XTC Reel by Real: XTC: Rag & Bone Buffet (Rare Cuts & Leftovers)
Last update: 2 February 2013
Rag & Bone Buffet
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Andy Talks About Rag & Bone Buffet

[Geffen Records promotional literature]

Since their emergence in 1978, XTC have remained among the most highly acclaimed, innovative, and consistently selling pop creators. Now for the truly addicted and anal retentive fan, XTC have perpared a veritable smorgasbord of sound, Rag & Bone Buffet.

Twenty-four rare cuts and leftovers compiled from b-sides, alternate versions, releases under pseudonyms, flexi disc tracks, dub experiments and other previously unreleased or hard to come by musical adventures make Rag & Bone Buffet a listening feast.

Andy Partridge talks about the tracks on Rag & Bone Buffet:

Extrovert: Originally for Skylarking: It's the only vocal I ever did while drunk. But this gives me the opportunity to finally thank Todd Rundgren for producing that album and ask him to forgive me for making it appear that I did not like him.

Ten Feet Tall: An electric version of the song on Drums And Wires for a never released American single.

Mermaid Smiled: This was briefly on Skylarking but when Dear God - which wasn't on the album at first - became a hit something had to go and so I took off the shortest song.

Too Many Cooks In The Kitchen: The Colonel is Colin. He did this in about 1979. He took a pseudonym so as not to make it seem that the band was into the Archies. It's a mix between a joke and an actual poke at getting on the charts. That's his dentist, Bent Larsen, playing guitar.

Respectable Street: The BBC felt the lyrics on the song on Black Sea would upset people. They asked if I could rewrite it and, being a good boy, I did. Contraception became 'child prevention' and abortion became 'absorption'. Still they wouldn't play it. Here's that old peoples, pre-chewed version.

Looking For Footprints: Originally recorded for Go 2. Done in 1978 it's the earliest song on Rag & Bone Buffet.

Over Rusty Water: I put out a dub album in the U.K. called Take Away: The Lure Of Salvage under my name not XTCs but it was comprised of XTC dub tracks. This one I stripped from Roads Girdle The Globe on Drums And Wires.

Heaven Is Paved With Broken Glass: A song cut from English Settlement.

The World Is Full Of Angry Young Men: We started working on this during Mummer but ran out of time so it became a b-side.

Punch And Judy: From the English Settlement sessions.

Thanks For Christmas: I have a soft spot for Christmas songs. For this I wanted the female staff at the Virgin Records office to sing it and we'd put it out under the name 'The Virgin Marys' but they thought it would be sacrilegious, so the band did it under the name 'The Three Wise Men'.

Tissue Tigers (The Arguers): From English Settlement.

I Need Protection: Colin needed this to keep the 'Too Many Cooks In The Kitchen' single from warping.

Another Satellite: The BBC sent us into the studio to do this live show. Since we don't have a drummer, we chose this song because it needs a mechanical drum sound anyway and we could use a drum machine. But we hadn't played live for ages, so going out to the nation in half an hour we slammed down a two track backing tape and when the red light went on, just sang along. It was Rock 'N' Roll Swindle, 'Sunday Not Quite Live'. It's the most recent song on Rag & Bone Buffet.

Strange Tales, Strange Tails: One of the two worst songs we ever recorded, originally for Go 2.

Officer Blue: The other worst song, for Black Sea.

Scissor Man: A live version of the song on Drums And Wires and I think better than the one on the album.

Cockpit Dance Mixture: An early attempt, 1982 I think, to dub a song with a dance mix in mind. That was new back then, I like the Guy The Gorilla vocals.

Pulsing Pulsing: A b-side for a single from Drums And Wires about blood and where it goes.

Happy Families: Originally for Mummer. This was in the John Hughes movie She's Having A Baby but it's heard only as an instrumental mix coming out a transistor radio.

Countdown To Christmas Party Time: To keep 'Thanks For Christmas' from warping.

Blame The Weather: From English Settlement.

Take This Town: The only new song especially written for Times Square, this really bad movie. Again, it's heard on a transistor radio! We're not going to do any more songs from movies because they're always on transistor radios.

History Of Rock 'N' Roll: There was this project called Miniatures. Each cut was supposed to be less than a minute. I went for the gigantic: a history of rock 'n' roll in 22 seconds. The 50's: an echoed hiccupping vocal of the word 'well'. The 60's: A snatch of a fuzzbox riff in indian scale. The 70's: A power chord. The 80's: At the time, this was done in 1981, the 80's threatened to go horribly synthetic, and a lot of it did, so the 80's is an electronic fart. The 90's? I suspect that will be a bit of a James Brown drum rhythm.

