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XTC : Go 2 (1978)

XTC’s second album. Back cover and LP sleeve showing Andy Partridge and drummer Terry Chambers. (Thanks to Donsolo1 for correction [see below]: thought it was Colin Moulding.)


One of the most talented bands ever, a post-punk New Wave band from Swindon, England, that came together in 1972 and recorded from 1976 to 2005. Original, quirky, innovative, with clever (sometimes lacerating) lyrics, perhaps best known for “Senses Working Overtime” and “Making Plans for Nigel.” The “StraightenOut” blogger Vivian of Rotterdam (link below) describes their sound well: “a unique brand of hyperactive pop mixed with funk, punk, ska, reggae and rock.”


Andy Partridge, in front with glasses, was the lead singer and lyricist (bassist Colin Moulding wrote and sang about one-third of the songs, such as “Making Plans for Nigel”). Partridge was (is) brilliant but suffered from stage fright, and after 1982 XTC was a studio band only (like the Beatles but without the popularity and income). No two songs sound the same: their awesome originality and flexibility truly beggar description. There are other similarities with the Beatles. Listen and ye shall hear.


From “Jason and the Argonauts” (from English Settlement, 1981):


“I was in a land where men forced women to hide their facial features

And here in the West it’s just the same but they’re using makeup veils”


Under the name Dukes of Stratosphear, they also recorded a brilliant sort of psychedelic parody album titled “Chips from the Chocolate Fireball” (1987) that combined their 1985 mini-album “25 O'Clock” and “Psonic Psunspot” (1987).


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Taken on May 7, 2011