19 EST5EDT
Subject:       Taking My Lumps II

Steven Stealbeard felt the need to criticize my list of bands that I,
an XTC fan, do not like.  I'm all for disagreeing, but to say that I
can't lump together Genesis and Rush with Snoop Doggy Dogg and
Michael Bolton is ridiculous, and it represented a certain
fundementalist cult mentality that I get from Chalkhills.  So much
preaching to the converted goes on, and critical topics are treated
as blasphemy.

For argument's sake I purposely took the likes of Michael Bolton OUT
of the discussion.  More importantly, someone merely asked what bands
we didn't like, and I answered as if I was answering the question
"What foods do you dislike?"  Whether Genesis is to Snoop Doggy Dogg
what XTC are to Sinatra or ketchup is to caviar doesn't matter.  I
simply do not like the music of Rush and most of the music of Genesis
along with the music of people far less talented (eg, I don't think
they suck as musicians, I don't judge them or people covering
their music harshly, etc.).  I think some of XTC's music sucks, for
that matter.

If I took this the wrong way, I'm sorry, and if my first and
incredibly mean response went through too, I'll have to live with
that.  I did reflect my feelings at that time.

RE: "Pink Thing"/"My Bird Performs"/etc.: What's the matter with
being sexy?


Date: Fri, 17 Mar 1995 13:11:58 -0600 (CST)
From: James Kosmicki <>
Subject: bits and pieces

I absolutely have to disagree about the first song on an album being weakest.
Summer's Cauldron is a fab song, as is everything else on the original
pressings of Skylarking.  After Mummer and Big Express I almost stopped
listening to XTC, but Skylkarking made me a fan forever.  Of course, I
now listen to Mummer and Big Express and appreciate them much better.  As
I've gotten older, White Music and Go2 are becoming my least listened to

Also, a bit about the Tubes.  Their hipness quotient suffered a serious
blow that they never recovered from when they appeared in the movie
Xanadu.  In a dream sequence, they played the part of a generic rock band
that merges somehow with a big band, or something.


Date: Fri, 17 Mar 1995 15:05:11 -0600 (CST)
From: "And how they'll be jealous of both of us..." <>
Subject: Season Cycle

Hello, haven't written in a while, but with the onslaught of Spring
here in Iowa, it brings me to a question.

Since I discovered XTC late in their career (right after Nonsuch),
could anyone let me know what in what SEASONS each album was released?
_Skylarking_ (obviously) always fills me with that sticky longing of a
hot summer night spent with a beer and a woman, for some reason, the
other albums I am not to sure of.  _ES_ sounds definitely wintry to
me, but as far as all the others, I am clueless.  I am someone greatly
affected by the weather . . . perhaps Andy, Colin, and Dave are as



Date: Fri, 17 Mar 95 13:45:21 PST
From: John Relph <>
Subject: First Tubes of Grass

daniel ( says:
>  Apparently, XTC used some of the Tubes'
>equipment in the studio hence the thank you.

Re Styles, giver of cactus, is Prairie's long-time girlfriend, and was
also in the Tubes for a number of years.  The best Tubes albums, IMHO,
are _Now_ (the long overlooked third album), and _Remote Control_,
produced by Todd Rundgren.  _Young and Rich_, their second, is also a
classic.  Oh yes, the Tubes also covered a Captain Beefheart song: "My
Head is My Only House (Unless It Rains)".

Thomas Chao <tqc8542@is.NYU.EDU> sent in that lovely Chalkhills
Entrance Exam (Thanks!).  I have added it to the Chalkhills Web pages.
I think a sense of humour has been lacking lately from some Chalkhills
postings.  Who would seriously suggest that "Grass" is about Andy's
penis?  It's a JOKE!  A JOKE, I say!

Another thing: I think I will add a compendium of "English-isms" to
the FAQ. (Robert Stacy) says:
>   For me, the appeal of "Grass" _relies_ on that intentional double
>entendre.  Without the leavening, tongue-in-cheek contriteness of the
>drug joke, the sentimentality would come dangerously close to slopping
>over into mawkishness.

I actually thought the sexual overtones were quite enough to keep the
song from becoming overly sentimental and mushy.  (As Jemiah once
said, just look for making love outdoors, you know it's by Colin.)
Just a look back at the recklessness of youth.  ("Honey, can you
believe we used to meet in the woods and make love on my coat?")  And
considering all the bugs flying by in the song and the dog in the
distance, you know it's outdoors.  (Although the stoner would probably
appreciate the use of sound effects.)

