Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #457

              Chalkhills Digest, Number 457
                     The Magnum Issue

                   Friday, 21 July 1995

Today's Topics:

                       High Prices
                  Andy as reincarnation
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #456
                 "Battery Brides" lyrics
             Re: Supertramp and r*A*T*I*N*G*s
                      XTC Unplugged?
                     rundgren, cont'd
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #456
        The long postulated XTC tribute - rumours
              L'affair Louis Trio, Rareties?
                Evil Virgins and the like
        XTC and WHFS and Paul Fox stuff with TMBG
                 AP Hello CD / EC List ?
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #456
                       andy in drag
   Salutations, Reminiscences and Source Requests(NYC)
                   AP: Incarnated poet
                     Staunch defense
                        Sexy Andy


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

Battery brides, have you ever tried / To break out of your waiting room


Date: Thu, 20 Jul 1995 16:40:50 -0400
Subject: High Prices

Don't know how many of you get Goldmine (a record collecting paper), but in
the July 21 issue Spellbound Records is selling the XTC CD single of Wrapped
In Grey for $200.00!!!!! I think the only time I've heard of an XTC record or
CD going for more than that was a 7" UK Science Friction with picture sleeve.
It will be interesting to see if anyone is willing to pay that much money.  I
am just glad I got my copy in a trade.

Also in the same issue is an ad by Contempt selling the Oranges and Lemons
promo box (the one that came with real oranges and lemons and the puppet
video) for $150.00!!!!! It seems like the real rare XTC items keep soaring in

I also have a question I was hoping someone could help me with. Several XTC
discographys have been listing a U.S. 7" release for Love At First Sight
(under catalog #RSO VR301). In the twelve years I have been collecting I have
never seen a copy, nor do I know anyone who has one. I suspect the single
might have been scheduled to be released and assigned a catalog #, but never
actually issued. If anyone has copy of this single I would love to hear from
them. Any help would be appreciated.


Date: Thu, 20 Jul 1995 17:23:45 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Andy as reincarnation

A small point to he of the literary bent who enquired about the Donne/
Pope reincarnation as Andy - need to provide some ideas on metaphysical
conceits to which you are referring. Without meaning to be obtuse, Donne
is a tad more complex than the label of spiritual  -see his satires and
love sonnets - discovery of lands as metaphor for wanderings around the
pleasure islands of the female body etc. His complexity and variety of
styles offers Andy many personas from which to choose. And as a rule,
Donne's whining egotistical self-centered persona may not be suited to
compare with Andy -even the Holy Sonnets has the audacious Donne as
Christ on the Cross.... Chris Orchard:


Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #456
Date: 20 Jul 1995 22:26:46 GMT
Organization: Bitstream Underground

the rembrandts recently recorded a version of "making plans for nigel" for
the XTC tribute album.


Date: 20 Jul 95 19:37:09 EDT
From: Danny <>
Subject: "Battery Brides" lyrics

>Question: What is Battery Brides about? I can't understand most of
>the lyrics and those I can confuse me. Opinions and lyrics please.

As a Brit, I can see that a lot of the quintessentially English detail in
XTC's lyrics must be pretty opaque to anyone else. However, I think this
one is fairly universal. Andy's punky pronunciation of "room" and
"groom" doesn't help, though. The title is, I'm sure, a reference to
"battery hens", i.e. factory farming. The song is about girls  - probably
 from a provincial English town not a million miles from Swindon -
unwittingly stuck on the conveyor belt leading from school to premature
marriage. Andy the feminist? Or maybe it's rather patronising?

Battery brides
Ha- ha- have you ever tried
To break out of your waiting room
And find yourself a waiting groom?
B- b- b- b- battery brides
B- b- b- b- battery brides

She left school with a million others
Worked in a store part time
She dreams of a husband and a lover
But doesn't realise she's on a production line of

Battery brides... (etc)

I know that the subtitle ("Andy Paints Brian") refers to Eno. But what's
he got to do with this *particular* song? Does anyone know? I can only
think that it's a reference to the slightly Enoid keyboard work.


Subject: Re: Supertramp and r*A*T*I*N*G*s
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 1995 23:39:00 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Michael Faulkner" <>

As AYM said,

Don't you DARE dis Supertramp.  The orchestral arrangements on
"Crime of the Century" (their best album, IMHO) are fantastic, and
they carry on the fine British songwriting tradition shared by
The B**tles, the Who, and 70's Queen.

