Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #2-150

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 2, Number 150

                  Monday, 26 August 1996

Today's Topics:

                   "Nonsuch" Revisited
                        XTC Demos
                  Explode Dolby Together
                   (Andy Taints Brian)
             Bit of a Downer - but here goes.
                    Peter Pumpkinhead
                    Re: Costello/Andy
              Indeed, there IS no such thing
                      1, 2, 3, 4, 5
              Re:Demographic Survey Results
                       XTC & Rhino
          Uncle Jonny's advice for the LoveLorn
                       RE: ammonite
                 This Is (Screwball) Pop.
          Oh, you know me. All kinds of things.
                   Re: It's my big day
                   Re: Explode Together
               English Settlement Disc One
                    New email address
                     Missing Morsels
               xtc/talking heads questions
                  Nonsuch Playing Cards


To UNSUBSCRIBE from the Chalkhills mailing list, send a message to
<> with the following command:

        unsubscribe chalkhills

For all other administrative issues, send a message to:


Please remember to send your Chalkhills postings to:


World Wide Web: <>

The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

You boys will tire of these games.


Date: Thu, 22 Aug 1996 16:31:22 -0400 (EDT)
From: Claudia S Cauchon <>
Subject: "Nonsuch" Revisited
Message-Id: <>

	I've been lurking on this list for quite a few months and I have
to say the list has reinvigorated my interest in the band which had kind
of wane over the years.  I have to admit it never occurred to me that
there would even be a mailing list for XTC until I accidentally came
across the FAQ in the news.answers newsgroup.  I guess I just didn't think
they were well known enough for them to warrant a list, I guess I should
have know better than to think such things.

	The main reason I'm writing this is to thank the people who have
wrote in such positive terms about XTC's last album "Nonsuch" that it made
me go back and actually listen to it.  When the album first came out I
have to admit it didn't exactly catch my ear.  Well, I actually thought
they had lost it and should maybe pack it in because to tell you the truth
even though I quite enjoyed their previous album "Oranges and Lemons" I
thought "Oranges and Lemons" suffered from too much Dukes influence still
being present in their music and I didn't think they had progress that
much musically.  It made me wonder where the Dukes ended and XTC began.
Also, with "Oranges and Lemons" I thought the sound quality was lacking in
that it sounded as if the whole album was recorded in a tin can, I
especially hear this in "Mayor of Simpleton" and "King for the Day", and I
won't even go into how much I hate "Here Comes President Kills" the first
XTC song I outright can't stand.  There are always songs on their albums I
don't quite like, but never so much that I couldn't at least listen to
them when I played the record.

	Here I was starting off about "Nonsuch" and I end up writing about
"Oranges and Lemons" instead, sorry that wasn't my intention, but I do
want to state that I do like "Oranges and Lemons" in case anyone
misinterprets my negative comments as being that I totally hate the album.
Now back to my point about "Nonsuch".  As I stated earlier when the album
first came out I wasn't that overly impress and I think I listened to it a
few times before I filed it away.  When I joined the list people were
commenting on songs from the album and how good they were so I thought
maybe I should give the album a second chance so I started listening to it
and listening to it so much I realize what an idiot I was to so easily
dismiss the album.  It is an absolutely fantastic album and I can not say
enough on how much I enjoy this album now.  As a matter of fact it almost
is like listening to a new album from them because I listened to it so
little when it first came out.  Oh yeah, as with every XTC album there are
few songs on "Nonsuch" I don't quite like, but at least they are decent
enough that I can listen to them.

Once again I would like to thank this list for getting my interest back
into the band and getting me to reevaluate my opinion of "Nonsuch".



Date: Thu, 22 Aug 1996 21:11:10 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <>
Subject: XTC Demos


        Quick question: the Chalkhills lyrics archive lists two unreleased
demo songs, Holding The Baby and Pearl, that I am unable to locate. They are
not from any of the sources for XTC demos I know of: The Extatic Demos CDs,
the two fan-club cassettes, or the "New Album" or Giant Peach demos. Could
someone please tell me where these two songs are from? Also, are there any
other demos of unreleased songs (not of songs on albums or somesuch) which
are not found on any of the above sources?

