The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Thursday, May 17, 2007

XTC


XTC (Andy Partridge, Colin Moulding etc.)

I complete my new wave trifecta with XTC.

LP 25 O'CLOCK (Dukes) VIRGIN UK WOW 1 1985 6 TRKS (1st album / EP as “Dukes of the Stratosphear”)

12" 3D EP VIRGIN UK VS 188-12 1977 3 TRKS with pic sleeve; debut release – has the coda of this 12” made it’s way to CD? “Goodnight, suckers!”

12" 5 SENSES VIRGIN CAN VEP 308 1981 5 TRKS with pic sleeve, Canadian-only, at the time of “Senses Working Overtime”

12" ALL YOU PRETTY GIRLS VIRGIN UK VS 709-12 1984 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" ALL YOU PRETTY GIRLS / WASHAWAY VIRGIN JPN 07VA-1006 1984 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" ALL YOU PRETTY GIRLS / WASHAWAY VIRGIN UK VS 709 1984 2 TRKS with pic sleeve, nice fold-out ‘gimmicks’ sleeve

7" ARE YOU RECEIVING ME? / INSTANT TUNES VIRGIN NL 100.232 1978 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" ARE YOU RECEIVING ME? / INSTANT TUNES VIRGIN UK VS 231 1978 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12" BALL AND CHAIN VIRGIN UK VS 482-12 1982 4 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" BALL AND CHAIN VIRGIN UK VS 482 1982 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

CD BIG EXPRESS, THE VIRGIN UK CDV 2325 1984 14 TRKS 3 x bonus tracks

LP BIG EXPRESS, THE GEFFEN US GHS 24054 1984 11 TRKS square cover – the original UK release was a round cover

LP BLACK SEA RSO US VR-1-1000 DJ 1980 11 TRKS green outer bag

LP BLACK SEA VIRGIN UK V 2173 1980 11 TRKS insert

CD BLACK SEA kami TOSHIBA JPN TOCP-65714 1980 14 TRKS 3 x Bonus Tracks ('01 issue)

7" CHAIN OF COMMAND / LIMELIGHT VIRGIN UK VDJ 30 1979 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, free single that came in Drums & Wires

CD CHIPS FROM THE CHOCOLATE FIREBALL (Dukes) GEFFEN US 24169.2 1985/7 16 TRK Collection – their album and EP on one CD

12" DEAR GOD VIRGIN UK VS 960-12 1987 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

CD DEAR GOD VIRGIN UK CDEP 3 1987 7 TRK CD EP CD5 where they tried to collect the B-sides of the era (The “Homo Safari” series etc.)

7" DEAR GOD / BIG DAY VIRGIN UK VS 960 1987 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

CD5 DEMO TRACKS VIRGIN JPN VJCP-14044 1992 5 TRK CD Single CD5; Japan-only EP, from the time of “Nonsuch”

10" DISAPPOINTED, THE VIRGIN UK VSA 1404 1992 3 TRKS with pic sleeve – nope, I do not have a CD, 7” or 12” of this one!

CD DRUMS & WIRES VIRGIN UK CDV 2129 1979 13 TRKS first CD issue

LP DRUMS & WIRES VIRGIN UK V 2129 1979 12 TRKS + 2 TRK 7" single

CD DRUMS & WIRES kami TOSHIBA JPN TOCP-65713 1979 15 TRKS (3 x bonus tracks) '01 re-mastered

CD ENGLISH SETTLEMENT GEFFEN US 4036.2 1982 15 TRKS 1st US CD vers. (original UK CD did not have all of the tracks, so I went for the US copy)

LPx2 ENGLISH SETTLEMENT VIRGIN UK V 2223 1982 15 TRKS UK original issue

CD EXPLODE TOGETHER VIRGIN UK CDOVD 308 1990 16 TRKS ('78/'80 recordings) “Go+” and Andy Partridge’s solo album on one CD

7" GENERALS AND MAJORS (7" x 2) VIRGIN UK VS 365 1980 4 TRK EP; with pic sleeve, 7"x2

7" GENERALS AND MAJORS (Mono) / (Stereo) RSO US VR 300 1980 2 TRKS with pic sleeve, promo

CD GO 2 VIRGIN UK CDV 2108 1978 13 TRKS original CD issue, 1 x bonus track

LP GO 2 VIRGIN FR 2933 758 1978 13 TRKS alternate 'photo cover', insert

LP GO 2 VIRGIN UK V 2108 1978 12 TRKS insert

CD GO 2 kami TOSHIBA JPN TOCP-65712 1978 13 TRKS 'kami sleeve' re-issue

12" GO+ VIRGIN UK VS 233-12 1978 5 TRK EP; with pic sleeve – originally given away free with initial copies of “Go 2”