Also to back up AYM's discovery that Black Sea is a great album...
it's my fave!  I don't want to start another "rating" thread, but
since I never put in my $.02 last time(s), I'd rate all the albums this way:

Best            Black Sea
                English Settlement
                Oranges and Lemons
                Big Express
                White Music
Not-as-good     Go2
(Worst is too strong a word!)

I love the Dukes stuff, love the demos, hate "Explode together", so
thought I'd only rate the true XTC releases.

Keep in mind also that I'm not rating individual *songs* on the
albums...Ladybird is one of my favorite songs, but as an *album*
I don't think Mummer is very strong.  It was a period of transition
for our boys...playing with a new drummer who wasn't really a member
though he played with them again on Big Express. I *never* listen
to Go2.

On the songs thread, I found an old little express the other day that
had a reader's poll of the five favorite songs (I think it was '89)
and I'm wondering, given how quickly songs fade and become re-discovered
in my brain, how many of you would change your votes since then?
The original results were, from first to last: Respectable Street,
Towers of London, Train running low on Soul Coal, Senses Working Overtime,
and Wake Up.

Soul Coal?  In the Top 5?  How many of you would still rate it that
high?  My *current* fave five would have to be, in NO particular order,
Travels in Nihilon, Earn enough for us, Ladybird, Chalkhills and Children,
and No Thugs in Our House.

blech...I've written too much.  I always wander when I think about
things I love.



Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 00:46:55 -0400
From: (Derek Miner)
Subject: XTC Unplugged? (James Isaacs) wrote:

>Some ding-dong at MTV really needs to organize an XTC unplugged concert.  I
>feel this is necessary since I heard "Train Running Low on Soul Coal"
>acoustically, and it became a new song altogether.

Actually, XTC could be considered to have started the Unplugged craze.
During the Acoustic Radio Tour of May 1989, XTC appeared on several MTV
programs, sharing acoustic versions of "Scarecrow People" and (I think)
"King For A Day". I have also heard stories of an aborted live performance
special for MTV that was dropped at the last minute when Andy learned there
would be an audience (albeit a small one)... Anyone willing to confirm

As for the 1989 performances, Andy was quoted (reprinted in the last Little
Express, I believe) as saying he was "responsible" (as in the one to blame)
for starting the whole Unplugged deal.

=Derek Miner=


Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 00:38:08 -0500 (CDT)
From: "my world is spinning..." <LEACH@AC.GRIN.EDU> (Arlo B Leach)
Subject: rundgren, cont'd

okay, i'll bite.  [] wrote:

>I am also (have been for years) a HUGE Todd Rundgren fan.  It is partly for
>this reason that I think Skylarking is the best of the lot.  It is, after
>all, the closest they've come to a concept album, and Andy himself said how
>he appreciated the wonders Todd worked in focusing the band.  I would
>appreciate any comments.

well, here's my comment:  while i certainly don't mean to belittle any
influence that todd rundgren had on this undoubtedly great album, i do
think that sometimes we overlook the contribution that XTC themselves must
have made to the "concept" idea.  i mean, the previous two albums, mummer
and big express, weren't as unified as skylarking, but were definitely
headed in that direction already in that they both had common themes (and,
more subjectively, a common tone) uniting many of the songs.  mummer is
filled with nature images and settings (6 out of 10 songs?), while big
express, of course, uses lots of industrial, "swindonian," working-class
images (7 of 14, including bonus tracks).  maybe this isn't a very
persausive argument, but personally, i think it's more than a coincidence
that each of these albums is as unified, thematically, as it is.

additionally, although nothing before skylarking has such a sophisticated
transition as that between "ballet..." and "1000 umbrellas," the idea of
merging songs together also occurred frequently in the two previous albums.
i realize that XTC themselves were very careful to credit todd with the
"continuity concept," so i don't doubt his influence on this issue.  i'm
just saying that skylarking seems to me to be less of a departure from the
direction that XTC was already heading than some consider it.



Date: Thu, 20 Jul 1995 23:35:42 -0700
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #456

Canada was supposed to be the best of three worlds: British government,
American technology, and French culture.  Instead we got French
government, British technology, and American culture.