        Also, somebody posted the following a while back as being a list of
"26 of the 28" songs being considered for the next album, culled from The
Little Express.

        (being re-worked due to Dave's prodding)
  "PRINCE OF ORANGE"* (lyrics being altered some)
           (might also be called "DICTIONARY OF DOUBT" ???)

Then, from the discography comes #27 and #28:

  "Our New Dark Ages"
  "Wounded Horse"

Anyway, demos all of those marked "*" are circulating out there. Has anybody
out there heard any of the others? Are there any demos of those? Anybody
know which songs are by Colin? What are your opinions of the ones you have
heard? And is there *any* new information or news about the lads? I haven't
heard *anything* since they split with Virgin. Have they found a label? Are
they recording? What's up? :)
/---------------------------Joshua Hall-Bachner---------------------------\
|   |
| "Life is like a jigsaw. You get the straight bits, but there's something|
\-----missing in the middle."--XTC, "All Of A Sudden (It's Too Late)"-----/


From: 7IHd <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Explode Dolby Together
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 1996 02:45:35 +0100 (BST)

Replying to some before I've read the others, so there might be some more
>from me in a bit. Well there will, actually. Still, here goes...

# From: Ira Lieman <>
# Subject: Partridge/Dolby
# Yep, Andy played harmonica on "Europa", but he also played drums (!) on
# "Urges" and "Leipzig." (which came out before Europa, mind you)

They were on early US copies of the album, but got dropped. Available
also (originally) as a 7" I think, but they can also be found on part 2
of the 'Silk Pyjamas' CD single.

# And on an additional note, when Barry was dismissed from XTC, Andy had
# designs on asking Dolby to join them, but wither there was a conflict or
# Colin wanted a more flexible artist like Greggsy.

Oh dear. Firstly, Barry wasn't dismissed, he left of his own accord. Mind
you, I think things were pretty terminal after they dropped all his songs
>from Go2, but they certainly didn't sack him. He announced that he was
quitting mid-tour.

Dolby, meanwhile, was a big XTC fan and had been trying to join for years,
but as I understand it Andy didn't want another Barry, someone who'd want
to do their own thing within the band. So Dolby wasn't really considered.

# From: (Erich Sellheim)
# Subject: Explode Together lyrics


# If there's any interest,I could write down the other lyrics for you
# in the near future (BTW,they didn't write down lyrics for The Forgotten
# Language Of Light!).

I, for one, would love a copy of the complete Explode Together lyrics, so
please get typing. Or at least send me a photocopy... :-)

Especially 'New Broom', which is quite simply a lost classic. I think I'll
go and play it now, actually.

More to follow...

 |_)|_ *|
 |  | )||


Date: Thu, 22 Aug 1996 19:10:15 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <v01510101ae425fd1cd7f@[]>
From: (Mitch Friedman)
Subject: (Andy Taints Brian)

On the subject of replacing Barry Andrews in 1978/9, the first time I met Andy
in person, he told me that once Barry had left, Brian Eno expressed great
interest in joining the band. Andy summed up the decision to go with Dave
as "Well, we didn't want *another* bald keyboard player!"


Date: Fri, 23 Aug 1996 00:20:10 -0400 (EDT)
From: Bill  Curran <>
Subject: Bit of a Downer - but here goes.
Message-ID: <>

First off - apologies for the following - a bummer thing happened to me a
year ago. My father passed away. Two days before his 60th birthday - he had
a heart attack while cutting the grass at his cottage. He was getting the
place ready for his own 60th birthday party. I won't dwell on the death
thing, but as I was driving to Trenton to help in any way that I could, I
was playing XTC various tapes during the three hour drive. As I listened
to Summer's Cauldron, it leapt out at me that this is what my dad felt -
drowning in Summer's cauldron - this is how I would want to go - please
don't pull me out - floating 'round and 'round like a bug in brandy -
this had it nailed! I suddenly had this thickly sweet drowning sensation
as I drove and listened and I think I shared something of my dad's that

Then the next song on the tape,  Grass.