Jon <> writes:
>Is it me or is the first song on almost EVERY album the weakest?

It's you.  "Radios in Motion", "Meccanik Dancing", "Making Plans for
Nigel", "Respectable Street" (one of the reasons I bought _Black Sea_,
my first XTC purchase), "Runaways", "Beating of Hearts", "Wake Up!",
"Summer's Cauldron", "Garden of Earthly Delights", "Peter Punkinhead".
Pretty good average there...

        -- John


Date:   Fri, 17 Mar 1995 16:47:24 -0500
From: (Gerald Wheeler)

Hello everyone, this is my first time on the board.

In examining the XTC Fans' lists of favorite or most detested bands I was
surprised that no one mentioned in either category the infamous STING.

This struck me as funny because I believe STING is someone who has really
tried to aggressively commercialize on XTC's concept, style and sound.
Think about it--STING's heavy reliance on quirky jazz phrasings in his
records, his feeble attempts at metaphor and irony in his lyrics and his
desire to grapple with the cosmic concepts.  Clearly, STING over-reaches
himself in every aspect of his "art" but you see in him a kind of conscious
attempt to be arty or insightful in the way XTC is.

I am also wondering if XTC was mocking him in their song "This World Over"
which I believe is on the BIG EXPRESS album.  The song has a mock-POLICE
mood and style reminiscent of "Invisible Sun" and the theme of much of
Synchronicity.  In the vocalization, notice how Andy draws out the word
MISS-ILES in that song in the same distinctive way that STING does in
"Russians" and "Fortress Around Your Heart" on Dream of the Blue Turtles.
I see the whole tune as a lampoon of the obvious and "in-your-face" protest
song that pin-heads like STING and DON HENLY have popularized lately.  Any
thoughts anyone?

Has XTC ever said anything publicly about the POLICE or STING--it would be
interesting to know.  I saw the POLICE at a small club in Washington, D.C.
back in 1980.  The drummer was wearing a T-shirt with XTC's Drums and Wires
album cover on the front. About a year earlier, I saw XTC at the same club.
The only POLICE memorabilia there were being worn by D.C.'s finest who
closed down the place for over-capacity.

Regards all,

Jerry Wheeler


Date: Fri, 17 Mar 1995 15:01:58 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: the Go2 cover

In Digest #420, Valerie Jean Williams writes:

>As for the cover of Go2, yes, it is an intentional screwup on the back,
>I have the CD and it's the same.

Thought I'd offer a comment--it's intentional, yes, but I don't
think it's a screw-up--actually, if you take the album sleeve
 from inside and put it over the blank spot on the back cover, you
find the missing words!  They're printed on the album sleeve and
*they* look like a screw-up ('cause they don't make sense) till
you put them together on the back.  Pretty cool, huh?  I don't have
a copy here in the computer center or I'd try to quote from them.

Has anyone noticed how the current Sprite ad campaign uses the same
idea as that album cover?  Trying to make you aware that it is an
ad campaign trying to make you buy, so you laugh and buy it anyway.
Those XTCers--always years ahead of their time.

Doug (I don't have a cool signature yet but I will)

P.S.  I dunno if that album sleeve trick works with the CD or not,
'cause I don't have the CD.


Date: Fri, 17 Mar 1995 18:58:04 -0500
Subject: Re: #1(2) Chalkhills Digest #420

daniel ( writes:

>...Skylarking is my fav XTC album and consider it
>a masterpiece.  Truly can't stop listening to it.  But.......
>XTC & Rundgren should have gotten someone else to mix the >album.
>Rundgren's mix sounds too compressed.  needs more dynamics!!!

I'm glad somebody brought this up. Daniel, you couldn't be more correct.
 Skylarking is amoung the most musically significant redords XTC has evre
released, but it does in fact sound really awful (although sometimes, that
is a benefit).  The string parts screech horribly, and some of the effects
applied to them are equally horrible (witness the odd panning of the string
section at the end of "1000 Umbrellas").  The acoustic guitars in "Dear
God" and "Sacrificial Bonfire" are thin and boxy.

On the other hand, the sloppy drum sound, characterized by open, ringing
snares, and such, is just what the doctor ordered.  What does everyone else
think?  I have thought this ever since I first heard the record, and I'm
surprised that no one else (up until now) has said anything.  Strangely, I
still think it is their best work.

John Lisiecki


End of Chalkhills Digest #421

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