Making Plans for Nigel

(Moulding)

#\#i#/#Making Plans for Nigel#\#/i#/# UK single front cover

Making Plans for Nigel UK single front cover

Recordings
XTCfans interview with Colin Moulding
XTCfans interview with Dave Gregory
XTCfans interview with Andy Partridge
Art
Lyrics
Chords and Tablature
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Recordings

In Japan, this song was also known as “Ganbare Naijuru” (“Bear Up, Nigel”).

  1. Album version, 4'13.
    Recorded at the Town House, Goldhawk Road, London, England.
    Released on Drums and Wires.
    Released on 14 September 1979 as a single in the U.K.
    Reached No. 17 on the U.K. singles chart.
    Reached Top 20 on the Canadian singles chart.
    Vera and Charlie's son played Bass and sang.
    Eileen and Peter's son played Drums.
    Margaret and Roy's son played Guitar and sang.
    Vera and John's son played Guitar and sang.
    Marie and Geoffrey Lillywhite's son Steve produced it.
    Ursula and Charlie Padgham's son Hugh engineered it.
    Helen and Ronnie Chamber's son George operated the tape recorder.
    Colin: “Partly biographical, this one. My dad prompted me to write it. He wanted a University future for me and was very overpowering in trying to persuade me to get my haircut and stay on at school. It got to the point where he almost tried to drag me down the barber's shop by my hair. As it happens, the whole thing got decided by my headmaster who expelled me for keeping it long. My dad was a bit cut up, I think. I know the song tells of a slightly different situation but it all boils down to the same thing - parental domination. Looking back, I think he saw playing with ‘Andy Partridge's mob’ as a bad influence on me. I think now he's proud of me, although he would never let on, he's that sort of bloke.”
  2. Promotional video, edit (using the album version).
    Recorded 10 July 1979, London.
    Directed by Russell Mulcahy.
    First broadcast date unknown.
    Released in 1982 on the Look Look video compilation.
    Andy: “People comment on the rhythm and how inventive it was, but it's just a normal pattern played on the wrong drums. I've got to say I was lividly jealous of [Colin] at that point because he just couldn't put a foot wrong.” Colin: “It's nice to see a song taken into a nation's consciousness. I saw a headline about Nigel Lawson. . .” Andy: “That's it, you're HP sauce at last.”
  3. Live version, 4'29.
    Released on BBC Radio 1 Live in Concert.
    Also available on Transistor Blast.
    Andy: “Before you've got time to wipe the green brain jelly from the windscreen, you've swerved into encoresville and Terry's Voodoo Tom Toms light the fuse on a high octane ‘Making Plans for Nigel’.”
  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. Demo (Swindon Town Hall 2) version.
    Recorded at Redbrick Studios, Swindon Town Hall, in March 1979.
    Produced by XTC. Engineered by Steve Warren.
    Released on 25 March 2002 on Coat of Many Cupboards in the U.K.
    Also released on the Blu-ray reissue of Drums and Wires on 27 October 2014 in the U.K.
    Is this the same version as on XTC Demos 1 - Demos?
    Colin Moulding - Bass and Vocals
    Andy Partridge - Guitar, Keyboard and Vocals
    Dave Gregory - Guitar, Piano and Vocals
    Terry Chambers - Drums

    Colin: “ ‘Nigel's’ the song that won't go away and I suppose in some circles it's what we'll always be known for. What you've got here is the carpet and egg box version, recorded in the cellar of Swindon Town Hall way back, when I used a push-bike and was a whole lot nicer (apologies Dylan Thomas).

    “I'm jealous of the song really, and that it connected with people to such an extent, which in a way I've been unable to do since. Like Kirsty MacColl and her ‘Chip Shop’ song and perhaps Squeeze's ‘Cool For Cats’ I think we're in a similar boat. Well certainly in the UK anyway and then there's tradesmen who call at the house to do jobs for you. They see the paraphernalia of music lying around and a face that they vaguely recognise and then the game begins..... ‘Don't tell me, it's you, ain't it. I know your record... it's... it's...’. A bizarre game of ‘I'll name that tune, but wait for you to tell me what it is’ goes on while water is running through your ceiling. Shit what can I say. I'm immensely proud of it, but damn it.”

    Andy: “Colin was turning them out thick and fast at this point, he'd taken to songwriting like a duck to orange sauce. Now this one was definitely a single. A local songer/singwriter Dave James, had set up a tiny four track studio in a basement store room of Swindon Town Hall, which he called Redbrick Studio, and it looked just the place to record our demos. In a cubic cell about 8 feet by 8 feet, and lined with egg boxes, we would record some twenty odd songs or ideas for songs, over the coming months. The only reverb we had was a very twittery Vesta Fire spring to give the sounds a sense of depth. Heard at its jitteriest on my Mr Punch doo doo vocal hook. Finally, I must confess, Devo's upside down drum rhythm for ‘Satisfaction’ was an influence for Terry and myself to concoct this happy voodoo tumble. I really wanted to be a drummer.”

  6. Live video version.
    Recorded live 18 November 1979 at Théâtre de l'Empire, Paris, France, for Chorus.
    Produced by Antoine de Caunes.
    Released in October 2010 on Sur la scène du Théâtre de l'Empire à Paris - Chorus - 18/11/1979 in France.
  7. 2014 stereo mix.
    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.
  8. 2014 5.1 mix.
    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. 2014 instrumental mix.
    Mixed and produced by Steven Wilson from the original multi-track tapes.
    Released on the Blu-ray reissue of Drums and Wires on 27 October 2014 in the U.K.

