Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #462

              Chalkhills Digest, Number 462

                  Monday, 7 August 1995

Today's Topics:

    More on Go2, White Music, Barry and the pre-ES XTC
                     Re: Old Vs. New
                       Hip Rebuttal
                       xTc Demos 3
                        XTC Demos
              O'Sullivan - XTC Linked Again!
                   The part of Andy...
                 The origin of Unplugged
                       USA 1980 cd
                xtc in public, a new poll
                     Martin Newell's
                  Cockpit Dance Mixture
                Freddie through the B&D ??
                Various stuff, as usual...
                 Skanking in the Cockpit


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

You can read it in your bible / Or on the back of this record sleeve.


Date: Sat, 5 Aug 1995 12:45:11 -0400 (EDT)
From: Sean Hennessey <>
Subject: More on Go2, White Music, Barry and the pre-ES XTC


Matt Hiner mentioned that it is unfair to compare the pre-ES XTC with the
post-.  I'd have to agree, mainly because you have to recognize the over
all importance that the pre-ES XTC was a TOURING band whilst the post-
was obviously not.  Before English Settlement, Andy had this obsession
with not recording anything that couldn't be fairly easily reproduced
live, and most of the songs were very 'tour-tested' before they were
recorded.  All this has a strong impact on the way a song develops (I feel
fairly confident in this statement being a live-playing and recording

Think about it, songs develop in much more of an aggressive, democratic
manner when they depend on the four musicians to make them breathe
nightly.  After Black Sea, when they started to lose the live fire of
the early songs, the songs did start to calm down (at least a bit, look at
Mummer).  After that, the songs started to show more of the stamp of the
songwriter and of the ideas that he wanted to experiment with.  English
Settlement was, atleast according to the Chalkhills book, the album where
Andy finally got past recording an album for it's live counter part,
hence more messing about with effects, layering and different
orchestration.  Each performance was very much for this time only, this
song has to stand on it's own, because it won't be re-played and it has
to live with it.  Each hair must be in it's place.

I can understand the two camps who would argue about which era was better
or worse, because, in essence, we're talking about two very different
bands.  The first was very much a live, the four of us against the world
type of band, the second a more microscopically intense, developmental
band, that has to deal with very strong tensions amongst the 'band' (two
who want to tour, one who wants to be with his kids), and the product is
more important than the selling (remember, most labels treat tours as a
way of advertising the records).  Have you noticed that after touring the
recorded songs seem much closer to the demos recorded individually by the
band members?  Maybe the new XTC is much closer to the Beatles' White Album
period than some of us would like to think...

Personally, I quite like both periods with a few hesitations.  I think
that the post-ES XTC could use a bit of the touring attitude of their
earlier selves if only to 'dirty-up' their sometimes over-immaculate
recordings (yes, I think that their songs do sometimes suffer from over
production), whilst I think the pre-ES XTC really could have done with a
little less hesitation to record and experiment beyond their live
capabilities, maybe just to push themselves a bit further as a unit.

Well, there's my two pennys worth...



Date: Sat, 5 Aug 1995 16:12:46 -0400
Subject: Re: Old Vs. New

As far as this debate about old vs. new XTC, perhaps it is best answered by
Mr. Partridge himself in the incert to Nonsuch.

GO 2- "Four weeks worth of songs, hastily scribbled on hotel notepaper and
beermats.  We were...making nasty noises at each other and with each other.
 Something had to give and here it is.

also, as far as the line being drawn at English Settlement, I recall an
interview with Andy when Oranges And Lemons came out in which he said that
ES was "the point at which XTC went into Technicolor."  If I can find the
article, I'll quote exactly.

This won't end the debate, but....




From: Chris Spillios <>
Subject: Hip Rebuttal
Date: Sat, 5 Aug 1995 14:48:44 -0400 (EDT)

Greetings Chalkheads,

>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.

As an avid follower of both bands I feel compelled to respond.

Why you, I aught'ta ...

For those of you outside of Canada, The Tragically Hip are large here.
While they tend to have a more rocky (as opposed to poppy) and raw sound,
they are every bit as diverse and innovative as XTC.  The best way I
can describe their lyrics is disjointed thoughts on a theme; not readily
understandable sometimes (okay, often).  I expect them to gain more
attention away from home and I fully expect to be listening to both bands
in twenty years.

