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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-265


         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 265

               Wednesday, 8 September 1999

Today's Topics:

       World Party and further musiclal suggestions
                          Krill
             Richard Corey and The End of AV1
                         Ragbone
                A pastiche of thoughts...
                      Cover cover ?
                     Re: World Party
              Playing ketchup is hard to do
            News (of sorts) from Andy and Dave
               Re: XTC Online Questionnaire
                        That Wave
              Yazbek's Last Gig (For Awhile)
         RE: To Your Mother; + a modest proposal
                Testimonial dinner poster

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All the lights of the cars in the town form the strings of a big guitar.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Message-ID: <003501bef64b$27be0fe0$3e19063e@default>
From: "David Seddon" <D.Seddon@btinternet.com>
Subject: World Party and further musiclal suggestions
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 1999 20:35:58 +0100

Molly said:

I just heard this great non-XTC band, World Party.  The album is Bang!.
I just find this album very melodic and just fun to listen to.  Karl
Wallenger is another one of those artists that just get me going.  This
album has been out for a while, but I just put it in my CD player and
started listening.  I just love the songs: Giving It All Away and What Is
Love All About?.  What do you guys and gals think of World Party?

Who said writing about recommendations is boring?  They must be mad!!  To
state that you have no opinion or to have one and refuse to speak it is a
form of inverted snobbery.  Even your Gran has an opinion about pop, and
why not?!
The whole popular music phenomenon revolves around debate and opinion.
Seemingly, only The Beatles have managed to place themselves above this.

And so to more...Yo, Molly...well done, you've discovered one of the best of
current British artists here.
A friend of mine prefers the other ex-Waterboy's music, but I've always
preferred Karl's.  You should try Goodbye Jumbo and, in particular,
Egyptology, which is full of very Beatlish melodies.  Beautiful Dream,This
World, Vanity Fair and the wonderful Rolling Off a Log are really good.
There are one or two fillers in there, but you get 15 songs and most are
worthy.
He's a big Beatles fan and would love to write with Mc Cartney.  I'd love to
hear that, too!

Others are making many musical suggestions, so I'll add these:

Julian Cope (you'd probably like Fried especially, which is wonderfully
melodic)

Tim Buckley's Greetings from LA is one of the sexiest and raunchiest
records ever made.  His son was pretty good, too!

On a more psychedelic path, The Thirteenth Floor Elevators are worth a big
listen...The Psychedelic Sounds of The TFE's, especially.  If you've never
heard the Elevators, it's like entering a new world... awesomely different
sonically, whilst remaining accessible in terms of melody and rhythm.  The
lyrics and sleeve notes are wonderful...Ah, sleeve-notes...a fine piece of
artistic license that has disappeared.  The finest I've read are...
Yellow Submarine and The PS of The TFE's.

What other sleeve notes do people recommend and could we have some awesome
ones quoted in short measure?

Sample Elevators lyric: "Let me take you to the Empty Place on my Fire
Engine.  It'll drive you out of your mind."  This engine is no jolly
Trumpton ride.  You have to hear this to believe that he means it. These
boys were tempestuous and completely off-the-wall.  Never has the adage that
genius is akin to madness been truer than in the person of Roky Erikson.
They are one of the ultimate undiscovered-by-the-masses, cult bands. In
another, perhaps better universe, where Kurt Cobain was just a bum (ouch!!
Only kidding, honest!!), they were probably as big as The Beach Boys.

The new Four Boxed set of Nuggets (It'll set you back forty three pounds)
contains some of the best music by unknown artists that you'll ever hear and
some of the weirdest lyrics that you'll ever encounter.  If you like the
60s, this is the alternative version and has some great party music on it!!
Well worth the money!

Advert over.

