Respectable Street

(Partridge)

#\#i#/#Respectable Street#\#/i#/# front cover

Respectable Street front cover

Recordings
XTCfans interview with Andy Partridge
Art
Annotated Lyrics
Chords and Tablature
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Recordings

  1. Album version, 3'37.
    Released on Black Sea.
    Groove noise from Peter Gabriel [III].

    Andy: “Actually inspired by my neighbour who spends half her life banging on the wall should I so much as sneeze. Not knocking people who have ‘respectable’ ideals (I know I must have a few), more of a song of people with double or hypocritical values. You know the sort, blind drunk one night, church the next. Or the mother who urges her daughter to go out and have fun dear, isn't abortion wonderful. If their daughter got pregnant they would beat her senseless.”
  2. Single (bowdlerised BBC) version, 3'05.
    Recorded at the Townhouse Studios, London, England, Summer 1980.
    Produced by Steve Lillywhite. Engineered by Hugh Padgham.
    Released on 13 March 1981 as a single in the U.K.
    Also available on Rag & Bone Buffet.

    Andy: “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.”
    Andy: “The A&R man decided the BBC wouldn't play this with words like ‘abortion’ and ‘contraception’, so he took out all the words he didn't like. It wasn't a big hit, though, because the BBC still didn't play it. A couple of bands have covered it, and they always get the chords wrong. The second one's a seventh, formed from the E-string up. They always miss it.” Dave: “It's not really a guitarist's chord, that one.” Andy: “Nope, but it's a Partsy one.”
  3. Promotional video, 3'05.
    First broadcast date unknown.
    Released in 1982 on the Look Look video compilation.

  4. Live version, 3'51.
    Released on BBC Radio 1 Live in Concert.
    Also available on Transistor Blast.

    Andy: “The Hammersmith Palais mass choir sings the start of ‘Respectable Street’ for us. Boy do we take off fast on this version? My touring/cold shot voice comes out as a bastard son of Lemmy and Sammy the seal.”
  5. Live version, 3'08.
    Produced, engineered, and mixed by Tim Summerhayes and XTC.
    Recorded live at the Fréjus Amphitheatre, Fréjus, France, on 28 August 1980.
    Released in August 1981 on the URGH! A Music War live compilation album in the U.K.
    Also available on video.


Art

#\#i#/#Respectable Street#\#/i#/# back cover

Respectable Street back cover

#\#a href="video/Respect.avi" target="churl"#/#Andy pantomimes the architecture of “Respectable Street” on #\#i#/#Rockpalast#\#/i#/##\#/a#/#

Andy pantomimes the architecture of “Respectable Street” on Rockpalast

#\#i#/#URGH! A Music War#\#/i#/# video sleeve

URGH! A Music War video sleeve

#\#a href="http://youtu.be/vOhtgifHTAc" target="churl"#/#“Respectable Street”, live at the Fréjus Amphitheatre, Fréjus, France, 28 August 1980#\#/a#/#

“Respectable Street”, live at the Fréjus Amphitheatre, Fréjus, France, 28 August 1980

“Respectable Street”, performed live at Markthalle, Hamburg, West Germany, February 10, 1982, broadcast on #\#i#/#Rockpalast#\#/i#/#, WDR

“Respectable Street”, performed live at Markthalle, Hamburg, West Germany, February 10, 1982, broadcast on Rockpalast, WDR

#\#a href="http://youtu.be/tqDFGpd845Y" target="churl"#/#“Respectable Street” promo video (featuring Richard Branson)#\#/a#/#

“Respectable Street” promo video (featuring Richard Branson)


Lyrics

Notes

A “caravan” is a small travel trailer or recreational vehicle, in this case one which never moves from the front garden (“front yard”, to you Yanks) of the neighbour's house.

Album version:

It's in the order of their hedgerows
it's in the way their curtains open and close
it's in the look they give you down their nose
all part of decency's jigsaw I suppose

Heard the neighbour slam his car door
don't he realise this is respectable street
What d'you think he bought that car for
'cos he realise this is respectable street

Now they talk about abortion
in cosmopolitan proportions to their daughters
as they speak of contraception
And immaculate receptions on their portable
Sony entertainment centres.

Now she speaks about diseases
and which sex position pleases best her old man
Avon lady fills the creases
when she manages to squeeze in past the caravans
that never move from their front gardens.

It's in the order of their hedgerows
it's in the way their curtains open and close
it's in the look they give you down their nose
all part of decency's jigsaw I suppose
Sunday church and they look fetching
Saturday night saw him retching over our fence
bang the wall for me to turn down
I can see them with their stern frown
as they dispense the kind of look that says
they're perfect.

