Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #8-25

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 8, Number 25

                  Monday, 22 April 2002


                        Sweet F A
              Fuzzy Warbles - Less *is* More
                 Those @#$# hidden tracks
                 wilco/XTC completishmess
                     Demos/ WS "eye"
             More than a pocket full of lint
              White Horse of Uffington Photo
                         XTC in Q
               Unfortunate mis-spelling....
                 An odd bit of Nitpickery
                     Fuzzy Questions
     Re: Come out of the cupboards, ya boys and girls


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See the peaches in tins 'neath the headmaster's chair.


Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 05:15:47 EDT
Subject: Sweet F A
Message-ID: <>

Dianne wrote:-
"First off, I have more hidden tracks for Jay: the
Super Furry Animals have hidden tracks at the
beginning of the disc on the albums entitled Guerilla
and Out Spaced. I feel compelled to add that I really
like this band a LOT. Every disc they've done is good
(and I feel that way about very few bands). They are
beginning a US tour later this month, so I beseech you
all to go see them and buy CDs. They don't come to the
US very often, so now's your chance."

Thanks very much for the guidance, Di. I'll just have to go thru my complete
cd collection to see if there are any other hidden gems! Hope everyone takes
your advice and gets out to see the Welsh Wizards when they pass thru'. I'm a
recent convert via 'Juxtaposed ' , on to the album 'Rings Around The World'
and slowly back thru the catalogue. People out there in Chalkhillville, catch
a piece of this band while you wait for something NEW from our boys! You
won't regret it!

As for Coat, it has to be seen purely as a historical artifact - place it
alongside your copy of Song Stories and Eleven Different Animals (do many
people have this?) to complete the story of the Virgin years. Now that all
the stuff is out of the closet, let's Warble our Fuzzies and then get on to
new stuff. I look on it as Colin and Andys' car boot sale - get rid of all
this stuff and there's more room for newer, more useful stuff! Gosh, I make
it sound as if it's a load of old dross! Nothing could be further from my
heart, peaches. I love it to death! The box, the book, the words, the
piccies, the colour, the sound of trucks struggling up the hill, the tracks
hidden at the back of the cupboard, all too much for one poor lad to stuff
whole into his mouth, bite-sized chunks required. Oh, and the gold
signatures, nice touch!

I hear Andys'  interested in going to the Chalkhills second Oxford
get-together, anybody know any different?

Many thanks to The Lovely Lady Brown for the use of the word 'peaches'! Tee

Peace and love



Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 12:20:02 +0200
Subject: Fuzzy Warbles - Less *is* More
Message-ID: <>


Neil Oliver <> is probably going to get a whole lot
of flak over this:

> After listening with a certain degree of boredom to
> Coat of Many Cupboards, I've pretty much concluded that
> I've heard the songs from the albums, in whatever version,
> more than enough times. Hearing demos isn't really that
> interesting to me unless they are really different from
> the finished product, which often isn't the case with
> XTC (especially in later years). I'd rather have a 2-3 CD
> collection of the best songs that are otherwise unavailable,
> than an 8 CD collection of every demo Andy and Colin have
> ever recorded. Does anyone agree with me, or do you
> feel that you have to hear every last thing?

But my dear Neil, I agree with every single word! Except maybe the use of
the word 'product' for an XTC song...;-)

Since Wasp Star, which was the very first XTC album to make me sigh with
disappointment (and yes, I've heard Go2), I just want to hear as many new
XTC songs as possible, if only to wash away that (IMHO) stain on their
excellent track record. Alas, all I get is remastered and recycled stuff,
what with Apple Venus Instrumental and all. To me, those cows are milked.

Don't get me wrong: Andy and Colin can put out those albums if they want to
(most Chalkers certainly seem to want them to) but they don't quench my
thirst at all. So I'm not buying Coat (I'm shocked to read this myself) and
if Fuzzy Warbles is anything like it I won't buy that as well. (I can't
believe I'm writing this. Me, who would not trade his 3" CD single of
Senses Working Overtime for anything in the world, even though every single
track is featured on other discs!)

