Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #461

              Chalkhills Digest, Number 461

                  Friday, 4 August 1995

Today's Topics:

                      No New Jersey
                      MTV Unplugged
            Go2, Barry, Punk, and other tales
                   Boring LPs are A-OK
                     Andy & Computers
              To any Guitar playing XTC fans
              heaven is paved with ... what?
                Air play and record sales.
             Re: #2(2) Chalkhills Digest #460
                       XTC Demos #1
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #460
                 The origin of Unplugged
                   Thirsty Ear Records?
                    The Old New Debate
                          Top 25
                RE- Making Plans for Nigel
                    Early versus Late
                 dukes backwards masking
                    Queen of the Tubes
             My obligatory bi-monthly posting


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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Date: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 08:09:24 -0700
From: John Relph <relph>
Subject: No New Jersey (Marshall Gooch) writes:
>Well, I'm dubbing a copy of this CD right now, and right before
>they go into "Ball and Chain" Colin Moulding says "Thank you
>Philadelphia." Plain as day. Perhaps the Wash DC show has the

That's Cherry Hill, NJ.  Nevertheless I've changed the discography and
the live listing to reflect the fact that _Fab Foursome At Philly_ was
indeed recorded in Philadelphia, not Cherry Hill.  My mistake.
However, it was definitely not recorded in 1979.  It was probably
recorded within a few days of the aforementioned Cherry (in your) Hill
concert, in April 1981 (an early version of "Ball and Chain" was
played in the concert).

        -- John

Eat recycled food!  It's good for the environment and okay for you.


Date: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 08:17:12 -0500
Subject: MTV Unplugged
From: (Kim E. Williams)

I noticed a comment about Unplugged on MTV being inspired probably
by XTC's radio tours.  They're only half-right.  It was the idea Andy
presented to them when MTV offered huge bucks to play one concert live and
to have it videotaped.  They told him they'd never done anything like that
before and didn't know how it would work.  In essence, THEY TURNED IT
DOWN!!!  Then within about a year, Unplugged was on the air.  So, Andy is
actually the brains behind the idea.


Date: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 16:47:55 -0400 (EDT)

This is my first posting, so here goes...

I have thought long at hard about which XTC albums are my favorites:

Go2: From start to finish, a raw and energetic album, although Barry
seems to be off in another world most of the time (immediately coming to
mind in comparison would be that second vocalist in the Sugarcubes who
was always competing with Bjork). Go+ is alright as well, although it is
not included on the CD reissue (one must buy the DUB CD which pairs it
with Mr. Partridge's dub album).

Drums and Wires: Ahhh! Making Plans..., Scissor Man, Life Begins at the
Hop, these are only a few of the power-pop treats that awaits those who
venture forth [damn, I just ran out of clever wit]

Oranges and Lemons: Sure, Skylarking was good, but everyone knows of how
Todd Rundgren nearly broke up the band over his continuity concept. After
recovering face following the success of Skylarking, XTC was genuinely
enthusiastic about recording again, and that enthusiasm shows all across
Oranges and Lemons where it does not show in its predecessor. [Speaking
of continuity, I have the 3 3" CD set of Oranges and Lemons, which just
seems to suit well those of us who normally would enjoy getting up to
change the side of a record every 20 minutes or so].

And to everyone who is waiting for Andy to tour again, I recall those
words he spoke on this topic in an American magazine upon completion of
Oranges and Lemons:
        "Why should I get paid for something that
         I do not enjoy doing? I could be sweeping
         out sewers instead."

BTW, I am a Yankee!


Date:         Mon, 31 Jul 95 16:42:59 EDT
From: Matt Hiner <R2MCH1@VM1.CC.UAKRON.EDU>
Subject:      Go2, Barry, Punk, and other tales

A variety of quips, ideas, and comments...

