Ball and Chain

(Moulding)

#\#i#/#Ball and Chain#\#/i#/#

Ball and Chain

Recordings
XTCfans interview with Colin Moulding
Art
Lyrics
Chords and Tablature
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Recordings

  1. Album version, 4'28.
    Released on English Settlement.
    Released on 26 February 1982 as a single in the U.K.
    Reached No. 58 on the U.K. singles chart.
    Colin- lead and backing vocals, fretless bass
    Andy- electric guitar
    Dave- electric 12-string guitar, mini-korg, backing vocals
    Terry- drums and percussion, backing vocals
    Hugh - vocal support

  2. Promotional video, 4'28.
    First broadcast date unknown.
    Released in 1982 on the Look Look video compilation.

  3. Demo version, 4'20.
    Not released.

    Andy: “This is based on [the Beatles'] ‘Getting Better’.” Colin: “About the destruction of Swindon town centre, but it wasn't much of a song. I think I'd gone off the boil.” Andy: “You reckon?” Colin: “Yeah, I do. The least favourite of my contributions. I don't think I got it back until ‘Skylarking’.”
  4. Single version.
    Recorded at The Townhouse Studio and Air Studios, London, in March 1981.
    Produced by Alan Winstanley and Clive Langer.
    Re-produced by XTC and Alan Winstanley.
    Engineered by Alan Winstanley.
    Intended for release as a single, but shelved.
    Released on 25 March 2002 on Coat of Many Cupboards in the U.K.
    Andy Partridge - Guitar, Keyboard and Vocals
    Colin Moulding - Bass and Vocals
    Dave Gregory - Guitar, Keyboards and Vocals
    Terry Chambers - Drums

    Colin: “When eldermans in council chambers were getting outrageously fatter on inner city clearances, I offered up this little chant from the terraces. Perhaps a little overstated, I don't think it was ever going to save the 1980's equivalent of the Euston arch, but it seemed quite relevant to the times. Alan Winstanley, one half of the very successful Langer and Winstanley partnership, ended up being crowned producer, but only by default. Langer, the musical ideas man of the duo had started the proceedings enthusiastically enough and we had high hopes of the fairydust of hit records they had enjoyed with Madness recently, settling on our hair. But as day one progressed, Langer became more and more disillusioned with what his position actually was, and as band folklore has it, ‘left while the cymbals were still swinging’. On the plus side, Winstanley went on to make, I think, the definitive recording of the song, but alas, politics got in the way and it was denied an album place.”

    Andy: “On hearing songs for our proposed next album, Virgin (rather diplomatically) suggested we take two of them, ‘Ball And Chain’ and ‘Punch And Judy’, and record, up front, a double A-side single. What a good excuse, they also reasoned, to try out their suggestion for a new producer. The team of Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley, the chaps behind the very successful Madness singles. So like lambs drunk on clover, off we went and immediately made the mistake of booking the Townhouse Studios before we'd even met these people. We found ourselves in with the chunky but amiable Winstanley (the engineer half of the duo) and the twitchy, hawklike Langer (Mr Musical Decisions). The latter proceeded to get everyone's back up from the start. Chop this out, add that, repeat that bit, think up a new place for there. We felt the carpet was being pulled from under us, this was not the time and place to be confused or unsure and we rebelled, sticking to playing it as rehearsed. We wouldn't ‘Madness-ize’ it up.

    “Clive Langer listened to us stomping it out for about half an hour, then leapt to his feet proclaiming ‘well you don't need me, I'm off’. Swiftly leaving the room, never to be seen again. We cuddled up to the talented Mr. Winstanley and just got on with it.”

[Thanks to R. Stevie Moore]


Art

#\#a href="http://www.majhost.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=2681612" target="churl"#/#the totally awesome back of the #\#i#/#Ball and Chain#\#/i#/# 7"#\#/a#/#

the totally awesome back of the Ball and Chain 7"

UK #\#i#/#Ball and Chain#\#/i#/# front

UK Ball and Chain front

front cover of the Canadian #\#i#/#Ball and Chain#\#/i#/# 10-inch single (on green vinyl)

front cover of the Canadian Ball and Chain 10-inch single (on green vinyl)

back cover of the Canadian #\#i#/#Ball and Chain#\#/i#/# 10-inch single (on green vinyl)

back cover of the Canadian Ball and Chain 10-inch single (on green vinyl)

back cover of the German #\#i#/#Ball and Chain#\#/i#/# 7-incher

back cover of the German Ball and Chain 7-incher

photo from back cover of #\#i#/#Ball and Chain#\#/i#/# single

photo from back cover of Ball and Chain single

XiTeC logo (from #\#i#/#Ball and Chain#\#/i#/# single)

XiTeC logo (from Ball and Chain single)

#\#a href="http://youtu.be/HOlYauYQJM0" target="churl"#/#“Ball and Chain”, hilariously lip-sync'ed on British TV#\#/a#/#

“Ball and Chain”, hilariously lip-sync'ed on British TV

#\#a href="http://youtu.be/4a9wowg4AjI" target="churl"#/#“Ball and Chain” promotional video, 1982#\#/a#/#

“Ball and Chain” promotional video, 1982

Wounded Horse from “Ball and Chain” video

Wounded Horse from “Ball and Chain” video

magazine advert for the #\#i#/#Ball and Chain#\#/i#/# single, 1982

magazine advert for the Ball and Chain single, 1982

 