I hear these songs differently today - and often. I have tried to explain
this to friends and family, and I get a few strange looks. Most things in
my life relate to music somehow, there are songs that mark the most critical
paths and choices. The indelibly etched ones are those that are not
controlled or chosen. They just converge.

Bill Curran
All Standard Disclaimers Apply


Date: Fri, 23 Aug 1996 03:23:20 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Peter Pumpkinhead

I knew Peter Pumpkinhead.

Mr. Dole, you're no Peter Pumpkinhead.



Message-Id: <v01540b06ae4321a87066@[]>
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 1996 02:06:54 -0700
From: (E.B.)
Subject: Re: Costello/Andy

Someone was discussing the possibility of Elvis Costello working with Andy,
while someone else commented upon how "The Green Man" seems to borrow
melody from Jesu, Joy Of Desiring. It's worth noting that on the new
Costello album All This Useless Beauty, the track "Poor Fractured Atlas"
borrows liberally from Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata....




Date: Fri, 23 Aug 1996 04:40:14 -0500
Message-Id: <>
From: JH3 <>
Subject: Indeed, there IS no such thing

I may have inadvertently helped start the so-called "FF" thread, but not
matter. I've said this before, and forgive me for I have to say it again.
There really are a handful (maybe even an armload) of us out there who
really believe, *with complete conviction,* that XTC has NEVER recorded or
even written a bad song. I've begun to call our little group "The
Converted," though I've also heard the terms "The Yet-To-Be-Disappointed"
and "Cockpit Dance Mixture fans" in this context.

If you consider yourself to be one of us, you mustn't feel in any way
embarrassed or defensive about it. Remember, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. And if
you're *not* one of us yet, you can be! Join us! It costs nothing! No one
will knock on your door trying to sell you anything -- not even an
autographed vinyl test-pressing of "Looking for Footprints"! You couldn't
afford one anyway!

Fellow Convertee Simon Knight sez:

>I realise that saying "There are no bad XTC songs" might sound a lot
>like pointless drooling over my favourite band, but it wasn't meant
>that way.  It's just i truly feel that every XTC song has something
>to offer...

Simon, you shouldn't feel like you have to explain yourself. Drooling? Hey,
why the hell not? As long as saliva doesn't get onto the record, rendering
it temporarily unplayable, drooling is considered acceptable. Pointless?

Permit me to take this just a bit further. I won't speak for all of us, but
to me at least, there are three basic levels of musical quality: 1) XTC; 2)
The few other artists who aspire (whether they know it or not) to be as good
as XTC and occasionally manage it; and 3) everybody else. This isn't to say
that artists in category 2 are actually capable of topping XTC in any way;
however, I will admit that a few are able to reach the heights, so to speak
-- sometimes even for an entire album, and in rare cases, several albums.
Also, there are certain XTC tunes (the aforementioned Dance Mixture, for
example) that, IN MY OPINION, *might* sink below the usual XTC quality level
into category 2, but *never below that.* (And none of them are on Go 2.)

Anyway, this is just what I think. Go ahead, call me a wacko, tell me to get
a life, I don't care. I'm really very happy just like this.

--John Hedges


Message-Id: <>
From: "Daniel Prendiville" <>
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 1996 16:23:20 +0000
Subject: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

1. Tim Kendrick's survey results are interesting:-

	(a) 67% of correspondents are 30+

	(b) 43% of correspondents are either married or divorced.

This ties in with my own perception of how XTC's fan would have been
constituted, and which view got me into *severe* grief some months back. I
don't mind being called a "flamebait moron" as long as I'm right...