12" GRASS VIRGIN UK VS 882-12 1986 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" GRASS / DEAR GOD VIRGIN UK VS 882 1986 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12" GREAT FIRE VIRGIN UK VS 553-12 1983 4 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" GREAT FIRE / GOLD VIRGIN UK VS 553 1983 2 TRKS with pic sleeve + Plastic cover – “Gold” is one of my favorite B-Sides

12" KING FOR A DAY VIRGIN UK VST 1177 1989 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

CD3 KING FOR A DAY VIRGIN UK VSCD 1177 1989 4 TRK CD Single CD3

7" KING FOR A DAY / (Same) GEFFEN US 7-22953 1989 2 TRKS with pic sleeve, promo

7" LIFE BEGINS AT THE HOP / HOMO SAFARI VIRGIN JPN VIP-2760 1979 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" LIFE BEGINS AT THE HOP / HOMO SAFARI VIRGIN UK VS 259 1979 2 TRKS with pic sleeve, clear vinyl

12" LIVE & MORE VIRGIN JPN VIP-5904 1981 6 TRK EP; large Picture labels, insert – the “Black Sea” era live B-sides, mostly

7" LOOKING FOR FOOTPRINTS (Flexipop Mag.) FLEXIPOP UK 16 1979? 1 TRK no pic sleeve, flexidisc – which happily turns up on “Rag & Bone Buffet”

12" LOVE ON A FARMBOY'S WAGES VIRGIN UK VS 613-12 1983 4 TRKS with pic sleeve – unless I am mistaken, some of these B-sides never made it to CD

7" LOVE ON A FARMBOY'S WAGES (7" x 2) VIRGIN UK VS 613 1983 4 TRK EP; with pic sleeve, 7"x2

12" LOVING, THE VIRGIN UK VST 1201 1989 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

CD3 LOVING, THE VIRGIN UK VSCD 1201 1989 3 TRK CD Single CD3

7" LOVING, THE / CYNICAL DAYS VIRGIN UK VS 1201 1989 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

CD MAKING PLANS FOR ANDY pirate LIVING LEG LLRCD 076 1990 13 TRKS Live, a Pirate CD I found in Germany, years ago

7" MAKING PLANS FOR NIGEL / ARE YOU RECEIVING ME? VIRGIN AUS K 7668 1979 3 TRKS no pic sleeve, live

7" MAKING PLANS FOR NIGEL / BUSHMAN PRESIDENT VIRGIN UK VS 282 1979 3 TRKS with pic sleeve + GAME !

7" MAKING PLANS FOR NIGEL / LIFE BEGINS AT THE HOP VIRGIN FR 2097 823 1979 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" MAKING PLANS FOR NIGEL / THIS IS POP VIRGIN JPN VIP-2792 1979 3 TRKS with pic sleeve, Live tracks on the B-side

7" MAKING PLANS FOR NIGEL / THIS IS POP VIRGIN US VA 67009 1979 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

12" MAYOR OF SIMPLETON VIRGIN UK VSR 1158 1989 4 TRKS with pic sleeve

12" MAYOR OF SIMPLETON VIRGIN UK VST 1158 1989 3 TRKS with pic sleeve – with this release, they were playing the ‘different B-sides’ 12” game

CD3 MAYOR OF SIMPLETON VIRGIN UK VSCD 1158 1989 4 TRK CD Single CD3

7" MAYOR OF SIMPLETON / (Same) GEFFEN US 7-27552 1989 2 TRKS with pic sleeve, promo

12" MEETING PLACE, THE VIRGIN UK VS 912-12 1986 5 TRK EP with pic sleeve

7" MEETING PLACE, THE VIRGIN UK VSY 912 1986 2 TRKS with pic sleeve, clear vinyl

7" MOLE FROM THE MINISTRY (Dukes) VIRGIN UK VS 763 1985 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

CD MUMMER VIRGIN UK CDV 2264 1983 16 TRKS 6 x bonus tracks

LP MUMMER VIRGIN UK V 2264 1983 10 TRKS UK original issue

7" NO THUGS IN OUR HOUSE VIRGIN UK VS 490 1982 4 TRK EP; with pic sleeve, fold-out ‘gimmick’ sleeve – no 12”, I presume?

CD NONSUCH GEFFEN US GEFD-24474 1992 17 TRKS (last Virgin label album) – drat, I once passed up a double UK LP of this title

CD ORANGES & LEMONS GEFFEN US 24218.2 1989 15 TRKS

LPx2 ORANGES & LEMONS GEFFEN US 24218.1 1989 15 TRKS

CD ORPHEUS - THE LOWDOWN (Blegvad / A. Partridge) APE HOUSE APECD 005 2003 12 TRKS with book – not a stellar release, but to be included…Mr. partridge did once produce some nice stuff for Peter Blegvad

LP PSONIC PSUNSPOT (Dukes) GEFFEN US GHS 24169 1987 10 TRKS 2nd Dukes album

CD RAG & BONE BUFFET VIRGIN UK CDOVD 311 1990 24 TRK Collection (70's, 80's recordings) – collecting many odd B-sides etc.

