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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-53


          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 53

                 Tuesday, 5 January 1999

Today's Topics:

  Surreal Japanese transaltion of Take Away/Lure... cut?
   Brevity is the soul of wit? F*** that! Let's ramble.
                        PEPPERLAND
                 Transistor Blast Review
                         Limbaugh
               Japanese Releases?!? Cost?!?
      Apple Venus, Soundscan, Billboard Charts, etc
                     Boycott, not me
                    Apple Venus Vinyl?
                 XTC without Dave Gregory
                        Sad songs?
                  Japanese bonus tracks
                  Runaway Synchronicity
                      Release policy
                   Jesus wrote a book?
                   XTC Article in MNOTW

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

Message-ID: <3690DACF.658B@ibm.net>
Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999 07:14:23 -0800
From: "Dale \"Dale\" Gardner" <hifitoaster@ibm.net>
Subject: Surreal Japanese transaltion of Take Away/Lure... cut?

Howdy

Pardon me if this has been covered recently, but I'm just on board again
after a yearlong Chalkhills hiatus.

In Neville Farmer's Song Stories he mentions surreal Japanese
translations of "The Forgotten Language of Light" off of Take Away/Lure
of Salvage. Does anyone have a Japanese copy with the translations. If
so, could you post them (or email off list)? Thanks. Color me curious.

Sleep Cheap
Dale (hifitoaster@ibm.net)

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

Message-ID: <19990104064209.9596.qmail@hotmail.com>
From: "Duncan Kimball" <dunks58@hotmail.com>
Subject: Brevity is the soul of wit? F*** that! Let's ramble.
Date: Sun, 03 Jan 1999 22:42:07 PST

Hello Chook-heelers!

Back from a sweet but all-too-short holiday. We blew all our money. So
what? We managed to have a great time on beautiful Fraser Island, even
though my son got chicken-pox the day we got there. There I was, feet
up, lazing on the balcony of a holiday villa, sipping  a fine single
malt (Glenlivet for those who care), XTC pumping in the headphones,
devouring my newly-won copy of "Song Stories". A small piece of heaven
on a stick ...

... now I sit here, broke, ploughing through the accumulated digests
while President Kill is living through another Cuba with the B'stard of
Baghdad. "Hooray, we'll stack body bags...."

My, but how busy you've all been in my abscence! I've had to spend hours
catching up ! Talk about garrulous - I thought the folks on the Move
List could spin a yarn, but you lot are the most verbose, argumentative
crowd I come across yet. Excellent! (Who are those firebrands,
Smithers?)

Shall I be brief in my responses to the many issues which have arisen in
my abscence? Shall I, bollocks!

*CHALKHILLS MINI-CONVENTION (South-east Australian Chapter)

As alluded to by Iain himself, I was delighted to finally meet and greet
in person those estimable Chalkhillers Paul Culnane and Iain Murray. The
venue for our first meeting was indeed a tad grim, but we reconvened
chez Culnane some days later and had a great time. My ears are still
ringing. Geez, Paul, you like it LOUD, don't you? We raised a toast, and
spent pleasant hours yakking about anything and everything, and even
occasionally mentioning XTC. To be continued!

FAVES OF '98
**Costello and Bacharach - Painted From Memory.

At the very least, the best album of 1998. Certainly up there with the
best work EC has ever done, and quite probably the best singing of his
career. *Indisputably* the best work from Mr Bach-O-Rock in at least the
last 25 years. Like the legendary Pet Sounds, it conceals great
emotional power and lyrical depth behind an elegant pop facade.  (Could
be hard listening for anyone who is going through, or has recently gone
through, a breakup, though). I am still reeling back in gob-smacked awe
at the doom-laden magnificence of track 11: "What's Her Name Today?"
Just f***ing brilliant. The song Nick Cave has been trying to write all
his life ... as if he ever could. Plus, Elvis will be here in Sydney
with Steve Nieve next month ... woo-hoo!

**Genesis - Archives
Call me an old hippy (I know you will anyway) but this set is worth it,
if only for the legendary 1973 Rainbow live recording of "Supper's
Ready". I dare you to listen to that one and tell me Phil Collins can't
play.

**Brian Wilson - "Imagination"
OK it's not Pet Sounds II, but any Brian album is a good album.

**Regurgitator - "Unit"

Pure pop for now people. My highlight is "The Song Formerly Known As",
their fun-ky tribute to Prince. Hey I wonder if Mr Purple himself played
"1999" on New Year's Eve. Damn, I would like to have that royalty
cheque!

**The Stooges - "Raw Power" (IggyOs 98 remix)

Goddam! This must be the loudest record ever made. I LOVE it

**Neil Finn - Try Whistling This
Is there no end to this man's talent? And now his SON is playing? Do I
sense a dynasty forming. Beauty!

**Smashing Pumpkins - Adore
Billy turns it down a bit. For some reason, I'm reminded of Mummer. But
they still kick arrrrse. And it has Mike Garson on piano.

