Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-70

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 70

                 Tuesday, 21 January 1997

Today's Topics:

                Easter Theatre and Beyond
                      simon & simon
                   Gosh, a Dutch Go 2 ?
             re:  I finally got on-line!!!!!!
           Girl groups (no XTC and very short)
                  The Lillywhite Factor?
               Real to Reel/Audio Anthology
                  More on Cooking Vinyl
                     Status of Chips
                    That Thing They Do
                Songs per Album, continued
                  Re: Nonsuch References
           From the Forthcoming album "NONSUCH"
                       The Go2 Club
                 The Planets & The Vapors
          Hey Mitch or Anybody who might know...
               Reign of Blows  (jab...bam!)
                    Review of new ones
                  an alternate viewpoint
        The history of music recording, that's all
              demographics (argh!) & Steve L
                Love on a Farmboys Wages..
             I thought I spoke English! . . .


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

Make your shakespeare hard and make your oyster pearl.


Date: Fri, 17 Jan 1997 23:27:49 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <>

Has anyone heard the song "Always Winter; Never Christmas"?  I''m into XTC
but have never heard this song.  Heard a lot of good things about it, though


Date: 18 Jan 1997 09:09:45 -0000
Message-ID: <>
From: "G.M. Quinn" <>
Subject: Easter Theatre and Beyond

Chalkie Children

To the erstwhile devotee who mentioned Easter Theatre and our reactions to it:

Wonderful.  A truly beautiful song in my opinion.  The music alone filled me
with optimism (no mean feat), joy the desire to live if only so I could hear
it once more.  And, shoot me down in sexual dampenings if you must, but I
also found it curiously fecund...
Rich in the same way as a mature red wine is, as a hearty banquet is, as an
involved passionate kiss is...or perhaps all three. At once (meaning
immediately and all together, whichever tickles your fancy)

Oh, and the rest of the demo is superb as well.

I MUST learn to control myself!

gm quinn


Message-Id: <>
From: "Daniel Prendiville" <>
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 1997 14:53:02 +0000
Subject: simon & simon

This is my last posting to the Digest. It's been a while since I've come
across anything half-interesting in the Digest on which to comment/rant/
give out about. Then #3-67 comes along and I hit the motherlode...

Simon Sleightholm (from Bobby Charlton's home town, apparently) commented
about Andy's WM panning not being as recent as Andy might like us to
think. D'yer ever get the feeling that Andy sits down and composes these
very witty, pithy and not-at-all shitty remarks which many of us have
grown up with over the years, reading interviews in the music media?
In some of the recent FF interviews, it's plain to see that Andy is going
through various rehearsed set-pieces. Grand when seen in isolation, but
when a number of articles are read together, you start to wish that the
wit and humour was a tad more spontaneous. The WM panning seems to have
been another one of these set-pieces. Well spotted, Simon!

Simon Knight commented on Andy's whining and blaming others for his/XTC's
commercial failure. Probably not too far off the mark, Simon. But if you
want to read some *real* moaning and hand-wringing, get your hands on "No
Laughing Matter - The Life and Times of Flann O'Brien" by Anthony Cronin.
Andy's got a bit to learn from the bould Flann about whining, but as long
as he stays out of the Irish Civil Service, he'll probably be OK.

I'm off now. Flame if you wish, I'll not care...


Daniel's Den -


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Sat, 18 Jan 1997 18:44:07 +0000
Subject: Gosh, a Dutch Go 2 ?


today i bought the January issue of the UK Record Collector mag
with the Andy Partridge interview (thank you Simon for pointing this

Alongside the interview there is a short list of "XTC UK rarities"
and I was shocked to read that a mint UK Science Friction single with
picture sleeve is now valued at 500 Pound Sterling! (75 without p/s)

Now a question to all the Serious Collectors:

Does anybody own/know about a Dutch release of Go 2 ?
I have never seen one and I'm starting to believe it was never
released over here, but imported from the UK instead.
Does anybody know ? Email me please...

yours in ecstasy,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse

===> Mark's Random XTC Quote <==
No weeping willow was ever as beautiful sad as you are


Date: Sat, 18 Jan 1997 18:40:00 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: re:  I finally got on-line!!!!!!

