Dec 5, 2007

Eight-X, (8-78)

Hello Eight-X again..the busiest part of Rhotation and again todays post is no exception, two double bills and a bunch of intellectual spoofers.
The year is 1978 the punk/new wave is rolling out over Europe, in the big league Bee Gees and the Eagles ruled, future rulers Prince and the Police release their debut albums to somewhat lackluster response.The Clash and Costello build on their previous work, Kraftwerk let its Manmachine loose, though it took 4 years before the model's legs could be admired in Brittain. ( considering the lyrics i suppose the censory commision deemed those robot germans sexless anyway) Siouxsie & the Banshees released their debut album The Scream (thats what Banshees are suposed to do !). Mark Knopfler became the Sultan of Swing, with music not really contemporary, but then it's style has left him popular until this day.

Another new face and specially voice took most by surprise , what's this ? And then watching her move (like a banshee ? ) on the video..good looking too, though she rather despised being sold tits and ass by EMI. She wanted to be judged on merit not on size. Well i think any young woman starting her debut album singing about her 'first time' in explicit  metaphores sure shows some balls ! Well in case you missed all that, i have her her debut and the follow up album, Lionheart, which was released 9 months later.
How different the next band DEVO, their debut may have lacked a big hit single, their freaky show got enough attention. Brian Eno was hot from his Bowie production work, and even if Eno doesnt look back to it as a happy experience the endresult still sounds great-and unique. Last in the debutant ball that was 78 is XTC, they were hot and wrote plenty of great little songs and were recognised immediately upon their first release White Music, having some silly censoring certainly did't hurt their profile, and 9 months later they landed their second baby GO 2 , again quality stuff and if Mrs Partridge hadn't thrown out the valium who knows were XTC might have gone, as it happened they''ve stayed close to home and remained local lads with posters allover the world.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Kate Bush - The Kick Inside (78 Flac 251mb)

When Kate Bush materialised with a wail, a waft of huge hair and the startling melodrama of her first single, Wuthering Heights, the teenage daughter of a doctor from Kent could have hardly made a bigger or odder impression against a backdrop of angry young men in punk bands.
Bush came from an artistic background; her mother was a former Irish folk dancer, her father was an accomplished pianist, her brother Paddy worked as a musical instrument maker, and John was a poet and photographer. Both brothers were involved in the local folk music scene. Her family's musical influence inspired the young Kate to teach herself to play the piano at age 11. She soon began writing her own tunes and eventually added lyrics to them. At school, she was encouraged to take violin lessons, but the piano was her passion.

Recieving a leg up by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, Bush was just 16 when she signed a £5,000 deal with EMI. For the first two years of her contract, Bush spent more time on schoolwork than making an album. The money enabled her to take interpretive dance classes. Bush also wrote and made demos of close to 200 songs, a few of which today can be found on bootleg recordings and are known as the Phoenix Recordings . Her debut album, The Kick Inside, was released early in 1978 and featured songs she had written during the previous several years, including her d├ębut single, the high-pitched and ethereal Wuthering Heights which became an international hit. In fact Kate became the first woman to reach number one in the UK charts with a self-penned song. The opening track starting off with a whale sound before moving onto/into a sensual tale of sexual discovery ( tune me in on your saxophone..oops), yes this little girl, 5ft 3" 19 years old wasn't going to shy away..

Kate Bush became an overnight success and EMI, that had waited previously, wanted to cash in some more and pushed her to come up with a follow up album and a live tour. This tour, where Bush became the first singer to use a wireless headset radio microphone on stage, allowing her to incorporate extensive dance routines, came about spring 79 and was too be the first and last she's ever done. The fall 78 follow up album, Lionheart, obviously wasn't as ripened as her debut, that said it was more homogeneous, and even if perfectionist Kate uttered dissatisfaction with how it all came about, but Lionheart proved The Kick Inside wasn't a fluke

  Kate Bush - Lionheart (Flac 194mb) .

Never for Ever (80) saw her leaving the constraints of live-reproduction and pursue a more diverse range of styles, by now her name drew enough fans to see the album become the first (again) female having a no 1 album in the UK. September 1982 saw the release of The Dreaming, the first album she produced totally by herself. Kate experimented with production techniques, creating an album that features a diverse blend of musical styles and is known for its near-exhaustive usage of the Fairlight CMI. Overproduced said the lads of the UK press, just great said the US press .