**Black Sorrows - Radio Waves:
I know it came out a while back, but I only got this a couple of weeks
ago so I'm putting it in anyway. A great momento of one of Australia's
best bands; three-CD, 36-track live set, which showcases

 A) what a superb singer / songwriter Joe Camilleri is, and

 B) what a consistently excellent live band the Sorrows were

... and anything with the celestial voices of Vika and Linda Bull on it
is worth having. Plus it has the talents of Our Blessed Lady of The
Backing Vocal, Venetta Fields. I can't recommend this group too highly
to anyone on the list who has not yet disovered them. Any and all of
their albums are worth getting.

TOO MANY TRACKS
Errr ... are you mental? Did I really see a complaint about having TOO
MANY XTC tracks?? I can only respond with a resounding "bollocks to
that". That's like me saying "Oh bother, there's far too much money in
this wallet". Get real - we are talking precious currency here. You want
LESS XTC?? Well, stop buying it then!

So what if it's not (in your opinion) all quite up to the stellar
standards of albums like Black Sea, or English Settlement, or [insert
preferred album here]? Compared to the audio gruel most people seem
happy to digest (if commercial radio and music TV here is any indicator)
I'll gobble up as much tasty and nutritious XTC as Andy and Colin can
ladle out, thank you very much!

(Anyone for another big steaming plateful of Spice Girls? ... anyone?)

COUNTDOWN AND MOLLY
I feel obliged to respond to Roger McDonald's rather uncharitable - and
inaccurate - remarks (5/23) about Countdown and Ian 'Molly' Meldrum.

(Sorry if this is a bit obscure for non-Aussies. Countdown was the major
force in Australian pop music in the 70s and 80s. Essentially our Top of
the Pops, it ran unchallenged from 1974 into the early 90s as the No.1
music show on Australian TV. Its talent coordinator (and later host) was
Ian "Molly" Meldrum, ex-pop journo and music producer,. Famous for his
rambling, incoherent on-air style, Molly was at his "best" with his
stupendously bumbling performance with special guest Prince Charles in a
famous 1988 broadcast. (The outtakes are legendary and were recently
shown on a New Years Eve show here - Molly repeatedly fluffing his
intro, saying F*** very loudly, and then dying of emabarrassment;
Charles quizzically asking the mortified Molly why he doesn't use an
autocue ...)

Roger - Molly has his failings, but I must spring to his defence and say
that he is and has always been a staunch champion of Australian music
(and the best of overseas music). If it wasnt for him, and his direct
involvement in getting Countdown on the air in 1974, the 70s/80s rock
and pop scene in Australia would have been a much smaller, sadder
affair.

OK so the Angels are a bit ordinary. I can live with that - but hey,
they're still going strong after 20 years, which is more than most bands
can boast. And what the hell is so bad about Cold Chisel anyway? OK the
reunion is a bit naff, and Barnesy ... well, the bloke just tries too
hard ... but IMHO they were a *great* band and Don Walkers songs are
unimpeachably brilliant. (Actually, they  regularly took pleasure in
bagging Molly, and famously lambasted him in their legendary (84?)
Countdown Awards performance, when they belted out a vituperative song
aimed at him, then trashed the set.

Radio Birdman? OK I agree they probably werent considered "Countdown
material", but they werent the only ones. It was a POP show after all,
and there used to be plenty of other outlets for that kind of stuff. I
think they had their moments, but feel personally that they were highly
overrated (and as I recall, even their uber-hero Iggy thought they were
crap).

Riptides, Gobies and others? Be fair - they had *good* exposure on
Countdown, mate. And lest we forget that Molly consistently championed
many bands like Split Enz, Sports, The Church and Models. As for MEO245?
Well ... zzz! For me, a merely adequate 80s haircut band, whom I had not
thought of in years ...very like Fisher Z, in fact.

And of course I MUST remind you (and get in the obligatory topic
reference) by mentioning that Countdown was, after all, the first
Australian TV show to play XTC videos.

'nuff said? Not quite - I conclude by declaring that Molly resides in my
personal Hall of Fame for having had the incomparable good taste to
punch out Billy Joel.

SONG STORIES
One aspect which disappointed/puzzled me was the
conspicuous-by-its-abscence non-comment and non-information about the
band's original management - which surely forms one of the major
thematic threads in Andys writing. OK I know there are legal issues here
... but what *is* this arrangement Neville Farmer speaks of? Sounds
pretty draconian. What else are they *not* allowed to discuss ... or do?

Could I be forgiven for speculating that one could expect to find a
sizeable index reference under the name "Reid, Ian"  in a possible
future book, which might perchance be the much-needed English version of
Fred Goodmans excellent "The Mansion on the Hill"? And might this
hypothetical book perhaps also examine the affairs of other prominent
British entertainment identities ... like Mike Jeffries, Peter Grant,
Don Arden, Tony Secunda, and that bloke from Immediate who nicked all
the Small Faces' money? (Not Oldham, the other one). Hell, I'd buy a
copy.

HOBBIES

Simon Deane/Gina Chong said:

>I get the feeling some members of this list are letting XTC take up
>too big a part of their lives. You really should go out more - find
>an interesting hobby or something.