Dear fellow XTC lovers,

    I am new to Chalkhills and the internet, though not at all new to XTC.
 Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know that I finally joined and am open
to receiving any XTC-related mail.  After my first reading of Chalkhills, I
have a few questions:

1.  Does anyone STILL need a copy of  the Wrapped in Gray single?  If so, I
can dub it for you--I'm not likely to sell my original, though.
2.  What is "fossil fuels" and "upsy daisy" and do I want them?
3.  Where can I get "Look, Look" and The James and the Giant Peach demos?
4.  Does anyone have Beeswax?
5.  Are there any fans in MD?  (Baltimore?)

I am also very interseted in the XTC jacket and deoderant!!!! Crazy.  Just so
you know, my favorite XTC album changes fairly often, but I think it is
usually The Big Express.  Unfortunately I think I am alone in this!

Thanks in advance for any and all responses!!!!!!   kate


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 1997 16:40:30 -0800
From: Danielle <>
Organization: University of Auckland
Subject: Girl groups (no XTC and very short)

Todd Bernhardt wrote:
> (can you imagine guys forming a band and saying "Boys only"?
Or girls get to sing, because they can't *really* play instruments very
well, can they? Besides, they look good up front....
Danielle, who is sick of pretending that we're 'post-feminism' because a
very few courageous women have managed to avoid being stereotyped...


Date: Sun, 19 Jan 1997 00:52:32 -0600 (CST)
Message-Id: <>
From: JH3 <>
Subject: The Lillywhite Factor?

I hate to argue, especially with another XTC fan -- particularly one with
"xtc" as their e-mail address -- but...

JES <> writes:

>...I imagine that if you were to poll most users of this list, you
>would find that the demographics fall into two camps...<snip>
>The early listeners, like me, will probably list "Black Sea" as their
favorite XTC
>album (except in my case, where I will list "D&W" and "Skylarking" as my
two faves)
>because that's the one that grabbed them. And I will maintain that
Lillywhite was >CRITICAL to the essense of that (incredible) album.

At least you're using the word "probably" now, which is better than flatly
saying "those who love XTC grew that love from [Lillywhite's] work on D&W
and Black Sea." (BTW, my all-time favorite album is Go 2 -- does that mean
you and I are both oddballs?) Putting aside the also-arguable stuff about
the two camps, my point was that giving Lillywhite, or for that matter ANY
producer, an inordinate amount of credit for XTC's success is unfair to
them, to their fans, and especially to their *songs.* The songs might have
sounded different with another producer, but they would have still been
great songs.

And even if most of XTC's earlier fans consider D&W and Black Sea their
faves, is Lillywhite really responsible? His producing them happened to
coincide with the start of some of the most frenzied, constant worldwide
touring ever seen up to that point. In addition, D&W was the first XTC
record to be released in the United States -- WM and the awesome Go 2 were
only available as imports at the time. There was also MTV. And in the UK,
Virgin Records had by then grown to where they could afford to actually
promote their acts. Some might even agree that by replacing Barry Andrews
with Dave, XTC became more accessible-sounding to a wider audience. I'd
suggest that all that stuff helped D&W & Black Sea become XTC's first
decent-selling LP's at least as much as Lillywhite's production did.

As for the other bands, you ignored my other point that in many cases their
best records were produced by somebody else. I mean, "Vauxhall and I" is a
fine album, but I'd hardly call it the pinnacle of Morrissey's career. But
all such statements are subjective, and there will always be those who

>My point is, simply, that with the exception of Siouxie, every one of these
>bands is now completely defunct with no real interest associated with them.