                                Chris Spillios

                "Be very kind , be very understanding,
                be very tolerant ..." - Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull)


Date: Sat, 5 Aug 1995 18:22:17 -0400
Subject: xTc Demos 3

I have just bought a copy of the Orange & Lemons demo sessions and I'm now
debating whether or not I should plunk the rest of my money down for the
NONSVCH sessions.  The O&L sound isn't what I thought it would be (one would
think that a kid had recorded the songs on one of those beatup mini cassette
recorders), so I'm rather hesitant on getting the Nonsvch demos.  Anyone who
does have the demo please let me know if they're worth $35 to get, or should
I wait.

As for the songs themselves, basically there were slight changes on them all
except _Merely a Man_, which lyrics are a far cry from the finished version

Finished version:
. . .that with logic and love we'll have power enough to take consciousness
up and for lifting humanity higher!

Demo version
. . .that the power in your heart is the power we need to take consciousness
up and for lifting all humankind higher!

(I guess Andy figured that was a bit of a mouthful.)  He also switches the
reference to Jimmy Swaggert with Billy Graham (as if they were

There's also several songs which didn't make the O&L final version, which is
a shame.  _Blue Beret_ shows promise with the vocals, but definately the best
song was_ Everything_, which have the bee-yoo-ti-fullest, most poignant
lyrics about heartbreak I have ever heard Andy sing.  I hope if they ever get
the new record deal done (I'm sorry--I mean _when_;-) they would consider
those two.

There's even a very rough first take of _Brainiac's Daughter_ (named on the
CD as _Brainge's Daughter_). I have no idea how to describe _Ella Guru_,
 _Don't Ever Call the Chickenhead_ is really bizarre; it reminds me of their
White Music work or some experimental organ music from the early B52s.  Maybe
Dave got drunk or something and went wild on the synthesizer or
something. . .

LaShawn M. Taylor

Ain't nothin' in the world like a dark-skinned girl
Make your shakespeare hard and your oyster pearl


Date: Sun, 6 Aug 95 01:34:01 +0200
From: (Pelle Jansson)
Subject: XTC Demos

Hello, out there!

I'm a swedish guy who never saw these 5 demo-CD:s (or the Hello-songs or
Rocket). Could someone tape these for me. I don't have much to trade with


Date: Sun, 6 Aug 1995 12:33:36 -0400
Subject: O'Sullivan - XTC Linked Again!

In today's Newsday (Long Island, NY), Ira Robbins (formerly the "Trouser
Press" Editor in Chief) writes in a review of a new band called Supergrass'
"I Should Coco" CD:

"Flashing bits of XTC, The Jam, Gilbert O'Sullivan, Slade & the Hammersmith

Kinda funny, based on all the talk about Gilbert here lately! The fact that
the Jam are my second favorite all-time band makes this even more amusing,
but judging from the other three references, I don't know if I'm ready for
Supergrass just yet!

Did anyone suggest "The Partridge Family" yet???

Does anyone know the whereabouts of the Nigels, a New York City band that did
nothing but XTC covers? We saw them once (on a 10 degree night) in January
'94, but haven't heard anything since. It was great seeing all the
post-"Settlement" tunes live at last!

I always thought that COLIN (circa 1980) was the good looking one, with Andy
& Dave being the "brainy one" and the "nice guy" respectively. Shows you how
much guys know about what women find attractive!


Date: Sun, 06 Aug 1995 15:58:34 EDT

I just put together an XTC sampler tape for a friend at work.  Kind of
a mix of greatest hits and some of my favorite album tracks on one 90
min.  cassette.  This is about the "n"th time that I have made one of
these, and it always seems like I end up with the same tape.  So, I'm
looking for some fresh ideas.

Here is the current running order of the tape, and where the tracks
were pulled from:






Now, I'm sure some of the purists out there will be upset that I
didn't use the album verion of several of the tracks.  The reason
being that the compilation tracks are shorter versions, (typically,
the single edit), and I'm trying to get as many songs onto one 90 min
tape, as possible.

Additionally, the band has a habit of cross fading the end of one song
into the beginning of the next, (ie: "Dear God" into "Dying", etc...).

BTW, I think the version of "Runaways", from BBC's Drums and Wireless

Now, enough of what I've done.  The purpose of this post, is to get
your ideas.  Please e-mail them to my address listed above.




Date: Sun, 6 Aug 1995 17:44:45 -0400
Subject: The part of Andy...

Hello XTCeers...

In the XTC movie... I think the perfect candidate for the part of Andy
would be... Benny Hill!!

Unfortunately and sadly... that can not be.