2. Joshua Hall-Bachner suggests that the R&BB version of TEN FEET TALL is
the best version. Naah... IMO, of the three versions of the song that I've
heard (D&W, R&BB, D&W/LESS), the D&W version wins by a mile. Why?

- the "tricky" opening. All the other versions just launch straight into
the song and are, in my view, inferior for that reason;

- the beautiful, restrained guitar solo, which changed the perception of
one occasional Chalkhill type (Hi, Don!) of guitar playing. Just listen to
the silly arsing-around on the synth on the D&W/LESS version...

3. I have just sent an e-mail to Ireland's national pop/rock station, 2FM,
to please, please remember to play FOSSIL FUEL as often as possible on
release. Should we all contact our own local stations?

4. On a similar vein, UK correspondents might consider whether there is
any merit in contacting Channel 4's THE SLOT to raise public consciousness
about XTC (the group). Any volunteers?

5. On a totally unrelated vein, I hear Mel Gibson is being considered to
play the part of No. 6 in a movie version of THE PRISONER. Sounds like the
type of project that could do with a soundtrack composed in Swindon....

Wait Till Your Beau Goes Down, indeed...



Message-Id: <v02110109ae41d0416fc7@[]>
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 1996 14:52:49 +0100
From: (Stephen Varga)
Subject: Re:Demographic Survey Results

I've spotted another surprising result.

It appears that the vast majority of Chalkhills subscribers come from the US.
That in itself is not too surprising.

What is, is the fact that the majority of these claim to be an XTC fan for
more than 9 years. Why the surprise?

Because I thought that in the US, XTC had a relatively small following
until Dear God became an accidental hit in 1987. Even Geffen was planning
to drop XTC from their distribution label had that miracle not taken place.
Therefore, the reults seem disproportionate to XTC's sales in the US.

I therefore assumed that the vast majority of US fans got into XTC from
Skylarking onwards. Do I assume therefore that most US Chalkies got into
XTC before 1987 which explains the results? Do the the rest of the US XTC
fans not have access to the internet? Or are there Chalkies out there who
don't like to admit they only got into XTC post 1987? Or maybe the vast
majority of US post 1987 record buyers aren't serious fans of the band.
They bought the record cos they liked the sound of the music and nothing
more, hence they are not registered Chalkies. Is there maybe another


Date: Fri, 23 Aug 1996 09:42:14 -0500 (CDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Scott Taylor <>
Subject: XTC & Rhino

Quick question:  What, if anything, has XTC done in connection with Rhino
Records?  I only ask this after seeing their biography page on the CD-Now!
server ( --- search for XTC then click the "Biography" icon).
It has five pics of the band, credited thusly:

"Virgin/Geffen - Photo by: Paddy Eckersley" (2 pics)
"Virgin/Epic - Photo by: Allan Ballard" (2 pics)
"Rhino - Photo by: B.C. Kagan" (1 pic)

The "Rhino" photo is too small (on my monitor, at least) for me to make out
any details, but the band is noticably younger and there are four guys in
the frame, so I'm not guessing that these are any publicity stills taken
yesterday to promote a new album.

Anybody know the scoop?

     Scott M. Taylor (
| Like a pig pulls a cartload of sausages |
|   Guess I'm drawing my own conclusion   |
|            - Julian Cope                |


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 1996 09:22:10 +0000
From: Jeff Langr <>
Subject: D&W

Drums & Wires is also my first crack at XTC.  I would only listen to the
first side for quite a few months but finally I flipped the disc and got
into the second side.  The whole thing is a very nervous but awesome
album; maybe it just unsettles some people too much.

Don't know if the DI5 belongs here but oh well:
	Then She Appeared
	Senses Working Overtime
	Yacht Dance
	Heaven is Paved With Broken Glass

Jeff L.