First to Nicolas.  If you check your history, punk actually had
similtaneous starts in both the U.K. and America.  The Ramones formed two
years before the Sex Pistols (if you count those two bands as creating the
original sound).  And you could go back further in time to find several
pre-punk bands who influenced the entire punk genre, i.e. MC5, New York
Dolls, Stooges.  Punk fans in the U.S. had to overcome such huge obstacles
(unfriendly radio, corporate rock fascists, religious and political
censorship groups, and national record stores afraid of losing the almighty
$), that it did not really catch on for some time.  As Jello Biafra once
said, "A hairstyle is not a lifestyle."

And as far as the recent trend of abuse directed toward Go2, White Music,
and Barry, it is rather unfair to compare the pre-English Settlement band
with the post-ES band.  The English Settlement album clearly marked a
change in XTC's direction, and you could almost argue that they are clearly
two different bands before and after that LP.  White Music, while not a
great album, does have a few gems and is a good listen when you are in a
good mood.  Go2 is probably my favorite XTC album - full of quarky guitar
and keyboards (I'm not sure what influence Barry had on this record, but
his work greatly compliments Andy's guitar) and oft times tongue-in-cheek

Thats it.
                                   - Matt Hiner
                                     University of Akron


Date: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 15:13:09 -0700
From: (Michael Riches)
Subject: Boring LPs are A-OK

There's been a lot of discussion about Nonsuch being a limp effort.  Yeah,
I agree, it was underwhelming on first listen and took a lot of time to
grow on me.

But the thing I appreciate most about XTC is that every album they make
sounds different from anything they've done before.  Even if Nonsuch or
Mummer aren't the most upbeat LPs, at least I can just accept them for what
they are and still find something intriguing about them.  It would be far
worse to make O&L part 2, or copy the same sound from Black Sea.  That's
the sign of a bankrupt group, when they have to dip back into the well for
a second time because they can't think of what to do next (hello Mick and

When I listen to Nonsuch, I marvel at the fact that these guys have been
going since 1977 and are still creating music that's progressive and unique,
even in comparison  to their previous work.  It's what made the Beatles and
Brian Wilson great, and it's a trait that's been far too rare in music.

... And Go2 is a wonderful album!  White Music just scratched the surface,
but Go2 is rich with textures and sounds that create an unusual and
mysterious world.  Again, if the band just made an extention of White Music
without doing anything different, it would have been a far greater crime.
It also marks the only time someone other than Andy or Colin have written or
sung  XTC tunes, and whether it fits or not, it's damn bizarre and I like it!


Date: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 15:14:10 -0700 (PDT)
From: Steve Johnson <>
Subject: Andy & Computers

It was mentioned that there were people on AOL claiming to be Andy
Partridge and one respondant said Andy only used computers from
drum programming.  That's pretty much true -- Andy doesn't really
like computers, but he DOES have an Atari MEGA ST system in his
studio for MIDI sequencing purposes and, as far as I know, that's
the ONLY thing he uses it for.  He DOES, however, get hardcopies
of occasional Chalkhills issues through other people -- that's
about as online as he gets.


Date: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 19:44:23 -0400 (EDT)
From: Sean Hennessey <>
Subject: To any Guitar playing XTC fans


Sorry to post what will be probably considered a sad posting, but I was
wondering if any of you would know of a good place (asides from the
Chalkhills page and Nevada) to get XTC tabs, I am particularly looking
for songs like 'This is Pop' and some of the earlier stuff.  Dukes stuff
as well.

Dave Gregory is a hero.  So is Andy.  One must learn from ones influences...



Date: Tue, 1 Aug 1995 15:24:24 -0500
From: (James)
Subject: Unpugged

>i can't speak for MTV's Unplugged, but i'd have to say the real roots of
>the unplugged phenomenon lie with the Violent Femmes.

Maybe, but weren't they just following on a style popularised a decade
earlier by T.Rex?

Aaugh! It's happened again! Whoever suggested we'd be talking KC and the
Sunshine Band was wrong, though!!!



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: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 22:42:20 -0500 (CDT)
From: "my world is spinning..." <LEACH@AC.GRIN.EDU> (Arlo B Leach)
Subject: heaven is paved with ... what?

a quick question regarding "heaven is paved with broken glass":

i can understand how love made a fool of andy, but what does physics have
to do with it?