I know Andy and Colin are out to finally make a buck or two, but I've given
Homegrown & Homespun ONE listen. The only thing preventing them from
gathering dust on my shelf, is the excellence of their liner notes.
Speaking of which ***Harrison Sherwood please stop reading here if you've
already taken your daily dose of praise*** I'm really, really, bugged now
that I'll be missing Harrisons essay.

Anyway, maybe some soul will get me a Coat for Christmas.


Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 08:20:42 EDT
Subject: COMC
Message-ID: <>

Some random thoughts.

With the exception of "This Is Pop" and "Sgt. Rock," none of the previously
released studio trackson COMC were singles.  I can understand the inclusion
of "This Is Pop," since it is different from the album version, but what
about "Sgt. Rock?"  It already appears on "Fossil Fuel" and "Black Sea."
Andy absolutely hates it.  Virgin insisted that it be included.  Why?  Did
Virgin insist on any other titles?  I can only conclude that someone at
Virgin pulled this power play as a vindictive measure against Mr. Partridge.
Otherwise, it makes no sense.

Disc One is only 45 minutes?  Not that I don't feel like I've gotten a good
bang for my buck, but there are so many more unreleased studio tracks.  Lack
of space cannot be the excuse for their exclusion.  Now that XTC's
relationship with Virgin is at an end, does this mean we will never see the
release of "Refrigeration Blues," "Sargasso Bar," "Young Cleopatra," Saturn
Boy," I Overheard," "Cheap Perfume," and many others residing in the Virgin
vaults?  I have this feeling that sales of COMC won't be sufficient for
Virgin to consider releasing a sequel, and the tracks are no longer
accessible to the band to do it themselves.

In regards to a previous post about "Fuzzy Warbles" - I have to admit that I
too, at this point, am more interested in demos of songs never recorded and
demos substantially different from the finished versions.  Maybe FW could be
two box sets - one of album track demos and one of never recorded demos.  It
would make ME happy, and that's what it's all about, right? ; )

J. D.


Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 09:48:59 -0400
Subject: Those @#$# hidden tracks
Message-ID: <>

>>I hate hidden tracks that you can't access on everything. It's
annoying. Why not just put them on uncredited at the end? Why must I look
for a CD player that doesn't conform to Red Book specs to play it?<<

I agree wholeheartedly; Gimmicky, cutesy, and a major PITA! Put these songs
where we can readily access them. And they wonder why we all scamper so
readily to Napster et al.

What's next? Backmasking?

Bob, still on the fence regarding COMC but about to fall in...


Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 11:01:38 -0500 (CDT)
From: Marshall Needleman Armintor <>
Subject: wilco/XTC completishmess
Message-ID: <>

  <<In other news... is there anyone else out there dying to get their
mits on Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot? To me they've picked up where
Westerberg & the Replacements left off. I've heard snippets on CDNow and
can't wait.>>

    Yes, it's really good.  (I have YHF already...the bootleg, of course.
But I'll certainly line up to buy on the Tuesday it comes out.)
Comparisons to Big Star's 3rd are somewhat accurate -- Tweedy gives full
rein to his pitch-black lyrical and musical impulses.

