Life Begins at the Hop

(Moulding)

#\#a href="http://www.majhost.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=2709536" target="churl"#/#UK #\#i#/#Life Begins at the Hop#\#/i#/# 7" single cover#\#/a#/#

UK Life Begins at the Hop 7" single cover

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

  1. Single version, 3'47.
    Produced by Steve Lillywhite.
    Released on 27 April 1979 as a single in the U.K.
    Reached No. 44 on the U.K. singles chart.
    Also available as a bonus track on compact disc releases of Drums and Wires.
  2. Promotional video (using the single version), 3'47.
    Recorded 10 July 1979, London.
    Directed by Russell Mulcahy.
    First broadcast date unknown.
    Released in 1982 on the Look Look video compilation.
    Colin: “First song of mine ever to make the A side of a single, and a bit special to me as a result. I like to reminisce and this one sprang from spending the greater part of my adolescence on a council estate and having the church hall hop as the only way of getting me rocks off. I go into a trance everytime I think of those young socialists meeting in the church hall every Friday night. Well, you have to write about something, haven't you?”
    Andy: “By this time [Dave's] in.” Colin: “We should mention Barry's leaving here.” Andy: “Yeah, he'd written these songs I thought were half baked, though they were probably as good as mine at the time. We ended up arguing a lot, so he decided to leave.” Colin: “This was also the first single I'd written up until that point. I think the introduction of Dave, and Barry leaving, helped me find my own style.” Andy: “Our attempt at a modern Tamla-Motown track. . .” Dave: “Or maybe The Equals.”
  3. Live version, 3'55.
    Released on BBC Radio 1 Live in Concert.
    Also available on Transistor Blast.
  4. BBC version.
    Recorded 21 May 1979 at BBC Studios.
    Produced by Bill Aitken and Nick Gomm.
    First broadcast 31 May 1979 on the Kid Jensen Show.
    Released on 16 November 1998 on Transistor Blast in the U.K.
  5. First "drum machine" rehearsal, extract.
    Recorded in the cellar of the Affair Club, Swindon, in February 1979.
    Released on 25 March 2002 on Coat of Many Cupboards in the U.K.
    Colin Moulding - Bass and Vocals
    Andy Partridge - Guitar, drum machine
    Dave Gregory - Guitar

    Colin: “Recorded in the cellar of our manager's club, here amongst the Schweppes and the Britvics, this early prototype struggles to get airborne. Upstairs the Sensuous Jay (go go dancer) shook all she had (and she had a lot) for lunchtime regulars and the lonely. We had our distractions I'm sure, but no one seemed to notice me coming in sixteen bars too late with my vocals. But hey, make way for the real thing. . .”

    Andy: “This snippet has us in the cellar of The Affair Club in Swindon, where we would congregate to rehearse. The club was owned by our manager at the time, Ian Reid (the G is silent). For some reason Terry wasn't there, working late, illness, I don't remember. But all the same we've decided to try out a new song of Colin's with my ropey Hammond drum machine. Dave plays the tremelo figure. I'm on stab and cluck guitar with Colin rumbling on bass.”

  6. First recording, unused.
    Recorded at Townhouse Studios, Goldhawk Road, London, in March 1979.
    Produced by Steve Lillywhite. Engineered by Hugh Padgham.
    Intended for release as a single, but shelved.
    Released on 25 March 2002 on Coat of Many Cupboards in the U.K.
    Colin Moulding - Bass and Vocals
    Andy Partridge - Guitar, Keyboard and Vocals
    Dave Gregory - Guitar, Piano and Vocals
    Terry Chambers - Drums

    Colin: “Nineteen Seventy-nine was the year we became TV friendly and this tune I think started it off for us. Although we had appeared on the box before, really unless you had done a Top of the Pops you remained invisible to the general public. But our faith in the magic spell of appearing on this legendary programme was severely shaken when our chart position plummeted just days after our performance went out to the masses. Having said that, I think it's one of our better excursions into that world of young fizzy pop. Lots of major to minor going on in the verse made for a nice tension with the melody, it's probably something I've gotten into again lately.”

    Andy: “We felt that we ought to try out Steve Lillywhite as a potential producer and the newly opened Virgin Goldhawk Road Studios (site of the old Goldhawk Film Studios). Nobody was sure whether this would make a single. It did ultimately, but this recording was never used. It has a spikier feel than the Drums And Wires version and some of the guitar parts are different, 12 string over the fade, bluesy bass line etc.

