#1 | Posted: 02/12/2018 17:10 | Post subject: Best Album By XTC?
I have been milling this over for awhile now. I recently just put "White Music" on my greatest chart, then I saw how low it is compared to some of the others. While it may not be the objectively best album by them, it's my favorite at the moment.
XTC are a band that I always respect, even if I don't love them. There's something about the absolute Englishness of the vocals that makes it a bit hard for me to enter into it.
I think Skylarking is ranked highest, but I don't particularly like it (which makes me question myself). I've recently enjoyed Black Sea, English Settlement, Oranges and Lemons, and Apple Venus Volume 1, for different reasons.
I think that this album gets forgotten, but it's got some great stuff on it. They were having a lot of problems with their label (the recording of Nonsuch was delayed for almost 3 years, and then the band went on strike against the label for 7 years after this came out), finding a producer, working with a new drummer, and not touring didn't help their sales along with Virgin's unhappiness with them.
But the songs here are great. In a perfect world, I think this could have been their biggest album. "The Disappointed" was the lead single, but "The Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead", "The Smartest Monkeys", "War Dance" (clarinet riff!), "Books Are Burning", and especially "Dear Madam Barnum" are all hit worthy. And excellent, and fun. This is probably their most political album, and it may run a little long...but you've also got "Holly Up On Poppy", "Then She Appeared", and the pretty "Humble Daisy".
This track alone wins it for me:
Link _________________ May we all get to heaven
'Fore the devil knows we're dead...
Drums and Wires. But I like Black Sea almost as much. But I was always kind of baffled at how so many people prefer their music that came after English settlement. I don't like anything after that very much. Even after trying.
Apple Venus Volume 1 for me, with Skylarking as runner up. The Dukes Of Stratosphear side project is also great. XTC are at their best when their music is lush and psychedelic and/or baroque. Apple Venus Volume 1 does this style best, and the songwriting and vocals are more consistent than your typical XTC album. _________________ Add me on RYM
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