Sued51's Blog











{September 23, 2012}   A Fan’s History of 80’s Boston Bands: X is for…

some of my XTC singles

some of my XTC singles

The letter “X” seems almost impossible, yet there were two 80’s bands I liked that I can mention here. Unfortunately neither are from Boston:  the LA band, “X” and one of my favorite bands of all time, the British band XTC. I agreed with a comment I saw posted on one of the web sites I visited with a discussion of XTC: a first listen to each of their albums would initially bring disappointment, which would then be followed by a liking of certain songs, and then a discovery of new gems, finally ending up with adoration and proclamations of “genius!”

In 1982, they were booked to play The Channel. I was so excited that I would finally see one of my favorite bands. But it was not to be. The gig (and tour) was cancelled due to Andy Partridge’s mysterious “illness’ that later turned out to be debilitating stage fright. I was SO disappointed; to this day, I regret I did not discover them early enough to have seen them.

I think Andy Partridge’s lyrics are some of the best ever written, though they can also be very offputting for some people (as he himself can be…read this 2009  interview and some of the comments”). The most “mainstream”  but controversial song they ever wrote was probably “Dear God.” It caused quite a hubbub at the time it came out, with some radio stations banning it. I have to say though, there a quite a few other gems that were “B” sides on some of the singles (“Love on a Farmboy’s Wages”), like “Toys” and deep cuts on albums like “Your Dictionary” (another controversial anti-religious song) and “Wrapped in Gray.”

I can’t recommend enough that you check them out. There are quite a few videos on YouTube (also their alterego, Dukes of Stratosphere)!

 

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Herman says:

XTC was (is) a fantastic band. I saw them 2 times live, they were amazing.

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sued51 says:

Herman, You are so lucky you got to see them live!!! I have seen a lot of music in my day (I worked as an usher supervisor at several concert venues for 15 years), and there are only a handful of bands that I love that I never saw. The Jam was another of my favorites and I was lucky enough to see them just months before they broke up.

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peters154 says:

XTC are one of the few bands that I own all of their albums, and most of their 45s. I’d check out the import section of Newberry Comics when I had off time during college just to see if there were any new XTC records. Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding are genius songwriters, always reinventing their sound just enough on each record to continue being interesting, and Dave Gregory is very underrated as their arranger.

I will still have random songs by them pop into my head, like ‘Life Begins at the Hop’, and ‘English Roundabout’.

‘Skylarking’ is my 3 year old’s favorite CD right now. ‘Play the ‘Supergirl’ song Dada!’

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sued51 says:

As you can tell by the photo, I also used to buy the import singles at Newberry, but I can’t say my collection is as complete as yours: the early albums I did not replace on cd and the cd’s are all the newer stuff. You had to mention “Skylarking”…I would like to play it now, but that is one that is album format and I don’t have a turntable set up. I love that your 3-year-old loves “Supergirl”…start him early!!

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TBM says:

I saw X open for Pearl Jam this summer.

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sued51 says:

Wow…they are still playing? John and exene must have let bygone be bygones 🙂 Were they good?

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