Oh really? Well I'm with Harry on this one - I think a lot of us already
have a hobby that suits us just fine! What would you suggest as an
alternative? The Celine Dion Fan Club? Golf? (Now there's an
environmentally-friendly, socially-useful pastime)

MARK ISHAM

I can recommend his soundtrack for the excellent (and much underrated)
Fred Schepsi feature, "Mrs Soffel", and the film itself. I'm not a Mel
Gibson fan at all, but he's quite good in this one, and of course it
co-stars the luminous Diane Keaton. *sigh*. I recall it was unkindly
reviewed at the time; one particularly bitchy reviewer commented:
"Soffel rhymes with offal", which was both uncalled-for and innacurate,
since the name was pronounced 'so-fel'.

MOJO

Can't wait for the big XTC feature. I LOVE this magazine, and its sister
publication, Q, which are my monthly postcards from the real world
(well, London, anyway). But I am getting a wee bit bored with these "100
Greatest Whatever" lists, which seem a poor excuse for proper stories.
(Like, when are they going to do something - anything- about the
Australian rock scene?).

And the worst thing about those lists? You cant help picking them apart,
can you? I mean, how can anyone take seriously a 100 Greatest Singers
list which includes that tedious, second-rate hack Phony Bennett, yet
omits Barbra Streisand? A list which includes Aretha, Tina, Dionne,
Chaka and Gladys, but leaves out the phenomenal Patti LaBelle, arguably
the best singer of the lot?? A list which rates Placebo The Dingo with
Nick Cave?? Ridiculous. Bizarre. And I'm sorry, but Sinatra did, does
and will always just totally, completely SUCK ASS. Flame away, kiddies.
IMHO he bites - bigtime. Since when did he become cool. What? He did a
duet with BONO? Oh, that makes all the difference ...

"ART" AND ARTS FUNDING

Funk Genie (5-37), you were SO right-on with your comments. Succinctly
put and right on-the-mark. Why DO so many people have a problem with
government arts funding? At least it means *some* 'left-field' artists
get support for their work, instead of NONE, which is what would
otherwise happen. Oh, you dont like what they do? Well, dont go to the
exhibition.

I can assure you that here in Australia, many, many outstanding creative
artists would not be working creatively at all were it not for the
existence of our excellent (tho' much-criticised) federal and state
funding bodies. And people from more populous countries need to bear in
mind just HOW important these organisatons are for small countries like
Australia and New Zealand. We have a tiny population here, relative to
the US or the UK, so artists simply cant survive though the 'economy of
scale' (e.g. in the record industry) which enables cult artists to
survive in larger market. It's always been a cruel fact Aussie bands had
to go overseas to "make it", and some still sell more in places like
Sweden than here in OZ. Without gov't support, the Australian Arts Scene
could have its AGM in my lounge room.

And let's not overlook that most basic of all subsidies for the
struggling artist -  the good old Unemployment Benefit. I know for a
fact that there are a hell of a lot of Australian musos who would not
have made it in the business at all had they not been able to get
through the lean times by subsisting on the meagre (and I do mean
MEAGRE) support provided by the dole. And why the hell shouldn't they? I
for one am proud to see my tax dollars go towards unemployment benefits.

Which reminds me - why is it that the current gang of robber barons seem
to have totally neglected the concept of 'noblesse oblige', which their
predecessors like Carnegie and Rockerfeller at least saw fit to honour.
Take for instance Dicky Branson, who's made a tidy pile out of the
British music industry and XTC, thanks very much. Why isn't he using
some of his loverly money to create a music foundation, instead of
blowing it on vapid, self-serving jaunts around the world in a enlarged
model of his own head? Hey, I heard his latest balloon just crashed and
he had to be rescued from "Shark-Infested Waters" ... obviously not
infested enough! Seems to me the sharks could learn a thing or two about
predation from Mr Branson. Just look at those teeth!

And as for what is or is not 'Art' - I merely mention the motto by
Marshall McLuhan, who opined that: "Art is anything you can get away
with." (Just ask Damien Hirst).

AMPY PARTRIDGE
Simon Sleightholm - I am dead envious. Loved your delightful post (5-32)
about getting Andy's amp. As Michael Palin said ..."You lucky, lucky
bastard ..."

TERRY THE TUB-THUMPER
Total agreement with Mark Strijbos (5-32) about Terry - one of the truly
great original drummers of the rock era, extraordinarily talented, and
all the more so because he was basically self-taught.

THE TOWNHOUSE

Cool points from  Paul Culnane (5-32) about the PG/XTC interface . As I
recall, the Townhouse was the favoured manor at that time, thanks to its
acoustics, and habitues like Messrs Lilywhite, Launay and Padgham. I
think PG and XTC were recording/mixing at roughly the same time, hence
Squinty and others' presence on the 3rd PG album. Sounds like it was
also the last time anyone was able to tell Phil Collins what to do - I
recall hearing PG in a great Triple-J interview, talking about all the
amazing sounds on the album, and saying that he had a hell of a job
getting Phil to put away the cymbals. But it paid off.

BTW - the key sound on PG albums is the triangle. Trust me.