I lived in Montreal from 1981-85.  I still miss it deeply.  For all its
warts, Canada is as humane a place to live as there is in this world.

>Subject: Re: Several Chalkhills Digests

>1 - John Relph's claim that it's "watch out here comes bony boy" is
(i think) correct. How about that cool bone-rattlin' sound at the end
when it sounds like the drummer drops his sticks!?

I agree with whomever recently said that it sounds like "here comes
poor man bones."  That touch with the drumsticks is too cool.

>4 - Mike McCormick on "Rundgren - we were wrong" - Right, unh ...yeah,
I mean I agree!   Skylarking has Rundgren's mark on it, definitely (at
times it sounds like he sings on the darn thing).  But it's probably
(imho again) one >of the higher points of his (Todd's) career, and his
devotion to pop (not a dirty word) songwriting makes him a worthy foil
for the band.  If any of yall out there heard the Utopia three sided
album and the "Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect"  from Todd (who I
am not a particularly huge fan of), you'd FREAK at the sonic
similarities - especially the drum sounds.

When "I Don't Want to Work..." came out, I thought it sounded a whole
lot like something that belonged on Black Sea.  When word came out that
Todzilla was producing Skylarking, I thought maybe he sought them out
but AP says otherwise.

>From: David Yazbek <>

>Also- I will be touring FRance in Sept. and the U.S. most likely in
October with a Mr. Dave Gregory playing guitar in the band. Come say

I'm there.  Where?

>From: (James)

>I never did enter the debate about songs that you hate when you first
>hear them, but love later. I realised this morning, listening to
>Skylarking, that The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul is like that for
>me. Couldn't stand it the first time I heard it, a firm favourite now.

That's the sort of thing that can only happen with bands of XTC's
caliber.  Since the first XTC album I heard was English Settlement,
Black Sea and Big Express were tough to digest for a while but the
nutrition is everlasting!!


From: (Andre de Koning)
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 95 09:44:12 +0200
Subject: The long postulated XTC tribute - rumours

Thanks David Yazbek for the info about the tribute album! Good to read
some news about something that is actually happening (all that talk
about the next XTC album being orchestral: by the time it happens Andy
is probably out of that phase and into a 'rock-n-roll' phase).

The dutch magazine 'OOR' probably spoils one of the surprises by writing
that Ruben Blades will possibly be assisted by Elvis Costello and it has
in addition to the list of artists also Al Kooper as one of the


Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 10:15:23 GMT
Subject: L'affair Louis Trio, Rareties?

Dear All,

Does anyone know where one can get any L'affair Louis Trio albums.
They are a French band that Colin Played for.  Does anyone know what
albums they have released?  I really want to get a copy.  I was in
Paris a few months ago and my girlfriend pointed out something on the
radio that sounded like XTC (and she's now even a fan but very clever
none the less.)  I have been looking ever since.  It is possible to
order here in Britain, but it will cost me stlg30.  Far too much.
Help??!??!?!?  USA access appreciated too.

Does anyone know how rare the 3D-ep is?  What about GO2 with the free

Dave (Y.), how can I get hold of your album in Britain?  Can I phone
the British number that you listed?

Answers on a postcard to: please and I will summerise
the results.

Dames TWD

(Life is good in the greenhouse:XTC)
(You told me you saw Jesus, but I could only see a tree: Amber)


Date: 21 Jul 1995 09:19:01 -0500
From: "Ken Salaets" <>
Subject: Evil Virgins and the like

Actually, Virgin Records has behaved a lot like most record companies that
view the business as a business.  Given the relative lack of success XTC has
had from the sales and revenue side of things, I'm not too surprised about
the way things have turned out.  Moreover, given the incredible knack of
lawyers to reproduce and muck things up...

WHFS is an "alternative" (whatever the hell that means) radio station located
somewhere between Washington, D.C. and Annapolis.  They do tend to play
inspired music a good part of the time, though they spend way too much time
focusing on their quirky DJ "personalities" for my taste.