------------------------------

Message-Id: <199909032059.QAA21506@lima.epix.net>
From: "Michael Davies" <miser17@epix.net>
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 1999 16:58:49 -0500
Subject: Krill

Most American alt-rockers have treated the whole subject of Vietnam
as more of a joke than anything else (witness Lee Harvey Oswald Band's
"Panic in Hanoi," Dead Milkmen's "Beach Party Vietnam," and Lotion's
"Marijuana Vietnam"). As for UK bands, there's "The Beatles and the
> Stones" by House of Love (they put the "V" in Vietnam, you see), and
> apparently Gary Numan put a song called "Hanoi" on the last disc of
> his box set, but I didn't feel like shelling out $70 to hear it, thank you.

Where was that Paul Hardcastle guy from?  "N-n-n-n-nineteen.
N-n-n-n-nineteen."

Billy Joel did a song called "Goodbye Saigon", I think.  I think that
was the title, I know he did the song.  American musicians tend to
protest things in other ways than through music.  Name one song that
mentions Tibet, anyone.

> Shriekback listed Vietnamese as one of the many languages they were
> speaking on their mega-smash hit "The Reptiles and I," though of
> course that had nothing to do with the war or American foreign policy.
> ("Living Through Another Cuba" is really about the conflict in Afghanistan,
> but you all knew that, of course.)

I always wondered what conflict that was about!  That should be in
the FAQ to help people who were born two years after that song was
released.

Michael davies
miser17@epix.net

------------------------------

Message-ID: <003601bef64b$2b80e440$3e19063e@default>
From: "David Seddon" <D.Seddon@btinternet.com>
Subject: Richard Corey and The End of AV1
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 1999 21:22:27 +0100

John Fulton said:

Bonus opinion: AV1 contains The Only Bad XTC Song (drumroll
please): "I can't own her."  I guess it had to happen sometime.
What's bad about it:  It sounds like a soundtrack reject.  Who is this
character Andy is playing?  I don't like him.  Yet he asks me to join him
in despair at losing the girl.  Perhaps he is purposely going "over the
top," as in "1000 Umbrellas?"

Good on you mate for saying it, even though I disagree with you 100%, It's
good to debate this with you/others!

To me, this is one of the 6 essential songs of AV1.  When I first heard the
album, I immediately appreciated the beauty of the last three songs.  I
don't think the band have ever closed an album better, and hard though I
have tried to try these alternative track orders that were popular a while
ago, I just can't get past the perfection of this close:

We have...

I Can't Own Her...a beautifully crafted big-band, swing-cum-soul ballad,
that one such as Mick Hucknall (a marvellous singer, but average songwriter)
would kill to write.  This is a song that anyone from Dean Martin and Frank
Sinatra to Harold Melvin and Simply Red would love to have got a hold of.

Harvest Festival...a practically perfect piece of music, in a simply
gorgeous (and effortless) chugging slow march.

The Last Balloon...a sad waltz that sounds as pure as Miles Davis at his
best, and is in part almost classical as well (like a slow piece of Bach or
Vivaldi).

There all slow and they all possess a timeless quality.  They show the
diverse strength of Andy's gift more than any three contiguous songs I can
think of right now.
The other songs I couldn't be without are River of Orchids, Your Dictionary
and Greenman.  The other 5, fine though some of them are, don't affect me
quite the same.

Back to I Can't Own Her.  I love driving in the rain at night with this song
playing.  It's at it's best then.  It has an epic, melancholy, dramatic
sweep, that rain on the road seems to bring out best.  It reminded me
lyrically, on first hearing, of Richard Corey (Simon and Garfunkel) :

I own this river, I own this town
All of it's climbers and its winos sliding down...
But I can't own her

They say that Richard Corey
Owns one half of this old town...
He had every thing a man could want
Power, grace and style...
Richard Corey went home last night
And put a bullet through his head.

Nevertheless, poor old RC, wasn't happy, just like the man in Andy's song
(who is partly himself).