As for a PG cover by Trent Reznor ... as far as I can see, Mr Nine Inch
Nose has based his whole career on retreading ideas from PG3 ... so why
bother doing a cover? Face it - Reznor and Manson could only make it in
America, 'cos it's the only place where people don't realise that the
music is yesterday's gear ... and Yanks are the only people who could
possibly be shocked by their vaudeville antics.

MUMMER

Re: Michael Davies' question about Mummer ... at the time, I saw it as a
perfectly logical extension of English Settlement, mining the pastoral
seam they had opened up. (And I love Jim Slade's description of ES and
Mummer as being "wooden" albums - perfectly put). At that stage, no-one
realised they would NEVER play live again, so it seemed a normal
off-road excursion to me. I loved the album at the time, especially
'Elements' and 'Farmboy', tho' I must admit that my stylus tended to
linger on Side 1 more often. In retrospect I also feel that they (Andy
especially) saved some of the best material for the b-sides ... here I'm
thinking of "Gold", "Extrovert" and especially my fave from that period,
"Jump". If they could afford to relegate stuff of that quality to the
b-side or the 12", what ELSE does Andy have lurking in the shed? Zounds!

LYLE LOVETT
Off topic perhaps, but Jill Oleson got my interest with her mention
(5-33) of Lyle Lovett's new LP. Jill, am I correct in assuming that he
includes a Roky Erikson cover on this outing, as indicated by the choice
of title? "Step Inside This House" is of course a famous Roky/13th Floor
Elevators track, (which I think Elevators actually used to sing as "Trip
Inside This House" - they weren't kidding either).

It was superbly covered by Primal Scream on "Screamadelica", and the
excellent Roky tribute CD "Where The Pyramid Meets The Eye" (Warners
1991), which also features ZZ Top, Julian Cope, Jesus & Mary Chain, John
Wesley Harding and of course, Many More. Highlight for me is the truly
barnstorming version of the Elevators' garage classic "You're Gonna Miss
Me", by the great Doug Sahm. It ROCKS. Go and get it.

REMIXES

Didn't Andy already do the remix thing with Go+ and Takeaway ... and
apparently got it out of his system? And what the hell is so good about
what they do? Am I just getting old? Maybe ... but remixes are sad,
boring, parasitic wastes of good vinyl done by people who lack even a
shred of original talent.

Cornershop release the marvellous "Brimful of Asha" and it gets to No
65. Norman Cook pastes a boring disco beat onto it and it goes to No.1.
Go figure. I heard the other day that, on the strength of his inane
remix of "Professional Widow", by boring Kate Bush clone Tori Amos -
which used only two lines from the song - the guy who did it now charges
$30,000 per remix. And people pay for it?! Talk about Money for
Nothing!!

Personally, I think I've only ever heard one remix of a song which
actually improved the original, and that was Aussie muso Richard
Pleasance's remix of his own song "The Best Thing". Originally an
cod-anthemic, fast-paced 80s rocker by his band, Boom Crash Opera, he
remixed into a shimmering and supremely groovy 7-minute psyche-trance
epic for their 'odds & sods' CD "Look, Listen". Highly recommended. But
from what I've heard of the current style in so-called remixes, I'll
stick with Mr Partidge, thanks very much.

PHIL AND FRIENDS

ENOUGH already with these futile and meaningless debates about the
relative merits of Messrs  Prince, P., Mastellotto and Phipps. (hey -
did anyone else notice that all their first names start with the letter
"P"? Is this a clue?)

Can we confine these debates to inter-personal emails from now on
please. And after all, didnt these guys ALL play with XTC? Erm ... could
that not be taken as a fair indication that they are, at the very least,
rather good players?

TAXATION, etc

Excuse me, but, until this list merges with alt.libertarianism, may I
humbly suggest using a more appropriate venue for airing personal
politics. I'm here to communicate talk about XTC and related matters,
not listen to political rants. (See above for evidence of author's
breathtaking hypocrisy)

MUSICO-MARITAL INCOMPATIBILTY SYNDROME

Phil, Nanette - sorry but it sounds like it's time to call the lawyers.
I have a friend who LOVES Neil Young; his wife HATES Neil Young. He
can't even listen to it in the house when she's there. That's not a
marriage - that's "cruel and unusual punishment".

Seriously though, my wife and I both agree that neither of us could
possibly imagine marrying someone who didn't share the same music
tastes. It's one of the deepest and strongest bonds we have. It would
just be hell not to be able to share that. Why put yourself through it?
OK maybe for the hot sex ... but I just cannot deal with the idea of NOT
being able to listen to my music, whenever I want to. Isn't it written
into the Universal Delaration of Human Rights that youOre entitled to do
that?

GRASS-SHOW
Martin - I hereby declare that Grass-Show, with the title of their album
"Something Smells Good in Stinkville", are winners of my personal oscar
for the "Most Obscure Saturday Night Live Reference in an album title
for 1998"

.... God, has it really come to this ...?

JEFFERSON STARSHIP

Don't wanna diss Prairie Prince, whose work I admire, but is this band
about thirty years past its use-by date or what?

