Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #87

                  Chalkhills, Number 87

                 Wednesday, 21 March 1990
Today's Topics:
              Review: XTC - Lemons & Oranges
                    Re: Chalkhills #86
                    Re: Chalkhills #86
                        Ink on XTC
               _Go 2_ and Cassette Magazine

From: (Leo Breebaart)
Subject: Review: XTC - Lemons & Oranges
Summary: 8 out of 10; Highly Recommended
Date: 16 Mar 90 14:37:41 GMT

Article 39136 of

This album is already fairly old, but as it says '1989' on the CD I
figure that I can still get away with reviewing it. The reason that
I am anxious to do so is that I like this album a lot, and that I
want to tell the world all about this Very Good Album, which you
should immediately try and obtain if you haven't done so already.

To begin with, I am not blessed with any knowledge about XTC. I knew
not one of their songs before listening to this album. I do know
>from recent Usenet discussions (which made me take notice of 'L&O'
in the first place, who says the net isn't useful :-) that this is
not generally considered XTC's best work, even by die-hard fans.
What made me choose this one was that it was repeatedly labeled as
'sixties' music (which indeed it is, as a look at the cover will
indicate), and I have a great liking for such music.

There are three things I particularly love about this album. In the
first place there is the wide variety of styles used. The songs
range from the uncomplicated, neo-Merseybeat pop-song 'Mayor of
Simpleton' through the calypso fade-out of 'Hold Me My Daddy', to
the neurotically psychedelic 'Garden Of Earthly Delights', which
sounds like George Harrison on a bad trip. (I call it the Missing
Chord Song: all my musical intuition screams that there should be a
chord change at some point in the verse - but there isn't and it's
driving me up the wall. Very good song though). There are also two
songs ('The Loving' and 'Chalkhills and Children') that could have
come directly from that other recent sixties-derived album: 'The
Seeds Of Love' by Tears for Fears.

The second thing I like is the musicianship of the three people that
make up XTC. They make intense music, with full-bodied and sometimes
highly unusual arrangements. There is literally not a dull moment on
the entire album (though there are definitely some songs that I like
less: 'King For a Day' and 'Across This Antheap' for instance'). If
I had to define XTC's music I would say that it is a bit like
Steely Dan mixed with early Joe Jackson and a dash of China Crisis
thrown in. I realize that this is probably a very inadequate

The third thing I like is rather vague and highly personal: I think
that XTC writes excellent songs. It is not really that difficult for
a band to use different styles and weird arrangements, but too often
I find that it is all an elaborate productional cover-up to hide a
serious deficiency in the song-writing department. Not so with XTC;
there are some real gems on this CD. My personal favourites: 'Mayor
of Simpleton', 'One of the Millions', 'Scarecrow People',
'Chalkhills and Children'.

And then I haven't even said anything about the lyrics yet. XTC's
lyrics are clever and witty (perhaps a bit too clever at times), and
full of quotable lines such as, for instance: "Well I don't know how
many pounds make up a ton of all the Nobel prizes that I've never
won" (from 'Mayor of Simpleton' of course!). It is only by reading
the lyrics that it really started to dawn on me how much this record
is actually a *parody* of the sixties atmosphere it so energetically
imitates. Look for instance at the 'religious' all-you-need-is-love
lyrics of 'Miracle Man'. But the music sometimes gives it away as
well, e.g. the insane 'Eastern' feel of 'Garden of Earthly
Delights'. And come to think of it, that Yellow Submarine-like album
cover is also just a bit 'too' sixties.

By now I have become very interested in the rest of XTC's
work, and I would like to ask the net's help here: can you give me a
good place to start? If 'Lemons and Oranges' is XTC's worst album,
than I really can't wait to get started on the good stuff.

Leo Breebaart (leo @

        [ Note: Leo is not a subscriber to Chalkhills, I posted this
          because I liked it and also for its discussion value.  If you
          have comments for Leo, please send them directly to him.
          Otherwise, general comments to Chalkhills, please.    -- John ]


Date: 20-MAR-1990 19:30:45.50
From: Ed Aubry <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #86

Andre de Konin points out the following:

>The Great Chalkhills Discography states there is a USA LP release of
>"Go 2" that includes AYRM, yet there is no such CD. The funny thing is
>that "Instant Tunes" (the B-side of AYRM) is on the "White Music"

Ah, but there is.  My copy of Go 2 includes the song, and even lists it on
the insert (the LP, which also includes the song -- my copy at least -- omits
this information from the insert).  The disc I got was an import, released
about the same time as the first cd releases of English Settlement and Drums
& Wires.  It cost me about $22.



Date: Tue, 20 Mar 90 00:05:55 -0500 (EST)
From: Chap Godbey <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #86

About the XTC Cassette Magazine--

	so where the heck do I send the bucks?  I'm slavering already!


Subject: Ink on XTC
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 90 10:51:31 PST

As if getting the lastest Little Express last week wasn't enough...
I just received the new issue of Contrast magazine, which has our
lads from Swindon on the cover.  Inside is a very good interview with
Andy; several pages of just chat, then a sort of critical discography
as Andy comments on each of XTC's records.  I highly recommend checking
it out.  Besides, you also get Sun Ra (interviewed by Phast Phreddie!),
The Men They Couldn't Hang, and Pat (Jazz Butcher) Fish as a guest
record reviewer, plus lots more that I haven't gotten around to yet.

One of the interesting tidbits:  Andy says that they've considered doing
different parts of the Dukes of Stratosphear's history, either going
back to '65 or so when they were just the Dukes, or taking them forward
to the early '70s as a glitter-rock band called the Stratosphear Gang.
He says in the latter case they could just do old Helium Kidz songs...

-- Stewart


Date: Wed, 21 Mar 1990 14:37:18 PST
From: John M. Relph <>
Subject: _Go 2_ and Cassette Magazine

Andre de Koning <hvhgb!dhtpa!> says:

>Q: Does anyone know why the "Go 2" CD is one of the few CD-reissues that does
>   not have extra tracks?

Actually, if you read the discography correctly, the CD of _Go 2_ does
indeed contain ``Are You Receiving Me?''.

>   If it did have extra tracks it should at least have "Are You Receiving
>   Me?" and "Pulsing Pulsing", shouldn't it?

It would have been nice if it had included ``Pulsing Pulsing''.

>The Great Chalkhills Discography states there is a USA LP release of "Go 2"
>that includes AYRM, yet there is no such CD.

Not a US CD, that is.

>The funny thing is that "Instant Tunes" (the B-side of AYRM) is on the "White
>Music" CD...

Perhaps because the _AYRM_ single was released before _Go 2_.

Hope this clears up some confusion.


Also, some people have been confused by the posting concerning the
XTC Cassette Magazine.  Here are the details once more:

    The first edition will be available late 1990 and cost per
    issue 5 pounds UK (6 pounds overseas) includes P & P.
    Write to:

    Paul Wilde, 47 Wycombe Close, Manchester, M31 2WD, Lancs. England.

        -- John


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