Who is Andy being?  Himself in disguise.  Just like Lennon on Norwegian
Wood, Andy is taking experience and extrapolating it to a different scene
entirely.  The pain is genuine, the events are fictional.  Don't most
novelists play this game constantly?

What a good song it is!  The swirling sky part is one of those celestial
moments on the album, as many have said.  The orchestration of strings and
oboes is well written and the hammer dulcimer part is striking.  The song
has powerful chords and a finely counterpointed harmony.  It ends with
bitter-sweet strings and mocking oboes.  It, like the next song, is full of
longing and unfulfilled passion.  What more could we want from a
songwriter?

------------------------------

Message-Id: <199909032104.RAA22318@lima.epix.net>
From: "Michael Davies" <miser17@epix.net>
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 1999 17:03:51 -0500
Subject: Ragbone

<<Also, I've been listening to Rag And Bone Buffet recently, and I
wanted to know what everyone thought the best song on that "Album" is,
as well the worst. >>

That was my first XTC album and it soon became one of my favorite
albums by anyone.  24 songs on one tape, and unlike Guided by Voices
all the songs are complete and longish (except "History of Rock 'n'
Roll" and "Pulsing Pulsing").  Favorite song is "Tissue Tigers", no
question.  That might be my favorite XTC song from any album.  Least
favorite - probably "Countdown to Christmas Party Time" or "Blame the
Weather".  "Thanks For Christmas" is at least catchy.  "Countdown" is
boring.

Michael davies
miser17@epix.net

------------------------------

Message-Id: <l03130300b3f8e5e760df@[208.252.69.194]>
Date: Sun, 5 Sep 1999 23:56:58 -0400
From: MinerWerks <dminer@gte.net>
Subject: A pastiche of thoughts...

A couple stray ideas that I wanted to toss in the ring...

While I brought up my "Pink Thing" story, I forgot to mention that I picked
up a vinyl copy of "25 O'Clock" while in New Orleans as well.
Unfortunately, I found every record in the shop to be severely overpriced.
But, having never laid eyes on an actual copy of this in 12-inch form, I
felt compelled to spend the $30 they commanded. So, the question is, was I
gouged as badly as I suspect? The vinyl and sleeve are nearly spotless.
Color is very bright on the sleeve, not faded in the least. I played it,
and it sounded great on vinyl.

Strangely enough, I can now claim to own this piece on vinyl AND cassette,
after finding a tape of it in a used bin four or five years back. The box
that tape came in had a typed piece of paper glued inside reading "This is
actually XTC acting unusually psychedellic" with the catalog number
underneath. This led me to believe the cassette came from either a radio
station or it was a promotional issue... anyone have an idea?

* * * * *

Lately, I was musing on the old question of whether XTC should be popular
or remain a cult favorite... I knew I saw something on this, so I dug back
a few digests to #5-258.

Ralph Simpson DeMarco <sawpit@hotmail.com> was responding to a previous
digest.

>In Aug 24 Chalkhills "Zack 'Vegetable & Mineral' Rock" wrote:
><"Why the hell would anyone here want ANY song on AV1 to be a hit? Do <you
>know what that leads to?
><I don't know about the rest of you, but seeing just a tremendous <work of
>art such as AV1 side-by-side with living, singing proof that <western
>civilization is nose-diving straight into the deepest circle <of hell would
>break my heart. Let AV1 alone. It's not an album for <the retarded masses.
>
>Ahh yes the retarded masses who would contradict your claims if they liked
>AV1? Would that raise them in your eyes a bit, or lower the obviously
>inflated view you have of yourself? I am sick and tired of the bullshit
>elitist hyperbole I read on this site. You sound like an evangelical
>Christian talking about the decline of Western Civilization. Gimme a break!
>And only YOU know what music is, huh? You would think that the possible
>success of AV1 would raise your spirits, not destroy them! When I heard AV1
>at the listening station of Barnes and Noble, I was happy, nay ecstatic that
>our boys are getting some exposure. They even played them in the store!
>Horrors!