<<... I'd rather have a 2-3 CD collection of the best songs that are
otherwise unavailable, than an 8 CD collection of every demo Andy and
Colin have ever recorded. Does anyone agree with me, or do you feel that
you have to hear every last thing?>>

    For me, for XTC, yes, I'd need to hear everything, because everything
I've heard coming out of the shed, as it were, is well worth hearing.
Indiscriminate?  Maybe.  But it's true, I do feel that way, ever since
I've heard Rag 'n' Bone Buffet --  gasp! their throwaways are incredible!
That's the mark of a truly special band...same thing with the Replacements
(if _Pleased to Meet Me_ had been released with everything they recorded
for it, it would've been one of the most stunning double albums ever
made), same thing with GBV (although it may be argued that their whole
musical output is stocked with "throwaways").  It's the same thing, too,
that compels me to listen to the output of fellow subscriber R Stevie
Moore: yes, I've got to hear all of it, every last scrap, and I've got to
hear "Ethan Sequence" in ALL its permutations -- don't bother asking me
why, I couldn't explain it, but I'm sure that other of his listeners on
this list, not least Miles Goosen, who put together those great pages,
feel much the same way.
    It somewhat recently dawned on me (!), one reason why the Beatles
_Anthology_ series was such a disappointment, relative to what I'm sure
we were all expecting: all the best ideas the Beatles had, they put on
those terrific records, rather than sticking them in the no
small part because, I'm sure, EMI supported them every step of the way
(see above discussion of Wilco), and also, those albums would sell no
matter what.


np Lee "Scratch" Perry, _Open the Gate_


Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 09:06:12 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jeff Eby <>
Subject: Demos/ WS "eye"
Message-ID: <>

I agree with Neil, I definitely don't think we need
every single album demo , I find most (but not all) of
the home album demos on COMC boring.  I think it would
be decent of the boys to either limit the amount of
these demos on Fuzzy Warbles to the really interesting
ones that differ significantly from the originals or
separate the album demos on different discs than the
non-album demos.

Having said that I would still love to hear the "James
Bond" demo of the Man Who Sailed Around His Soul
rumored of in Song Stories.


On a different note, Jim Smart said:
>It seems to me that XTC has always taken more care
and effort with its packaging and album covers than
most bands.

This reminded me of a question on the idea forum that
has yet to be resolved by someone in the know.  And
that question as posed by the administrator steve is
"does anyone realise what the cover  of Waspstar is?"

I, like apparently most every person that has looked
at the cover, originally thought it was merely a
maniputlated picture of the eye, or apple, of the
peacock feather; and their weakest cover sans Chips
>From The Chocolate Fireball.  But on further study I
noticed some differences.  The "stem" is slightly
cocked and thicker than the quiil of the feather and
the "apple" is shaped slightly differently.  My
interpretation is that it is actually a cell being
penetrated by a probe, possibly in vitro
fertilazation.  It's a brilliant cover if you start
considering this.  And lets face it, for a band that
puts so much effort into their packaging, it can't
just be an altered version of a cover they've already

For those of you that haven't read this in the forum,
or for some reason have yet to visit it, here's a link
to the covers discussion that contains the WS question
and responses.

If this doesn't bring you there it's actually located
in -What is XTC best and worst album> What is your
favorite cover art

That which does not kill me can only make me whinier


Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 21:20:35 EDT
Subject: More than a pocket full of lint
Message-ID: <>

Just a couple of thoughts after letting Coat sink in....

The Ball & Chain single is superior to the album version.
Tower of London is missing it's kick (courtesy of Terry Chambers and the
change in tempo)
Liked the sloppy band version of Dear God (with what sounds like an extra
Really liked Didn't Hurt A Bit and especially Andy's tasteful solo.
I still find it strange to listen to Bits and hear the guitar riff for
Harrison's essay is still really really good (after rereading it a third time)
I finally figured out a way to listen to the "secret" tracks (and am
surprised my car stereo will play them)!
I love the like Snowman.

I'm also glad to see that Barry's missing contribution to Go2 is finally
getting an offical release.  I'd actually like to see him as a guest on a XTC
album (Terry and Dave) just for the fun of it.

If Andy and Colin have finished a new album, they certainly are making up for
lost time.

I still don't forgive Virgin for fucking them (or any artist) over. It's
amazing how greedy companies become. It's the little things that bother me
(like the Disney/Peggy Lee squabble a couple of years ago).