OK, I can accept that statement (although Siouxsie & the Banshees actually
*are* defunct now, unfortunately). But in the original post you said that
those bands "sucked," which is something entirely different. Hopefully this
means you've reconsidered, and I can go back to whatever it was I was

--John Hedges


Message-Id: <v01510100af07fbbf24bc@[]>
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 1997 06:29:35 -1000
From: (Jim Smart)
Subject: James

I'm interested in hearing the James and the Giant Peach songs by Andy
P.....can any one give me some pointers?


            `Things seem so hectified now.'
                    -Jason Falkner


Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 14:35:41 +0900 (JST)
Message-Id: <>
From: (Michael Wicks)
Subject: Real to Reel/Audio Anthology

Hi All!

First of all, let me thank everyone who e-mailed me expressing their desire
to help with the Video project.  A few of you pointed out to me that it
would be more fun/better to make an
Audio Anthology on casette tapes. I then thought of a couple things to make
it even more interesting.  If any of you are interested in commenting on
your favorite XTC songs/albums, ones that have affected your lives
profoundly enough to have an opinion on it/them, then what I'd like to do
is compile these into a sort of "History of XTC" tape, complete with audio
clips of some interviews that I have, along with our fellow Chalkhillians
Comments should be between 1-5 minutes.  Following the comments about the
particular song/album, I was thinking of dubbing a demo version/live
performance of the song/songs on the album. The quality of the demos vary,
but most are pretty good quality.
After compiling all of this onto one (or two) tapes (I'm not yet sure about
the length of such a compilation-any ideas?)  ,  I could send a copy of
these out to those who a) send me something in return (audio/video
live/demo recording; a magazine article; photos; anything related to XTC!)
b) participated by sending in their comments.   If some of you find it
difficult to record your comments onto a cassette tape, perhaps you could
write in your comments, and I'll try and make a newsletter/yearbook-type
thing (don't expect anything glossy/color-y, unless some of you are willing
to help ;-) <nudge-nudge>).
In all honesty, what I'd like for this to be is a group effort, a
collaboration that many of us Chalkies can sink our teeth into.  I can make
the cassette portion of the Anthology, and whip up a generic video
compilation (but the quality of some of my video clips, esp. Look Look, is
horrendous! Although I may be able to get a 1st generation copy of it
soon), but for those of you that just want to provide written comments,
perhaps someone (Natalie?) can help with the newsletter/yearbook portion of
All these ideas come with a price, however, and that is its going to take a
while for the
finished product; it is quite an undertaking, very daunting, I must admit!
  One more note on the audio tape compilation, to convince some of you to
send in your comments:  if this thing does make it through, I was thinking
of sending a copy(copies) to
the three lads in Swindon...I'm wondering if they'd like to hear the tape,
and our comments.
Thoughts on this and everything else I mentioned can be e-mailed to me
Let's get it started!

Mike (

P.S.  Sorry for the 100% XTC content!  :-)


Message-Id: <>
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 16:32:02 +0000
Subject: Length

The ten songs thing.  We're coming off the backs of Skylarking (14
songs), O&L (15 songs) and Nonsuch (17 songs).  10 seems a little
sad, considering the backlog.

>Those who are not [diehard XTC fans] (the majority of the record
>buying public) will want to own a great album that they'll put on again and

People without the patience to reap a more intricate records' rewards
should just sod off and buy Alanis Morrisette anyway.  Like they'd
EVER pick up XTC's next album.

>Very few artists (IMO) can deliver a 75 minute MASTERPIECE.

Funny, give or take 3 minutes, i thought XTC already did with
english settlement.

>XTC, on the other hand, made a masterpiece with Skylarking, clocking in at

Which had FOURTEEN songs (fifteen if you're canadian and one
out-of-place one if you're american).

Look at it this way.  When i was a kid and i'd finally saved up
enough money to afford to buy my first record did i buy Devo with 10
songs or Blondie with 12?