I got to thinking that, while I don't share the exact stance of Zack, I
probably have an opinion that Ralph would find equally elitist. As much as
I would like to think I'm a "non-judgmental" type, the general public's
ignorance of XTC usually leaves me with a nasty distaste for the general
public's taste. Deep down, I'm really wishing that the public was as
intelligent as I like to think I am. I just wanted to kind of challenge
some of you here to evaluate this and decide if, at least in part, this is
one of your motivations when you try to get a new person to like XTC or
wish that they sold more records...

* * * *

And lastly... a hearty welcome back to Harrison... how did I amuse myself
while he was gone?

= Derek =

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 19:29:13 +0200
Message-Id: <199909061729.TAA11412@serv1.ub.ntnu.no>
From: Knut Egil Maseide  <knut.maseide@ub.ntnu.no>
Subject: Cover cover ?

Good morning Chalkhills;

Delurking now for the first time, after years and years of ...
well, lurking through Chalkhills and environs.
(For those of you interested in personal XTC history, I've
 been a happy fan since the dawning of 'Drums and Wires'.
 It all started ...  <snip, snip>  ... the present joy of
 'Apple Venus, vol.1'.    With all the energy and activity
 bursting here since the release of AV1, it is surely true:
 The 'hills ARE alive with the sound of music.     ;^)

Browsing through a norwegian bookshop not long ago, a book caught
my attention, namely "The Jukebox Queen of Malta" by Nicholas Rinaldi.
The reason for my interest was the cover;  being an XTC fan, I could
not help noticing the striking(?) resemblance between the cover of
this book and the cover of AV1.  I won't go into any guessing about
whether it's a coincidence or not,  but they do have a lot in common;
both the motif and it's appearance  (glossy and structured).

Anyway, you can see it (but not touch it) here:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/uk-covers/0/59/304/420/0593044207.l.gif

Local trivia:  AV1 has been selling well here in Trondheim
(Norway*),  probably approx. one in a thousand here owns it.
(Now think world population ...    :)       Even the "Easter
theatre" single can be found in some shops, but I haven't seen
"I'd like that" yet.

* (I feel an urge to apologize for the use of XTC  <was it 'Dear
   God'?> in a clothing commercial on norwegian television.  It
   felt just as stupid/tasteless as the use of Mozart's Requiem
   in the Gillette commercial, or Mahler's 5th Symphony in some
   car commercial I saw here.)

Last, a little thought I have been thinking  (not the only one,
I am happy to say).  I find it interesting, as a possible "key"
to the song 'Fruit nut'  -   if it needs any more keys than the
one it is written in, that is.
As it is,  I have come to think that the text 'Fruit nut' is
Colin commenting on Andy's way of working, probably concen-
trating on these last years of struggle (personal and musical).
In my mind, this is Colin pulling Andy's leg in a friendly manner.

Is this interesting?   Decide for yourselves.

Ah well, that's this mail over.
Thanks for your time and brainspace.

Knut Egil

ps:  thanks to Mark Strijbos for those demos.

::::::::::::::::::
Knut Egil Maaseide
Trondheim - Norway
::::::::::::::::::

Lurk mode on.

------------------------------

Message-ID: <000201bef7b2$6a8b3560$2382b8d4@1und1/1015-852online>
From: "Ingolf Pencz" <1015-852@online.de>
Subject: Re: World Party
Date: Sun, 5 Sep 1999 13:43:33 +0200

Funny that you speak of World Party, Molly... I once liked them very much.
The album before BANG, called GOODBYE JUMBO is their best, IMO. Very
Beatle-esque, very good songwriting by Karl Wallinger (formerly keyboard
player with the waterboys).
I remember the BANG TOUR when my band opened up for World Party in
Hamburg/Germany. This was a really disappointing experience. The band was
very arrogant and hostile and didn't let us do a soundcheck or even build up
our drum kit in front of theirs. So we ended up playing a kind of "unplugged
set" using a  turned-around waste paper bin as a drum. The audience
appreciated it though...
An experience like that can spoil it all, I suppose, since then Wallingers
efforts did nothing for me anymore...
Ingolf
Hamburg/Germany.