Absolutely hate the demo for All You Pretty Girls and the tinny sounding demo
for The Meeting Place. There isn't much improvement over the boots.
It'samazing what  both the right arrangement and a full band can do to
fulfill a song's potential. The demo for Peter Pumpkin is nice but doesn't
really do much for me.

Hiner stated--
Play the unreleased US version of "Life Begins at the Hop" on "Coat,"
then immediately spin Roxy Music's "Love Is the Drug."  Creepy, huh?
Add a sax to Colin's masterpiece, and you can see that the producer was
going for a definite British "new-wave, new-romatic" feel.  I too love
this version "Hop," - not because it is better than the original, but
because it so different from the original.<<

Well, perhaps although I think it's more coincidence. Roxy's classic single
came out in 1975 a good 5 years prior to the new romantic movement and
predated the new wave (at least the label) by a couple of years as well. It's
possible that those ever present radios in motion playing the song had an
impact on a younger Colin Moulding.

I do agree with Harrison's comment about the change in both style and sound
of bass playing  in the 70's. Harrison accurately points to Paul McCartney
(actually he just cites McCartney's bass playing on the Rain/Paperback Writer
single if memory serves) as contributing to that breakthrough with his fluid,
melodic style. I'd go back a little further to one of McCartney's
inspirations/musical competitors--Brian Wilson. Still, Paul contributed a lot
to the notion that the bass could be a melodic, lead instrument.

I'm a bit disappointed that I'll Remember the Sun didn't make the cut for the
demos (or album tracks) on the box set. I seem to remember Colin putting down
this minor masterpiece.  I personally feel it's one of his most under rated

Glad to hear from Paul that Andy and Martin might work together again.
They're both unique artists and Andy seems to have a great handle on how to
produce Martin without compromising his music.

Oh, and finally, Michael Something New is coming (and Gray sorry for the
delay in the Harrison CD). Finally, I'm still waiting to hear from the two
other people I promised copies of  The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl to as
part of the Harrison question. Help! I've misplaced your emails and
addresses! Please write!

In some respects I'm sorry that the Beatles opened up this can of worms with
the Anthology series (at least I think they did). On the other hand, there's
plenty of gems that would have gone missing without these releases. I suppose
the proper perspective is releases for the casual fan vs. hard-core fan. Oh,
wait a second the latter would include all of you (and me, too)!

I'm tuckered out.



Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 16:02:55 -0500
From: "Piriya Vongkasemsiri" <>
Subject: White Horse of Uffington Photo
Message-ID: <>

Hello all -

It's been quite a long time since I've posted anything!

This is a really early notice for those of you in the Chicago area:

There is an excellent photography exhibition coming up, known as "Exelon's
Earth from Above," running from June 21-September 15.  The exhibit will
feature 120 large scale photographs by Yann Arthus-Bertrand.  Large scale
means 4 feet by 6 feet.

Here's the XTC-related bit - One of the photographs will be a lovely picture
of the White Horse of Uffington, which we all know and love.  For those of
us who haven't been lucky enough to travel to Oxfordshire to see it in
person, this may be the next best thing.  The exhibit will be located in
Millennium Park on Michigan Avenue between Madison and Washington (where the
ice rink is at the moment).

The exhibit is concurrently displayed in a lot of other places around the
world including Poland, France, UK, Sweden, Germany, Canada, etc.  If you
want to find out more about the artist, go to

You can also download the picture at the web site - it's the perfect size
for wallpaper.  Here's a direct link to the photo if you're too lazy to
browse ;)

If you'd like know more details about the exhibit in Chicago - email me!  I
might be working as a docent at the exhibition, so drop me a line, and I'll
be extra nice to you if you're in my tour group. ;)  The exhibit is highly
worth seeing even if the White Horse weren't in it.



Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 11:35:27 -0700
From: "Thomas Vest" <>
Subject: XTC in Q
Message-ID: <>

hello to all in chalkhilldom!

