Thursday, May 10, 2007

What Do You Call That Noise?...Show # 144

Coming from Swindon, in London England, one of the first incarnations of XTC was in 1976, but they were then known as Star Park. After going through a few name changes, they changed thier name to XTC (taking its name from the drug known as Ecstasy, XTC being the shorter street name for the drug) in 1977 after being turned down by CBS. An EP titled 3-D was then released in 1977 on Virgin records. The band consisted of Andy Partridge (guitar/vocals), Colin Moulding (bass), Terry Chambers (drums), and keyboardist Barry Andrews. They were a British New Wave Pop band that came out at the time of the UK punk explosion in the late 70s. Influenced largely by the New York Punk scene, XTC also had a vareity of influcences. Bands such as The Clash, Sex Pistols, Dub Music, Bob Dylan, The Kinks, Pink Floyd, The Beach Boys and The Beatles were some of the msuical influence that built up XTC's sound.

White Music was released in 1977. It featured Catchy but odd pop songs such as, "Statue of Liberty", "This is Pop?", and "Radio's in Motion". The album also contained a cover the Bob Dylan song "All Along the Watch Tower", in true XTC style. None of punk inspired pop songs charted. In 1978 Go 2, was released. The album featured a different tracklisting in the UK than in Canada/The US. The album's cover is also very unique. Instead of a typical cover, it features typewriter text. After a quick US tour there would be some line up changes amongst the band. Keyboardist Barry Andrews would leave the band and would go on with Robert Fripp to form The League of Gentleman. Another guitarist was added at this time David Gregory. Gregory was added instead of finding another keyboardist. XTC would then record the single "Life Begins at the Hop", their first single to chart. The album Drums & Wires followed in 1979. The record was a more poppier album than the first two. It would reach #37 on the charts. Black Sea came out in 1980, which produced more hits for the band. "Sgt. Rock", and "Generals and Majors" were singles. English Settlement would be released next in 1982. It would be a double album that gave the band a top ten hit, "Senses Working Overtime". 

In support of English Settlement in 1982, while the band was on a major tour, Partridge suffered a complete mental breakdown, causing panic attacks. The tour would be canceled. Also at this time drummer Terry Chambers would leave the band. Partridge said that the band would never perform on stage again. They then announced that they would be a studio only band, not performing live, except for some TV appearances. This would last from 1982 until the present. Mummur was released in 1983, and the band had a new drummer Pete Phipps. The Big Express followed in 1984, and Skylarking in 1986. The Todd Rundgren produced album brought the band back to commercial success, despite the fact that Partridge was not happy with the finished product. The band would continue to record, and in the late 90s the band would no longer be with Virgin Records. 

XTC would go independent in 1998. Partridge discovered around this time that the record company was with holding royalties from the band. After a settlement, Partridge and Moulding built their own studio, and formed their own label Idea Records. When recording their next album Apple Venus Volume 1, Dave Gregory left the band. The band would continue to record and release albums despite losing Gregory who had a great impact on XTC's sound. The next album Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) was released in 2000.

Here's the play list:

1. Big Audio Dynamite – v. thirteen
2. Public Image Limited – f.f.f.
3. Rich Kids – empty words
4. The Police – bombs away
5. Elvis Costello & The Attractions – radio, radio
6. Gang of Four - at home he's a tourist (bbc)
7. Only Ones – another girl, another planet
8. Active Dog – nothing holding you
9. AKA – 634 dog
10. Hot, Hot, Heat – get in or get out
11. XTC – life begins at the hop
12. Talking Heads – artists only
13. The Mods – out of your hands
14. The Odds – say you mean it
15. Wire – too late
16. The Pretenders – the wait
17. Iggy Pop – five foot one
18. Offspring – I got a right
19. Love Me Nots – move in tight
20. The Rapture – whoo! Yeah alright…uh-huh
21. Joe Strummer & the mescaleros – globo a go-go
22. The D4 – mysterex
23. Sloan – living with the masses
24. Sloan – HFXNSHC
25. X – we’re desperate

Here's some cool XTC Videos:

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