OK - come and get me. I'm waiting for you and I have both barrels loaded
...

Dunks

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

From: Matt_Kaden/CAM/Lotus@lotus.com
Message-ID: <852566EF.00694096.00@mta2.lotus.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 14:01:30 -0500
Subject: PEPPERLAND

There has been a new release called PEPPERLAND from Silent Sea
Productions. It's a 2CD set and if you find it = BUY it. It takes
Sgt. Pepper and stands it on its head. It consists of every Pepper era
rarity known to exist, including alternate takes, alternate mixes, demos but
most importantly: The first time BBC played the album on the air with
comedian Kenny Everett as DJ with special crazed guests Lennon &
McCartney. The entire mono mix is also included which incidentally sounds
worlds better than the album we got to know so well. This is it. The secrets
have been unleashed. I felt like I was crawling through all the tracks of
the Pepper masters. It blew me away, and at a time when I thought I had all
worthy Beatlegs. Good luck finding it.

Love,
Matt

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

Message-ID: <2043F72A2C73D2119D5B0008C74CA17B1DF301@azmail.rjconsult.com>
From: "Miller, Ed" <emiller@rjconsult.com>
Subject: Transistor Blast Review
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 12:24:29 -0600

Hi, everyone....

Here's a review that appeared in a recent issue of Westword.  The
Westword is a weekly newspaper akin to the Village Voice, Dallas
Observer, and other liberal weeklies whose names I no longer recall.

XTC
Transistor Blast: The Best of the BBC Sessions
(TVT)
Andy Partridge, XTC's main man, is renowned for his dislike of live
performances -- an opinion that, rightly or wrongly, has been
interpreted as stage fright. But the two gigs commemorated by Transistor
show that the only thing scary about XTC on stage during its early days
was how impressive the band sounded. Add two more discs of BBC studio
recordings and you've got a first-rate look at one of pop's most
underrated acts.

All for now....

Ed

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

Message-Id: <3.0.1.16.19990104143758.293fa568@pop.mindspring.com>
Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999 14:37:58
From: marystephens <markdrake@mindspring.com>
Subject: Limbaugh

Howdy Chalktalkers from the Biblebelly! -

Not much to say but I just had a panic attack in my cube.

I'm sittin' here catching up on my vacation e-mail (Reading vol 5-50 as a
matter of fact), listening to Tony Snow filling in for Rush Limbaugh, and
coming in off of the 2:25 e.t. break I hear "Generals and Majors" being
played as bumper music.

Did anybody else hear it? Does anyone care? I just thought it neat that
anywhere from 500,000 to 1,000,000 people could have heard a small snippet
of OUR favorite mistrals.

That's all 4 now.

Mark D.

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

Message-Id: <03B5A36911F1900C*/c=US/admd=mci/prmd=marshmc/o=email/ou=NotesWREN/s=Moll/g=Christopher/@MHS>
Date: 04 Jan 1999 20:05:45 Z
From: Christopher Moll <Christopher.Moll@marshmc.com>
Subject: Japanese Releases?!? Cost?!?

"Will someone please explain to me why so many Japanese CD's have bonus
tracks not available anywhere else??!!  It simply doesn't cost any more to
press a CD with ten songs or twelve songs."

For some strange reason...foreign imports into Japan actually cost less then
their domestic counterparts.  The Japanese music markets due two things to
try to combat this:

1) If you look somewhere on the back of most Japanese releases there are two
dated numbers. The first is the general release date when the CD can be sold
for it's CD release price...the second is to when it can be sold at it's
discount rate. The Japanese music market...as much as it can...tries to
control release dates so that the Japanese consumer is forced to buy the
higher priced, original, domestic Japanese release while staying away from
it's cheaper, imported, foreign counterpart.  Most times they will try to
time it that the imports will be available around the time of the second
discounted date listed. That way the Japanese consumer wouldn't have that
much of an incentive to buy the import.

2) To entice the Japanese consumer into buying the Japanese releases they
will package them with additional tracks and or upgraded packaging.

Now you know.

chris23

Fave release of 98':

Artist:	Cornelius
Title:	Fantasma
Label:	Matador/Trattoria

No other artist this year has released an album so forward thinking in it's
production and so all encompassing in it's love for different music genre's
as this release. We can say that a release is "Beatlesque" but we forget
that the Beatles were of their time and also well ahead of it. "Fantasma" is
such a release...containing elements of the Beatles, Beach Boys, My Bloody
Valentine, Burt Bacharach, Drum-n-Bass, Jungle, Saturday Morning Cartoon
Elements, and plenty of "cool" Planet of the Apes references. A must for any
open-minded XTC fans into "headphone" music.

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

Message-ID: <36911FCC.EC5807B4@billnelson.com>
Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999 14:08:44 -0600
From: Mark Rushton <webmaster@billnelson.com>
Subject: Apple Venus, Soundscan, Billboard Charts, etc

In Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 52, Phil Corless asked some
questions concerning the purchasing of Apple Venus and how sales of the
album through online retailers affect the charts via SoundScan.