I meant to mention this in my last post.  I saw that Q magazine has reviewed
COMC in their april issue (has the Strokes on the cover).  If my memory
serves me well, I think it got 4 stars out of 5.  Sorry that I do not have
more information than this or a word for word reposting. I looked at Q's
website but they do not have the review on there that I can find.



Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2002 01:13:19 +0100
From: "D Appleford" <>
Subject: Delurking
Message-ID: <>

Hello all,
My name is Dave and I am a lurker.
Bin lurking for some time now and I have a lot to say, too much for one post
maybe but I'll have a go.
Background info...I am a born again  XTC fan who was in there at the start
with an amazing 12" single that my punky young self thought was
Barry's quirky organ work made me think he was the dominant force in the
band...seems an odd idea now (or does it to those who have Coat).
However, after Black sea I lost touch and only a year ago started to
rediscover all I had missed.

This brings me to my first point.....I found Dear God on Napster (before its
sad demise) and it opened up a undiscovered mass of great music of which I
was previously unaware.
Just imagine Skylarking (I was a Todd fan anyway), Oranges and Lemons,
Nonsuch and the two Apple Venus albums, even Transistor Blast all to be
enjoyed and wallowed in (my collection is still incomplete). Its almost
better getting it all in one lump...a nice surprise at least.
I see this as a great argument for file sharing programs like Napster and
Morpheus as I went out and bought cds like I haven't done in years....sure I
got some stuff for free but I bought cds I would not have bought
otherwise...a lot of cash for the band and the industry....who want these
things stopped. Does anyone know what Colin and Andy think of these

Second point, I have got my copy of Coat of Many... from Idea with lovely
gold signatures... and I do love it...but forgive me if I don't fawn and
brown tongue quite as much as some who post here!
Yes it looks great, very good package and the music is good, I like to hear
the demos and different versions. The live tracks are great and Andy's
comments most interesting, he speaks of them with an apparent fondness
despite his dislike of playing live now, and I have to say it raises
questions for me as to if his reluctance to play live has more to do with
residual fear of the stage which has been rationalised into a hatred of
I am a musician and find it hard to understand another muso of any sort not
craving that live was there long before the recording studio
existed, in the "old" world that Colin and Andy's songs often reflect on.
Playing your music live is challenging but very rewarding and Andy obviously
knows that, and the "paying to see inferior live versions" argument just
doesn't hold water... I don't believe XTC fans (who are likely to be
thoughtful people) are going to expect live versions of tracks to be exactly
like the cd, but more that...versions, with different sounds and exciting prospect new renditions of the songs we love ,but
one that we are sadly unlikely to ever experience.
By the way, sorry mate but I found the essay too fawning and a bit
pretentious. Barry's comments were great but where were comments from Dave
and we no longer talk boys, or is that you don't get a say if
you didn't write it?

Third and final point for this mail (I could continue but...) is on this
remastering thing.  I am a recording engineer with my own Digital Studio so
have some insight into this and agree with much of what has been said
before, but the crux of the matter is that compression, filters, EQ and A to
D converters aside, a remaster cannot make you hear something that was not
on the original 2 track master tape, and if it is on the master one must
assume it was intended to be heard. The objective here is to get you hearing
in your home what the band heard in the studio (bearing in mind that you
probably don't have studio quality monitor speakers/amp ect). It is a matter
of long is a bit of string ect, and as was previously
mentioned, what you like dependant on what you are used to. They sound good
to me not having heard previous cds. I would love to hear what Ian Cooper
(the remastering engineer) has to say about it and what was his 'brief'. I
was surprised to hear he also mastered Coat.

OK that's it for now (but I bet I'll be back soon), Hope its not too long.
Check out my website if you want, there are some free mp3s of my band there
if you fancy.
Love to have feedback if you have any thing to say.

Harm no-one

Dave A.