John Neil


Date: Sun, 6 Aug 1995 15:32:57 -0700
From: (Wendi Dunlap)
Subject: The origin of Unplugged

>Subject:      The origin of Unplugged

>Anyway. I remember that the first episode of Unplugged
>featured Crowded House and I think Jules Shear.

Not exactly. Jules Shear was the host, but the *first* guests on Unplugged
were Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook, along with appearances by Syd Straw
and (I think) Elliot Easton of the Cars. The really unfortunate thing is
that Difford & Tilbrook didn't even get the whole show to themselves --
only a couple of songs. They obviously played more (in the cutaway to
commercial break you could hear a few seconds of them playing "King Midas
In Reverse") but we didn't get to see it. :(

Did Crowded House ever do an actual Unplugged episode? They may have; I
don't think I ever saw it, though.

| Wendi A. Dunlap | or      |
| Seattle, WA USA | Seanet HTML Author |  |


Date: Mon, 7 Aug 95 13:07:32 GMT
From: (Jon Eva)
Subject: USA 1980 cd

I wonder if any Italian speakers on the list could help me out. I've
just bought the USA 1980 cd, which was made in Italy, and I'm curious
to know what the write up inside says.

Here it is:

   Ai sensi e per gli effetti dei disposti di cui all'Art. 80 e segg.
   L. 22/4/1941 N. 633, la Societa pruduttrice ha effettuato deposito
   a favore degli artisti esecutori componenti il gruppo musicale e
   degli aventi diritto e/o loro aventi causa come specificato sul retro
   della copertina del supporto, di un equo compenso per ciascuna copia
   stampata e distribuita. La Societa pruduttrice del presente supporto
   di suono, pone detto deposito a disposizione degli aventi diritto,
   come sopra identificati, che ne facciano espressa richiesta.

If anyone can help please email me privately and I'll post the translation
to the list if it's of any interest.

In digest 460 Dean Zemel asked about the USA 1980 cd. Does anyone know
what show this is from? At the very end Andy says "Thats the end of the
tour for us ...", so maybe it's from Private's in New York (the end of
American leg of the 1980 tour), or maybe it's not from America at all.

Any ideas anyone?


Jon Eva


Organization:  Saint Mary's University
Date: Mon, 7 Aug 1995 11:43:49 GMT-6
Subject: xtc in public, a new poll

Hey Chalkheads,

I was at a performance of the musical "Working" recently. Before the
show and during the intermission they piped in songs that had
working, employment, etc. as a theme. The director must have been an
xtc fan because Love on a Farmboy's Wages, Earn Enough for Us, Paper
and Iron, and Making Plans for Nigel were scattered amongst disco
tunes like Carwash and Thank God it's Friday; country  "classics" like
Nine-to-Five (yes, the Dolly Parton hit) and Take this Job and Shove
It; and fifties songs like Get a Job and The Company Store. It was a
howl! You don't often hear xtc in such illustrious company.

It gave me an idea for a poll...Come up with a theme and name at least
five XTC songs that fit into it.

E.G., THEME: Songs with connections to America

Songs: President Kill (dollars), Are You Receiving Me (Son of Sam,
American serial killer), Statue of Liberty, Peter Pumpkinhead (video
involves JFK), All along the Watchtower (written by an American),
Reign of Blows (Uncle Sam). I thought about including Respectable
Street but we've been through that discussion already.

You get the idea. Be creative and clarify when it is necessary. Send
responses to me directly (before August 15). I'll put them  together
with names of respondents and report back.


P.S. Are You Receiving Me: "your t.v.'s just hissing" is that an
American reference? I understand the term is "telly" in England.


Date: Mon, 7 Aug 1995 16:14:29 +0100 (BST)
From: Robin Sayer <>
Subject: Martin Newell's

 - Hi,

I'm new to this list so I'm sorry if this topic has already come up -

Does anyone have any information about the work done between XTC & Martin
Newell. I've a few tapes of Martin Newell's "Cleaners from Venus" band
(these were collab. tapes produced by fanzines) and I managed after about
6 months to track down a CD which was produced of Martin's recordings
(these were taken straight from the previous tapes and not re-recorded).

The CD mentioned that he was working on something with Andy P. but that
was the last I heard??

I think Andy P. lives about 1/2 a mile from my house here in Swindon
  (If I knew what number I'd ask him)

"Cleaners from Venus" are in the same style as XTC but without the
success - Any more info. on them would be great


Robin Sayer


From: 7IHd <>
Subject: Cockpit Dance Mixture
Date: Mon, 7 Aug 1995 21:32:05 +0100 (BST)

Look, I like it. OK?
 |_)|_ *|
 |  | )||


Date: 7 Aug 1995 16:17:01 -0500
From: "Ken Salaets" <>
Subject: Freddie through the B&D ??