From: "Michael Goral" <>
Subject: More on Cooking Vinyl
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 09:29:48 +0100
Message-ID: <>

This label has my sympathy as well. I was glad to discover 3 years ago that
Jackie Leven ( formerly the voice and inspiration of Doll By Doll - I would
like to read some notes on Doll By Doll, are other Doll By Doll fans
listening ?) is back again. In the meantime Cooking Vinyl have released
several Jackie Leven CD's ( although I would prefere them on vinyl ... ).

I do strongly recommend his comeback effort "The Mystery Of Love Is Greater
Than The Mystery Of Death". It contains original material but one cover of
"I Say A Little Prayer". Why to mention this cover: 'cos I hated the
original. With Jackie's cover I do live very well.

Chalkhill-Digest is great, thanx.

Michael     eMail:


Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 10:04:51 +0200
Message-Id: <>
From: (Paul Hosken)
Subject: Status of Chips

  I recently tried to buy _Chips from the Choc. Fireball_ in both the
UK and Germany, and in both cases was told that it's been deleted.
Since then I've been told that it was included on some shop's new
release list. Does anyone know if this CD is planned to be rereleased
in Europe, and what's it's status in the US, is it readily available?



Message-Id: <v02130500af08f1bf87f0@[]>
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 10:03:39 +0000
From: (Stephen Varga)
Subject: That Thing They Do

The new Tom Hanks film (Well, new to us Brits, anyway) That Thing They Do
is being released nationwide in the UK this Friday (24 Jan).

I understand that in the US, this film was released about 3 months ago.

What I want to know is this:

Andy Partridge was asked to submit some musical scores for the film. I
understand amongst the material he provided was a new Beatlesque version
(circa 1964) of "My Train Is Coming"

Was this or any of Andy's material used in the film or was it all rejected

Stephen Varga


Date: 20 Jan 97 09:32:00 GMT
From: (David McGuinness)
Subject: Songs per Album, continued
Message-Id: <"<F289E33281821573>F289E33281821573@GW.BBC"@-SMF->

Hi there hill-dwellers.

As a footnote to the songs-per-album discussion in #3-68, I was talking to
an acquaintance the other day (not saying who) who's just got a 6 album deal
with Sony.  When I'd stopped seething with jealousy, he told me he was now
going to have to write 25 songs for the first album.  As he's quite new to
writing songs, this had come as a bit of surprise.

The reason for the vast number (according to Sony) is that there's 4 tracks
on a CD single (or rip-off collection of 2 CD singles of the same song).  So
if there's 4 singles from the album, that's 16 songs before you even start
filling up the rest of it.

Presumably that's where all Andy's demos will end up.  Much as before

Just time for a quick recommendation of Peter Blegvad's 'Just Woke Up'.  AP
only contributes to one track, but this album is ... splendid.  So there.

Bye for now

David McGuinness

"ay ay ay" (Meccanic Dancing)


Message-Id: <v02130502af09064141a2@[]>
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 11:33:43 +0000
From: (Stephen Varga)
Subject: Re: Nonsuch References

In Chalkhills #3-68, David Goody wrote:
>There is a whole area around Epsom which contains many roads named Nonsuch
>Way, Nonsuch Place etc., and there are at least 50 houses around the UK
>named Nonsuch.

About 2 years ago I spotted a tin of Nonsuch toffees in Makro. Perhaps
these are manufactured by Walkers Nonsuch? My biggest regret was not buying
them especially as the design in the tin was a combination of red and gold

Anyone else seen these?