Most major online CD retailers use the SoundScan system.  This includes
CDNow and Amazon.com.  I've confirmed this information in past emails
with company officials.  So if you buy Apple Venus through CDNow or
Amazon.com, it will be counted towards the SoundScan total and,
subsequently, the Billboard charts.

Direct record company sales are not counted towards SoundScan or the
Billboard charts unless the record company participates in the SoundScan
program.  I'm not aware of any record companies doing direct mail order
that participate in SoundScan.

Another thing I've learned, again this directly from the Billboard
people, is that it takes about 5000 to 7000 unit sales on a weekly basis
to crack the Billboard Top 200 album chart.  This varies depending on
the week, time of the year, etc

I found all this out at the time of the last Bill Nelson CD release,
Atom Shop, in October 1998.  Unfortunately, Bill's album didn't chart in
the US.  Maybe next time....

As XTC's fan base is still reasonably large in the US, quite frankly due
to Chalkhills and the web, Apple Venus will surely chart.  Perhaps it
would be fun to guess where it will enter, peak, etc?

Mark Rushton,
Permanent Flame - The Bill Nelson/Be Bop Deluxe/Channel Light Vessel web
site - http://www.billnelson.com

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

Message-Id: <199901042025.MAA09156@law-f67.hotmail.com>
From: "Molly Fanton" <mollyfa@hotmail.com>
Subject: Boycott, not me
Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999 12:25:43 PST

Chalkers,
JD Mack wrote:
<<I hereby vow that if this is true, I will NOT by the TVT release
of "Apple Venus."  And I suspect many others will boycott the U.S.
release if they can get their hands on the Japanese import.  The
question that needs to be asked is: what percentage of the people who
would by "Apple Venus" in the U.S. are subscribers to this list (i.e. -
die hard fans who care about these things).  If we only make up, say, 1
% of all the people who will buy this album, then I
guess it doesn't matter.  But if we make up the majority of purchasers,
the TVT would be making a colossal economic mistake not to release
"Apple Venus" with bonus tracks as well (or at least make them available
as a separate CD
single).
Am I way off base here?>>

Yes, I think you are.  I hate boycotting things.  How is XTC going to
get the sales if we boycott the album?  Why should we punish the band
becaues of the record company.  I'm going to buy the album the first
time it's released, which is when?
I say go buy the album, and not punish the band.  That's all for now.

Molly
http://www.angelfire.com/mo/mollyfa/index.html

P.S. By the way, I got a new guestbook, because some stupid person
screwed up my guestbook, and typed in XTC Sucks.  Then I couldn't open
up my guestbook.  So I had to get a new one.  So if you want to sign it
go to http://www.angelfire.com/mo/mollyfa/guestbook.html.  Thanks.

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

Message-Id: <199901042221.XAA07795@mb06.swip.net>
Subject: Apple Venus Vinyl?
Date: Tue, 5 Jan 99 00:26:09 +0200
From: Per Aronsson <per@aron.pp.se>

Since CD:s sounds so bad, I really hope that Apple Venus will be released on
vinyl. Is there anyone out there that have any information from the record
company?

The LP-market is growing. Many people are discovering that their old
turntables sound better than their new cd-playesr. So I think it should be a
good thing for XTC to produce a bunch of  LP:s. I think a lot of people that
otherwise wouldn't buy XTC, should do that. I judge by my own experience.
Since not all artists is available on vinyl, I tend to give those who are a
bigger ear.

So what do do? Well, I hope that those who talks to Andy and Colin reminds
them that the LP is alive and well...

Per Aronsson.

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

From: Adamette1@aol.com
Message-ID: <e5bdf906.36916481@aol.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 20:01:53 EST
Subject: XTC without Dave Gregory

I have to agree with those who have indiacted that Dave Gregory's influence
in the band is irreplaceable.  Lyrical and musical authorship are only two
of the reasons that I love XTC.  Another (of many) is their
musicianship. The pages of "Song Stories" reminded me of just how important
Dave's influence on the musicianship was.  Throughout the whole book there
are accounts of how Dave enthusiastically approached improving his
contiribution to the songs musically.  It seems clear to me that his
influence will be sorely missed.

Patrick

Go Go2

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

Message-Id: <v01540b01b2b715126a1a@[139.80.100.165]>
Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 14:37:30 +1300
From: james.dignan@stonebow.otago.ac.nz (James Dignan)
Subject: Sad songs?

Rob Crawford gleefully stateds that several threads have died, then
inadvertently starts another... (re SF Sorrow)

>It's worth buying for the saddest song of all time"Lonelist Man in the World"

 if it's sadder that "Puff the magic dragon", I'll be very surprised!
Seriously, that's the saddest song I know (and I don't think I want to hear
one that's sadder...)

James

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

From: GFROBE@aol.com
Message-ID: <b573001b.369171f7@aol.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 20:59:19 EST
Subject: Japanese bonus tracks

To JD Mack who asked why Japanese CDs have bonus tracks, U.S. record
companies typically give their Japanese affiliates extra cuts for a number
of reasons.  Believe it or not, in Japan imports are actually cheaper than
domestic releases.  Additionally, Japanese production times are much longer
than U.S.  and by the time parts are ready it's usually too late for Japan
to make a simultaneous release date with the U.S.  Bonus cuts thus give the
local Japanese company a way to persuade both retail stores and consumers to
wait for their often late and more expensive release rather than simply
order from America.