Back to the producer bit.  If you listen to Andy's work on Martin's last
album, there's no mistaking the obvious influence of one particular producer
who produced a very successful pop group from the '60's, namely, George
Martin and the Beatles !!!  How much of the production is Andy and how much
is Martin N., I'm not certain.  No question Andy is an accomplished producer,
but that's not really XTC's sound.

And finally, the production on the Nunsvch demos sound a lot like the final
mixes on the commercially-released album, so who's to say the guys haven't
more or less been producing themselves all along?


From: "Smith, Daniel R." <DRS@DC4.HHLAW.COM>
Subject: XTC and WHFS and Paul Fox stuff with TMBG
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 95 08:43:00 PDT

WHFS is Warshington, DC.  Not that I like this place, don't get me wrong,
but HFS is pretty okay.  They were playing "Cherry in Your Tree" for a few
weeks before I could find the record.  Then I guess they felt like idiots,
because they stopped.  It is clear there are a couple of DJs at HFS who
really are in awe of the boys.  I remember driving to work 6am last summer
to "Grass" and after it was over, the DJ said (in an awe-struck voice):
 'That's Andy Partidge and XTC doing "Grass."  Ahhhh.....'

You could tell he was grinning at his crafty pun, but also because he got
the chance to play a lesser known XTC tune.

>Date: Thu, 20 Jul 1995 17:19:58 +1300
>From: (James)
>Subject: XTC in the charts!!!
>A friend on another mailing list recently sent me the results of a poll on
>station WHFS (no idea whereabouts in the states that is, sorry) to find the
>500 top alternative songs of all time. Thumbing through the list I noticed
>not one, but 5 (!) XTC songs:

Side note:  I just got TMBG's _John Henry_ and noticed it was produced by
Paul Fox and engineered by Ed Thacker (Same as _O&L_).  I was wondering if
anyone has noticed similarities?  You can e-mail me privately and I will
post to the list, if we want.  I've noticed a good horn section throughout,
and "Minature Sun" comes to mind immediately when I hear _JH_.  Track #5 is
a song called "AKA Driver" which sounds more like (IMHO) Colin Moulding
doing a Dukes tune from 25 O'Clock.  To please the XTC-fan gods, I'll say
"Colin would have done it *better,* or something, ok?  I'll take another
*careful* spin and see if I can find any shaking bones sounds or other
sharp, metal objects hanging from the floor.  It makes it like its fun.
 Nice pitcher in the LE, Wes!


Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 07:55:02 -0700
From: (Marshall Gooch)
Subject: AP Hello CD / EC List ?

If anyone finds they can't get the Hello CD of Andy P., and/or
you don't want to spend $46 just to get one 10 minute CD, I am
willing to tape the disc in trade (NO CASH) for anything good.
Please e-mail me privately.
  Anyone know what happened to the Elvis Costello list? Again,
e-mail me privately.

|| Marshall Gooch : PO Box 23217 : Seattle, WA 98102-0517 USA ||
||          or     ||
||                 "Death to flying things"                   ||
||                             !                              ||


Date: Fri, 21 Jul 95 12:10 EST
From: Jeffrey Langr <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #456

jd> A friend on another mailing list recently sent me the results of a poll on
jd> station WHFS (no idea whereabouts in the states that is, sorry) to find the
jd> 500 top alternative songs of all time. Thumbing through the list I noticed
jd> not one, but 5 (!) XTC songs:
jd>  44. XTC        Dear God
jd>  86. XTC        Senses working overtime
jd> 149. XTC        Mayor of simpleton
jd> 262. XTC        Making Plans For Nigel
jd> 337. XTC        Generals and Majors

WHFS is in Maryland (Annapolis, unless they've moved again) and covers the
DC and Baltimore listening areas.  Andy Partridge has spoken with some of
their DJ's on at least two occasions (I have a tape of one of the phone
interviews with Andy).  WHFS as of late is a pathetic pop-alternative
station; I have heard that Jake Einstein is starting a new true underground
station elsewhere in Maryland, more in the vein of the 2500-or-so-watt
station that used to be at 102.3 out of Bethesda, Maryland.

The 5 XTC songs in WHFS's top 500 are just what one would expect; I had the
fortune in the older days of WHFS to hear songs like Yacht Dance,
Helicopter, and No Language in Our Lungs on the station.

