Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #2-81

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 2, Number 81

                  Thursday, 7 March 1996

Today's Topics:

                  Best 1995 releases...
                     No strange trip
              Strange tales, stranger still
                      Re: The loving
             re: The Loving background vocals
                       Song Titles
                      Fast N Bulbous
                   Mona Lisa Face-lift?
                  great producer for xtc
                XTC/Beach Boys connection
                       Other bands
                Chalkhills T-Shirt on Web
                  Gentle Giant: Freehand
                Gold Skylarking Disk (RE)
            Re: on techonology and dance music
                   Ante Up for Andy P.
                  Re the gold skylarking
                       Gentle Giant
                    Doubting Thomases
                   Go ahead and jumper
             A Brief History of the Cavedogs
                 Ideas about Tribute Tape
               Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-80
                  re: Skylarking GOLD CD
                       Solid Gold?


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From: Alex McDonald <>
Subject: Best 1995 releases...
Date: Tue, 05 Mar 96 16:57:00 PST

I'm a longtime chalkhills reader, but this is my first time posting.

I've been pondering the question of my favorite 1995 releases, and I came up
with two that deserve much praise.

David Yazbek's "The Laughing Man" is the best purchase I've made in
a long time. David (producer of Testimonial Dinner) is a great vocalist and
keyboardist, and has hooked up with the drummer from TMBG, and a groovy
bassist. The sound is kind like XTC meets Squeeze meets Elvis Costello meets
Elton John meets Something Entirely Different. It may only be available in
europe and at his gigs at the moment, but I believe he said it was being
released here in the states real soon. Buy It.

Soul Coughing's "Ruby Vroom" is a totally cool very rythmic album I'd
recommend to all. A very tight drum/upright bass combo is mixed with raspy
vocals, and a keyboardist who uses sampled sounds a good part of the time.
I've seen them live twice in mid sized bars here in NYC, and I'd have to say
I like 'em better live, but the album is great too.

I've purchased a number of recordings suggested by chalkhills folks and would
say I've been very pleasantly surprised by Ben Folds Five, but really didn't
like Jellyfish's 'spilt milk', 'cause I just can't stop thinking I'm
listening to Queen (not my favorite to say the least).

Also: AP plays on two tracks on Yazbek's album (way cool).

    --Alex McDonald


Date: Wed, 6 Mar 1996 03:01:01 -0500
Subject: No strange trip

Second chorus:

  The Loving's coming!
  <Colin: STAND CLEAR!>

  The Loving's advertised in all the papers.

  The Loving's coming!

  Your favourite song, for once it won't annoy the neighbors....

That's how I've always heard it.  Funny thing is, it's not even my favorite
song.  And you really don't want to know about my neighbors....


                                 ^.  .^.
                                  \ ~~/
                                   \ /
"Puns should always be intended"   _L_     GeneYoon BrownBox399 401/8635403


Date: Wed, 6 Mar 1996 10:31:06 +0000
From: (Mark Fisher)
Subject: Strange tales, stranger still

The line in Strange Tales is not 'scribbled on a uni...form', as someone
suggested, but "cuneiform", a reference, according to my dictionary, to
"the old Hittite, Babylonian, Assyrian and Persian writing, of which the
characters were impressed by the wedge-shaped facets of a stylus. - n.
cuneiform writing."

I'm amused by dictionary's choice of the word "stylus" - this song was,
afterall, pre-CD - but surely Andy's puns aren't quite *that* clever . . .
Any thoughts?

Mark Fisher (,uk)


Date: Wed, 6 Mar 1996 12:52:49 +0100
From: "P.R NILSSON" <>
Subject: Re: The loving

That's definitely "Straight to you" or "Straight t'ya".




Date: Wed, 6 Mar 1996 09:21:37 -0500
From: (Chris Van Valen)
Subject: re: The Loving background vocals

Hi all

I always thought that Colin was singing "Stand Clear". It kind of makes sense.