    “Ironically it was John Leckie who suggested we might like to work at these studios for the Go 2 album. I remember all piling into a car to take a look around, only to be met by a brace of amused builders and finding ourselves in an empty shell. ‘Bit too early, it's not built yet lads.’ ”

  7. U.S. single version, unused.
    Recorded at Wessex Studios, London, in July and September 1979.
    Mixed at Utopia Studios, London.
    Produced by Cameron Allen.
    Recorded for release as a single in the U.S.A., 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
    Sting and Frances Tomelty - handclaps

    Colin: “Cameron Allen was his name, record producing was his game. In 1979 Virgin Records were convinced that this guy could bring out something in this song, which would be our ticket to American mass acceptance. Cameron was definitely after a wholesome apple pie, which we gave. But I think I prefer the strudel we had prepared earlier. Not even the addition of some nifty handclaps by none other than Sting and his then wife, Francis Tomelty, could stop this from becoming the rhombus shaped peg in a round hole.”

    Andy: “Back in Blighty, one Australian tour, one Japanese tour, blood, 4x, one colostomy bag laden groupie, one round of fisticuffs with Tokyo hotel staff, too much saki and a marriage proposal later, Virgin have a plan. They would like ‘Life Begins at the Hop’ to be a single in America but not the Lillywhite/Drums And Wires version which they think is too scratchy and Swindonian. Instead, at the suggestion of Laurie Dunne, Australian in residence to Virgin, one of his countrymen, Cameron Allen, is the producer we need to mellow us out.

    “What were they thinking of? This is what came out of the session, only to be hastily locked away. A very odd, half awake, dream state take, sounding as if one side of the stereo cut out. Skanking twelve string swaps with smooth cheese Californian chord carpets. Sting and Frances Tomelty's (honest) handclaps unfortunately failed to lift it.”

  8. 2014 5.1 Penteo upmix.
    Mixed and produced by Steven Wilson from the original multi-track tapes.
    Released on the DVD and Blu-ray reissue of Drums and Wires on 27 October 2014 in the U.K.
  9. Unknown session, rehearsal / demo version.
    Released on the Blu-ray reissue of Drums and Wires on 27 October 2014 in the U.K.
  10. Swindon Town Hall 1 version.
    Recorded in February 1979 at Redbrick Studio, Swindon Town Hall.
    Released on the Blu-ray reissue of Drums and Wires on 27 October 2014 in the U.K.

[Thanks to R. Stevie Moore]


Art

#\#a href="http://www.majhost.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=3357456" target="churl"#/#Japanese #\#i#/#Life Begins At The Hop#\#/i#/# 7" cover#\#/a#/#

Japanese Life Begins At The Hop 7" cover

three different views of the #\#i#/#Life Begins At The Hop#\#/i#/# 7" pic sleeve

three different views of the Life Begins At The Hop 7" pic sleeve

advert for the #\#i#/#Life Begins At The Hop#\#/i#/# single

advert for the Life Begins At The Hop single

Snippet of “Life Begins at the Hop” lip-sync on #\#i#/#Top of the Pops#\#/i#/#, 17 May 1979

Snippet of “Life Begins at the Hop” lip-sync on Top of the Pops, 17 May 1979

#\#a href="http://youtu.be/0yiknQ9xyJk" target="churl"#/#XTC perform “Life Begins at the Hop” on their first #\#i#/#Top of the Pops#\#/i#/# appearance, 17 May 1979#\#/a#/#

XTC perform “Life Begins at the Hop” on their first Top of the Pops appearance, 17 May 1979

#\#a href="http://youtu.be/0yiknQ9xyJk" target="churl"#/#XTC perform “Life Begins at the Hop” on their first #\#i#/#Top of the Pops#\#/i#/# appearance, 17 May 1979#\#/a#/#

XTC perform “Life Begins at the Hop” on their first Top of the Pops appearance, 17 May 1979


Lyrics

I have learnt there's a magical spot at the hop
Come with me to the church on the corner the hop
There's nuts and crisps and ccc cola on tap
A good time had by the boys and girls at the hop

Tell me what do you say
Tell me what do you say

Life begins at the hop, boys and girls

Prepare yourself for the boys in the band at the hop
The cheap guitars, too young for the bars at the hop
We'll jive around, make fools of ourselves then stop
Back next week with another ridiculous tie knot