Lyrics, Charts and More

  1. Extrovert (lyrics) (chords)
  2. Ten Feet Tall (US Version) (pics) (lyrics) (chords)
  3. Mermaid Smiled (lyrics) (chords) (interview)
  4. Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen (pics) (lyrics)
  5. Respectable Street (pics) (lyrics) (chords) (interview)
  6. Looking for Footprints (pics) (lyrics)
  7. Over Rusty Water
  8. Heaven is Paved With Broken Glass (pics) (lyrics)
  9. The World is Full of Angry Young Men (lyrics) (chords)
  10. Punch and Judy (pics) (lyrics) (chords)
  11. Thanks For Christmas (pics) (lyrics) (chords) (interview)
  12. Tissue Tigers (The Arguers) (pics) (lyrics)
  13. I Need Protection (pics) (lyrics)
  14. Another Satellite (BBC Version) (lyrics) (chords)
  15. Strange Tales, Strange Tails (lyrics)
  16. Officer Blue (lyrics)
  17. Scissor Man (BBC Version) (lyrics) (chords) (interview)
  18. Cockpit Dance Mixture (lyrics)
  19. Pulsing Pulsing (pics) (lyrics)
  20. Happy Families (pics) (lyrics) (chords)
  21. Countdown to Christmas Party Time (pics) (lyrics)
  22. Blame the Weather (pics) (lyrics)
  23. Take This Town (pics) (lyrics)
  24. The History of Rock 'n' Roll (pics) (lyrics)

Recording Information

B-sides, strange pseudonyms, flexi disc tracks, etc., nearly 80 minutes of rarities.

Andy: “So the world goes urrph! grunt! shifts gear and in comes the new technology of compact discs. Suddenly someone says, but what about all those vinyl B-sides, pseudo-name singles, film tracks and giveaways that are going to be lost forever? Embarrassed that this is the only reason the Rag And Bone compilation exists, it then goes and gets great critical reviews. Sometimes I can't figure you folks out!”
Natalie Jacobs: “The rags were used for paper and the bones for fertilizer — hence, a rag and bone shop is a place where discarded things are made useful, as in Yeats's metaphor for creativity, ‘the rag and bone shop of the heart.’  By extension, a ‘Rag and Bone Buffet’ is a place where discarded songs are made into a nifty record.”


#\#i#/#Rag & Bone Buffet 4-Song Sampler#\#/i#/#

Rag & Bone Buffet 4-Song Sampler

(U.S.A. promo only EP)


#\#i#/#Rag & Bone Buffet#\#/i#/# front cover

Rag & Bone Buffet front cover

the J-card from the Geffen USA #\#i#/#Rag & Bone Buffet#\#/i#/# cassette

the J-card from the Geffen USA Rag & Bone Buffet cassette

back of the J-card from the Geffen USA #\#i#/#Rag & Bone Buffet#\#/i#/# cassette

back of the J-card from the Geffen USA Rag & Bone Buffet cassette

back of the J-card from the Geffen USA #\#i#/#Rag & Bone Buffet#\#/i#/# cassette

back of the J-card from the Geffen USA Rag & Bone Buffet cassette

Geffen USA #\#i#/#Rag & Bone Buffet#\#/i#/# longbox

Geffen USA Rag & Bone Buffet longbox

sculpture from #\#i#/#Rag & Bone Buffet#\#/i#/#

sculpture from Rag & Bone Buffet

#\#i#/#Rag & Bone Buffet#\#/i#/# photo

Rag & Bone Buffet photo

#\#i#/#Rag & Bone Buffet#\#/i#/# photo

Rag & Bone Buffet photo

#\#i#/#Rag & Bone Buffet#\#/i#/# photo

Rag & Bone Buffet photo

“Fantasia on a Rag & Bone Theme”

“Fantasia on a Rag & Bone Theme”

detail of #\#i#/#Rag and Bone Buffet#\#/i#/# promotional bandana

detail of Rag and Bone Buffet promotional bandana

the rare and elusive #\#i#/#Rag & Bone Buffet#\#/i#/# promotional bandana

the rare and elusive Rag & Bone Buffet promotional bandana

#\#a href="fanart/../../product/RagNBoneBuffet.pdf" target="churl"#/##\#i#/#Rag & Bone Buffet#\#/i#/# CD booklet#\#/a#/#

Rag & Bone Buffet CD booklet


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