        The loving's coming--stand clear!


If you have an unpleasant nature and dislike people
this is no obstacle to work.
                                --J.G. Bennett
Help us save "Forever Knight"!


Date: Wed, 6 Mar 1996 04:22:29 -1000
From: (Michael)
Subject: Song Titles

Hello All,

 Eddie ( writes:

I can't find my old issues of T.L.E., but I remember it was something
thusly: XTC song
titles have little if anything to do with the songs. For the life of me, I
don't see how someone can make a statement like that. I am pretty sure it was
that the writer was an XTC fan , and one of his friends told him that.
            Does anyone else out there feel a statement like that has any


I, as you, initially thought this to be a complete load.  But after a
moment's reflection, I am amazed and delighted to find that, in a literal
sense, this is the case with a number of XTC songs.  Example: Tissue
Tigers. This song is not about members of the feline family composed of
paper products.  This song is about a guy who becomes aware that he is no
longer afraid of his lover's taunts and threats.  What once had teeth and
fangs and was very frightening is now rendered harmless by a new-found
confidence.  "All your threats are tissue tigers. Ripping them up is easy
for me now."

Don't Lose Your Temper falls into this category, but in a different way.
The singer is not admonishing the woman about her failure to maintain an
air of decorum. Rather, he is expressing dismay over the effusive part of
herself that she is suppressing now that she has joined the regular working
world.  "Don't lose your temper 'cuz I love you when you're wild."

Heaven Is Paved With Broken Glass is about a man rejected by his lover, not
about construction materials in the afterlife.

Mayor Of Simpleton, Great Fire, Yacht Dance, Rocket From A Bottle, etc.,
etc. . .(It's actually kind of a fun game to go flipping through XTC song
titles this way.  Any examples from other Chalksters?)

So, in a sense, the titles many times do not literally denote the subject
matter of the song.   But this is the beauty of the use of extended
metaphor and analogy and one of the reasons I love XTC's music so much. I
mentioned this facet of XTC's writing to Andy once and used Heaven Is Paved
With Broken Glass as an example. I personally think the analogy is quite
clever but he, in his self-deprecating way, passed it off as a second-rate
piece of work.  Huh.

In other music news, I'll be touring for two weeks beginning tomorrow. wish
me luck. Thanks.

Peace, love and music,



Date: Wed, 6 Mar 1996 07:29:44 -0800
Subject: Fast N Bulbous

Hi all!

Greg Kuchmek and others have been asking about the Beefheart tribute. I'd say
get it if you can find it and have an open ear. A lot of the tracks are quite
inferior to the originals but XTC's 'Ella Guru' stands out as being the most
true to the Magic Band; in fact it's uncanny.

On a related note, the 'new' Zappa CD 'The Lost Episodes' contains the first
track the Captain ever recorded (1958)  as well as the original 'booger boys'
Ronnie and Kenny explaining the booger episode.  This CD is a MUST for you
Zappa freaks as it more-or -less chronologically shows the evolution of
Frank's compositional smarts.

Re Gentle Giant - I always thought they were much superior to the other rock
'classicists' of that era ie Yes, ELP, etc.;  right up there with the various
King Crimsons.  I remember seeing them and sitting in awe as they spun out
Bach-like complexities with a back beat.  Seeing them, Miles Davis and KC in
the space of a month probably made me the demented man I am!

Thanx to joe@interserve for so clearly explaining  (via Andy) what I meant
about machine music.  Thanx too to our convivial moderator John for the tip
on a new Captain Sensible product. It's been too long!

Finally, just ordered the BBC tapes - can hardly wait!



Date: 6 Mar 1996 08:56:08 -0700
From: "Bob Sherwood" <>
Subject: F.Y.I.

>>On an unrelated note, what are the backing vocalists singing during the
second chorus of "The >>Loving"?  ("Strange Trip"?)