7" RESPECTABLE STREET VIRGIN UK VS 407 1981 3 TRKS with pic sleeve – no 12”, I presume?

LPx2 RHYTHM, THE pirate CENTRIFUGAL 12CENT-07 1981? 15 TRKS Pirate, Live 1/80

CD3 SENSES WORKING OVERTIME VIRGIN UK CDT 9 1982 4 TRK CD Single CD3 was released ‘after the fact’

7" SENSES WORKING OVERTIME / BLAME THE WEATHER VIRGIN UK VS 462 1982 3 TRKS with pic sleeve, not a fold-out sleeve

7" SENSES WORKING OVERTIME / BLAME THE WEATHER VIRGIN UK VS 462 1982 3 TRKS with pic sleeve, fold-out sleeve

7" SGT. ROCK / LIVING THROUGH ANOTHER CUBA VIRGIN UK VS 384 1980 3 TRKS with pic sleeve, poster – no 12”, I presume?

CD SKYLARKING VIRGIN UK CDV 2399 1986 14 TRKS UK version, which does not have “Dear God”

LP SKYLARKING GEFFEN US GHS 24117 1986 14 TRKS the "Dear God" US version

7" STATUE OF LIBERTY / HANG ON TO THE NIGHT VIRGIN JPN VIP-2599 1978 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" STATUE OF LIBERTY / HANG ON TO THE NIGHT VIRGIN UK VS 201 1978 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

LP TAKE AWAY (Andy Partridge) VIRGIN UK V 2145 1980 11 TRKS rubber-stamped labels

7" TAKE THIS TOWN / BABYLON'S BURNING (The Ruts) RSO UK RSO 71 1980 2 TRKS with pic sleeve (O.S.T.)

7" TEN FEET TALL / HELICOPTER / SONAMBULIST VIRGIN US VA 67004 1980 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" TEN FEET TALL / OLYMPIAN (The Skids) SMASH HITS HIT 002 1980 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, flexidisc, this time from “Smash Hits” magazine

7" THANKS FOR CHRISTMAS (as ‘Three Wise Men’) VIRGIN UK VS 642 1983 2 TRKS with pic sleeve – an Xmas single

7" THIS IS POP? / HEATWAVE VIRGIN UK VS 209 1978 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12" THIS WORLD OVER VIRGIN UK VS 721-12 1984 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" THIS WORLD OVER / BLUE OVERALL VIRGIN UK VS 721 1984 2 TRKS with pic sleeve, cards attached to the cover of the single

CD TINY CIRCUS OF LIFE, THE VIRGIN FR 30953 1992 16 TRK Collection, 'France-Only' title – presumably from around the time of “Nonsuch”

7" TOO MANY COOKS IN THE KITCHEN ("The Colonel") VIRGIN UK VS 380 1980 2 TRKS with pic sleeve; Colin Moulding solo single – Mr. Moulding also played on an album by French pop group “L’Affaire Louis’ Trio”

7" TOWERS OF LONDON (7" x 2) VIRGIN UK VS 372 1980 4 TRK EP; with pic sleeve, 7"x 2 – no 12”, I presume?

CDx4 TRANSISTOR BLAST (4CD boxed set) TVT US 3240.2 1998 52 TRKS BBC Live & Studio, it was missing the booklet – but it was inexpensive

7" WAIT TILL YOUR BOAT GOES DOWN / TEN FEET TALL VIRGIN NL 101.553 1980 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" WAIT TILL YOUR BOAT GOES DOWN / TEN FEET TALL VIRGIN NZ VS 322 1980 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" WAIT TILL YOUR BOAT GOES DOWN / TEN FEET TALL VIRGIN UK VS 322 1980 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12" WAKE UP VIRGIN UK VS 746-12 1985 6 TRK EP; with pic sleeve

7" WAKE UP / TAKE THIS TOWN VIRGIN UK VS 746 1985 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

CD WAXWORKS: SOME SINGLES 1977 - 1982 GEFFEN US GEFD-4037 1982 12 TRK Collection – which I bought ostensibly to get “Wait Till Your Boat Goes Down” on CD!

