XTC Reel by Real: XTC: Black Sea
Last update: 25 October 2015
Black Sea
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BLACK SEA

Charting in the U.S. Top 50, XTC's fourth album emphasizes the band's social commentary. Including the alternative hit "Generals And Majors", it becomes a breakthrough album for the band in America.

Geffen CD Release 1991 includes three tracks not on original album: the eco-anthem "Smokeless Zone" (written by Moulding), and the plea-for-anger-and-rough-edges "Don't Lose Your Temper" and the breathy "The Somnambulist" (both written by Partridge).

[Geffen promotional literature, 1991]

Andy: “The band are becoming a slick-sounding, commando, trouble-shooting unit, ready to go anywhere on earth, songs written on the hoof, rehearsed in dressing room and slammed down here on our hardest album. The live machine captured with minimum trimmings.”
Andy: “Recorded at the height of touring mania. We were about as muscular sound-wise as we would ever be. It sounded like our live set, raucous and very tight and pumped up.”

Lyrics, Charts and More

  1. Respectable Street (pics) (lyrics) (chords) (interview) (updated)
  2. Generals and Majors (pics) (lyrics) (chords) (interview)
  3. Living Through Another Cuba (lyrics) (chords) (interview)
  4. Love at First Sight (pics) (lyrics) (chords)
  5. Rocket From a Bottle (lyrics) (chords) (updated)
  6. No Language in Our Lungs (lyrics) (chords) (interview)
  7. Towers of London (pics) (lyrics) (chords) (interview) (updated)
  8. Paper and Iron (Notes and Coins) (lyrics) (chords)
  9. Burning With Optimism's Flames (pics) (lyrics) (chords)
  10. Sgt. Rock (is Going to Help Me) (pics) (lyrics) (chords)
  11. Travels in Nihilon (lyrics) (chords) (interview)

The CD reissues also include bonus tracks:

  1. Smokeless Zone (lyrics) (chords)
  2. Don't Lose Your Temper (pics) (lyrics) (chords)
  3. The Somnambulist (lyrics) (chords)

Recording Information

Recorded at the Townhouse Studios, London, England, June-July 1980.
Produced by Steve Lillywhite. Engineered by Hugh Padgham.
Engineering by Nick Launay and Phil Vinnal.
Originally released on 12 September 1980 in the U.K.
Reached No. 16 on the U.K. album chart.
Reached No. 41 on the Billboard album chart in the U.S.A.
Reached No. 1 on the New Zealand album chart.

Terry Chambers - Tama drums, Snyper Drum Synth and free form voice.
Dave Gregory - Guitars, synth, piano and the odd vox humana or two.
Colin Moulding - Sings his songs and plays his Epiphone Newport.
Andy Partridge - His own voice, a guitar he thinks he owns, a synth he's not sure who owns and other noises that could have been anybody's.

Some working titles for this album include Tigers in Tuneworld, Quartermasters, Hook, Line and Sinker, Ship of Fools, Work Under Pressure, and Terry & The Lovemen (hence the name of the band that plays on A Testimonial Dinner).


Singles

#\#i#/#Generals And Majors#\#/i#/#

Generals And Majors

#\#i#/#Towers of London#\#/i#/#

Towers of London

#\#i#/#Sgt. Rock (is Going to Help Me)#\#/i#/#

Sgt. Rock (is Going to Help Me)

#\#i#/#Love at First Sight#\#/i#/#

Love at First Sight

(Canada only)
#\#i#/#Respectable Street#\#/i#/#

Respectable Street

(BBC version)
 

Art

#\#a href="http://www.majhost.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=4063848" target="churl"#/##\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/# front cover#\#/a#/#

Black Sea front cover

UK #\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/# LP with paper bag outer sleeve

UK Black Sea LP with paper bag outer sleeve

#\#a href="http://www.majhost.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=3835690" target="churl"#/#UK #\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/# LP paper outer sleeve#\#/a#/#

UK Black Sea LP paper outer sleeve

back cover of #\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/# LP

back cover of Black Sea LP

paper bag from original USA #\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/# LP on RSO

paper bag from original USA Black Sea LP on RSO

#\#a href="http://www.majhost.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=3835693" target="churl"#/#Canadian #\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/# LP plastic outer sleeve#\#/a#/#

Canadian Black Sea LP plastic outer sleeve

Canadian #\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/# LP with black bag

Canadian Black Sea LP with black bag

#\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/# Geffen USA cassette cover

Black Sea Geffen USA cassette cover

cover of the Japanese #\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/# LP

cover of the Japanese Black Sea LP

UK #\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/# LP inner sleeve front

UK Black Sea LP inner sleeve front

UK #\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/# LP inner sleeve back

UK Black Sea LP inner sleeve back

#\#a href="http://www.majhost.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=2186722" target="churl"#/#live picture from original #\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/# CD liner notes#\#/a#/#

live picture from original Black Sea CD liner notes

#\#a href="http://www.majhost.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=2186723" target="churl"#/#live picture from original #\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/# CD liner notes#\#/a#/#

live picture from original Black Sea CD liner notes

#\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/# picture CD

Black Sea picture CD

back of the booklet from the Virgin UK #\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/# CD

back of the booklet from the Virgin UK Black Sea CD

Black Sea Tour Programme

Black Sea Tour Programme

#\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/# tour poster

Black Sea tour poster

RSO and Virgin Records 1980 promo poster

RSO and Virgin Records 1980 promo poster

#\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/# promo poster

Black Sea promo poster

text from #\#i#/#The Atlantic Road Show 1980, Release #10#\#/i#/#

text from The Atlantic Road Show 1980, Release #10

#\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/# trade advertisement

Black Sea trade advertisement

trade publication advertisement for #\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/#

trade publication advertisement for Black Sea

trade publication advertisement for #\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/#

trade publication advertisement for Black Sea

#\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/#-era ads for #\#i#/#Respectable Street#\#/i#/# and #\#i#/#Sgt. Rock#\#/i#/# singles

Black Sea-era ads for Respectable Street and Sgt. Rock singles

#\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/# poster from Australia

Black Sea poster from Australia

Virgin UK poster promoting #\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/#

Virgin UK poster promoting Black Sea

one-piece, hanging, #\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/# display

one-piece, hanging, Black Sea display

XTC / T-shirt 1980

XTC / T-shirt 1980

#\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/# promo badge (4cm)

Black Sea promo badge (4cm)

three #\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/# badges, by Ken White

three Black Sea badges, by Ken White

three #\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/# badges

three Black Sea badges

#\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/# fabric patch

Black Sea fabric patch

Tom Demi's hand-copied #\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/# inner sleeve

Tom Demi's hand-copied Black Sea inner sleeve


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