85 saw the release of her 'piece de resistance' Hounds of Love a two faced album with one commercial side containing the singles (and hits), the other a concept side based on a poem by Tennyson 'The Ninth Wave'. The album kind off settled the score with the lads and is still found in the best ever lists. On a side note The Futureheads (see 11/ 22 here) released their cover version of "Hounds of Love" as a single and was named by NME as the best song of 2005.

The increasingly personal tone of her writing continued on 1989's The Sensual World, with songs about unexpressed and unrequited love, drawing its inspiration from James Joyce's novel Ulysses and William Blake's poetry. The album was very succesful in the States. The Red Shoes was released in November 1993. (film by Michael Powell based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen ) concerns a dancer, possessed by her art, who cannot shake off the eponymous shoes and find peace. The album sold more than three million copies worldwide.

The plan was to take the songs out on the road, and so Bush deliberately aimed for a live-band feel, with less of the studio trickery that had typified her last three albums and that would be difficult to recreate on stage. But like her first tour when her lighting man died, this time her mother Hannah passed away as did the director Michael Powell, add to that the break up with her saxophone (nudge) Del Palmer and well no tour. No nothing for 12 years before she came back with a double album- "Aeriel". In the meantime she found a new love with whom she has a young son, Albert, and basicly sucessfully tried to live a normal domestic life. Obviously expectations were high and the lads had venom at hand but she produced another great work. Kate is in a league of her own and even if she'll turn 50 next summer, i'm sure there's plenty of music to come.

01 - Moving (3:03)
02 - The Saxophone Song (3:50)
03 - Strange Phenomena (2:56)
04 - Kite (2:58)
05 - The Man With The Child In His Eyes (2:39)
06 - Wuthering Heights (4:29)
07 - James And The Cold Gun (3:34)
08 - Feel It (3:04)
09 - Oh To Be In Love (3:17)
10 - L'Amour Looks Something Like You (2:26)
11 - Them Heavy People (3:04)
12 - Room For The Life (4:03)
13 - The Kick Inside (3:34)

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Q:Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo ! (78  Flac 221mb)

The name "Devo" comes "from their concept of 'de-evolution' - the idea that instead of evolving, mankind has actually regressed, as evidenced by the dysfunction and herd mentality of American society." ( boy has it gotten worse since..) The pivotal moment for the formation of Devo was the Kent State shootings of May 4, 1970. Casale knew two of the students who had been killed, and even claimed to see one student, Allison Krause, with exit wounds from the M1 Garand rifle. At this moment, Casale claims he changed the idea of Devolution into a serious concept.

The first form of Devo was the "Sextet Devo" which performed at the 1973 Kent State performing arts festival. Devo later formed as a quartet focusing around Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerald Casale. They recruited Mark's brothers Bob Mothersbaugh and Jim Mothersbaugh. Bob played electric guitar, and Jim provided percussion using a set of homemade electronic drums. This lineup of Devo lasted until 1976 when Jim left the band. Following Jim Motherbaugh's departure, Bob Mothersbaugh found a new drummer in Alan Myers, who played a conventional, acoustic drum set with mechanical precision. Casale re-recruited his brother Bob Casale, and the popular line-up of Devo , which would endure for nearly ten years, was formed.

Devo's big break came in 1976 when their short film The Truth About De-Evolution won a prize at the Ann Arbor Film Festival; it was then seen by David Bowie and Iggy Pop, who championed them and enabled Devo to secure a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records. After Bowie backed out due to previous commitments, their first album, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! The album was produced by Brian Eno, working in Conny Plank's studio in Cologne, Germany. Eno actually paid for the recordings himself, as the band had yet to conclude legal wranglings and sign contracts with Warner Brothers and Virgin Records. The studio sessions did not proceed on such a positive note, with the band seemingly intent on replicating specific effects and arrangements from their demo recordings stretching back to 1974. Eno found this an obstacle to his famously intuitive and spontaneous way of working in the studio, and described the band as "anal". In Eno's 1995 diary, A Year with Swollen Appendices, he states that he has never been paid by Virgin for producing the sessions.

The album title references 1933 horror film Island of Lost Souls, which was based on H. G. Wells' novel The Island of Dr Moreau. A mad scientist performs operations on wild beasts in order to make them more human and able to undertake menial tasks. At times when things went wrong he'd querie the beasts who'd reply in unison "Are We Not Men ?" Lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh felt as though these half-man, devolved beasts were not unlike his fellow Akron, Ohio residents, and decided to write about it.