Date: Tue, 1 Aug 1995 10:35:20 GMT
Subject: Air play and record sales.

Dear claymountains,

Everytime I hear XTC played in public I have to report it to the
list.  I know that this is probably not a major occurance in the US
but here is Britain it doesn't happen a lot.  The event I have to
tell about is a sad one.  This time I just happened to be in a pub
(what me, in a pub?  Never.) and this pub happened to have a juke
box.  Jukeboxes in Britain are invariably programmed to play
themselves after no money has been put into them for a while.  The
really sad thing is that they are programmed to play the least
popular music.  Hence Making Plans For Nigel was played.  Sad huh?

Eddie wrote:
>response.  I now wonder if anyone on Chalkhills could hazard a guess? Even
>an approximation would be welcome!  Also,I would like to say, that
I saw that English Settlement got to number 5 in the UK album charts
so I guess that they must have sold quite a few copies.  More than 10
say!  ;-)

Dames TWD

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


Date: Tue, 1 Aug 1995 16:18:19 -0400
Subject: Re: #2(2) Chalkhills Digest #460

 Hello fellow :"Chalkheads" (I love that term).  I'm new to the pages and
have enjoyed my first "Digest" (#460).  So, I REALLY NEED MORE INFORMATION
ABOUT THESE DEMO CD's!  The label is "Extatic?"  Where are they from?  More
importantly, will I have to sell my computer to get them?  Please help.

In responce to another question.  I happen to think that Oranges And Lemons
may indeed be the band's best effort.  Now before you fans of the early work
get rumpled, let me state that I bought Black Sea when it was released in
1980 (at the tender age of 13), and have followed the band ever since.  The
question is, will XTC work with Paul Fox again?  They should.

Finally, the Andy demos for the Hello CD of the month club are great and
offer some hope to those let down by Nonsuch.  I'd like to see some
discussion of these tracks here.




From: Bradley Wood <>
Date: Tue, 1 Aug 1995 19:13:32 -0700
Subject: XTC Demos #1

     The XTC Demos are a series of five bootleg CDs which were
reportedly produced in Japan.  It is difficult to determine their
exact origin, and may have been manufactured in the US.  They are
produced by "Ecstatic Records" and the appear to have been
generically produced.  (Demo #5 is identified as "Starpark" whil
Demo #4 is identified as "Kiss Her Kiss Her.")

As far as availability, check the adverts in Goldmine.  I suspect the discs
may have been manufactured in the US, in which case there may have been
only 1,000 - 2,000 of each title made.

     The five demos are:

     XTC Demo #1: Drums and Wires outtakes
     XTC Demo #2: Nonsuch Demos
     XTC Demo #3: Oranges and Lemons Demos
     XTC Demo #4: Big Express/Dukes/Instrumentals
     XTC Demo #5: Helium Kidz Demos/XTC Drunken Sessions.

     XTC Demo #1 is largely a collection of outtakes and
alternate cuts from sessions which produced the "Drums and Wires"
album.  The sound quality is much improved from the Helium Kidz
demos, but still leaves much to be desired.  The sound is
compressed and not nearly as clear and distinct as on the
official release.

     Much of the songs in this offering have only slight changes
>from their released versions.  I suspect that many of these
tracks are the same as the official versions, sans overdubs.

     Three songs are duplicated on this disc:

"Chain of Command"  Version #1 ends with an instrumental fade
out, while version #2 has "Chain of Command" repeated over fade

"Making Plans For Nigel" Version #1 has the drums without being
phased, while version #2 has the familiar electronically altered

"Officer Blue"  Both versions are sung with a mock eight year old
style vocal, although version #1 is a little more convincing.
The first version also had a slightly different percussion
section in the middle.

"Helicopter" Andy's vocals and guitar are a little off key.

"Ten Feet Tall" features a short strummed intro and yet another
different solo not included on previous versions.

"When You're Near Me" Similar to the released version.

"Towers of London" is the slow version not included on Black Sea.

"Cuba Dub" is another dub version of "Living Through Another
Cuba," it is different from the dub on Go+, but not particularly

"Ball and Chain" is about the same as the original, save for a
different background chorus on the fade out.