Hope that makes you feel better.

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

From: nedrise@MNSi.Net
Message-ID: <3690DB58.369D7F14@mnsi.net>
Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999 11:17:19 -0400
Subject: Runaway Synchronicity

Hey Chalkhill-ites

Just as I finished perusing Chalkhills 5-52, low and behold what comes
on the radio but  'Runaways' from Transistor Blast.  The station was
WDET(Detroit Public Radio) and the cool, cool DJ was Ralph Valdez.

Must be a good omen!

- this will be a big year for XTC

Oh yes, oh yes.

Michael Stone
Windsor, Ontario

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

From: Holger.Loeschner@mkjff.rlp.de
Message-ID: <048208B9F651D21192EA0000F877AAD604CCF3@ns3.mbk.rpl>
Subject: Release policy
Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 10:13:33 +0100

> Will someone please explain to me why so many Japanese CD's have bonus
> tracks not available anywhere else??!!  It simply doesn't cost any more to
> press a CD with ten songs or twelve songs!

	That's what J.D. wrote in # 5/52. There is no reason for that,
absolutely not. Is it only a question that depends on the Japanese market? I
don't know, but it has always been that way and I think it will always be
that the Japanese handle a CD with more care. Their range of CD, their back
catalogue is much wider than in Europe. Lots of records are available which
you'll never find here or maybe only in few years. A booklet with lyrics,
band history a.o. seems to be obligatory in Japan. This has been formerly
the same with vinyl records which included also OBI & lyric sheets. When you
compare the US-only Waxworks-CD with the Japanes Beeswax, or the paltry UK
Rag'n'Bone with the Japanese edition. That one includes a thick booklet. It
is not only a problem with XTC records, it is customary that the companies
treat their product with unkindness. For the 25th anniversary of Queen
remastered versions of their records had been reissued: standard jewel cases
in Europe but miniature FOC in Japan - WHY? Perhaps our Japanese friends can
give us answers to this question. Booklets and lyric sheets maybe more
useful in Japan because of the total different language. Maybe it's a
question of the budget including covers, cases and booklets - but that
doesn't justify the omission of bonus tracks. The only reason I can make out
is that the companies want to make more money: fans want to have everything,
so they buy also the xpensive Japanese pressings because they have bonus
tracks. Isn't it?
	Holger

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

Message-ID: <01BE3901.FECF46A0@h22.s253.ts32.hinet.net>
From: Don Rogalski <tonikuo@ms10.hinet.net>
Subject: Jesus wrote a book?
Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 23:20:27 +0800

Pedant alert! (I speak of myself, for making this post)

>From: "Duncan Kimball" <dunks58@hotmail.com>
>Subject: Lennon & Jesus

>I'm back, and may yet have reason to regret it.

Indeed you do, especially when addressing such an astute
crowd as this one.  I speak light-heartedly, but in the
interest of preserving the high standards of satirical
and humourous expression on this list, I put on my
pedant's cap and point my finger at:

>**Twelve reasons why John Lennon has nothing in common with Jesus**

>8. They both wrote two books, but John's are shorter AND funnier

Yikes.  That's a pretty embarrassing blooper, wouldn't you say?  Pretty much
robs the material of it's humour factor, sort of like saying that Beethoven
was a great French general.

Jay-zus... didn't any of you go to church as kids?  Hell, I haven't set foot
in one since I was sixteen, and am happily agnostic... but is this the great
promise of our secularizing society, that the most fundamental basis (for
better or worse, naturally) upon which stand 2000 years of Western
history, Christianity, is mis-read, misunderstood, and little studied?

To further endear myself, I'll set down a few tidbits about the
New Testament, as are known.

It's figured that the authors are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John,
although inconsistencies and questions will always remain.  It's
figured (you need this phrase a lot in this area) that most of the
books were written between 40 and 90 AD, and the earliest piece
of parchment in anyone's possession is dated about 125 AD, which
places them, erm... after the death of Christ.  Now, Christians
believe he was resurrected, and hey, if you buy that, then maybe
you WOULD find it plausible that the "messiah" wrote the books
of the New Testament.  After all, his earthly duties were finished, so
he must have had a lot of free time on his hands to write the 24,000
pieces of papyrus and parchment upon which were written, in Greek,
all or parts of the New Testament.

>9. Jesus' comeback promises to be much better than "Double Fantasy"

No erudital nit-picking here, just full agreement on my part.  Maybe after
all the TV preachers and their legions get taken up to meet Jesus in the air
the world will be a more congenial place to live.

