Science Friction

(Partridge)

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

  1. Album version, 3'12.
    Produced and engineered by John Leckie.
    Tapes worked by Haydn Bendall.
    Recorded and mixed at EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London.
    Released on 7 October 1977 as a single in the U.K.
    Also available as a bonus track on compact disc releases of White Music.
    Andy Partridge - Guitar, Vocals
    Colin Moulding - Bass, Vocals
    Terry Chambers - Drums, metal door of microphone cupboard, filing cabinet
    Barry Andrews - Keyboards, Vocals
    Terry played the metal door of a microphone cupboard . . . features a sound made by a filing cabinet in Abbey Road Studios.
    Colin: “Definitely a case of a band in the studio for the first time getting red-light nerve fever.” Andy: “It's weird because you start to think about really odd things like, ‘Did my trousers squeak in that take?’.”
    Andy: “Comics and comic art played a big part in my life at one time, I would try and slip in words and phrases that would paint a kind of surreal but dynamic world that reflected the real one, but in stronger simpler ways. Freud would have a great time with me because as a youngster I actually had a fear of stars (astrophobia?) and would run home from cub scouts sweating and shaking in case I actually looked up.”
  2. Promotional video.
    No details known.
  3. BBC version (Peel Session).
    Recorded 20 June 1977 at BBC Studio Maida Vale 4.
    Produced by Malcolm Brown. Engineered by Dave Dade.
    First broadcast 24 June 1977 on “Top Gear with John Peel”, BBC Radio 1.
    Not released.
    Andy Partridge (guitar, vocal)
    Colin Moulding (bass, vocals)
    Barry Andrews (keyboards, saxophone)
    Terry Chambers (drums)
  4. Live version.
    Produced and engineered by John Leckie.
    Recorded live at the Hope & Anchor, Islington, between 22 November and 15 December 1977.
    Recorded by RAK Mobile.
    Released in September 1978 on the Hope & Anchor Front Row Festival live compilation album in the U.K.
  5. Live version.
    Recorded live on 17 January 1979 at Paris Theatre, London, for In Concert.
    Produced by Chris Lycett for the BBC.
    Released on 16 November 1998 on Transistor Blast in the U.K.
  6. CBS demo.
    Recorded at CBS Studios, Whitfield Street, London, on 8 March 1977.
    Produced by Nicky Graham. Engineer unknown.
    Released on 25 March 2002 on Coat of Many Cupboards in the U.K.
    Andy Partridge - Guitar and Vocals
    Colin Moulding - Bass and Vocals
    Barry Andrews - Keyboards and Vocals
    Terry Chambers - Drums
    However, Jon Rosenberger writes, “I believe Science Friction as it appears on COMC is from the XTC financed demos that were recorded in August 1976 at Sun Studios in Reading. This would be about 2 months after Steve Hutchins was booted from the band and Andy started as the singer, thus you can see why AP might not sound quite like himself. That would be Jon Perkins on keyboards then and not Barry as well.”

    Andy: “One keyboard player, John Perkins, had left; and another one, Barry Andrews, had joined, after a rather collegiate drinking/bonding initiation. CBS had called us back in for our second demo try out session (the first was on Wednesday 5/1/77), they obviously still weren't sure whether they wanted to sign us, so up to their studios in London's Whitfield Street we duly traipsed. The producer who oversaw the session was either (French accent) very brave or very stoopeed, one Nicky Graham. He was certainly silly enough to let slip the fact that he had produced Andy Williams, for which the rest of the day he was bombarded with questions. We wanted to know all there was to know about ol' cardigan face, in a sort of ‘my mum wouldn't be pleased to know that’ sort of way.

    “We did manage to record a few songs as well, here's one. ‘Science Friction’. A daft tale of nothing much in particular, except for my bouts of astrophobia. You can hear, beneath the wobbly guitar, wobbly piano and wobbly Crumar organ, that my voice hasn't got its P.A. breaking, Buddy Holly on Red Bull bark, it's a relatively low pitched song and I didn't feel quite at home with it. The key takes me into crooner range. However Nicky Graham did calm us down and get a reasonable dance hall throb from what was previously a very spazzy twitch of a tune. I think we ended with a compromise. He got a glitterball beat if we could keep in our Saturnian funfair ‘Rockin' Goose’ middle section. Now is the winter of our discotex made spring by etc. etc.

    “Ultimately CBS passed on us, wonder why? But the good thing was now we had reasonable demos to shower DJ John Peel with. Which we did. Which led to a session on his show. Which led to more gigs in London. Which... and as you know the rest is histoplasmosis.”

[Thanks to R. Stevie Moore]


Art

#\#i#/#3D Single#\#/i#/# front cover

3D Single front cover

#\#i#/#3D Single#\#/i#/# back cover

3D Single back cover

#\#a href="http://www.majhost.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=2176478" target="churl"#/##\#i#/#3D EP#\#/i#/# front cover#\#/a#/#

3D EP front cover

#\#a href="http://www.majhost.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=2174557" target="churl"#/##\#i#/#3D-EP#\#/i#/# back cover#\#/a#/#

3D-EP back cover

a rare #\#i#/#3D Single#\#/i#/#

a rare 3D Single

UK #\#i#/#Science Friction#\#/i#/# label

UK Science Friction label

#\#a href="http://www.majhost.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=4039314" target="churl"#/#French #\#i#/#Science Friction#\#/i#/# single sleeve#\#/a#/#