The band followed up with Duty Now for the Future in 1979. During this period, Lewis successfully sued the band for theft of intellectual property. Devo gained a new level of visibility with 1980s Freedom of Choice which included their best-known hit, "Whip It". Although they started out with a mixture of traditional rock instruments and electronic effects, during the early 1980s Devo adopted mostly or entirely synthetic instrumentation, becoming one of the first American acts to perform on stage using only synthesizers (except for Bob #1 on guitar).
In concert, Devo sometimes performed as their own opening act, pretending to be a Christian soft-rock group called "Dove (the Band of Love)". They appeared as "Dove" in the 1980 televangelism spoof Pray TV meanwhile they actively embraced the Church of the SubGenius.

During the 1980s, Devo produced the albums New Traditionalists (1981), Oh, No! It's Devo (1982), Shout (1984), to diminishing commercial returns and critical success, though they managed to be a successful live band during this time. Following the commercial failure of Shout, Warner Bros. dropped Devo from their label. Alan Myers left and Devo went on hiatus for two years. In 1987, Devo reformed with new drummer David Kendrick. Their first project was a soundtrack for the flop horror film Slaughterhouse Rock, starring Toni Basil. The band released Total Devo in 1988. 1990 saw the release of Smooth Noodle Maps, which would be the last Devo album. It, too, was not a commercial success. Devo launched a European concert tour, but poor ticket sales caused it to be ended early. The band had a falling out soon after, though played one show in 1991 before breaking up. Since they occasionaly perform/tour exploiting their glory days releasing covers or remixes, but basicly self fullfilling their de-vo concept.

01 - Uncontrollable Urge (3:09)
02 - Satisfaction (I Can´t Get No) (2:38)
03 - Praying Hands (2:48)
04 - Space Junk (2:14)
05 - Mongoloid (3:42)
06 - Jocko Homo (3:39)
07 - Too Much Paranoias (1:55)
08 - Gut Feeling (4:54)
09 - (Slap Your Mammy) Come Back Jonee (3:47)
10 - Sloppy (I Saw My Baby Gettin´) (2:40)
11 - Shrivel Up (3:03

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

XTC - White Music (78 ^Flac 366mb)

Before the band finally settled on a name: XTC, the core duo of Andy Partridge (guitars & vocals) and Colin Moulding (bass & vocals) went through many band names in the previous 5 years, Terry Chambers (drums) joined in 1973 and keyboard player Barry Andrews followed in 1976. By this time (77), the punk rock movement was in full swing, and XTC had found their style, a unique brand of hyperactive pop mixed with funk, punk, ska, reggae, and art rock. That year they signed with Virgin and released their debut LP White Music in January 1978. White Music received favorable reviews and entered the British top 40, but lead single "Statue of Liberty" was banned by the BBC for making allegedly lewd references to the famous statue ("in my fantasy I sail beneath your skirt")...yes 30 years ago those censorists assumed getting a hard on from a copper statue, or maybe it was to prevent young men getting the wrong idea and emigrate to the States..outrageous either way...

XTC Go 2 (^Flac 293mb),

Their second effort came 8 months later, it had a limited edition bonus disc Go + (dub mixes of songs from the album). The title was inspired by the Japanese strategy game GO and the fact that it was their second album. The US versionhad a single, added here, "Are You Receiving Me? " In 1980 Andrews left to become one of Fripps League of gentlemen and afterwards went on to form Shriekback. He was replaced by guitarist and keyboardist Dave Gregory. With his arrival, the band scored their first charting single, Moulding's "Life Begins at the Hop". The loss of Andrews' distinctive keyboard playing started the band on a path towards a more traditional rock sound. The resulting album, Drums and Wires, contained the band's first big hit, "Making Plans for Nigel", the album found the band branching out into more overtly political topics, culminating in the unhinged ranting of "Complicated Game", which became one of the band's most well-known non-hits. During this period, Partridge also further indulged his love of dub, releasing a solo LP in 1980 under the name 'Mr Partridge'. The album, Take Away/The Lure of Salvage, featured radical dub deconstructions of music from the preceding XTC albums.

Their 1980 LP, Black Sea spawned the hit singles "Sgt. Rock (Is Going to Help Me)" and "Generals and Majors". The last major hit of XTC's touring phase was "Senses Working Overtime", the first single from their double album English Settlement and a top 10 hit in 1982. At the peak of their popularity, the band embarked on a major tour, but Partridge suffered a mental breakdown on stage during one of the first concerts of the tour in Paris on March 18, 1982. Andy Partridge's breakdown, caused by the loss of his valium supply on which he become dependant since his teenager years, manifested itself as uncontrollable stage fright. the european and US tours were cancelled and since then, XTC have been exclusively a studio band, although they have given occasional live-to-air performances from radio stations, and a handful of TV appearances. Drummer Chambers was more or less forced to leave, left without the performances income and was never replaced as from then on this role would be taken on by hired session hands.

