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From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #18-5

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 18, Number 5

                 Monday, 27 February 2012


                     re: I-Skylarking
               Xts's music is a work of art
        A bit of good news for Andy & Colin's bank
                    Stupidly Happy...
Stupidly Happy being used in UK advertisement for DFS furniture chain
      UK DFS TV Commercial featuring Stupidly Happy!
       Hey, look! More lists! And guess who's #62!
 Other sounds that may attract the dreaded "q*irky" word


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My heart pumping wine.


Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2012 09:37:24 +0000
From: <>
Subject: re: I-Skylarking
Message-ID: <COL107-W611BE22875287178A8D67CD07E0@phx.gbl>

>And all of those imagined faults of what a modern remaster from EMI/Virgin
>would be like largely describe the existing problems with the 2000
>Skylarking. The loudness is off the scale- I consider it the worst of the
>batch of remasters (most of which are decent- but not Skylarking).

Agreed, this is why I said it would do.  It's hideously loud, but then
(*ducks*) so are Apple Venus and Wasp Star to my ears.

The problem with going back to an earlier CD release, (such as my original
Australian CD from 1987), is that i'm increasingly finding it hard to find
any modern equipment, (stereos, mp3 players, car players, monitoring
speakers), that hasn't had it's dynamic range curtailed to fit to modern
mastering standards, meaning, you I simply can't play a CD from that era at
any kind of involving level, because they're trying to protect stupid people
from damaging their hearing.

At a rough guess, the -18dbs or so average mastering levels from the period
of Skylarking's original release, could theoretically be six times quieter
than a remaster, (I believe it's something like every 3dbs doubles the
volume of the sound), and that's being *very* conservative.  I've seen
modern cds that only drop below constant digital clipping at -0dbs for a few
seconds at the beginning and end of tracks, which is why I've abandoned
digital music entirely in the last two years.

Given that he asked for a digital version of the vinyl master, my best guess
is it was for portable playability, therefore he'd need modern volume
levels, which means he could fartarse around with Virgin and end up with the
exact same result, polarity be damned!

If you are lucky enough to have the vinyl remaster, as well as the corrected
polarity you'll hear:

- more headroom;
- air around the richer string parts;
- increased bass presence;
- increased treble in the acoustic guitars;
- thumpier drums;
- space for the backing vocals to breathe and truly shine.

I think the longest side is 13 1/2 minutes or so.  Optimal sound quality for
45rpm 12 inch vinyl is about 9 minutes, I vaguely think 15 is the maximum
before you start losing bass reponse and -1db overall volume per minute as
you do when vinyl runs longer than 18 minutes per side.  So, it's a great
sounding vinyl record:  one of the best modern ones in my collection.

This isn't a value judgement:  if you don't notice this kind of thing and
are happy with mp3s, stick with it.  If you do, and you don't own this
release of Skylarking, it's worth the price on Ebay.  And don't just rip it
once to 'preserve it'!  The fragility of vinyl is far overrated, especially
if you just take some simple care with it, (and don't leave it out of their
sleeves on the carpet, the way all my friends did as I was growning up).
I've got records older than I am, (40), that are click and pop free, and I
haven't invested in fancy cleaning machines.  Skylarking is made to be
played and enjoyed, and this copy probably has a longer lifespan ahead of it
than I do.


Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2012 21:52:49 -0800
From: "Thierry Goffeau" <>
Subject: Xts's music is a work of art
Message-ID: <>

Xts's music is a work of art. In this work of art, you have jewels.
Among those jewels, you have one pure diamond. Have you ever listened
carefully to this song? How the melodies interlace and form incredible
harmonies and rhythms! Everything is at the right place at the right
time. It s at the same time so complexed and so simply beautiful.
Something happens every 5 seconds, I discover new details each time I
listen to River of Orchids. Being in South Sudan, Gaza or Mogadiscio,
XTC always cheer me up in difficult times. It's magic and reminds me
that music is essential to mental health.

River of Orchids - XTC


Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2012 09:30:59 -0800
From: "John Morrish" <>
Subject: A bit of good news for Andy & Colin's bank
Message-ID: <>

A bit of good news for Andy & Colin's bank balances. Just seen an ad for DFS
sofas with Stupidly Happy on the soundtrack.


Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2012 21:02:21 -0000
From: "Michael Lynn" <>
Subject: Stupidly Happy...
Message-ID: <28F353BB63554C3D8C23F2585A20A82E@MickPC>

Is being used in current DFS furniture ads in the UK

Best Wishes
Uncle Mick


Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2012 00:20:30 +0000 (GMT)
From: Clive O'Neill <>
Subject: Stupidly Happy being used in UK advertisement for DFS furniture
Message-ID: <>

Fact: XTC song Stupidly Happy is being used in current UK advertisement for
DFS furniture chain.

Don't know if you need this info but it cheered me up when that riff pumped
like wine from my TV.

Love your site by the way.

Absolutelly brilliant.

Clive O'Neill


Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2012 21:49:04 -0000
From: "Steve & Kerry Varga" <>
Subject: UK DFS TV Commercial featuring Stupidly Happy!
Message-ID: <SNT131-ds130B10AA658781EC8B85409D650@phx.gbl>


Just wanted to let you know that UK Furniture Retailer DFS has the Stupidly
Happy soundtrack from start to finish. The only other time I can ever recall
XTC being featured in a UK TV ad was when Fossil Fuel was advertised for a
very short run. DFS however is one the UKas most prominent advertisers, so
this is likely to get lots of prime time repeats and therefore is going the
defunct band some badly needed (and far too late) mainstream exposure.

Hereas the link:


Kind Regards

Steve Varga


Date: Fri, 24 Feb 2012 14:04:11 -0800
From: "Ben Gott" <>
Subject: Hey, look! More lists! And guess who's #62!
Message-ID: <>

VH1's 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the '80s: Do You Agree?


Date: Sat, 25 Feb 2012 00:07:19 +0000
From: Jon Holden-Dye <>
Subject: Other sounds that may attract the dreaded "q*irky" word
Message-ID: <>

As an idea for a thread that could run & run - I'm sure it's been done
before, but I only keep the past 12 months of digests...

My opening gambit - drum roll, please - in the 'Bands & Musicians Who
Have Had The Epithet "Quirky" Applied More Than Once' thread is:


So, on that basis, I put her (Merril Garbus) forward as 'Something You
Dedicated Followers Of The Band That Has More "Quirkies" (Per Review)
Than Any Other' may enjoy. By way of introduction, I offer two
contrasting versions of 'the hit':



End of Chalkhills Digest #18-5

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