LP WHITE MUSIC VIRGIN UK V 2095 1978 12 TRKS UK original issue

CD WHITE MUSIC kami TOSHIBA JPN TOCP-65711 1978 19 TRKS 'kami sleeve' re-issue, 7 x bonus tracks

7" WONDERLAND / JUMP VIRGIN UK VS 606 1983 2 TRKS with pic sleeve – no 12”, I presume?

CD XTC IN MOTION pirate MIKULSKI RD 003 1991? 17 TRKS Pirate, Live 70's – another CD I found in Germany

12" YOU'RE A GOOD MAN ALBERT BROWN (Dukes) VIRGIN UK VS 982-12 1987 4 TRKS with pic sleeve, the final ‘Dukes” single

I think it was determined that if the copies of “Go 2” that came from the exporter had a “free” 12” single attached to it (i.e. “Go +”), it was OK to take it home and listen to it. That the exporter was Caroline Exports – an arm of Virgin Records – meant that they were ‘pushing’ XTC, when they were new. When I telex’d them, expressing interest, they sent some “F.O.C.” goods in the next shipment – “Free Of Charge”. Hey, what speed do I play this at?

Instantly hooked, I bought a “Go 2” with a “Go +” shrink-wrapped to it and went nuts. It took about 15 minutes to order up a copy of “White Music” from England. I was given “F.O.C.” copies of the first two ‘singles’ – “This Is Pop” and “Statue Of Liberty” – and I sniffed out a “3D EP” pretty darned quickly. With the track to be found on the “Guillotine” sampler (“Traffic Light Rock”), one could assemble a pretty compelling C-90 of this new British band.

When are they going to come? As in, “When are they going to play The Whisky?”. Fall of ’79, I went to England, made sure I had everything I could find by XTC – I checked all of the other Virgin label sampler LP’s etc. I was buying a lot of British press in those days – NME, Sounds, Melody Maker, Smash Hits, Flexipop etc., so it seems unlikely they XTC could make a move that wasn’t covered. OK, so I missed the 7” of the “3D EP” – but I guess there weren’t many of them made.

My heart was broken when XTC lost their keyboard player, Barry Andrews. I had used the use of keyboards to justify my interest in this band – I suppose this is why I could never ‘warm’ to “Drums & Wires” – I had Barry Andrews withdrawal! And it took them so damned long to come to L.A. to play! Got back on track with “Black Sea”, I remember really liking “Skylarking” and “Oranges and Lemons”…

I got the Barry Andrews solo singles and, eventually, the Shriekback records. But it reminds me of a scenario that I am familiar with – I have a favorite band – they take a big break – and I can almost never get back into the groove with them. Like King Crimson, I never went for any XTC titles after “Nonsuch” – and, truth be told, I never really went for “Nonsuch” in a big way. Had I had enough XTC?

In the new century, I can buy kami sleeve ( = little paper album covers ) CD’s of the albums I really like and remember XTC very fondly. So, I am a few titles away from a complete-ish collection – big deal. Can’t have everything!

3 Comments:

Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Re: XTC weakness

Yeah, "Nonesuch" was a weak album. Especially after the brilliant "Skylarking" and cracking good "Oranges & Lemons." The clincher for me was reading how Andy Partridge thought the dreary "Rook" was his best track on that poor album. Then they got in a nearly-decade staring contest with Virgin. By the time that "Apple Venus" came out I could hardly be bothered. I was married then and had to choose my music purchases with care. After "Nonesuch" I was hardly tempted to drink the Kool-Aid. I did think "Wasp Star" was worth the time and effort but I waited a few years to find it for <$5. I have 2 XTC bios and whether you read the authorized or unauthorized one, one is left with a painful portrait of Andy Partridge. I feel sorry for anyone who attempts to be in "his band." The guy obviously has some large, unworked issues. One weakness XTC has fallen for is long CD running times. Trim "Nonesuch" down to 10 cuts [I get to pick] and it would make a middling XTC album. But filled as it is with Andy Partridge-pleasing tunes like "Rook" et. al. and the pacing bogs down to a crawl. Another weakness, is their penchant for releasing so !@#$ many discs of demos! It's a chain-yank if you ask me.
Your New Wave Trilogy is over and XTC [even though I have 90-93% of their TOTAL OUTPUT] is the runt of the litter.

10:08 AM  
Blogger Brian Ware said...

You guys may or may not be aware that Andy and Barry have a new CD out called "Monstrance". Joined by Shriekback's drummer, it's completely improvisational music that was recorded without rehearsal or even discussion as to tempos, keys, or style. It's not my cup of tea, but there's a videoclip on Amazon.com if you're curious.

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

curious, as i think 'Rook' is the weak point on "Nonesuch"! (which was a good album for me).
"Apple Venus" is really a true masterpiece and the last interesting XTC album cause i think "Wasp Star" lacks of great tunes is not a memorable one!

5:04 AM  

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