Stephen Varga


Message-Id: <v03007802af092f4952bd@[]>
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 09:26:18 -0500
From: Ira Lieman <>
Subject: From the Forthcoming album "NONSUCH"

Jeff Smelser exclaimed:

>I just got back from the reca-stoe where I purchased something I've
>never seen before.  It's called,"Radios in Motion a history of XTC.
>It's got The Balled of Peter Pumpkinhead (edit), The Mayor of
>Simpleton, King for a day, Dear God, Grass, Love an a Farmboys Wages,
>Senses Working Overtime and Making Plans for Nigel.  On the inside,
>it says,"From the forthcoming album NONSUCH," PRO-CD-4397.
>Is this something rare? I never knew it existed until today.

Well i think that's the album that I played on the air when I worked at my
college radio station. I remembered the song "Dear God" from the mid '80s,
so I decided to play it and "Mayor of Simpleton" which I liked but didn't
know of XTC at that time. So I played those songs and that next weekend
went out and bought Skylarking. And the rest is history!

Thanks for finding it they have any more there?


Ira Lieman - -
"Awaken you dreamers, asleep at your desks!" - A. Partridge


Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 23:19:18 +0900 (JST)
Message-Id: <>
From: (Michael Wicks)
Subject: The Go2 Club

Hello again!

As I'm rummaging through my videos, demos, interviews etc., I'm
listening to some early XTC...just today I was riding on the train,
with Go2/Xtc Explode in my ears (I made a tape that has both the
Go 2 songs, Go +, and their "companion" dubs from Take Away/
The Lure of Salvage.  Now, I've listened to this tape about 10 times
the past few years, but today it just seemed fresh and , dare I say it,
quite enjoyable!  Especially Colin's songs....Crowded Room absolutely
kicks, as does The Rhythm...You'd have to agree that this is one of
Terry's finest moments...and Andy's songs , like Red/Beatown show
that during that period , indeed, XTC did 'NRG!
So, what I want to know is, has anyone out there had a total 180 degree
turn around about a particular song/album/CD ; one that when they first
heard it, they found it to be weak, either musically or lyrically, but that
suddenly one day the damn songs actually come together and make sense?
(Although I'm not sure if what I wrote above makes sense! Sorry!)
Anyways,  I fall down on my knees to the mercy of my fellow Chalkhillians
and admit that, yes, I like Go2! Now, can I be in the Go 2 club? Thanks!
BTW,  here in Japan, on the NHK educational channel 12, on the weekends,
they televise some of the Go games and offer instruction on how to play.
Though it looks like Othello, it's pretty different. I don't know how to
but have learned a few moves from it.  Personally, though, I'd rather play
Shogi, which is the japanese form of Chess. But I've already rambled enough!
Bye - Bye!!



From: Stewart Evans <>
Subject: The Planets & The Vapors
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 1997 19:28:37 -0700 (MST)
Message-ID: <>

Speaking of the Vapors and Bruce Foxton, rumor was shortly after the Jam
broke up that Bruce was gonna form a band with David Fenton, frontman for
the by-then-also-defunct Vapors.  Supposedly the idea died because Foxton
was only able to get a solo recording deal; nobody was interested in a new
band.  Pity...I've always thought Fenton was a very good songwriter, and
certainly a better lead singer than Foxton.

-- Stewart


Date: Mon, 20 Jan 97 10:18:23 CST
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Hey Mitch or Anybody who might know...

     Hey Chalk-bore-ds,

     Is there any chance of finding out a Snail mail or e-mail address to
     XTC's Management or some address where a letter or e-mail might get
     even close to any of the members of XTC?

     I would really like to find out if Possible. Some people think it's a
     long shot but I have had pretty good luck getting through to others
     that I admire in the field of Art and Entertaiment.

     Just wondering, wandering,

     Jason Phelan
     - Henceforth, as there are too many Jasons on this list, known only as



From: McGREGOC <>
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 18:30:34 +00
Subject: Reign of Blows  (jab...bam!)
Message-ID: <>


>>Right. You.  Outside.  Now!

Nooooo Way!  Its cold out there!  Right here, right now! Jab, jabjab.
Come on (she says jumping around with her dukes up)! Jab, combination
jab. shuffle.  Okay I'm tired.  Have a cup of tea and calm down Mr.
Simon UK.

