Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #9

                   Chalkhills, Number 9

                  Sunday, 30 April 1989

Today's Topics:
           XTC "Oranges and Lemons" album review
                 XTC on Night tracks??????
             king for a day/song choosing/etc
                        XTC remixes
              Re: XTC on Night tracks??????

Date:     Fri, 28 Apr 89 14:07 PST
Subject:  XTC "Oranges and Lemons" album review

The following article is from the Album Review section of The Western Front,
the student newspaper of Western Washington University.  Since it is reviewing
the "Oranges and Lemons" album...I thought it would be useful to all the XTC
fans out there.  Warning:  I didn't write it, so if there is something that
somebody doesn't like about the article, don't blame me.  I'm just passing it

<James Isakson>
Western Washington University
Bellingham, Washington  USA

=    =    =    =    =    =    =    =    =    =    =    =    =    =

By Jeremy Meyer
staff reporter
The Western Front
April 21, 1989


After each album from so-called cult bands from early 80s, such as R.E.M., The
Replacements or XTC, critics, fans and cynics always say, "this latest album is
the one to make them superstars."

To longtime fans this means one thing -- sell out.

But with some bands who are intelligent enough to handle success, breaking into
extreme popularity may not spell doom to their creativity.  XTC is one of those
rare bands.  Even though the band's latest album, "Oranges and Lemons," has
enough hits to keep it hovering in Billboard's top 10 for several weeks, don't
expect its songs to be converted into Pepsi commercials.

"Oranges and Lemons" will undoubtedly boost the band's public appeal, simply
because it's chockfull o' hits.  Band leader Andy Partridge and his
bass-playing buddy, Colin Moulding, know how to write a pop song similar to the
Fab Four.  They combine humor, infectious melodies and radiant harmonies,
making them one of the most creative bands currently existing on this planet.

"Oranges and Lemons" showcases the band's abilities with songs that will satify
the rocker, the popster or the burned-out Beatle fanatic.

The album begins with a psychedelic rave-up, "The Garden of Earthly Delights,"
sounding peculiarly similar to the band's parttime, pseudo-group, "The Dukes of
Stratosphere," a semi-comical band the group poses as.  Partridge, a recent
father, says to his kid, "This is your life, and you'll do what you want to do.
Just don't hurt no one, unless, of course, they ask you to."

The next song, "The Mayor of Simpleton," the first single off the album, is a
radio programmer pleaser.  The lyrics proclaim the love for someone, even
though the singer may just be an Average Joe.  The song's highlights are
Partridge and Moulding's silky harmonies.

The album's focus is domestic, as members of the band have settled down from
their frenetic punk days and have sprouted families and suburban lifestyles in
their native town of Swindon, England.

The album's songs contain odes to children and fathers, warnings about
psychotic presidents and, of course, love songs.

Songs such as "Merely a Man," showcase Partridge urging the band and listener
to reach "Higher," as Penny Lanesque's trumpets complement the driving guitar

"Oranges and Lemons" is distinctly different from the band's 1986 album,
"Skylarking," which was a technically smooth, flowing album, but lacked the
punch of the new one.  XTC chose Todd Rundgren to produce "Skylarking."
Rundgren, a pop music wizard, clashed personalities with Partridge, producing
an album which lacked the typical XTC manic-groove.

For "Oranges and Lemons," the band linked up with Paul Fox, a producer who has
recorded hits for Boy George.  Fox was less restrictive than Rundgren, letting
the band's creativity take over in the studio.

If you've heard the album and are waiting to see the songs live, expect to wait
a long time.  Partridge likes touring about as much as Alaska likes Exxon.  In
1982, when the band opened for the Police, Partridge had a nervous breakdown
and decided to retire from touring.

Recorded music will be the  closest the band's ever-increasing audience will
come to XTC.

Don't expect a sell-out either, because the band members are too busy creating
intoxicating pop songs and playing with their kids to appear alongside Eric
Clapton and Steve Winwood in beer commercials.


Date: Sun, 30 Apr 89 18:46:59 CDT
Subject: XTC on Night tracks??????

I just saw Andy and Colin on Night tracks giving the usual "Rah Rah" that
other groups give with Andy saying something to the effect of "And here's
our new video. You're watching NIGHT TRACKS".  Groan...

	By the way, who is the mysterious E.I.E.I. Owen playing drums on
25 O'CLOCK?  I've always wondered...  Anybody have lyrics to the Dukes
albums.  I'm too lazy (and broke) to buy a CD player.

Gary Jedlicka


Date: Sun, 30 Apr 89  22:10:42 EDT
From: jsd@umass.bitnet
Subject: king for a day/song choosing/etc

The latest edition of the XTC fanzine entitled "The Little Express"
has finally made its way to my mailbox, and it is pretty dynamic, although
it seems that maybe it was a bit of rush job to get it out right after
the new album's release.  In any case, it answers at least one question
about how they pick what songs go on the records.  Producer Paul Fox
says: "They initially gave me 26 songs to choose from, and I chose the
15 tracks I felt were the strongest, both artistically and commercially."

Todd Rundgren chose the running order of "Skylarking" from the 35 or so
demo songs before the band even met him, so there you go on that one...

As for the following comment...
From: Ben Zimmer <>
> Another thing... does anyone actually *like* King for a Day terribly much?  I
> think it's in the Wonderland-Grass tradition of dippy XTC singles.

I think it's a pretty lame song, compared to the rest of the album, but
it certainly is catchy and commercial enough to be released as a single.
"Grass" was an incredibly bad call, IMHO.  An absolutely APPALLING choice
for a single.  Personally, I think they should have let out "Merely A Man"
from the new album, and "Earn Enough For Us" from Skylarking (actually,
that track _was_ a single in Canada...)

 !   !\             BITNET: jsd@umass
\!on !/rukman      ARPANET:
"You often forget." -- Revolting Cocks


Date: Sun, 30 Apr 89  22:58:02 EDT
From: Mitch@umass.bitnet
Subject: XTC remixes

Actually, Peter, there's a couple of times when XTC had a short and long
version of a song. Case in point: 'Heaven is Paved with Broken Glass',
'This World Over' come to mind. Plus, there're two versions of 'This Is Pop'
and 'Ten Feet Tall'.

Oh, and I'd like to nominate the live version of 'Set myself on Fire'
(on "Live and More" and the b-side of something else) as the best
improvement over a studio version. In my mind, it takes a mediocre
song and makes it an incredible one.



Date: Sun, 30 Apr 1989 21:01:53 PDT
From: John M. Relph <>
Subject: Re: XTC on Night tracks??????

Gary asks:
>	By the way, who is the mysterious E.I.E.I. Owen playing drums on
>25 O'CLOCK?  I've always wondered...

From the great cover story on XTC in the _Tower Records Pulse!_

    The Dukes -- Sir John Johns (Partridge), The Red
    Curtain (Moulding), Lord Cornelius Plum (Gregory) and
    drummer E.I.E.I. Owen (Gregory's brother Ian) -- have
    released two records of "soundgasm"...

>Anybody have lyrics to the Dukes

I have the lyrics, haven't got 'round to typing them in.  Maybe

	-- John


For all administrative issues, such as change of address,
withdrawal from the list, discography requests, etc., send
a message to the following address:


The views expressed in Chalkhills
are those of the individual authors only.

Go back to the previous page.