>Subject: A recommendation
>From: Molly E Fanton <mollyfa@juno.com>
>
>I just heard this great non-XTC band, World Party.  The album is Bang!.
>I just find this album very melodic and just fun to listen to.  Karl
>Wallenger is another one of those artists that just get me going.  This
>album has been out for a while, but I just put it in my CD player and
>started listening.  I just love the songs: Giving It All Away and What Is
>Love All About?.  What do you guys and gals think of World Party?

------------------------------

Message-ID: <009e01bef8b2$23615100$1abfa0d0@meridith-s>
From: "squirrelgirl" <squirrelgirl@citrusonline.net>
Subject: Playing ketchup is hard to do
Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 17:52:37 -0400

Howdy 'Hillians!

Geez, I go away for a few days and come back to find the old inbox full of
new digests.  BTW, if any of you are near or planning to visit Las Vegas in
the remotely near future, you absolutely CAN NOT miss "O", the Cirque du
Soleil show, at the Bellagio.  The music (live!), costumes and choreography.
Wow.  Words can't describe the experience.

Anyway, there are many posts just begging for replies, so here goes:

>> What is the best XTC single that never was?...

Outside World

>> Which is the best XTC song to be more or less a hidden gem (ie: it doesn't
>> receive the plaudits of other songs around it on an album etc)?...

Scissor Man

>> What is the best lyric on AV1?...

Enter Easter and she's dressed in yellow yolk

>> The worst lyric on AV1?...

I'm not so sure of Santa or the buck-tooth fairy

>> When you first heard the album, what did you think should have been the
>> first single?...

I'd Like That

>> Which unreleased XTC song do you like best?...
Broomstick Rhythm or Nicely Nicely Jane

>> What are your 5 favourite XTC Songs (in no order)?

For today, that would be:
Omnibus,  Burning with Optimism's Flames, Punch and Judy, Greenman, Gold

In digest #255, Derek asked about our "takes" on Pink Thing.  I know Andy
swears it was meant doubly as an ode to his penis and a tribute to his son;
however, unless there is some genetic anomaly of which I am not aware, it
seems like the tears down in the singular "eye" would eliminate Harry as a
subject of the song.  Perhaps I am being too literal in my interpretation,
but I only hear the sexual connotations in this song (not that I mind; it
has always been one of my favorite "bawdy" tunes - my mom was visiting me
when O & L came out and I made her listen - she thought it was great).

Moving along to digest # 256, Mike thrashed Colin for his low volume of
output in the years prior to AV1.  Seems to me like Colin had other things
on his plate at the time.  His wife was seriously ill for a while and he
still had all his other day-to-day obligations.  Maybe Andy's main
emotional outpouring is his music, but possibly Colin had other things
demanding his energies during this time.  Personally I am grateful for the
offerings he has given and I can't wait to hear more.

Next up was Melissa Reaves' "Life Begins on the Hill", in digest #258.
Absolutely hilarious, Melissa.  Very clever.  But not *too* clever!  Ha,
ha.

Last but not least, in #261, John Fulton stated that "I Can't Own Her" was
XTC's only bad song.  I beg to differ; I always keep the remote handy so I
can skip "All Along the Watchtower".  I usually pass by "Somnambulist",
"Travels in Nihilon" and "That Wave", too.  Of these, I think only
"Watchtower" is really bad; the others just require the right mood to
listen whereas in general, listening to XTC puts me in a certain mood
(depending on which album/CD).

So there.

Squirrelgirl (and why, Mr. Strijbos, does the mind boggle?)