"Punch and Judy"  This song is perhaps the only reason to
purchase this disc.  This is a finished alternate version of song
>from Rag and Bones with a synthesized bass line and more of a
"swing/ska" beat.  Much more enjoyable than the familiar version.

     Overall, unless you are a completist, save your money for
something else.


Date: Wed, 2 Aug 1995 11:54:30 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #460

  Brian May of Queen producing XTC? Well I suppose that's no weirder than
Graham Gouldman of 10cc producing The Ramones. I'm sure Brian's available.
I'm a Queen fan too, though they lost me during Fred's B&D late 70's early
80's trash-rock period. I got interested again when they started being an
actual band on their last two albums. XTC would be interesting with Roger
Taylor on drums, speaking of hard-hitting drummers.
  My top 10 XTC songs off the top of my head:(in no particular order)
1. She's So Square
2. Mechannik Dancing
3. Helicopter
4. Respectable Street
5. All Of A Sudden(It's Too Late)
6. Yacht Dance
7. Wonderland
8. Love On A Farmboy's Wages
9. Young Cleopatra
10.Humble Daisy
  Tough choice. Only one Colin song.(sorry, Colin!)


Date:         Wed, 02 Aug 95 11:39:19 EDT
Subject:      The origin of Unplugged

In the last issue of Chalkhills, John Relph suggested that the MTV
Unplugged phenomenon was inspired by XTC's Acoustic Radio Tour. While it's
possible that this is the case I think it might be more fair to give some
credit to Crowded House. When they first got together in '86 they played
restaurants in LA with acoustic guitar, bass and snare drum. After "Don't
Dream It's Over" broke they got pretty chummy with MTV who let them host
the video countdown and had them do a spring break show. When i saw them in
87 they did and acoustic set in the middle of their show (which was
beautiful).  Anyway. I remember that the first episode of Unplugged
featured Crowded House and I think Jules Shear. The show didn't really
catch on at first and it wasn't until a year or two later that it became
the evil instrument of bad rock stars who should just go away.
   Xtc's acoustic stuff is great and the success of their tour may have
influenced MTV's decision to hype Unplugged but I think that MTV got the
idea from some TV producers who liked music and wanted to make a variety
    As a footnote to all of the Crowded House stuff, I think it's also
possible that Difford and Tillbrook from Squeeze were performing a similar
stripped down acoustic show at that point too.
    Any of you who haven't heard the acoustic tapes should really make an
effort to find them. The band sounds like they are having fun and the songs
shine with the new twists they give to the melodies.
     Oh yeah, and that jam session between Belew, Partridge and Gunn sounds
like it would be amazing. Take care everybody. It's hot out there.


From: "Paul Stratford" <>
Date:          Wed, 2 Aug 1995 17:33:13 +0000
Subject:       Thirsty Ear Records?

As above..
um, er, Who?
UK contact?
Paul Stratford          "  And the screaming sky won't let me sleep.
Bored MIS Manager             The stars are laughing at us,
                         as we crawl on and on across this antheap."


Date: Wed, 2 Aug 1995 10:40:56 -0600 (CST)
From: Erik Anderson <>
Subject: The Old New Debate

Regarding the debate between the old and new xTc (someone drew a line at
English Settlement), I have this to say:

A couple of weeks ago I attended Another Roadside Attraction -- a
one-day music festival that featured bands such as Blues Traveller, Ziggy
Marley, Spirit of the West, Matthew Sweet and the Tragically Hip.
Basically I went to see M.Sweet, but there were some other great moments
as well.  The point is that I have never really been a Hip fan; and I
have always wondered why people liked them so much.  Well, I finally
figured it out: their songs are totally reproducable live.

With xTc, I would argue that after The Big Express they began writting
songs that could never be reproduced in a live show, not without
enlisting the services of a myriad of other musicians anyway.  I know some
may draw this line earlier, but that debate doesn't really matter: Drums
and Wires and Black Sea are live albums; Skylarking and Nonsuch are studio
albums.  The rest of their work falls somewhere in between.