>12. Errrm ... John Lennon was a real person

Ha ha.  "Real", meaning what?  Real loony, in Lennon's case.
However, going beyond the intended off-handedness of your
remark, there surely can't be any doubt in anyone's mind of
the authenticity of Jesus of Nazareth's existence, as 24,000
manuscripts written over a period of about 225 years amply
proves it.  You don't get any better documentation of historical
figures than that, bar none.  Even Homer's Illiad has only
about 600 surviving copies, the earliest 500 years after the
time of writing.

On an XTC note:

Predictions are terrible things.  They make me sad.  That's probably
the main reason I've never liked Living Through Another Cuba,
along with it's cloying repetition of the title line.

After all, it's 1999 now, isn't it?

Cheers,

Don Rogalski

[Attachment omitted, unknown MIME type or encoding (application/ms-tnef)]

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

From: "Neil Oliver" <lizneil@netcom.ca>
Subject: XTC Article in MNOTW
Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 07:56:32 -0800
Message-ID: <000001be38c3$f93179e0$9f49b5cf@default>

From today's "Music News of the World" (in the online magazine Addicted to
Noise):

XTC End Silence With New Label Deal And Box Set
Transistor Blast is the group's first album since 1992's Nonsuch.

Correspondent Jeff Niesel reports:

Plenty of rock bands have had disputes with their record labels. Few have
ever gone on strike.

That's what singer/guitarist Andy Partridge and singer/bassist Colin
Moulding of British pop band XTC did when their U.K. label, Virgin Records,
wouldn't release them from their contract.

"[Virgin] wouldn't make our deal any better and they wouldn't let us go,"
Partridge said during his and Moulding's recent New York visit. "They just
snickered and then kept ringing us up every month to ask us when we were
going into the studio. The only way to get out of the deal was to withhold
our labor. With the help of a bully of a lawyer, we managed to get out of
[the contract]."

XTC, which had been with Virgin UK since 1977, haven't released any new
material since 1992's Nonsuch. The drought will end soon -- XTC plan to
release two albums in 1999 on TVT Records: Apple Venus, Vol. 1, due in
February, is in the same orchestral pop vein as Nonsuch. In the fall, XTC
will ditch the orchestrations for an album of what Partridge called
"cranked-up noise."

The band signed with TVT in the summer, and TVT released a live XTC box set,
Transistor Blast, on Dec. 8. Three of the box's four discs feature
performances recorded for the BBC in 1977 and 1989; the fourth captures a
1980 performance at London's Hammersmith Palais.

XTC's dispute with Virgin is documented in Neville Farmer's book, "XTC: Song
Stories" (1998). "Andy is by no means a good businessman and his
stubbornness had much to do with their problems," Farmer, a contributing
writer to Billboard, wrote in a recent e-mail. "He doesn't understand why a
label, with all its staff and overheads and investment costs, should get
more than its artists."

Farmer also said the band's refusal to tour created a hostile relationship
with Virgin. The band stopped touring in 1992 because of Partridge's stage
fright.

Partridge said he has found no cure for his stage fright and the group has
no plans to resume touring. "We make records and people really need to wake
up to that. Get over it," he said. "When people stop asking us, maybe we'll
tour."

Partridge also said artists shouldn't have to tour just to validate their
records.

"It's like the record industry thinks you're not real unless you tour," he
said. "The industry-approved hamster has to be on his wheel a certain amount
of the day, and then he has to make his nest in the sawdust at a certain
time of the day. They won't just let him do something else. If he's not on
the wheel, they think he can't be a hamster. We're hamsters, too. Just
because we don't want to get on the wheel doesn't mean that we're less of a
hamster. We don't make great concerts, anyway. I got that out of my system
in my late 20s."

The live music compiled on Transistor Blast represents "songs we did from
'77 to '89 and it was the best of the stuff they didn't erase," Partridge
said. "They're not too different from the record[s], although they're played
with a bit more fire."

XTC were formed in 1977 in Swindon, an industrial town in Northern England.
They grew out of the Helium Kidz, a band for which Partridge was the
principal songwriter. The group emerged during the punk revolution but
played quirky pop, bridging the gap between punk and pop. "We were one of
the stools in the great bowel movement that was punk," Partridge said.

It remained prolific through the '80s. XTC's six studio albums in the '80s
spawned such singles as "Senses Working Overtime" from English Settlement
(1982), "Dear God" (RealAudio excerpt) from Skylarking (1986) and "The Mayor
of Simpleton" from Oranges and Lemons (1989).

As for the upcoming Apple Venus, Farmer said it's "quite wonderful. Although
Andy was worried that everything he'd written was either depressing or
downbeat and that Colin's two songs were jolly, I find that Andy's songs run
the gamut of emotions. 'I'd Like That' is whimsical but happy. 'Harvest
Festival,' with its images of a school assembly, chairs shuffling, recorders
playing, just takes me straight back to my childhood. 'Green Man' is lush
and rich and overwhelming."

Partridge, for his part, said he couldn't care less what fans might think of
the new records.

"I'm not interested in winning back old fans," he said. "I don't care if the
devil is stoking their asses in hell. I'm just interested in making music. I
suppose I'll panic if nobody buys it. But if people like it, they like it.
I'm not going to ram it down anybody's throat."

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

End of Chalkhills Digest #5-53
******************************

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