     I've always heard it as "stand clear", as in "The Loving's
coming...(stand clear!)"

"If I were on a lifeboat with Fiction Damage and there were insufficient
supplies to sustain all of us, I would gladly sacrifice myself that they
might survive. Their contribution to American culture is that great."
            --Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa, Z, Beer for Dolphins)

Smell the Damage!


Date: Wed, 06 Mar 96 11:23:45 EST
From: "John Christensen" <>
Subject: Mona Lisa Face-lift?

Somebody wrote:
>>...once an artist releases a song, he no longer owns it.  It now
>>belongs to everybody to do with as they will.

And then Anthony responded:
>I agree with your statement in general, but in this particular case
>it tends to imply that we're doing something creative by analyzing
>these songs.  I say, if we obfuscate the artist's
>intended statement, then that creativity is in question.  i.e.: if a
>graffiti artist spray paints over the Mona Lisa, is he creating
>something or destroying it?

But I say:

Anthony, though I assume your analogy is intended to amuse (rather than
draw a credible comparison), I must respond.

Interpreting lyrics is not like spray painting now is it?  If I somehow got
the "Senses Working Overtime" masters and replaced Colin's bassline track
with me tooting away on kazoo -- now that would be like spray painting over
the Mona Lisa. But that's not what we're talking about here.

We're talking about personal analysis of finished art. Art which is based
on the life experiences of the artist alone -- and that NO other individual
on this (or any other) planet can understand exactly.

Want some proof?  The next time you listen to "Another Satellite", close
your eyes and try to remember the woman, or women, that Andy Partridge is
writing about.  Remember the way she interrupted Andy just at that moment,
remember how she made Andy feel as she brushed against him, the scented
envelopes that tickled Andy's nose, how Andy found her familiar yet
terrifying (like that day at Andy's school), and the guilt that Andy felt
when he got home and saw Holly.

Obviously you can't. You can only think about how you might feel if someone
like you -- who had been through all the things you've been through -- was
ever in that situation. You relate the satellites to the women you have
known.  But you can NEVER hear the song as Andy hears it.

Everything that enters our head -- except for Q-tips, food, chiggers, ticks
and other burrowing parasites -- is interpreted by our own personal and
unique filter.  That's why different people can rarely look at something
and see exactly the same thing.  And if your filter is radically different
from Andy's, your interpretation of his lyrics might be just as close if
you believe "Another Satellite" is about Leopard Geckos and the rugby
players who love them.

So Anthony, what do you see when you look at the Mona Lisa?  I'll wager is
not what Andy or I see. Or the rugby players.



Subject: great producer for xtc
Date: 06 Mar 1996 16:47:05 GMT
Organization: Bitstream Underground

a great producer for xtc would be bill botrell.  producer/engineer for sheryl
crow, toy matinee, rusted root, thomas dolby (aliens ate my buick). any


Date: Wed, 06 Mar 1996 12:28:06 -0500
From: Bill Godby <>
Organization: University of Michigan
Subject: XTC/Beach Boys connection

For sometime now I have been haunted by Andy's vocal phrasings,
reminding me very much of Brian Wilson's, especially the falsetto. I'm
thinking of the Beach Boys "Pet Sounds" in particular. I haven't seen
anything in writing to confirm that Mr.Partridge has indeed been
influenced in some way by Mr.Wilson, leaving me with an empty and
unfulfilled feeling. I need to have my great insights confirmed and
validated to feel completely worthy as a person. Help me.
Bill Godby


Date: Wed, 06 Mar 96 09:51:45 PST
Subject: Other bands

Dear XTC fans,

Thought I'd go out on a limb here.
My band, CANOOFLE, has grown up on XTC.
We also like Zappa, Minutemen and Eno.
If this combination seems interesting,
check out our site.