Now, I don't really have a problem with this distinction for two reasons:
I like both live AND studio music; and I have been a xTc fan for so long
that I have come to regard EVERYTHING they have done with similiar esteem
and, at times, awe.  As for the Hip: enjoy your time because no one will
be listening to you in twenty years.  xTc will always be there.  They
have already stood the test of time.


Erik Anderson


Date: Thu, 3 Aug 1995 02:53:13 -0400 (EDT)
From: bradley e preuss <>
Subject: Top 25

Hi there Chalklings,

     Whew!  Took me a while to get them all together and I thank everyone
who responded. In all I received lists from about 30 people or so.  Most
everyone said that 1) giving me a list of just their top 10 XTC songs was
very hard to do, and 2) if I asked them again tomorrow it would more than
likely be different.  Anyways, without further ado:

The XTC Top 25
1. Senses Working Overtime
2. (Tie) Then She Appeared
   Respectable Street
4. (Tie)Love on a Farmboy's Wages
   Earn Enough for Us
6. Making Plans for Nigel
7. Mayor of Simpleton
8. (Tie)Complicated Game
   Merely a Man
   1000 Umbrellas
11.(Tie)Burning with Optimism's Flame
   Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her, Kiss Her
   This is Pop
   I Remember the Sun
   Ten Feet Tall
   You're the Wish You are I Had
   Another Satellite
   All of a Sudden (It's too late)
   Across this Antheap
20.(Tie)Generals and Majors
   Jason and the Argonauts
   Dear God
   Chalkhills and Childrens

In case you're interested, Senses received 13 votes, while the last 5
received 4 votes each.



Date: 3 Aug 1995 13:09:21 -0500
From: "Wesley Wilson" <>
Subject: RE- Making Plans for Nigel

RE: from last issue, Making Plans for Nigel.

It's one of those slow, "white reggae" numbers that I used to love back in
the late 1970s, early 1980s. The Police had a number of these as well.
Interesting drumming and guitar work. I still like the song, although I've
heard it a zillion times in various versions.

I like the sentiment of the song; a similar theme can be found in "Be Good,
Johnny" by Men at Work. (By the way, I can vouch for both of the albums by
MaW; they're good.) Although Men at Work were more of a Police clone in
many ways. I'm willing to bet they like(d) XTC.



Date: Thu, 3 Aug 1995 23:37:02 -0400
Subject: Early versus Late

I like the early stuff - mostly because it's a hoot to see the PROGRESSION
of the band from then til now. And that's the thing that most struck me
over the years as I'd buy new records.

It was easy to see them building on their earlier foundations and ideas -
which most groups/bands/songwriters aren't able to accomplish as well - - -
most just run out of material.

Fear is Never Boring! - Rob Fetters/ the Bears

DIK \:)


Date: Fri, 4 Aug 1995 00:23:55 -0400
Subject: dukes backwards masking

I do not know if I am the first to do this, but I figured out the backwards
message between "Mole From the Ministry" and "Vanishing Girl" on the "Chips
From the Chocolate Fiireball" CD.  Using Sound Blaster, I slowed the
chirping message down a few times, and reversed it.  A voice says something
close to "Take a f**k yourselves with your atom bomb."  It is extremely

	[ Everybody: please read the FAQ.  -- John ]


Date: Fri, 4 Aug 95 17:06:41 PDT
From: John Relph <>
Subject: Queen of the Tubes

In response to various Chalkheads...

Pat Moffatt <> asks:
>1) Do we have any Queen fans on this list?

I don't think I'd call myself a Queen FAN, but I do like to give them
a listen every so often.  This morning, for instance, I put on a few
songs from _Night at the Opera_ (Seaside Rendezvous), _Sheer Heart
Attack_ (In The Lap of The Gods, Misfire), _Jazz_ (Mustapha), and a
few from their hits compilations.

But I don't find XTC and Queen too closely related.  I find more
similarities between Queen and Blur (show tunes) and more similarities
between Blur and XTC (power pop).  How Blur got in the middle I don't
know.  XTC actually do very few "show tunes", whereas the Beatles,
Blur, Queen, and a number of other British pop bands do quite a few.