Mummer (83) saw Partridge cooling his heels with pastoral songs like "Love on a Farmboy's Wages", the band's next album took a noisy left turn. 1984's The Big Express, surprised both their record company and fans alike with its abrasive sound and became XTC's poorest seller to date (maybe it was that crazy cover !) . XTC responded with a project that was intended as a homage to 1960s pop and psychedelic music by groups such as the Beatles, The Byrds, The Kinks, The Beach Boys, Pink Floyd and the Pretty Things and released 25'o clock a mini album under the name of The Dukes of Stratosphear, 2 years later they had another go and released a full album "Psonic Psunspot".

In 1986, the band travelled to Todd Rundgren's studio-in-the-woods in Woodstock, New York to record Skylarking. Although the pairing of XTC and Rundgren was highly anticipated by fans, the sessions were less than enjoyable for the band. Rundgren had insisted that the band send him, in advance, demos of all the songs that they thought they might tackle for the record. When the band got to Woodstock, Rundgren had already worked out a running order for both the recording and sequence of the album itself. Rundgren insisted that everyone adhere to his scheme, obviously this did not sit well with the band, Partridge in particular. The two egos of Rundgren and Partridge clashed frequently during the recording of Skylarking . Yet the album earned critical accolades and sold well. The band's follow up, Oranges and Lemons, produced by Paul Fox, was their biggest seller yet, with thanks to the singles getting heavy airplay on MTV.

Their 1992 album, Nonsuch (named after Henry VIII's fabled palace), united them with famed UK producer Gus Dudgeon and drummer Dave Mattacks. In spite of the LP's success, soon after it was released a contractual dispute with their label, Virgin Records, saw XTC go "on strike" from 1992 through 1998, finally resulting in the termination of their contract. After leaving Virgin, Partridge had their accounts audited and it was discovered that the company had withheld substantial royalty payments from them(surprise ). The settlement of the accounts provided the group with much-needed cash flow, allowing Partridge and Moulding to install fully-equipped studios and work comfortably at home. They are now able to record the majority of their work themselves, they formed their own label, Idea Records, and embarked on the recording of the ambitious "Apple Venus" project, a collection of the best material written during the band's dispute with Virgin. This didnt go down as smoothly as expected as long time member, Dave Gregory, left, again because of loosing out financially, it caused some upheavel. The band's next record, Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) was the guitar-heavy collection Gregory would have preferred. In October 2005, the two albums were reissued together in the 4-CD Apple Box collection.

I n November 2006, Partridge told several interviewers that Moulding no longer had any interest in writing, performing or even listening to music. Partridge has said he would not continue XTC without Moulding, and that therefore he has been forced to regard XTC "in the past tense," with no likelihood of a new project unless Moulding should have a change of heart. Partridge meanwhile jammed with Martin Barker and Barry Andrews (both Shriekback) and released a double CD under the name of Monstrance this year.

01 - Radios In Motion (2:52)
02 - X Wires (2:05)
03 - This Is Pop (2:39)
04 - Do What You Do (1:15)
05 - Statue Of Liberty (2:48)
06 - All Along The Watchtower (5:38)
07 - Atom Age (2:32)
08 - Set Myself On Fire (3:00)
09 - I'm Bugged (3:56)
10 - New Town Animal (1:51)
11 - Spinning Top (2:38)
12 - Neon Shuffle (4:23)
13 - Science Fiction (3:12)
14 - She's So Square (3:06)
15 - Dance Band (2:39)
16 - Hang Onto The Night (2:11)
17 - Heatwave (2:06)
18 - Traffic Light Rock (1:40)
19 - Instant Tunes (2:29)

***** ***** ***** ***** *****
All downloads are in * ogg-7 (224k) or ^ ogg-9(320k), artwork is included , if in need get the nifty ogg encoder/decoder here !


Anonymous said...

Kate Bush-Mad as bicycles-classic stuff!

Devo-one chromosome too many-great!

XTC-'Making plans for Nigel' was always a favourite song of mine, since I was 6 years old!

All in all, a classic post.


Anonymous said...

I wonder if there is some possibility this two XTC first records could be made available again but in FLAC format ...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for Reposting!! XTC rocks!!!

Lee said...

Hi Rho
Any chance of some re-ups for XTC and Skylarking if you had it?
Also was wondering if you had any Incredible String Band / Pentangle as I am reading Electric Eden at the moment.