Date: Sun, 21 Apr 2002 08:55:54 +0000
From: "James McRae" <>
Subject: Unfortunate mis-spelling....
Message-ID: <>

Hello every one in Chalkworld!

Did anyone else spot the rather dubious spelling of the word "heli" in the
Japanese import version of Drums and Wires' lyric sheet?  I don't know
whether the Japanese is spelt correctly, but "heil" is most unfortunate...

errm..  That's it....
Oh no it isn't...
PS  If that really is you, Dom, on Matter's website (,
shows how wrong one's brain goes in translating written word into a face.
Hope the gig went well....  You seem to make a most excellent noise.


Date: Sun, 21 Apr 2002 09:37:31 -0500
From: Chris Vreeland <>
Subject: An odd bit of Nitpickery
Message-ID: <a05111700b8e878f98ace@[]>


4 things:
	I'm sure someone will beat me to the punch, and this will
appear two posts above mine, which is always the case whenever I
attempt to post "breaking news," but I noticed an error in the track
listing on Coat...
	The version of Sgt. Rock is listed as "Black Sea Version,"
but I was immediately jarred by a couple of pretty obvious edits. A
couple bars were removed before the second verse (I think that's
where it was) and half of the lead is chopped off. I'm not certain if
this is actually a different mix, or if it's just an edit of the
final Black Sea mix, but it's definitely a radio edit. Alas, a
version of a song with bits SUBTRACTED does not necessarily make it
"unreleased material," so it's really just a niggling little nitpick.
But there it is. I actually contributed "news."


I'm sure you've been, each and every one, waiting with bated breath
to find out just what I've been up to these last few months, and why
I haven't been posting more. I decided back in about October that I'd
too much "free time" on my hands, and had better learn to design
webpages. The upshot of this misguided notion is my decidedly
mediocre stab at becoming a "content provider," the results of which
can be viewed at:

My feedback page is a ghost town: let me know what you think, even if
it's bad, just so I can put something there. Oh, and I am working on
it regularly, so it'll continue to grow and swell over the next few


Finally, a quote:

"And then, dammit, there's XTC."


Chris "what Harrison said" Vreeland


There is NO 4th thing!


Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2002 06:37:55 -0400
From: Ben Gott <>
Subject: Fuzzy Questions
Message-ID: <>


Does anyone know if songs like "Dame Fortune" will appear on "Fuzzy
Warbles"?  I remember reading somewhere that the release of "Coat of Many
Cupboards" released Virgin's hold on the XTC songs recorded while they were
under contract -- is that true or not?  That would be quite the deal,

On another note, has anyone ever noticed that Dave Matthews' "Everyday" and
R.E.M.'s "Reveal" (among others) are mastered really, really loudly?  I
almost blew out my car speakers the other day when my CD changer switched
from the incredibly quiet and shitty-sounding "Joshua Tree" to the loud and
crisp "Isolation Drills" by Guided by Voices.  How annoying.  Good thing
that "Isolation Drills" is a friggin' awesome album!



Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2002 13:34:57 +0000
From: "Roger Blass" <>
Subject: Re: Come out of the cupboards, ya boys and girls
Message-ID: <>

>I agree with Dom about Wonderland. Compared to Colin's fab
>stuff on Black Sea and Skylarking, Wonderland is
>pretty dull. Such things come to light more readily
>in a collection like this than usual.

Hey, I love Wonderland!  I'm loving the new box set too.  Great liner notes
by our Harrison.  It's a pleasure hearing demos and rehearsal tapes from
Skylarking, an album whose production leaves me cold.  The rehearsal version
of "Generals and Majors" is a breath of fresh air - for me, the album
version had gotten old/obscured by the production gimmickry.  Wish there
were more peaks behind the making of English Settlement.  Hearing anything
that went into the making of a Dukes track would have been sprinkles on the
already iced cake. - Roger


End of Chalkhills Digest #8-25

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