Date: Fri, 23 Aug 1996 09:34:53 -0400 (EDT)
From: "John E. Daley" <>
Subject: Uncle Jonny's advice for the LoveLorn
Message-id: <>

>gary minns sez:  Has anybody got any
>good advice on how to overcome the hostile attitude that my girlfriend
>seems to take?

Well, old chap, the obvious answer is to get a new girlfriend! :)


Date: Thu, 22 Aug 1996 14:00:54 -0500
Message-Id: <>
From: (Christopher Kasic)
Subject: RE: ammonite

     Back in Chalkhills 148 James Dignan said, 99 percent completely:

     > "If you want to hunt out a picture of them in
     > rock music, the cover of an album by the Sundays (can't remember
     > its title, sorry!) features some ammonites."

     the Sundays' album would be "Reading, Writing and Arithmetic" from

     King "of the off-XTC post" for a day,



Date: Fri, 23 Aug 1996 11:40:30 -0700
Message-Id: <>
Subject: This Is (Screwball) Pop.

  I have just sent an article I scanned to John Relph for posting on the
  web page.

  The article, culled from Keyboard Magazine (November 1987) entitled DAVE
  STYLE, came out shortly after the release of SKYLARKING.

  Even for the non-musician, the article is worth reading.

  Check it out!

  Here are a few excerpts:

     While the punk movement was turning late-'70s London into a morass of
     multi-colored mohawks, black leather, and under-developed performance
     skills, XTC jumped upon stage with its own brand of screwball pop.
     To the punk formula of stripped-down arrangements and high-energy
     delivery, XTC added hooks, humor, and precision.

     Most XTC songs don't lead Gregory to stray too far from the usual
     triads of rock and roll, but one song from the band's most recent
     album, Skylarking, gave his chord-finding sense a workout.
     Originally given a folky acoustic-guitar setting, "The Man Who Sailed
     Around His Soul" spontaneously combusted into a too-hip jazz chart in
     the hands of producer Todd Rundgren.

     As it happens, Rundgren's involvement in the Skylarking project was
     largely Gregory's doing.  Having been told by their record company
     that they sounded "too English," the band members received a list of
     American record producers.  "It read like a roll call from Fort
     Baxter," Gregory laughs.  "We hadn't heard of anyone except for Todd.
      I said to the other guys, `Forget all those other names.  Let's go
     with Todd.'  I'd been a fan of his for so long, and it was a dream
     come true to work with him."

     The working relationship between Rundgren and XTC yielded what may be
     the band's finest record to date, and certainly one of the best rock
     records of the year.  Skylarking is a Beatlesque amalgam of styles
     and moods, strung together Sgt. Pepper-style by a nearly continuous
     thematic and musical thread.  The songs are overtly pop-oriented,
     featuring the melodic inventiveness and lyrical cleverness that are
     the hallmarks of XTC's style, and a structural complexity that skews
     otherwise simple song forms into labyrinths of well-turned musical
     phrases.  And, of course, the keyboard work is prominent.  Gregory
     modestly calls it "a bit of decoration."

     Gregory's musical witticisms range from frivolous (bell tones
     answering Partridge's line "Are you deafened by the bells?") to
     subtle (the organ's pious overtones in "Season Cycle," which
     celebrates the changing of the seasons) to the essential (the
     spacious timbres of "Another Satellite").

     As it to turns out, Rundgren conceived and executed the keyboard
     parts in "That's Really Super, Supergirl" at the band's request.  "We
     really didn't know what to do with it," Gregory says.  "It was just a
     'B' side, and he could obviously see possibilities in it.  One
     afternoon, we just left him to it."  It's typical that Rundgren took
     no credit for the work, given his attitude that any task involved in
     producing is all in a day's work.

     Another area of Rundgren's impact is the string and brass
     arrangements, of which he did all but one.  "He did most of those
     arrangements in one evening" Gregory exclaims.