------------------------------

Message-Id: <v03007802b3f9f0f68948@[165.247.23.119]>
Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 17:42:00 -0500
From: Mitch Friedman <mitchf@mindspring.com>
Subject: News (of sorts) from Andy and Dave

Hi ho,

Just got off the phone with Andy and yes the album is coming along quite
nicely.  They are somewhere between one third and one half done with
it. The drummer they have used is named Chuck Szabo. He's an American and
was highly recommended by engineer/producer Nick Davis (who had worked with
him in the past).  Andy says that Chuck added lots of enthusiasm and energy
to the songs and is quite thrilled with the grooves he played. The drums
were recorded by a guy named Alan Douglas whose previous XTC claim to fame
is that he engineered "White Music"!  Andy described some interesting
recording techniques that were utilized for Colin's song "In Another Life"
involving miking and distorting the drum tracks and/or strumming of an
unplugged electric guitar. He's confident that this album will sound more
like The Monkees than XTC. Additionally, "Homespun" is set to come out in
England in about 5 weeks. Contrary to what some were led to believe, it
will only be a cd of the demos and not a double disc of the album and
demos. The same kind of release will take place with the AV2 demos sometime
after the album is out.  The "Greenman" video was scrapped half way through
due to TVT and XTC not being thrilled with the results and not wanting to
fund the rest of it. The director hired for the job had previously only
done tv commercial work and was not really ready for a music video project
so the results weren't up to snuff. Nonetheless, XTC still has to pay about
$20,000 for what was done but will never be seen. Oh well. And "Fuzzy
Warbles" (the demos cds project) is still being worked on in spare moments
of free time.

Dave is busy working on his latest covers projects and answering email
through his Guitargonauts site. He also has plans for two new home
projects, one being an album of covers of unsuccessful and underappreciated
songs by artists he likes from the 60s to the present. No word on the
contents but it may be called "Dave Gregory Sings For Toffee".

Mitch

------------------------------

From: "Kerry Chicoine" <KERRY-N-MARV@worldnet.att.net>
Subject: Re: XTC Online Questionnaire
Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 15:02:57 -0500
Message-ID: <01bef8a2$d070db00$a6cb480c@default>

Out of lurker mode to briefly comment:

> What is the best XTC single that never was?

So many! I'd say 'Earn Enough for Us' if, in fact, it never *has* been
released as a single. I can't be certain.

> Which is the best XTC song to be more or less a hidden gem (ie: it doesn't
> receive the plaudits of other songs around it on an album etc)?...

Mermaid Smiled.  Amazing lyrics, amazing music. Andy on acid.

> What is the best lyric on AV1?...

'And what a year, when the exams and crops all failed...'

> The worst lyric on AV1?...

'And when I say I can't own her I don't mean to buy her....'  Fantastic
song, though.

> Which unreleased XTC song do you like best?

Church of Women.  Absolutely incredible guitar solo! Playground is a close
second.

> What are your 5 favourite XTC Songs (in no order)?

Ladybird
Humble Daisy
Mermaid Smiled
That Wave
I Can't Own Her

Seven and seven is,

Kerry Kompost

http://www.mp3.com/artists/15/kompost.html
http://www.cdbaby.com/buy.kompost.htm

------------------------------

From: unna@worldmailer.com
Date: 7 Sep 1999 04:42:23 -0700
Message-ID: <19990907114223.9173.cpmta@c008.sfo.cp.net>
Subject: That Wave

Hello everyone,

        Until 9/5/99 I had only heard/owned O&L and AV1. On that date
I purchased Black Sea and Nonsuch. I've only perused Black Sea, but
Nonsuch has blown me away. That Wave is

                   {dawn/sunset(GOD)sunrise/dusk}

and THAT is supposed to represent everything beautiful with
heart-aching love and total completeness or perfection. Its tough for
me to find the words to describe an open-soul massage.