French Science Friction single sleeve

#\#a href="http://www.majhost.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=4039315" target="churl"#/#reverse of French #\#i#/#Science Friction#\#/i#/# single sleeve#\#/a#/#

reverse of French Science Friction single sleeve

label of the French #\#i#/#Science Friction#\#/i#/# 7-incher

label of the French Science Friction 7-incher

German #\#i#/#Science Friction#\#/i#/# PS

German Science Friction PS

#\#a href="video/Vault1.mov" target="churl"#/#“Science Friction”, a comically pedestrian version, from #\#i#/#Launch#\#/i#/# 25#\#/a#/#

“Science Friction”, a comically pedestrian version, from Launch 25

#\#a href="http://youtu.be/XIRKA6y9m7M" target="churl"#/#promo video for “Science Friction” (hilariously low quality)#\#/a#/#

promo video for “Science Friction” (hilariously low quality)

autographed #\#i#/#3D-EP#\#/i#/#

autographed 3D-EP

Polish #\#i#/#Science Friction#\#/i#/# postcard flexi

Polish Science Friction postcard flexi

#\#a href="http://mondo-de-muebles.blogspot.com/2009/08/xtc-peel-sessions.html" target="churl"#/#artwork for XTC: #\#i#/#Peel Sessions#\#/i#/# from #\#i#/#Mondo de Muebles#\#/i#/##\#/a#/#

artwork for XTC: Peel Sessions from Mondo de Muebles

artwork for XTC: #\#i#/#John Peel Session#\#/i#/# from #\#i#/#Back In The Fire#\#/i#/#

artwork for XTC: John Peel Session from Back In The Fire

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Lyrics

I look out of my window at night
I see the stars and I'm filled with fright
I got a feeling someone's looking
It ain't the aliens at the foot of my bed
It's more the ale inside my head
I got a feeling something's cooking

Science friction burns my fingers
Electricity still lingers
Hey put away that ray, how do you martians say
I love you

I read my comics from front to back
I'll be ready for any attack
I got a feeling someone's looking


Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 18:33:16 +0200
From: "Jens Jakobsson" <jensjakobsson@tiscali.se>
Subject: Science Friction - the Swedish translation
Message-ID: <00e301c4b530$2d4523a0$2d85ccd5@alan>
Hi!

Thanks for a most enlightening site on my fave band. Here is the long overdue Swedish translation of Science Friction.
It was a mess to do, to be honest, and the title I have left as it is, given that science fiction is a well established word in Sweden. The hardest part was the ale/alien rhyme, which I finally - somewhat anachronistically - turned into a pun which translates as "It's not E.T who is phoning home / only too much spirit tonight again"; E.T and "sprit i" being at least a halting rhyme.

With some good intentions and basic semantic training (if you mimick an old Scotch dialect you are actually half-way to a decent Swedish intonation) Andy Partridge might well sing the lyrics himself and possibly score a hit on MTV Nordic, but for the time being I think it's best to settle for a somewhat humbler first step: surely there is an obscure corner of your cyber space mansion where this contribution could be submitted? It might draw the attention of several Scandinavian XTC fans (my estimates are at a rather high one-digit number). Free of charge, of course - this is art for art's sake.

Kind Regards
Jens Jakobsson
Sweden

PS I hope your mail program deciphers the last three letters of the Swedish alphabet. If not, I could send you the lyrics as an attachment.

Science Friction
Jag ser hur himlen är blå som bläck (I see the sky is as blue as ink)
men alla stjärnor får mig full av skräck (but all the stars fill me with fright)
Det känns precis som om nån ser mig (I have a feeling someone sees me)

Det är inte E.T. som vill ringa hem (see above)
bara för mycket sprit i kväll igen!
Jag undrar just vad det är med mig (I wonder just what's the matter with me)

Science friktion blixtrar och fräser (flashes and sparkles)
bränner min hud var gång jag läser (burns my skin each time I read)
Lägg ner din strålpistol (Put down your ray-gun)
har marsmän inget ord (don't martians have a word)
för kärlek? (for love)

Du blir beredd när du är seriefrälst (You get alert when you're a comics freak)
Jag vet de kommer var och när som helst (I know they're coming any/everywhere)
Det känns precis som om nån ser mig

Det är inte E.T. som vill ringa hem
bara för mycket sprit i kväll igen!
Jag undrar just vad det är med mig

Science friktion blixtrar och fräser
bränner min hud var gång jag läser
Lägg ner din strålpistol
har jordbor inget ord (don't earthlings have a word)
för kärlek?


Without translation, for your convenience:

Science Friction
Jag ser hur himlen är blå som bläck
men alla stjärnor får mig full av skräck
Det känns precis som om nån ser mig

Det är inte E.T. som vill ringa hem
bara för mycket sprit i kväll igen!
Jag undrar just vad det är med mig

Science friktion blixtrar och fräser
bränner min hud var gång jag läser
Lägg ner din strålpistol
har marsmän inget ord
för kärlek?

Du blir beredd när du är seriefrälst
Jag vet de kommer var och när som helst
Det känns precis som om nån ser mig

Det är inte E.T. som vill ringa hem
bara för mycket sprit i kväll igen!
Jag undrar just vad det är med mig

Science friktion blixtrar och fräser
bränner min hud var gång jag läser
Lägg ner din strålpistol
har jordbor inget ord
för kärlek?


Chords and Tablature

[YOUR CONTRIBUTION GOES HERE]


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