     While Rundgren did most of the orchestral arrangements, the elaborate
     string lines in the mournful "1,000 Umbrellas" are Gregory's

  Don't ask me what I was doing with a 106 month old magazine with Todd's
  mug on the cover.  The article on Todd is pretty boring and doesn't talk
  of XTC much except to say, "Rundgren describes pencil-and-paper tedium
  during our discussion of the string arrangements for XTC's SKYLARKING,
  which he scored - yet the band's keyboard player explains that Rundgren
  did all the arrangements in a single night using a Macintosh-based
  notation system."

  And!!  Dave Gregory still has the printed scores to prove it!

  Cheers, Richard


Date: Fri, 23 Aug 1996 20:55:23 +0100
Message-Id: <>
From: Simon Sleightholm <>
Subject: Oh, you know me. All kinds of things.

From: "Mark Strijbos" <>

>Secondly, let's clear one thing up...
>I like Frost Circus. I like ALL XTC songs - more or less :)

Me too. I love it, it makes the hairs go up on the back of my head. (If only
I had a few more at the front, I'd be a happy man). Oh, and congrats on the
new page you've set up - a very, very pretty page, I must say.


>I was reading the responses to my post about my assertion that
>Todd Rundgren perhaps was not reponsible for those predictable
>bells in Big Day and all I have to say to Simon is: I was right and you
>were wrong!

Okay. Let me see. If I remember rightly, you are the gentleman who asserted
that you loved, and presumably found some kind of value in, eveything that
Todd did. Is this correct? (I am lacking the last few Chalkhills' after
installing a new hard disk) If this is so then I was wrong on one count (the
Bells fiasco) and you, on the basis of that appalling compilation I bought
(which even now languishes at the bottom of a box somewhere, rubbing
shoulders with the Ace Of Base and Betty Boo albums I bought in rash fits of
mania) if I am generous in your favour with the track count on said
compilation, are wrong on around sixteen counts. I am, however, graciously
willing to forget about it if you are.

From: (Peter McCulloch)

>Your suggestion does conjure up a rather pleasant scenario,
>but after anxiously awaiting to hear something new and predictably "XTCish"
>from Andy I guess I just wasn't in the mood to listen to minimalist
>instrumental music on that particular day. (Perhaps it was the cheap wine
>impairing my better sense of judgement. You'll have to suggest a few good
>wines). I guess my preconceived notions of what an Andy Partridge record
>should sound like got the best of me. (How quickly we forget the Lure of

I *really* like the Lure of Salvage, and while I don't spend my mornings
attempting to brainwash my milkman into whistling the "Well For The Sweat Of
The Moon", I really love "Through The Hill" too. Remember, it's an ambient
album, designed to be absorbed not devoured. In my listening advice I did
manage to get two pages stuck together - by what means I know not how - but
if you include several buckets of warm custard, a little plastic cat mask
and a couple of very large paintbrushes to the set-up, you will find that
you forget all about the music and get on with the real fun soon enough.

From: Giancarlo Cairella <>

>I read about someone, whose name escapes me at the moment (sorry), who
>regretted not having bought the XTC "Special Edition" boxed set (the one
>with the picture disc versions of "Drums & Wires", "Black Sea" and... "Go
>2" if I'm not wrong). Well, you might be happy to know that while browsing
the >XTC section of the CDNow online store <> I spotted a
listing >for the boxed set

That was me, thanks very much for the info.

From: David Hathaway <>

>Being that I'm a guitar player, I often indulge in painful torture
>attempting to replicate Andy's "so cool it blocks out the sun" guitar
>playing, usually with very little success

Heartbreaking isn't it? I either have too few fingers, too many thumbs or
else I am actually some form of mutant amphibian naturally averse to the art
of guitar playing. (My ever helpful spouse has just entered her vote for the
latter possibility)

From: Gary Minns,

>I have read with interest the various mentions made in CH about
>unconverted partners listening to XTC tracks.  Has anybody got any
>good advice on how to overcome the hostile attitude that my girlfriend
>seems to take.
>Then I tried tying her to a chair and forcing her to listen.