Lyrics

b a l l     a n d     c h a i n
  SSSS
 SS    ave us from the ball and chain    save us from the  ball and
   SS  chain     save us from the ball and  chain,  oh yeah     the
 SS  S   diggers  and  the  tower cranes      the diggers  and  the
S  S  S  tower  cranes     don't  want  demolition      don't  want
 SSSSS   your  compensation     it's not  just  bricks  and  mortar
we are lambs to slaughter.
save us from the ball and chain     save us from the ball and chain
save  us from the ball and chain,  oh yeah      the diggers and the
tower  cranes     the diggers  and  the  tower cranes      must  we
live  in  fear     from those who  shed no tears ?    our  one  and
only shelter     your games,   your helter skelter.
motorways  and  office  blocks      they're  standing  on the  spot
where  stood  a  home,      crushing  on  the  memories  of  people
who have since turned to stone      save us from the ball and chain
save  us from the ball  and chain       save us  from the  ball and
chain, oh yeah     the diggers and the tower cranes     the diggers
and the tower cranes.

colin-lead and backing vocals, fretless bass.  andy-electric guitar
dave - electric  12-string guitar,  mini-korg,  backing vocals ----
terry - drums and percussion, backing vocals   hugh - vocal support
                                            composed by c. moulding

© 1982 Virgin Music (Publishers) Ltd.
[Thanks to Gary Jedlicka]


Chords and Tablature

Date: October 31, 2001
From: guitar tab archive (author unknown)
Subject: Ball And Chain chords

Ball and Chain

C                         C7sus4
Save us from the ball and chain
C                         C7sus4
Save us from the ball and chain
C                         C7sus4
Save us from the ball and chain
    Bb              F        C
The diggers and the towering cranes

G5    D     F     C
Don't want .................
G5    D         F     C
Don't want your compensation
G5   D        F          C
It's not just bricks and mortar
G5 D   F        ?
We are lambs to slaughter

Chords:

C      - 335553
C7sus4 - 335363 - I'm not sure that this is the right chord.
Bb     - 113331
F      - 133211
G5     - 3x0033
D      - xx0232
F      - xx3211
C      - x32010

Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 22:06:57 -0800 (PST)
From: bg769 (at) lafn dot ORG (Ian Dahlberg)
Subject: (for archives) the elusive Ball & Chain chords
Message-Id: <199801100606.WAA22766 (at) zool dot lafn dot org>


        After seeing people's attempts at Ball and Chain, I just have to
try and put to rest what the first two chords may be.   I am absolutely
positive that it is...

  C      G7sus
---8------10-----
---8------13----
---9------10----
---10-----12-----
---10-----10----
---8------10----

        Seeing Dave play this on footage of a "Top of the Pops" show, I can
plainly see that this is what is being played.

                                        Ian Dahlberg

Date: Fri, 02 Jan 1998 18:55:44 -0500
From: Tony Lovell <tony (at) hormel_blocker dot wildfire dot com>
Subject: Correction to "Ball and Chain" tablature
Message-ID: <34AD7E80.608E70F4 (at) hormel_blocker dot wildfire dot com>


Howdy!

I was the guitarist in Mark's band (the person who offered a correction
to the orignal B&C tablature).  I have an amendment to Mr. Glickman's
efforts,  which I suspect is truly more "correct".

Here was Mark's chords for the chorus (and the intro):

   C         Csus  C/Bb C/F C
E--8---------8-----10---8---8-
B--8---------8-----11---8---8-
G--9---------10----10---10--9-
D--10--------12----8----10--10
A--10--------------8----10--10
E--8---------------8----8---8-

   |____________|
   repeat 3 times


The "Csus" is more like the one shown below:
   C         Csus  C/Bb C/F C
E--8---------8-----10---8---8-
B--8---------6-----11---8---8-
G--9---------7-----10---10--9-
D--10--------5-----8----10--10
A--10--------------8----10--10
E--8---------------8----8---8-

Also, a better likeliness of the verse follows...

All the main sections of verse use the same 4th suspension over an E
chord form, going from the 10th to the 8th fret for each line.
The pattern of when the suspension is on or off changes in later verses
of the song, effecting a minor "trill" in later verses, but
predominantly the pattern is ON/OFF for D then C.

   Dsus  D    Csus  C
E--x-----x-----x----x--
B--x-----x-----x----x--
G--12---11-----10---9--
D--12---12-----10--10--
A--12---12-----10--10--
E--10---10----- 8---8--

Example use of the "trill" on first verse:

legend:
 D,C == sus chords
 d,c == non-sus chords

 D D D D d d dDd
 C C C C c c cCc


And, over "lambs to slaughter", we get the "Tristan chord"...
I mean the "Hard Day's Night" chord and its resolution:


   Gsus7  G
E---3-----3--
B---3-----3--
G---5-----4--
D---3-----5--
A---5-----5--
E---3-----3--

Likewise, the organ instrumental "doo-doo-doo" parts alternate between
these chords.

Hope you find this to be worth incorporating into your page..

tony

Date: Tue, 19 Oct 93 10:39:25 EDT
From: glickman (at) figaro dot med dot harvard dot edu (Mark Glickman)
Subject: a few chords

Ball and Chain:  I was in a band a few years ago that played this,
and it was my suggestion to use the following chords at the beginning
of the song.  I want to check if I was on the right track:

   C         Csus  C/Bb C/F C
E--8---------8-----10---8---8-
B--8---------8-----11---8---8-
G--9---------10----10---10--9-
D--10--------12----8----10--10
A--10--------------8----10--10
E--8---------------8----8---8-

   |____________|
   repeat 3 times

Feedback is welcome!

           - Mark Glickman

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