Tell me what do you say
Tell me what do you say

Life begins at the hop, boys and girls

Chords and Tablature

Date: Wed, 8 May 2013 12:25:41 -0400
From: Douglas Wood <douglas.wood (at) mindspring dot com>
Subject: Life Begins At The Hop
Message-Id: <E7698B84-5CFD-4C28-AAEA-DE158E6D6CCE (at) mindspring dot com>


I stumbled across the Chalkhills website a few months back and thought
I'd pass along my tab to my favorite XTC song, Life Begins At The Hop.
It's attached as a text file but I also have copied it below. The
chords come from here Eleven Different Animals but the tab of the riff
and solo are mine. You can also find Eleven Different Animals here:
http://www.optimismsflames.com/animals-front.htm

Thanks for working on the site. It's really cool.

Cheers,
Douglas Wood



CHORDS

D               Db5             A               Ab5
EADGBE          EADGBE          EADGBE          EADGBE
xx0232          xx0132          x02220          x01220
x57775          x56775          577655          567655

F#m7            Am7             Am13            G               Bm
EADGBE          EADGBE          EADGBE          EADGBE          EADGBE
244420          x02013          x02012          320003          224432

RIFF

Guitar riff repeated throughout song except for the solo
E|------------------------|
B|------------------------|
G|------------------------|
D|--0-2-4------0-2--------|
A|--------0--4------------|
E|------------------------|

INTRO
D Db5 D x2
A Ab5 A x2


VERSE
D               F#m             Bm                Am7    Am13  Am7
I have learnt there's a magical spot at the hop
D               F#m             Bm                Am7    Am13  Am7
Come with me to the church on the corner the hop
D               F#m             Bm                Am7    Am13  Am7
There's nuts and crisps and ccc cola on tap
D               F#m             Bm                Am7    Am13  Am7
A good time had by the boys and girls at the hop


CHORUS
G                       D
Tell me what do you say
G                       A
Tell me what do you say
D       A            G            A
Life begins at the hop, boys and girls

At the end of the A in the chorus, the lead guitar plays a riff similar to this as I don't think I have it quite right.

E|-----------------------|
B|-----------------------|
G|--2-4-2-0--------------|
D|-----------4-2-4-0-----|
A|-----------------------|
E|-----------------------|


VERSE
D               F#m             Bm                Am7    Am13  Am7
Prepare yourself for the boys in the band at the hop
D               F#m             Bm                Am7    Am13  Am7
The cheap guitars, too young for the bars at the hop
D               F#m             Bm                Am7    Am13  Am7
We'll jive around, make fools of ourselves then stop
D               F#m             Bm                Am7    Am13  Am7
Back next week with another ridiculous tie knot

CHORUS
G                       D
Tell me what do you say
G                       A
Tell me what do you say
D       A            G
Life begins at the hop, boys and girls

SOLO
All palm muted except for the last few notes

E|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
B|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
G|--12121212-14-12-16-12-14-12-------------------------------------|
D|-----------------------------12121212-14-12-16-12----------------|
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------|

E|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
B|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
G|--12121212-14-12-16-12-14-12-------------------------------------|
D|-----------------------------12121212-14-12-16-12----------------|
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------|

These notes are rapidly picked
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
B|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
G|-12121212-1414141414-12-1616-1212-1414-1212----------------------|
D|--------------------------------------------12121212-14-12-16-12-|
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
                                        Stop palm muting here
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
B|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
G|--16161616-14141414-12121212-------------------------------------|
D|----------------------------16161616-----------------------------|
A|-------------------------------------12-14-16-12-14-16-12-14-16--|
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------|


CHORUS
G                       D
Tell me what do you say
G                       A
Tell me what do you say
D       A            G           A
Life begins at the hop, boys and girls


REPEAT FIRST VERSE
The Am7 and Am13 chords are heavily exaggerated and distorted.

VERSE
D               F#m             Bm                Am7    Am13  Am7
I have learnt there's a magical spot at the hop

D               F#m             Bm                Am7    Am13  Am7
Come with me to the church on the corner the hop
D               F#m             Bm                Am7    Am13  Am7
There's nuts and crisps and ccc cola on tap
D               F#m             Bm                Am7    Am13  Am7
A good time had by the boys and girls at the hop

OUTRO
Repeat main guitar riff while the rhythm guitar jams on A and D, from
what I can tell.

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