I tried this one too, but after tying the last knot I got a MUCH better
idea. Anyway, I digress. So far, the best I have come up with is fitting a
CDROM to the computer, so I can listen in my play-room, or dubbing all the
stuff on to tape and spending around an hour a day on a bike with my walkman.

Take care, y'all


* ---------------------------------------------------
* ---------------------------------------------------
No Thugs In Our House, only XTC.


Date: Fri, 23 Aug 1996 17:08:08 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <>
Subject: Re: It's my big day

>I'm new at chalkhills and I have been a serious fan of XTC since ' 79.

Well, you've got me outdistanced by a good fourteen years, then.

>You know, alot of people slag "Skylarking" (it's pretty good)

*I* like it. I don't think it's quite as strong as, say, ES (probably their
peak) or Nonsvch, or even Big Express (which I quite like, despite the
general opinion of it as "weak") but it's still pretty strong. IMHO, far
better than O&L.

>but quite a
>few also slag "Mummer", which is my favorite XTC album.

Ah, this is where I come in. I wouldn't be caught dead "slagging" Mummer,
it's a very strong album, generally speaking. I just feel it's weak compared
to XTC's other albums. It's got some "killer" tracks, like ILMoaN*,
Ladybird, and Funk Pop A Roll, and the bonus tracks fill it out nicely
(other than the two Homo Safaris, which just get in the way), but I find
several of the songs to be kinda weak (like Alchemy, Elements) and the
production to be fairly poor (although the sequence of three producers is
surely responsible for that.) But, like I said, compared to music in general
it's still better than 95% of what's out there.

>In fact, in the
>17 years I've listened to them, I've yet to hear a "bad" album.

Exactly. I only say XTC albums are "weak" or "strong" or whatever in
comparison to their other albums. Even their worst album is head and
shoulders above the vast majority of albums out there today. But on this
list I should be able to talk about which albums or songs I like or dislike,
and why.

>It's too
>bad "Blame the Weather" never made the "English Settlement" cut.  That's a
>brilliant one too, probably their best.

The song or the album? :) Seriously, I like both. However, I really don't
think BtW would have fit on ES at all. It's way too melancholy. I think it
might have fit better on Mummer.

It just goes to show that so many of Colin's great songs never make it to an
album. (at least BtW, Angry Young Men, The Good Things and Down A Peg made
it as B-sides. Where Did All The Ordinary People Go and It Didn't Hurt A Bit
were not quite so lucky.)

*Gotta love acronyms like that. :)
/---------------------------Joshua Hall-Bachner---------------------------\
|   |
| "Life is like a jigsaw. You get the straight bits, but there's something|
\-----missing in the middle."--XTC, "All Of A Sudden (It's Too Late)"-----/


Date: Fri, 23 Aug 1996 17:07:58 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <>
Subject: Re: Explode Together

>One mistake that I found:
>> This is a thing that's definitely going to make up for being part of this
>> magic band, little bear."
>This should be:
>This is a thing that's definitely going to make Captain Beefheart and his
>Magic Band look bad

Hah! That *does* make a lot more sense than my version (especially
considering that both Andy and Colin are big Beefheart fans). Then again,
it's not exactly as if The Rotary makes a lot of sense. :)
/---------------------------Joshua Hall-Bachner---------------------------\
|   |
| "Life is like a jigsaw. You get the straight bits, but there's something|
\-----missing in the middle."--XTC, "All Of A Sudden (It's Too Late)"-----/


Date: Fri, 23 Aug 1996 17:08:04 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <>
Subject: English Settlement Disc One

>> The sequence of five songs, "Senses Working Overtime" through "All of a
>> Sudden," IMO are some of the best stuff XTC has ever done.
>Agreed wholeheartedly. And AOAS is one of the best songs on the album.
>The bit where Yacht Dance spills over into All Of A Sudden
>sends shivers down my spine everytime I play this album (and I play it a lot!)