------------------------------

Message-Id: <v02140b00b3fb3376c549@[63.16.18.183]>
Date: Tue, 7 Sep 1999 16:31:14 -0500
From: gloop@ntr.net (Yazbek)
Subject: Yazbek's Last Gig (For Awhile)

Hi.  I'm working on this goddamn musical so I'm not going to do any shows
for awhile.  The oversized band and I will be playing at Knitting Factory
on Thursday the 16th of Sept. at 10 p.m.  We'd love the regular XTC-loving
mob to show up for this, our last show for at least five months. I'll also
be doing a few songs at a hopefully-not-idiotic songwriter circle at Baby
Jupiter on 9/14 at about 8p.m. These venues are in NYC.  Spoke to Partridge
last week, who is very up on the drumtracks for the next album.  This is a
good thing.  He seldom likes the drums.
Thanks,
Yazbek

------------------------------

Message-ID: <130CB597E04ED211B2A400104B93AAC47DF667@ESCORP1>
From: "Wiencek, Dan" <dwiencek@crateandbarrel.com>
Subject: RE: To Your Mother; + a modest proposal
Date: Tue, 7 Sep 1999 17:50:31 -0500

Duncan Kimball said (in several parts):

>  Zappa remastered all his stuff for CD - which has to be done anyway if
> you really care about how it sounds - and of course the purists threw
> their hands up in horror. So what? Frank reckoned he was never all that
> happy with the original mixes and masterings anyway.  Likewise for
> Lennon: I recall him saying in the 70s that he didn't like the quality
> (pre-CD obviously) of a lot of the Beatles stuff and would have liked to
> re-record some of the things like Pepper using better equipment.  (George
> Martin was a bit miffed of course.)

George Martin and others involved in the original Beatles reissues thought
it better to release the albums in their original mixes, or at least in a
mix approximating the original as closely as possible.  I for one am glad
he did this, because I think it's important to hear the albums the way the
Beatles' original audience heard them.  Why? Pop music may not turn out to
be the awesome force for historical change that Baby Boomer (and
post-Boomer) critics are making it out to be; nevertheless, the Beatles'
music is a small part of contemporary history, and when you consider how
the advances in their art forced the entire recording industry to advance
along with them, those original, limited productions take on added
interest.  The impurities and mistakes that got through make all the things
that went right even more amazing.

Oh, and John was wrong, by the way.  Fact is the artist is not always the
best judge of his/her work, and I think it's the nature of the artistic
temperament to always remain a little unsatisfied, to imagine you could
have got it right if you'd only had a little more time or money.  A very
perceptive person once observed: "A creative work is never finished, only
abandoned."  And keep in mind that John's last finished production was the
extremely tinny, shitty-sounding Double Fantasy, recorded on better
equipment than the Beatles ever had and sounding worse than anything they
did.

>  ... I found an interesting page on a Beatles site the other day all about
> why EMI
> squashed a proposed re-release of the mono mix of Sgt Peppers. It's a very
> interesting point, and really bears out my belief that the majors are
> trying to squeeze every last cent out the Fab Franchise.

<snip>

> According to this article, only about 10 hours was devoted to mxing Sgt
> Pepper for stereo, out of the 700-odd hours of recording and mixing on
> that
> album. <snip> Anyway - apparently EMI had the whole Pepper mono thing
> ready and sent out
> adverts and it was all going to come out in a nice limited edition box etc
> etc - and then they inexplicably pulled the plug and no-one will now talk
> about.

Maybe the Beatles themselves objected to the release--you never know.

> It really begs the question of what moneygrubbers EMI are. There is no
> reason why they could not have issued the mono mixes of the LPs on the
> same
> CD (or even on a 'bonus' CD). It's not as if they haven't made their money
> back ninety times over, and it's certainly not as if they need to be
> worried about whether it will sell!