© 1980 Virgin Music (Publishers) Ltd.

BBC Version:

Heard the neighbour slam his car door
don't he realise this is respectable street
What d'you think he bought that car for
'cos he realise this is respectable street

Now they talk about absorption
in cosmopolitan proportions to their daughters
as they speak of child prevention
And immaculate receptions on their portable
Sony entertainment centres.

Now she speak about diseases
and which proposition pleases best her old man
Avon lady fills the creases
when she manages to squeeze in past the caravans
that never move from their front gardens.

It's in the order of their hedgerows
it's in the way their curtains open and close
it's in the look they give you down their nose
all part of decency's jigsaw I suppose

Sunday church and they look fetching
Saturday night saw him stretching over our fence
bang the wall for me to turn down
I can see them with their stern frown
as they dispense the kind of look that says
they're perfect.

Chords and Tablature

Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2015 14:40:00 -0000
From: XTC < (at) xtcfans>
X-URL: https://twitter.com/xtcfans/status/634072549345898496

So many have asked,I just have to tell.The first 2 chords in
RESPECTABLE STREET are ...the first is a B on the 7th fret.2nd chord
is, in... ...ascending order these notes...Db.F,B.Open G.Gb.Open E.
Get working out the rest,they are all straight forward. Strum on.

Guitar & Bass (UK)
May 2005

Generally Major: Colin Moulding Workshop
by Gareth Morgan

Ex. 4

IN THE ORDER OF THEIR HEDGEROWS
Most diehard XTC fans regard Black Sea as the classic album: it's chock-full of wonderful tunes, including four hit singles, yet it still retains a quirky edge and obviously represents the band reaching maturity.

The opener, Respectable Street, is a Partridge tirade against upper-middle class suburban life, and Moulding comes up with a groove similar to the one above. Again, we've condensed a four-bar phrase into two by halving the note lengths, but what you get is the McCartney triadic approach coupled with Fraser's phrasing all bound up in Moulding's fat, rubbery tone.


Date: 22 Sep 98 07:25:03 +0000
From: Dan Pinder <dpinder (at) inreach dot com>
Subject: Respectable Street bridge section
Message-Id: <199809221413.HAA28810 (at) mail dot inreach dot com>

The arpeggiated bridge section of Respectable Street
sounds to me, like this, one note different from Ned's version:


||--------0-------------------------------||
||-----------4--------------5--3----------||
||------2------4----------4------3--------||
||----2----------4------6----------3------||
||--4--------------6--7--------------5----||
||----------------------------------------||

The open E string makes it easier to sweep up and then down
and you can relax your hand for a fleeting second whilst
moving it into position.


Daniel Pinder (dpinder (at) inreach dot com)

Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 16:58:25 -0600
From: Kevin <miller6 (at) airmail dot net>
Subject: Transcription of Respectable Street
Message-ID: <34E22D11.557B755F (at) airmail dot net>


Ummm

I've always played Respectable Street's intro with:

AM - BM - EM - F#dim

and not

AM - BM - EM - D+

I tried the D+ version and the B-Flat doesn't quite sound right.

Just my two cents, and thanks for running this site!

sbd
(Kevin Rice)

Date: Tue, 28 Mar 1995 19:00:31 -0500
From: flat5 (at) nervm dot nerdc dot ufl dot edu
Subject: RS chords

To pick up the XTC/Police thread, how *synchronicity*-esque that
AMANION (or should I say, 'I'm merely AMANION...') should ask for the
chords to Respectable Street, after I claimed to be able to play it in
the last post--spooky.

Anyroad, the opening chords, in standard tuning, are B maj. and C#7(#9),
which is voiced thus:

Play a B maj. barre chord on the 7th penis--sorry, 7th FRET--then move the
chord up a whole step to C#, but leave the B and E strings open and ringing
at top (notes: C#, G#, C#, F, B, E).  Magic!
Two other useful chords for RS: E maj. and F# maj.

Um, it just occurred to me that you might have wanted the 'old-timey' piano
chords which truly open the song (and comprise the bridge)--these are them:

  A maj.        B maj.       E maj.      D aug.,    but arpeggiated like this:

         c#      d#                       e     d
      a              b                   b          a#
    e                  f#            g#                f#
c#                       d#      e                       d

(For Floridian Chalkhillians only) a little test to tell if you're
playing it right is, the first half of this riff sounds like the 'Star
Hustler' TV show theme by Debussy (though I believe old Claude had a
slightly different name for the tune when he wrote it).

Actual thanks for this bridge transcription belong to fellow ChalkVillian
Mr. BKWright, who showed it to me years ago.  Thanks, Keathe!

     Ned Davis, or Flat5 to you.

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