>> Drummer is male.

Ohhhhh, token male, I see.  I'm teasing with you Simon.  I can only
say I've heard the one song so perhaps I should listen to some other
songs before I jump all over them.   It was just fresh in my mind
from seeing them on t.v.

>>I don't see any "Go-Go's" or "Bangles " connnetion...bands
predominantly female.

I had mentioned them because of the "girl" factor
 trying to illustrate my point of girl bands.  These two are the
ones that I REALLY  didn't like in my youth.  I thought they gave
girls a bad rep for looking silly while trying to be a rock band.
(careful Mcgregor, going to cause a frenzy with that statement)

Saw them as the opening act for the Heads.  She gave me a headache!
She frightened me too!

Fiesty one aren't you?!

On ward, Dave Gershman:

>>Okay, enough!  No more bashing  the Bangles.
>> Boy oh boy.  People hear a couple of songs and they think they
know a group.

Jab.  Hey!  I happen to have All Over the Place by the Bangles and
I'm sorry to report that even though I TRIED it still did nothing to
change my opinion of them.  I forced myself to listen to it numerous
times only to be totally bored by the whole thing.  Sorry.
Shesh! And really is possible to shimmy while playing the guitar?!
Can you do it?

What I'll say here is:   it isn't Women in general in the music industry
that I have a problem with, its more to do with the girl bands.  I
love Kate Bush, Jill Sobule, Sara Mclauglin, Tori Amos, and I'm sure
there are others.  Its just these supposed "girl bands"  that get my
goat. But other have pointed out bands/ musicians I forgot about such as
Hole, Breeders, Shelia E. (how could I have forgotten her, I had the tape!
She is an excellent musician).  I wish I understood it more myself
this........dislike.  I guess I'm rather selective in my dislike.
Its these bands like the Go-Go's and Bangles (sorry Dave!)

Hole- Haven't heard much of their stuff  but, yes they do have an

Of the other bands mentioned, I haven't listened much to either, they
just haven't captured my interest.

I better put some XTC stuff in here .

Allan mentioned the Eastenders and Tony's jacket.  I missed that!
That must have been on Thursday when I missed an episode. Damn!

>>yes, they've broken up, so chill

What?!  uh, no, XTC are STILL together and about to make more sweet
music for our listening enjoyment.   I thougth that was the case
when I first got into them but luckliy that is not how it is.

>>But then I still like Alanis, so sue me.

Okay, get your solicitors ready!  Your tastes in music is
contributing to the perversion of good music.  Can't have that.  Its
trumatizing me!  (joke, ha, ha)

Alright, round one is over so thus ends a violent and confusing post
from yours truly,



Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 20:07:36 +0100
From: Karl Harald <>
Subject: Review of new ones

If anyone would give me a review of the new demos I'd really love it,
Someone on this list is tapeing them for me, but to keep the waiting shorter
and to hear what others think of each of the new ones would ease the pain.

Please e-mail me in case!

also! Is it only in Norway that Factory showroom (tmbg) hasn't come out

Song of the day:The Somnambulist


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 19:33:13 +0000
From: Simon Sleightholm <>
Subject: Quickie

Can any one help me? I'm looking for a picture of John Leckie. I have a
scanner, but if anyone knows where I can get a web-ready image from I'd be
gibberingly grateful.

XTC - This Is Pop?


Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 14:17:45 -0700
From: (Rob Loughman)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: an alternate viewpoint

On the subject of CD length:  I don't understand all of the griping
about the movement towards longer & longer CD's.  This is one of the few
things that record companies do that I appreciate.  If I don't like a
particular song, I skip it.  If I don't like the running order, I
rearrange it (do they even make CD players that can't be programmed
thusly?).  I certainly prefer this modicum of effort to the prospect of
buying a 45-minute CD, then buying each single in turn to get that extra
track or two that could easily have fit on the original CD.  And I
disagree that the deleted tracks are necessarily the "inferior" ones
whose inclusion would've reduced the impact of the CD.  That track that
gets cut to shorten the disc or preserve its continuity might have
become a favorite for someone out there.  Just look at all of the great
ones that were relegated to B-side status until CD's (& Rag and Bone
Buffet) came along.  And remember that some of these tracks were cut for
reasons that have precious little to do with art.  Yes, the La's made a
wonderful debut album of LP length, but who knows how many great songs
might've been cut to keep the album at some arbitrary length?  Give me a
grab bag every time; I'll decide what I like & what I don't.

Rob Loughman


Message-ID: <c=US%a=_%p=AETNA%l=AETNA/AETNA/>
From: "Witter, Karl F" <>
Subject: The history of music recording, that's all
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 16:25:00 -0500

>[Dave Gershman]"The average (vinyl) album had 10-12 songs, and folks were
>quite happy with that...Musicians [or] record companies" maybe pressured
>from the fans, "feel like they have to fill all that space [on a CD]...
>The music industry unnecessarily charges WAY too much for CDs...but I'd
>prefer 10 excellent songs...[just] the best of the bunch...No sense filling
>it up just for the sake of it. Of many "filler" songs have XTC
>put out? (Don't answer's rhetorical.)"

>[Keith Hanlon] I can't tell you how sick I am of LONG compact discs
>(anything over 50 minutes)...Very few artists (IMO) can deliver a 75
>minute MASTERPIECE. XTC, on the other hand, made a masterpiece with
>Skylarking, clocking in at 45:48 (if you have the one with Mermaid Smiled).
>...I'd rather have 2 albums that are XTC's definitive statements, rather
>than "here's all the stuff we've written in the last 5 years."

>[Josh] While an album full of songs that are very diverse stylistically can
>achieve great "flow" and feel to it, more often than not it ends up sounding
>choppy and meandering around more or less randomly.

(Pardon my rearranging.)

The 10-song tradition is a holdover from the days when an album was really
an album, of 5 2-song 78s in a book. (Way before my time--just passing
history. Correct my facts as needed.) With the invention of the LP 50+ years
ago they just put them all on one record. I think the content limits of 10
78s was roughly equal to one LP at the time. Thanks to the technology of the
CD we literally don't know how long a recording is "supposed" to be now--am
I the only one to notice how both XTC double albums are shorter than
Nonsuch?  (Don't answer that either.)

I concur with Keith about time, especially (but he didn't mention it) per
song. Strange to talk about Skylarking being a "short CD" cos it's a rather
long LP, no? (Being my favorite too, it doesn't seem that long.)  But its 14
songs average <3?' each. I'd much rather 14 short songs for 45 minutes than
9-10 longer ones. Acts like Neil Young and Big Country often go the latter
route but that typically doesn't serve Andy's or Colin's songwriting best

I'm starting to favor the unified feel theory :-), either sonically or
emotionally. That's given us English Settlement and Skylarking
(respectively), after all. Nonsuch's songs are often great but the sum is a
bit non-cohesive, somewhat kitchen-sinky (Hey, is that a word?), and its
length is part of that, plus the mixed sonics. I'd like the new one to be a
bit more cohesive one way or another, and the songs that don't fit can go on
CD maxi-singles.

While we're on the subject, XTC always has a boffo finishing song on their
albums. Any opinions on what people would like to see at the end of a new
XTC CD? (No, "Another CD" doesn't count.)

>[David Goody] I present a show on Thameside Hospital Radio, which provides
>a service to 2000 beds in Southend General Hospital.

I'm reminded of the old saw about a TV show being cancelled due to low
Neilsen ratings. "Wait!" the producer says, "that totally ignores our
huge non-traditional numbers. Everyone knows Nielsens only rate
*households*, but we're very popular in pubs and prisons!" ;-)

>>[Simon Knight] Closer inspection revealed a new brand
>>of aftershave named after our Swindonians...with matching deodorant.