[Thanks to R. Stevie Moore]


Art

#\#i#/#Making Plans for Nigel#\#/i#/# UK single back cover

Making Plans for Nigel UK single back cover

#\#i#/#Making Plans for Nigel#\#/i#/# gameboard

Making Plans for Nigel gameboard

#\#i#/#Making Plans for Nigel#\#/i#/# cutout characters

Making Plans for Nigel cutout characters

French #\#i#/#Making Plans for Nigel#\#/i#/# PS

French Making Plans for Nigel PS

#\#a href="http://www.majhost.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=2525576" target="churl"#/#Japanese #\#i#/#Making Plans for Nigel#\#/i#/# single#\#/a#/#

Japanese Making Plans for Nigel single

#\#a href="http://www.majhost.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=2526369" target="churl"#/#back cover of the Japanese #\#i#/#Making Plans for Nigel#\#/i#/# 7" single#\#/a#/#

back cover of the Japanese Making Plans for Nigel 7" single

inner sleeve and label of Japanese #\#i#/#Making Plans for Nigel#\#/i#/# 7" single

inner sleeve and label of Japanese Making Plans for Nigel 7" single

#\#i#/#Making Plans for Nigel#\#/i#/# from Old Gold Records UK

Making Plans for Nigel from Old Gold Records UK

advertisement for #\#i#/#Making Plans for Nigel#\#/i#/#, #\#i#/#Smash Hits#\#/i#/#, September 6-19, 1979

advertisement for Making Plans for Nigel, Smash Hits, September 6-19, 1979

advertisement for the new “Making Plans for Nigel” game on Virgin Records

advertisement for the new “Making Plans for Nigel” game on Virgin Records

lyrics to “Making Plans for Nigel” from #\#i#/#Smash Hits#\#/i#/#, October 4, 1979

lyrics to “Making Plans for Nigel” from Smash Hits, October 4, 1979

#\#a href="video/MakingPlansForNigel.mov" target="churl"#/#snippet of the promotional video for “Making Plans For Nigel”#\#/a#/#

snippet of the promotional video for “Making Plans For Nigel”

Snippet of “Making Plans For Nigel” lip-sync on #\#i#/#Top of the Pops#\#/i#/#, 4 October 1979

Snippet of “Making Plans For Nigel” lip-sync on Top of the Pops, 4 October 1979

#\#a href="http://youtu.be/yQAFVhz1bCY" target="churl"#/#“Making Plans for Nigel” lip synch on #\#i#/#Top of the Pops#\#/i#/#, 4 October 1979#\#/a#/#

“Making Plans for Nigel” lip synch on Top of the Pops, 4 October 1979

#\#a href="http://youtu.be/0C6bVckO_CM" target="churl"#/#“Making Plans for Nigel” promotional video#\#/a#/#

“Making Plans for Nigel” promotional video


Lyrics

We're only making plans for Nigel
We only want what's best for him
We're only making plans for Nigel
Nigel just needs this helping hand
And if young Nigel says he's happy
He must be happy
He must be happy in his work
We're only making plans for Nigel
He has his future in a British steel
We're only making plans for Nigel
Nigel's whole future is as good as sealed
And if young Nigel says he's happy
He must be happy
He must be happy in his work
Nigel is not outspoken
But he likes to speak
And loves to be spoken to
Nigel is happy in his work
We're only making plans for Nigel

© 1979 Virgin Music (Publishers) Ltd.


Chords and Tablature

Guitar & Bass (UK)
May 2005

Generally Major: Colin Moulding Workshop
by Gareth Morgan

Ex. 3

A FUTURE IN BRITISH STEEL
1979 was a good year for XTC: Dave Gregory replaced Andrews, the splendid Drums And Wires was released and Moulding's wonderful Making Plans For Nigel gave the band their biggest hit to date. Legend has it that, upon hearing the references to themselves in not totally glowing terms, British Steel took a poll of all of their employees named Nigel to find out if they were actually happy! We've condensed four bars into two here so doubling the length of time on each chord will get you there, as will observing the staccato dots and the slides that mark each change.


Date: Sun, 16 Jul 1995 14:37:05 -0400
From: AngryYngMn (at) aol dot com
Subject: Making Plans for Nigel (chords)

For all whom are interested, I think I've come up with the "Making Plans For
Nigel" chord scheme...it took me a full afternoon to figure it out.  If
anyone lives in the eastern US and has put up with this heat (Yeow, 102
degrees in NYC!) you'll understand why I sat down to do this.  My house has
working A/C.

It's pretty hard to explain the chord changes unless you play it to the song
(try that, it would help immensely.)  But the way I'm doing it, if I group
two chords together, that would constitute one measure.  Those are the chords
as best as I can figure it, it's up to you to place them correctly.  And I
play *KEYBOARD* not guitar, so this was done at the pianner.

Verse goes like this:
Gadd2-G  Emadd4-Em  Bm7-Bm6  Bm7-Bm6

We're only making plans for Nigel
We only want what's best for him
We're only making plans for Nigel
Nigel just needs this helping hand

Am                           G
And if young Nigel says he's happy

           G/F
He must be happy

           Em7
He must be happy

                        D
He must be happy in his work

<solo> G  Em  Bdim-Bm Bdim-Bm

We're only making plans for Nigel
He has a future in a British steel
We're only making plans for Nigel
Nigel's whole future is as good as sealed

And if young Nigel says he's happy
He must be happy
He must be happy in his work

E
Nigel isn't outspoken

       C
But he likes to speak

       G6                 D/G G
And he loves to be spoken to

F?       C            G
Nigel is happy in his work

<verse>

<solo 2x>

There.  Enjoy!  Feel free to add suggestions...I'll try to do a few more
songs soon.  (If i have time)
-  Ira Lieman
  (AngryYngMn (at) aol dot com)

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