Date: Wed, 6 Mar 96 13:35 MST
From: (Phil Corless)
Subject: Chalkhills T-Shirt on Web

For those of you who didn't order a Chalhills t-shirt, but
were curious about what it looked like, I've put photos of
it on the Web:

As it says on the page, I'll probably do another batch this
summer, if there is enough interest (12 shirts or more).

Phil Corless
Boise, Idaho


Date: Wed, 6 Mar 1996 17:32:50 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Gentle Giant: Freehand

A friend of mine got me really into one GG album called Freehand. I have
no idea about any other ones and we never really picked up on any from
there, that was back in 93 I think (not the album, but when we liked it).
   What really struck me was the song "On Reflection". Heavy vocal and
well produced thing. What else, based on my liking Freehand so much, do
you think I might find interesting? I heard that they have some dogs and
I would like to avoid those.



Date: Wed, 6 Mar 1996 17:33:45 -0500
From: (Arthur James Virgin)
Subject: Gold Skylarking Disk (RE)


>Who among us has heard the re-mastered Skylarking (on Gold CD) put out by
>Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs?
>I'd be curious to hear anyone's opinion whose heard it...

        Welp, I have a person who always shunned them (but has
heard most of them), I have to say it is a quite noticable difference.  The
vocals are more pronounced and there seems to be more s e p e r a t i o n
in the mix.  Of all the XTC albums to date, this one was the best pick by
MFSL to work on.   It is worth the money (if not just to say you have it!).

Give it a will like it!

Thats all!

The Quality Music Page --->
(ultra-enhanced...Netscape 2.0 or later ONLY)

"Skylarking is like a summer's day
  baked into one cake" - Andy Partridge


Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 09:33:47 +0900 (JST)
From: (Michael Wicks)
Subject: Re: on techonology and dance music

From: on 4 Mar '96 at 4:16:

>When asked if improved technology made
>making albums easier, Andy said,
>"In some ways technology makes things tougher.  The thing about
>technology is its only machines and machines are only any good when
>they are in the service of man.  They're not any good as machines.
>You can't just poke them and say 'be wonderful for me, machine.'
>Because it won't."

Aah, yes, a classic interview/performance! (IMHO the best among all of the
Acoustic Tour dates/station performances).  Coincidentally, I was just
listening to another interview by Paul Wilde (the one that preceeded the
infamous "Road to Oranges and Lemons/Puppet Show video) in which Andy talks
about growing up, listening to records with the hot new "technology" of
the day (mid-sixties, I think).  He recalled going over to a friends house
(who he was "always loaning a record player to"), where they would listen
to the Small Faces, the Kinks,  the Monkies,etc.         Andy went on to

"...this chap over the road...he used to be infatuated with anything that
had the word 'Stereo' on it, and we never had a stereo record player,
that's the thing. He had a mono record player, and he rigged it up so he
had two speakers on it, and he'd occasionally unplug one just a bit, and
say 'Hey, Andy, listen--STEREO! [click!]'  when suddenly the signal, it'd
appear, and then he'd have to go over there ((to the other speaker)) and
he'd say, 'Hey, listen, look, it goes back to the other one now! [click!]'
and have these psychedelic 'stereo' sessions"  ( As you hear Dave and
Colin, with Paul, laughing in the background.
Later on,  as Dave is talking about the Beatles 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand' as
the first record he ever bought ("I played it to death!"), Andy jumps in
with a remark about , during those days, having to "shut the doors to get
more bass, I today got it easy, they just turn their
controller, click on the graphic (equalizer), and what is wrong with
shutting the door for more bass? Those were the days when timber was of the

>"Exactly.  And too many people just click that 'on' button and push
>that drum machine on, push that sequencer on, touch that synthesizer
>patch and they think it's going to, you know, they think that its
>called art.  It's not, it's called turning a machine on, so let's get >it

Ironically, Andy does have quite a setup in his "Shed" (just check out all
the gear in that picture from Musician magazine (march '96), and didn't he
not only use a drum machine on The Big Express, but also uses several
modern little electronic toys on his demos. Well, it's like what the
interviewer said,  "It only gives back what you put into it."  And Andy has
'put into it' his heart and soul, and the musical creations that he has
"crapped out" have been magnificent. Yet, IMHO, I enjoy his more
acoustical, pastoral songs/demos better (take, for instance, Everything, or
how about Disque Blue, and of course, Rook).