>Hmmm. Let's see, already this year we have found an official XTC soft drink
>and official XTC aftershave. What's next?

Andy has also mentioned the namesake "Dutch cap". I've found the
accompanying, em, lubricity agent in a store, but buying and keeping it as a
"collector's item" may not pass muster in this household. "That's nice,
dear. We can put it in the china closet for all our friends to see!"

I whiled away the hours,

Blasting Nonsuch while doing dishes yesterday, in my mock-intellectual tone
I said "This isn't actually about a crocodile. Andy is using a literary
device known as metaphor" to my fiancee. A bit later she heard Omnibus loud
and for probably the first time genuinely paid real attention. "Hey!  'Flag
unfurl!' Does he mean..." and I nodded my head. She appreciated that; Mr.
P's influence is making a bit of headway here.


Message-Id: <v01540b02af09c267f20c@[]>
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 1997 11:53:00 +1100
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: demographics (argh!) & Steve L

>>Yow! Aren't you generalizing here... just a LITTLE BIT? <<

>Not really. I imagine that if you were to poll most users of this list,
>you would find that the demographics fall into two camps.... the early
>listeners (people like me, approaching 40, who discovered the band in the
>70's when they were still touring), and the later listeners (younger,
>discovered the band after a disenchantment with so-called "alternative"
>radio, who turned to college radio, or began experimenting with new
>material that was not getting air play). The early listeners, like me,
>will probably list "Black Sea" as their favorite XTC album (except in my
>case, where I will list "D&W" and "Skylarking" as my two faves) because
>that's the one that grabbed them. And I will maintain that Lillywhite was
>CRITICAL to the essense of that (incredible) album.<

Now hooold the bus young feller... I got hooked to XTC after hearing "Are
you receiving me?"

I'm sure I'm not the only one - otherwise there'd be no-one who's liked the
band from day one, or who lists White Music of Go2 among the band's finest
(BTW, my favourites are ES and Skylarking). I realise you said *most* not
*all*, but I think it's too broad a generalisation. Most of this list are
in the US, where XTC would have been unknown until at least their third
album - isn't that a far more likely reason that so many people on the list
'found' the band at that stage? I dare say that if you were to poll just
the British list members, you might get a different distribution of "first
heard", "first bought" and "favourite". (that might make an interesting
poll, but No, I am NOT willing to do it!)



Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 18:47:43 +0000
From: Heather Tinkler <>
Organization: The University of Oklahoma
Subject: Love on a Farmboys Wages..

Well, all..
     I'm moved on from TBE to Nonsuch.. and so far it's my favorite..
for now.

I was wondering about Love on a Farmboys Wages...
Does the "love" mentioned here possibly represent a child?
It kinda makes sense.. How can we feed love on a farmboy's wages?

Anyway, just a thought.. forgive me if it has been already addressed...


"She will remember your heart when men are fairytales, and books written
by rabbits..."  _Shmendrick the magician from "The Last Unicorn"

" Thats good..go and love some more.." Maude from "Harold and Maude"


Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 21:26:21 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: I thought I spoke English! . . .

. . . But I don't; I speak American English, which I'm sure we all know has
quite a few differences from standard English.  Anyway . . . I was reading
the Andy Partridge interview in the January issue of Record Collector
magazine, when I came across this paragraph:

"Most people think we've split up.  We never used to appear in those
coffee-table rock books.  But now we're starting to.  But we've been doing
our British Leyland bit, with our Chad Valley junior miner's kit.  We'll have
to grow our hair in more of a Scargillian manner.  I'll have some of Colin's

Can someone explain all of the proper nouns in this quote (save for Colin)?
Thanks in advance for the chance to exapnd my cultural knowledge!



End of Chalkhills Digest #3-70

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