Wow, I didn't know Freddie Mercury and Queen went through a Black & Decker
period!  Pre-industrial!  Must've been drunk at the time...


Date: Mon, 7 Aug 1995 18:02:18 -0600 (MDT)
From: Big Earl Sellar <>
Subject: Various stuff, as usual...

Howdy! Another rainy day on the great Canadian plains, so I'll comment in
public again. :)

Firstly, Matt Hiner <R2MCH1@VM1.CC.UAKRON.EDU> hacked out:

> 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

Actually the key date here is July 4, 1976, when the Ramones played their
first English concert. I read an interview with Joe Strummer where he
said after seeing that gig, about 50 bands started, including the Pistols
and the 101ers. Though mind you, the Stooges FUNHOUSE (1969) is probably
the key starting point, IMHO. Hey, what were the boys up to then, anyhow?

My fellow Canuck plains person Erik Anderson <>
induced RMI with:

> 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.

OK, this argument may hold water if it weren't for one small problem:
unlike, let's say, the B******s, those studio gimmicks XTC uses are
primarily run-of-the-mill synth and electric effects units. Live, they'd
need a keyboard player and a drummer, but that's it. Plus, if you look at
bands like Pink Floyd or the Stones, they've always toured with extra
musicians and no one complains. Lord knows I'd love it if the boys would
get back together. Shit, I'll sell my Rickenbackers and get a kit again
if they *desperately* need a drummer!

(As for the Hip, they have already stood the test of time. I hear a lot
more bands covering the Hip on a regular basis than XTC, and have
heard/sung more Hip songs than XTC ones (though I try). And
unfortunately unlike XTC, they've succeeded by being popular with fans of
many types of music, without diluting their intentions. Besides, I'm
gonna teach my kids LOOKIN' FOR A PLACE TO HAPPEN with the same intensity
as Stompin' Tom and Garnet Rogers songs: the songs to hum to have a form
of cultural identity. And *you* are arguing for Matthew Sweet over the Hip?
That's splitting hairs.)

And our humble listmaster John Relph *copped* my next idea for a sig. Damn:

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


	[ One of my older sigs  -- John ]


Date: Mon, 7 Aug 1995 20:53:23 -0700
From: John Relph <relph>
Subject: Skanking in the Cockpit (James) writes:
>Aaugh! It's happened again! Whoever suggested we'd be talking KC and the
>Sunshine Band was wrong, though!!!

I've always thought that The Three Wise Men's "Countdown to Christmas
Party Time" had a little of the KC & The Sunshine Band to it.  Funky,
get down, white boy!

Arlo B Leach <LEACH@AC.GRIN.EDU> asks:
>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?

I don't know.  Perhaps you could fill us in.

"Paul Stratford" <> asks:
>Subject:       Thirsty Ear Records?
>um, er, Who?

Distributed by Sony in the States.  However, the _Testmonial Dinner_
album isn't scheduled for release until October.  So it's going to be
a while.

"Wesley Wilson" <> broadcasting live from Mars:
>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.

It is?  I don't hear any reggae or ska in "Nigel" at all.  In loads of
other XTC songs, yes, but not "Nigel".  Now, "Down in the Cockpit",
yeah, that sounds more like a good "ska" tune.

Melissa Reaves <MREAVES@KENTVM.KENT.EDU> in the London Zoo:
> the "dance mix" Down
>in the Cockpit.  And that one's unlistenable except that I can hear the
>cool basslines so much clearer.

Oh no!  "Cockpit Dance Mixture" is awesome!  Especially the bit about
"Guy, the adult lowland gorilla".

>  I am noticing a trend
>going concerning who likes what.  We all like what was out when we
>discovered them.

In general, I agree with this theory.

However, I disprove the theory somewhat because I started listening to
XTC when _Black Sea_ came out.  I listened to it non-stop, to the
annoyance of my neighbors in the dorm.  And then when _English
Settlement_ came out, yeah, I found the UK double LP and listened to
it non-stop.  But I never did buy the _Mummer_ LP.  I bought some
singles, too.  But when _The Big Express_ came out, that's the album
that hit me the hardest.  And it's still my favorite (I think).
Although _Drums and Wires_, which I didn't really start listening to
until it came out on CD, runs a close second.

        -- John

You've seen one nuclear holocaust, you've seen them all.  -- XTC


End of Chalkhills Digest #462

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