Lastly, a question: Does anyone out there have the Wrapped in Grey CD?
Also, any O&L-era demos of GoGoYears or Mississippi Honeymoon?
Also,  am thinking of doing some "amateur" videos with some Skylarking
tracks, using my Hi8cam, editing equipment, and lots of time! More info
next week!

Song of the Day: Knuckle Down
Next week: A 'Go2' question!

Until then in xTc,

Michael (Star Park Osaka)


Date: Wed, 6 Mar 1996 21:58:40 -0500
Subject: Ante Up for Andy P.

When I read (as in the latest Little Express) Andy P.'s complaints about the
poor quality of and zero monetary return from those bootleg CDs of his demos,
it makes me want to send ("my shoes are broken--you should see 'em!") Andy a
few $US each time I enjoy a demo of his.

Where should I send this money?  Help (he needs some money).

Which reminds me--anyone else like the Beatles?



Date: Wed, 6 Mar 1996 22:20:12 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re the gold skylarking

yes i own the gold release of skylarking and im very glad i invested the
24.99 to own this treasure. The highs are very crisp, the bass is deep and
the background vocals and music sound excellent on a hi-fi stereo. The only
problem i had before buying this cd was spending 25.00 on a cd i already
owned but after i bought it and heard the clarity of the songs i was very
satisfied. i would really advice getting this cd.


From: Jon Leslie Davis <>
Subject: Gentle Giant
Date: Wed, 6 Mar 1996 23:19:54 -0800

A former lurker comes to the surface...

I'm a long-time (and current) Gentle Giant fan. The album mentioned in the
post from Anthony Ciarochi is Power and the Glory, a great album from
1974. In fact, one of the things that first grabbed me about XTC back when
I first picked up Drums and Wires was their similarity to GG.  Not that XTC
is any progrock dinoband or anything, it's just that GG was the most
*polyphonic* band I know of. Each instrument played its own melody, and
they fit together to make a complete arrangement. XTC is often the same
way. Especially on tunes like Scissor Man or English Roundabout (which is
the most Giantish XTC song).

BTW, GG albums are now all available on CD from various labels in various
qualities. Check out the web site


Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 01:14:41 -0800
From: (John Wedemeyer)
Subject: Doubting Thomases

       Greetings Fellow XTC enthusiasts!!!;
  It has been a wonderful week in which I joined the Chalkhills mailing
list AND receieved the latest "Little Express" in the mail! I was beginning
to feel alone in my enthusiasm for all things XTC.....nice to know you are
all out there!!!
  I hate to revive an old thread, but I was purusing the back issues of
"Chalkhills" and noticed some people wondering out loud about the quality
of the new XTC material based on their opinions of "Nonsuch". I have a
message for all these Doubting Thomases,(if there are any listening)...
   I am an AVID XTC collector and recently stumbled upon a tape of Andy's
'95 home demos,(including the rejected songs for "James And The Giant
Peach"), and let me assure you...these songs are among Andy's best work!!
Wait until you hear "Church Of Women", or "River Of Orchids"....AMAZING!!!
Some of these demos could be released AS IS....they sound THAT good!! Take
my word for it, I think this one will be worth the wait!!!
   In my opinion, there is NO ONE around today who can write a pop song as
masterfully as Andy Partridge. XTC's music sounds so refreshing after
listening to what is considered excellence by today's standards,(Pearl
   By the way, in response to Phil....I always thought the background
singers on "The Loving" were saying "stay clear" in gangway!!!! Just
a thought....
   Anyway, thanks for listening and if anyone knows of other hot XTC spots
on the Internet that this newcomer should check out, please let me know. In
the meantime, I will anxiously await the latest edition of Chalkhills!
        Best wishes to you all.....
         "The grass is always greener when it bursts up through concrete"
                  (From "River Of Orchids")


Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 10:13:43 +0000
From: (Mark Fisher)
Subject: Go ahead and jumper

The latest edition of Q magazine has a feature about readers' rock-related
T-shirts. One of the contributions is a hand-knited Drums and Wires jumper
submitted by Brian Harvey who says his mum knited it for him. It looks a
good deal more wearable than the whole page of Elton John T-shirts.

Mark Fisher (,uk)


Date: Thu, 07 Mar 1996 09:34:20 -0500
From: "Brian T. Marchese" <>
Subject: A Brief History of the Cavedogs

In response to whoever wanted some Cavedogs background, here's what I know:
	I first heard the Cavedogs doing an acoustic, on-air appearence in the
WFNX, Boston, studios in 1990. What drew right in was that the song they were
doing was Michael Nesmith's "Joanne" (and I LOVE Nesmith). I only caught that
song, but they seemed like funny guys on the air.
Around the spring of '90, WFNX began playing their single "Leave Me Alone"
(which ROCKS) which was off their first album (now out of print) "Joyrides for
Shut Ins". My friend and I each bought the album, and played it to death.
PowerPop at its best. (picture a band comprised of Pete Townshend, Paul
McCartney and Keith Moon) All members wrote songs.
That Autumn, my friends and I (we were in 12th grade) went to see the 'dogs do
and in-store at a tiny record store in Salem NH. About 20 people showed,(maybe
35-40) and they did about 10 acoustic songs, including " Joanne"
MTV played "Leave Me Alone" as well as "Tayter Country" (another gem) each a
few times in 90-91 and the Cavedogs were interviwed briefly by Dave Kendall
one episode (south by southwest festival)
June of '91, we saw the Cavedogs at the Paradise, Boston, and they RULED.
Besides all their own great songs, they covered "Porpoise Song" by the
Monkees, "Substitute" by the Who, and that year's smash hit by the Charlatains
UK, "The Only One I Know" (very tounge in cheek, as they'd been touring with
Finally, they got signed to Capitol, and put out "Soul Martini", another
strong album, chock full of gems. However, Capitol put NO publicity behind
it, and it died a tragic death. But whenever I listen to it, it brings back
the spring of '92, when it as well as Nonsuch had just come out, hanging out
with college friends in the dorm, and a sweet smell permeating the air.


Date: Thu, 7 Mar 96 9:48:42 -0500
From: "Kendrick, Tim" <>
Organization: Dictaphone Corporation
Subject: Ideas about Tribute Tape

>>>>> From: "John Christensen" <>
>>>>> Subject: Tributes and Lyrics and Stuff, Oh My
>>>>> More Tribute Tape Ideas:
>>>>> The Costello group held a contest to name their tribute tape
>>>>> (so they wouldn't have to keep referring to it as
>>>>> "the tribute tape"). People suggested names and
>>>>> the entire group voted.

    I suggest that we call the tribute tape:
           "Remembering Guernica"

    It could be a tribute dedicated to the families
    and friends of those who suffered in Guernica.

>>>>> From:
>>>>> Subject: Tribute Tape Update
>>>>>   Whew...
>>>>>   I am accepting no more tapes for the tribute.
>>>>>   We have 32 planned songs.  That is plenty.
>>>>>   With a 20% dropout (wild guess), I can expect 25 songs.
>>>>>   Averaging four minutes each, that would be 100 minutes!

   But why stop with one 100-minute tape ?
   Why not two 60-minute tapes (for a total of 120 minutes) ?

   I really think that ANYONE and EVERYONE on this list who
   wants to contribute a song should be able to do so.