>fall asleep after Peter Pumpkhinhead.  Listen to O&Y then listen to
>Nonsuch.  I think you'll see what I mean.

I find _Nonsvch_ much more listenable than _Oranges and Lemons_.
_O&L_ cuts into my head after a while; _Nonsvch_ has a mellower feel,
not as metallic.  Metal Fruit versus Wooden Castle.

>4) Am I the only person on this list who would pick O&Y as their favourite

Oops, that's twice: _O&Y_, which I suppose stands for _Orange and Yellow_.

>7) Barry Andrews is definately a talented musician.  Unfortunately, his
>keyboard work is not well suited to what XTC was trying to do at the time
>(or ever).  I really enjoy his two songs on Go2.

I disagree, but am content to leave it at that.

Dean <> writes:
>To Anyone Who Knows:  I have the first five CDs by Extatic, those being the
>various demos that have been mentioned a lot here.  I'm told by Joe Jarrett
>in Toronto (a fine fellow, I might add) that CD No.6 is a "Live in Boston"
>CD.  Does anyone know if there are any others from this "label"?

Can someone (Joe?) send me the details about this No. 6 "Live in
Boston" CD?  And when they first appeared, I remember someone
mentioning that there were actually SEVEN CDs from eXtaTiC.

>Also, a question that has been asked here before but never answered:  Are
>the women named Partridge who sing on some Shriekback albums related to Andy?

"That's a no, Bill."

AYM <> writes:
>Just bought the TUBES greatest know, "She's a Beauty" and "Talk
>To You Later..."  They're pretty damn solid for a band no one ever gives
>any credit to.

I'm still waiting for _Now_ to appear on CD.  A most excellent record,
with fab drumming courtesy The Time Bomb.  The cover of the album was
also done by Mr. Prairie Prince.

        -- John

Let the products sell themselves:
Fuck advertising, commercial psychology!
Psychological methods to sell should be destroyed.
        -- Minutemen


Date:         Fri, 04 Aug 95 21:41:35 EDT
From: Melissa Reaves <MREAVES@KENTVM.KENT.EDU>
Subject:      My obligatory bi-monthly posting

Hi all you Affiliated!

Was listening to Rag n Bone today.  Whoever said it was dead right.
XTC's throwaways are a million times better than what else is out
there.  With notable exceptions.  In answer to the question "what XTC
are you mortally embarassed for the boyz by?"  I have to say that bogus
Respectable Street (though good for a laugh) and the "dance mix" Down
in the Cockpit.  And that one's unlistenable except that I can hear the
cool basslines so much clearer.

Re early XTC, I guess I just feel XTC truly started with Drums n Wires.
And even some of that's a little rough for me.  I am noticing a trend
going concerning who likes what.  We all like what was out when we
discovered them.  I, for example, am quite partial to that middle era.
I cut my musical teeth on English Settlement and Mummer, thus those and
the next two are my faves.  Those who were around and hip during Punk
can better appreciate White Music and Go2.  You REALLY young folks are
perhaps the luckiest.  You can pick and choose 'cause there hasn't been
squat new lately and they're way past their peak of popularity.  So
like I amn with the B***les (which can also be the Buggles), you are
free of any contextual restraints and can like whatever.

A girl who lived in my hall in college used to date the kid who played
Oliver on the Brady Bunch.  I kid you not.  She moved out to California
and that was her claim to fame.  He was in some rock band at the time.
I can probably track him down when y'all are ready to start shooting
the film.  Haven't heard him sing, don't know what instrument he plays,
but maybe we'd luck out and he could sing his own parts.

So that's a weight off my mind having shared all this with you all.
We're going light and streamlined in the head department these days.
From past-shoulder-length hair to looking like Dolores O'Riordan of the
Cranberries.  Or Sheryl Lee in Backbeat, depending.  Yes that's why you
didn't recognize me when I signed on.


I feel like someone else.



End of Chalkhills Digest #461

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