But of course if you had listened to my weekly show on WMUC-FM 88.1
(University of Maryland in College Park) circa 1984 - 1986 you would have
heard vintage XTC at least once every show, along with other fun groups
like Flipper, Agitpop, Big Black, Minutemen, Birthday Party, Throbbing
Gristle & friends, Marginal Man, Government Issue, and the Meatmen (Tesco
Vee -- we're the Meatmen and you still suck!).

Shameless ad: once again I have still bunches of collectable XTC vinyl
available at bargain prices.  Please send me e-mail if you are interested
in seeing what I gots.

Jeff L.


Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 12:15:25 -0600 (MDT)
From: Arlea Anschutz <>
Subject: andy in drag

>as a female, i think andy's sexy- thick or thin

How come I never heard about Andy's sex change?  Please tell us more!

                                        And so with gods and men
Arlea Anschutz                          The sheep remain inside their pen              Though many times they've seen
                                        the way to leave            --Tony Banks


Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 15:22:27 -0600
From: (Chris Van Valen)
Subject: Salutations, Reminiscences and Source Requests(NYC)

Greetings, Chalkie Comrades!!!

This is my first missive, so please bear with me if I cover some heavily
trodden ground.
        My first exposure to the Swindonians was in the Spring of '79--
(Bleecker Bob's in NYC--the old location on MacDougal St.)--D&W. I was
hooked immediately. I managed to see them in concert 3 times and was never
less than exhaused after each(as were they, probably!).
        I actually got to meet Andy when he did the Nonesuch promo spot at
HMV at 72nd and Broadway. He was exceptionally cordial and charming, taking
the time to chat with each and every one of the hundreds of people to queue
up. He was supposed to drop by for and hour, but he must have been there
for four. I chatted with him on the pros and cons of various pubs in
Swindon. Oddly enough, at the time he was drinking a Miller GD!
        I believe I have what I believe to be a full collection if the
7"ers and 12" EPs as well(much to the wife's dismay!) and I have the video
compilation Best Hits (that's the Japanese title ) which covers the videos
up through English
/Ball/All of a Sudden). Is there any source for the rest? I know they've
made at least a half dozen since then. Also, could anybody lead me to a
source for the CD singles on Nonesuch After Pumpkinhead?. This would be
greatly appreciated. I have a lot more stuff to spill my guts about, but
I'll save that for another day.



Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 16:48:24 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: AP: Incarnated poet

This is in response to the amusing notion that Andy is an incarnation of
a famous 17th(?) century poet.

Well, I beleive he is, but not of a famous poet. He was an ingenius,
humoured, and sensitive poet (prabably a farm hand, as well) who
wrote many a moving line. However, it was in total anonymity; not a scrap
of literature survived the ages. Nothing.

Then he comes out into the twentieth C, has some fame, sees it is a
little disgusting, but continues to do what he does with minimal fuss of
fame and, to date, fortune.

...and he lived happily ever after.

Joe Ierano


Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 18:25:19 -0400
Subject: Staunch defense

I feel that I must stand and make myself heard.
There were two people who seemded to imply that "Drums and Wires" and
"Nonsuch" were not up to par.  I find this to be most unfair, especially in
the case of "D & W".  This album happens to be my favourite, and there are
two reasons.  First, all the songs are well-written and well-played, and
second, it has not aged.  There is not a weak link on that album.  And with
"Nonsuch", I think if anything was disappointing, it would be only that it
didn't sell twelve million copies.  I played the CD for the first time in a
few months just yesterday, and I fell in love again. These guys are
genetically incapable of making unworthy music (except, of course, for "White
Music", but that was 1977, so they are forgiven.)


Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 18:03:04 -0600 (MDT)
From: Big Earl Sellar <>
Subject: Sexy Andy


Hmm, Andy a sex symbol? I've been told that I look like an equal cross
between Andy, David Thomas from Pere Ubu, and Frank Black. So I'll take
this thread as a complement! :)

EEEEEEE                                  "Somebody planted a bomb
EEE     Big Earl Sellar                  I wonder who it could be?
EEEEE      I wonder who would profit from
EE  Greenpeace not getting out to sea?"
EEEEEE                                                      Bob Wiseman
       ***Celebrating 10 years of French terrorism against peace***
                ***And 5 years of ignorance in Oka***


End of Chalkhills Digest #457

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