May 4, 2011

RhoDeo 1118 Aetix

Hello, uploading has been tediously slow today, infact everything seems to have gone slow today. It shows how quickly we've adjusted to instant this or that. I suppose expecting such is a Godgiven right, which it is of cause, if only we weren't so thick and keep on wading thru this material world. I can only imagine the gift of senses, of growth, death and time is an irrisistable lure to the other side, even if there's ways to mess around from both sides. Think of Islam which is asthonishing proof of messing around here by arrogant pretenders from the other side. One could say that at the time Rome (the church) had completely lost it's way and send the rest of Europe into the dark ages, but to send an illiterate cameldriver on it's way to start a new religion, to me is proof that those responsible in no way had the foresight or were on a mission for the Creator, As if It was ever in need of assistance, the structure is set not the path that would make existance futile. It would make the Creator futile. And so the path winds and comes upon blockages, many detours and pretenders from this and the other side to lead us astray. Meanwhile counting on our soul to keep tabs thru our many deaths.

Oops, turned out a bit of a sermon, and here you are expecting some nice eighties stuff. Well got some trippy XTC for ya..not the tablet kind though.....

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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...
Their second effort Go2 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. 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 . 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". 3 years after a compilation (Anthology) of those 2 albums was released under the colourfull title Chips From The Chocolate Fireball (An Anthology),

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. 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.

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Arguably XTC's defining album, English Settlement is a significant milestone of the band's ability as musicians and songwriters. Some prevalent lyrical themes include the preservation of buildings, world peace, youthful rebellion, and the frustrations of love. The cover design is based upon the Uffington White Horse, which is about 6 miles east of Swindon, the home town of XTC.

English Settlement marks the change from the jumpy live band that preceded it to the assured studio band that came after. It's all drums and wires-- with some bird-like sax honks that suit the vaguely African expanse of the sound--: the nervous music of the head, and the deep, heavy music of the heart. The songs run longer: the killer beat at the end of "Melt the Guns" takes all the time it needs to play itself out, and "All of a Sudden" lets Partridge wring every nuance from what could be the best lyrics he's ever written, making broad statements about life and love through simple, sharp imagery. Here they change from a young band to a mature one: this is the pivot on which their entire career hangs, and a vantage point from which both ends of it make sense. It's timeless

XTC - English Settlement ( flac 477mb)

01 Runaways 4:51
02 Ball And Chain 4:28
03 Senses Working Overtime 4:45
04 Jason And The Argonauts 6:03
05 No Thugs In Our House 5:16
06 Yacht Dance 3:52
07 All Of A Sudden (It's Too Late) 5:18
08 Melt The Guns 6:31
09 Leisure 5:01
10 It's Nearly Africa 3:54
11 Knuckle Down 4:26
12 Fly On The Wall 3:11
13 Down In The Cockpit 5:35
14 English Rundabout 3:50
15 Snowman 4:26

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During the mid-'80s, XTC developed a deep fascination with '60s psychedelia that manifested itself on their late-1986 masterpiece Skylarking. During this time, they decided to develop their alter egos of the Dukes of Stratosphear, a way to let all of their infatuation with psychedelia flourish. Both the EP 25 O'Clock and the full-length Psonic Psunspot, collected on the single-disc Chips From the Chocolate Fireball, capture the sound of '60s psychedelia remarkably well. All of the sonic details, from the fuzz guitars to the cavernous echoes and sound effects, are in place, as are the self-consciously trippy lyrics. But what makes the Dukes of Stratosphear far more than a comedy band are the songs, which happen to be some of the best pure pop tunes XTC ever wrote: Despite the clever craftsmanship, XTC has never sounded so carefree or effortless, been quite as immediately catchy or consistent -- Chips From the Chocolate Fireball is too good to be overlooked as a side-project folly, because it truly is some of the best music XTC ever made.

Both 25 O'Clock and Psonic Psunspot were produced by John Leckie, whose adopted pseudonym was Swami Anand Nagara. The band morphed into: Sir John Johns (Andy Partridge) - singing, guitar, brain buds, The Red Curtain (Colin Moulding) - electric bass, song stuff, Lord Cornelius Plum (Dave Gregory) - mellotron, piano, organ, fuzz-tone guitar and E.I.E.I. Owen (Ian Gregory) - drum set

Dukes Of Stratosphear - Chips From The Chocolate Fireball (An Anthology) ( flac 389mb)

25 O'Clock
01 25 O'Clock 5:04
02 Bike Ride To The Moon 2:23
03 My Love Explodes 3:49
04 What In The World??... 5:01
05 Your Gold Dress 4:42
06 The Mole From The Ministry 5:59
Psonic Psunspot
07 Vanishing Girl 3:22
08 Have You Seen Jackie? 4:31
09 Little Lighthouse 3:39
10 You're A Good Man Albert Brown 3:23
11 Collideascope 3:19
12 You're My Drug 3:18
13 Shiny Cage 4:00
14 Brainiac's Daughter 2:31
15 The Affiliated 2:17
16 Pale And Precious 4:58

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Orange & Lemons is a psychedelic pop pastiche so powerfully drawn we ought it becomes a tribute. The Yellow Submarine-style cartoon on the sleeve is a dead giveaway. Oranges And Lemons is obsessed with The Beatles, or more precisely Paul McCartney, circa 1967-8.

The various horn arrangements, and particularly the one on President Kill Again, are the most strikingly Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band quotation. The rolling, upbeat melody of The Loving has an unmistakably Paul McCartney-esque feel too, and a lyric which Andy Partridge himself has called All You Need Is Love in another form. The album's nursery rhyme title, surrealist nonsense ditties such as Poor Skeleton Steps Out and the opener, Garden Of Earthly Delight, all reinforce the tone of madcap naivety which was such a marked feature of British psychedelia in general and The Beatles in particular.

Exuberantly catchy but densely layered and mercifully free of that whiff of self-conscious art school cleverness which has blighted XTC in the past, these songs are thrilling before you catch their sophistication.

XTC - Oranges and Lemons ( flac 400mb)

01 Garden Of Earthly Delights 5:03
02 Mayor Of Simpleton 3:58
03 King For A Day 3:37
04 Here Comes President Kill Again 3:35
05 The Loving 4:11
06 Poor Skeleton Steps Out 3:33
07 One Of The Millions 4:37
08 Scarecrow People 4:13
09 Merely A Man 3:27
10 Cynical Days 3:17
11 Across This Antheap 4:52
12 Hold Me My Daddy 3:48
13 Pink Thing 3:48
14 Miniature Sun 3:57
15 Chalkhills And Children 4:57

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elsewhere on this blog (Rhotation Eight-X 8, 49 ) vinyl rips

XTC - White Music (78 ^ 366mb)
XTC - Go 2 (^ 293mb)

XTC - Wax Works(82 ^ 99mb)
XTC - BeesWax(82 ^ 93mb)
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Audentity said...

Thanks for English Settlement. I own 7-8 XTC albums but oddly never listened to Settlement. Awesome!

Donald said...

Request English Settlement again -- many thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

Hi! Thanks for the English Settlement. Excellent album. Any chance for re-ups on the Waxworks and Beeswax vinyls? Much appreciated. Thanks.

Rho said...

Unfortunately Anon The pages with Wax works (Rhotation 49 - Aetix) and Bees wax the next day were both deleted by google obviously ordered by a greedy Virgin employee...can't re-up there besides its in ogg

EQ said...

Can I ask a re-up of Dukes of Stratosphear, even if you have alreday done it?
Thanks for all.