I'm a little confused here.  How does the fact that EMI *didn't* release a
Beatles product indicative of what moneygrubbers they are?  Not that I want
to wear my ass out defending EMI, but when you consider what a bottomless
money well the Beatles represent, I think the company has shown remarkable
restraint.  They haven't reissued any of the cash-in Beatles compilations
of the 70s and 80s, like Rock and Roll Music or Love Songs (excepting only
the red and blue albums, for which there was actually some demand).  They
released the Past Masters compilations, ensuring that the public needn't
waste time and money collecting the (now out-of-print) CD singles (unless
you're a completist, since the CD singles tended to favor the original mono
mixes over the newer stereo ones).  And for those who consider the
Anthologies to be rip-offs ... well, I can think of enough rarities and
off-cuts they *didn't* release to fill another 2-disk set, so I think that
was pretty tastefully done, all things considered.

And most of all, EMI has always maintained they would never remix the
Beatles catalog precisely because they didn't want the fans to have to buy
the material again.  And you're saying that, by adhering to this policy,
EMI shows themselves for the moneygrubbers they are?  I don't get it.  I'd
love for them to issue remixes of the albums; they're welcome to my money.
In fact, let me share a fantasy I've harbored ...

I would love to see EMI issue an "Audiophile Collector's Edition" of all
the Beatles albums.  These wouldn't replace the existing versions; they'd
be available at a price reflective of the extra work that had gone into
them.  My dream is that Geoff Emerick (we'll let George Martin off the hook
since he's retired and doesn't hear so well anymore) prepares new, rich
stereo mixes of all the old material, from Please Please Me to Let It Be.
In doing so, he fixes a lot of mistakes from the old mixes: the guitar
drop-out in Day Tripper, the voice leakage on Yesterday, the muffed
double-tracking on Eleanor Rigby, and the bad vocal edit on Lucy in the
Sky, for starters.  He makes mixes so clear and beautiful that grown Beatle
fans are reduced to tears.  He then replicates all the original mono mixes
and sticks them with the stereo on one CD (or two as space permits), just
like the Pet Sounds reissue.  Casual Beatle fans wouldn't care enough to
bother buying them, and the fanatics (like me) would jump at the chance
without caring whether or not they were being exploited.

Fat chance of it ever happening, I know ...

Lastly:

> Which reminds me... speaking of marketing (where is the "Smile" box set,
> please, Capitol? How about the Japan and XTC boxes please Virgin?)

I thought the Smile box set was pretty much dead.  Brian seems to have no
interest in putting it out--in a recent documentary just broadcast here in
the US, he claimed the tapes were destroyed, despite the fact that pretty
much everyone knows they weren't.  (Brian himself has previously admitted
that most of the tapes still exist.)  From what I understand, he knows how
inflated Smile's reputation has become and is undoubtedly leery about
releasing a product that will inevitably disappoint a lot of people.
Personally, while the fragments I've heard are brilliant, I understand why
he couldn't finish it; it would've taken more than even Brian's genius to
corral all that material into a sensible whole.

As for the XTC box set: we don't need it yet.  What we need are reissues of
all the original pre-CD albums, remixed under Andy's supervision and with
the bonus tracks on the end where they %&*#ing belong.  Oh yeah, and with
extensive liner notes from Andy and Colin.  Yes, I'd like that ...

Happy to have ended w/ XTC content,

Dan,
eagerly awaiting the remixed YS.

------------------------------

Message-Id: <3.0.1.32.19990907162105.006da480@pop.calweb.com>
Date: Tue, 07 Sep 1999 16:21:05 -0700
From: Steven Reule <steven@obsessed-with-music.com>
Subject: Testimonial dinner poster

Hello and please excuse the ad but I think some fellow XTC fans may be
interested.

There is a XTC Testimonial Dinner tribute poster for sale on ebay for a few
more days.

Go to:
http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/music@obsessed-with-music.com/
and click on the item number

Thanks...

Steven
music@obsessed-with-music.com
http://www.obsessed-with-music.com
[note the AV1 cover on our home page!]

------------------------------

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