   I myself would like to contribute, although I'll admit
   I've been very slow trying to pick which song to do
   (I'm also waiting on a fellow Chalkhillian, with whom I
    may do a collaboration with on a song).

   I don't think there should be limitations.  If we need to go
   to a second or even a third tape, we should do so.

   That's my opinion.  What does everyone else think ?????

   "I'm merely a man and I bring nothing but love for you"


From: David Yazbek <>
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 10:41:29 -0500
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-80

Brian Stevens' record is worth picking up.Colorful pop in the ballpark of
Martin Newell, whose new album is also worth picking up. Great songs on
Martin's record-- though I don't love the production. Dave Gregory's guitar
playing on Brian's album is a blast. I met Brian in the East Village (NYC)
a couple of weeks back. He's a personable sort and you  all would be well
served to buy his offering-- but not before looking in the "Y" section of
your local record store and selecting the FINALLY AVAILABLE IN THE UNITED
STATES  version of "The Laughing Man". It's on W.A.R. records and the
release date is, no kidding, March 19th. If you already have the European
version-- this is the same thing with better artwork and a different
song-order. Also-- we're playing at Brownie's in NYC on Wed. March 13th at
10:15. Thanks for putting up with the self-promotion.


Date:       7 MAR 96 14:05:47 EDT
Subject:    re: Skylarking GOLD CD

This is my first posting to Chalkhills; hope the format's okay...

re: Doug Downing's (and others) interest in the remastered gold CD of
"Skylarking" issued by Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs...

I owned an original UK Virgin CD, which included "Mermaid Smiled" but not
"Dear God", and always thought it sounded great (as most Rundgren-produced
albums do). It was recorded analog and mixed digitally. The gold version has
a more solid bass presence and slightly more clarity and separation, but
IMHO doesn't improve markedly on the original; it's a slight disappointment
really.  I'd never heard the US version before; interesting the way "Dear
God" segues >from "The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul".  Why didn't they
take up the opportunity to include "Mermaid Smiled" and, for that matter,
"Extrovert" from the same sessions as bonus tracks?  The standard Canadian
issue features both "God" and "Mermaid" which is the definitive version
IMHO.  The booklet has been upgraded and features some new, colour photos of
the band taken for the original artwork sessions.  Pity that the front cover
illustration is reduced and altered on the new version, with the familiar
black background/gold stripe design given to all MFSL releases. Couldn't
they have included the full-size front cover artwork within the booklet as
they did with their version of The Who's "Tommy"?

My advice: if you own the UK CD version, hang onto it and just buy the CD
single of "Dear God" (which also includes the complete "Homo Safari" series).
If you own the US version, you need to get "Rag & Bone Buffet" to obtain
"Mermaid Smiled". Any true XTC completist will own this anyway.

For the first-time buyer (with fat wallet), the gold CD of Skylarking is the
way to go, but think twice before you replace your existing copy.


Before the band signs to a new label, there's some loose ends to clear up at
(A) Another "Odds n' Sods" compilation that rounds up the remaining b-sides so
far not on CD albums (eg the "Towers Of London" double pack single's live
(B) What about a video compilation of promo clips?  We've only ever had "Look
Look" (now deleted and very hard to find) which only goes up to "English
Settlement".  Please can we have a vid with all the promo clips?  And how
about digging out some other material such as appearances on "Old Grey Whistle
Test", as well as docos "At The Manor", "Play At Home" and "The Laughing
Prisoner" - if they're still intact?

Is there a demand among other collectors for such material to be commercially
released?  Any suggestions from other Chalkhillians on this subject?

...."i would have made this instrumental but the words got in the way" (AP)

Paul Culnane. Canberra. Australia


Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 10:11:30 -0800 (PST)
From: Wesley David Shaw <>
Subject: Solid Gold?

A friend of mine asked how many copies the best selling XTC album sold
worldwide. . .  anybody have a clue? Did Skylarking go Gold?



End of Chalkhills Digest #2-81

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