I wouldn't start with SWOT. IMHO, you'd have to extend this to the beginning
of the album. If I could have one LP and only one, I would have to say that
it would have to be English Settlement, Disc One. Although, while I like the
lyrics to All Of A Sudden (check the .sig), it just doesn't grab me
musically. It's not that I dislike it, it's just not a favorite of mine.
OTOH, Yacht Dance...ohhhhh. The guitar on that song is just *amazing*. Wow.
I think XTC were in the zone on that one. Jason And The Argonauts, too,
although it's definitely "alien", is really great. And the bass is awesome.
And Andy's "Ohhhh, my head is spinning..." "I have watched the
manimals go by..." And how can you forget the smash SWOT, or the catchy B&C,
or the aggressive and biting NTioH, get the idea.
/---------------------------Joshua Hall-Bachner---------------------------\
|   |
| "Life is like a jigsaw. You get the straight bits, but there's something|
\-----missing in the middle."--XTC, "All Of A Sudden (It's Too Late)"-----/


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 24 Aug 1996 15:12:43 +0100
From: root <>
Subject: New email address

Dear all,

This message is going to a long list of people, so bits of it will
be irrelevant to some of you, for which I apologise. I also apologise
if you've forgotten who I am, or don't wish to ever hear from me
again, or something. I also apologise to those who I owe mail to...

Right then. New email address is:

My home page is now at
My Standard Ten is at

And finally, the Shriekback web pages are now at

Please update your links etc. Also, I've been having a few problems with
one or two of the pages, so please report anything that doesn't work.

Those of you receiving this who have my old email address on mailing
lists etc., could you please update the list accordingly? Thanks...

Special apologies to Chalkhills. :-)
Phil Hetherington


Message-Id: <>
From: "jim coyle" <>
Subject: Missing Morsels
Date: Sat, 24 Aug 1996 12:45:19 -0400

Chalkhillers of Canada beware!
Me train's running low on soul coal.  While upgrading my XTC collection
to compact disc I discovered a terrible thing --  domestic Canadian copies
of Skylarking do not include "Dear God", and domestic copies of English
Settlement do not include "Leisure" and "Down in the Cockpit" (in order to
facilitate a single disc, they say!!).  Considering Virgin's latest
attempts to flesh out all the studio albums for compact disc with
unreleased material, I think this Canadian imbroglio is inexcusable.  I'd
love to get my hands on the above two COMPLETE discs, but I hate the
thought of putting out another $50.  I assume this isn't a problem in the
UK (is it?).


Date: Sat, 24 Aug 1996 15:06:38 -0400 (EDT)
From: Richard Austen Wallace <>
Subject: xtc/talking heads questions
Message-ID: <>

	heya. My name is Richard Wallace and I just signed onto
chalkhills today. I've been listening to xtc since the fifth grade;
needless to say mr partridge et al have kinda become the background
soundtrack for my life...
	I read on the FAQ that Andy was a-workin' with the "new" talking
heads. This struck me as very interesting; the talking heads are my
"other" favorite band (them and King Crimson). If anybody has any more
info regarding this whole reformation of the talking heads and/or Andy's
work with them, please respond privately, as i don't want to clog up this
here publication with non-XTC related excretions. Also, if there has ever
been any collaboration betwixt partridge and robert fripp, I'd love to
know about it.
		Thanks a bunch,


Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 24 Aug 1996 21:47:39 +0100
From: Allan Toombs <>
Subject: Nonsuch Playing Cards

Does anyone on this list actually posess the ultra-rare promotional playing
card pack that was produced to hype Nonsuch? I once saw it advertised in
Record Collector but have never seen a set. I expect the court cards to use
the mock-Elizabethan portraits from the CD booklet but I'm hoping someone
could scan anything interesting for us.

"And I get on my knees and pray, we don't get fooled again..."
 Copyright 1996 Allan Toombs, email me to negotiate permission.


End of Chalkhills Digest #2-150

Go back to the previous page.