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(Some Guy)   XTC to re-release 1986's "Skylarking" on double vinyl because Andy Partridge says they reversed the sound polarity on the first record. Dear God   ( slicingupeyeballs.com) divider line
    More: Spiffy, XTC, Andy Partridge, Todd Rundgren, gods, sound waves, reissues, eyeballs, record players  
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1600 clicks; posted to Music » on 03 Jul 2010 at 12:24 AM (6 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



51 Comments     (+0 »)
 


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2010-07-02 09:48:19 PM  
That was one of my favorite albums as a teenager. I had the version before they put "Dear God" on it, which I liked better because that song is distracting from the chill pasture vibe of the rest of it. But whatever, it sounded fine to me.
 
2010-07-02 09:53:27 PM  
reversed polarity of the neutron flow?
 
2010-07-02 09:54:31 PM  
Wait, he's saying Todd Rundgren screwed something up here? I dunno...
 
2010-07-02 11:11:40 PM  
This (new window) is the only reason I know anything about that band. And that's a really farked up reason to know anything about anybody.
 
2010-07-03 12:35:16 AM  
Ok, so time to reverse my speaker wires to see if it sounds better.

Oh wait, I don't own that album.

/nm
 
2010-07-03 01:22:06 AM  
The Mole from the Ministry must have gotten into the studio.
 
2010-07-03 01:35:41 AM  
This is still one of my top ten favorite albums. Remember picking it up from my local record store back in 86. Oranges and Lemons is quite good too, but Skylarking is still better.
 
2010-07-03 01:43:36 AM  
That should sound great on my Portable Sony Entertainment Center.
 
2010-07-03 01:50:00 AM  
weird. i was THIS close to submitting this tonight.

subby had a way better headline than i would've had.

props.

anyway, yeah i can see [errr hear...] what they mean now... it is kind of thin sound.

I, too, have the LP version before they put Dear God on it.
I like "dear god" better than almost anything on the 2nd side except for "earn enough for us" and "sacrificial bonfire" [which are also great].

that being said, Side one is f***ing fantastic.
i think it is on par with Abbey Road side 2.

"mayor of simpleton" has been my favourite xtc song for about 2 months now. [i don't own "oranges and lemons"... is it better than "nonsuch" ?]


/also has "drums and wires".... which i thought would be a great solid classic record, but I only like 1/4 of the songs on it.

// listened to the dukes of stratosphere compilation album... it was psychadelically good.
 
2010-07-03 01:54:13 AM  

Third_Uncle_Eno: [i don't own "oranges and lemons"... is it better than "nonsuch" ?]


Oranges and Lemons is like XTC's White Album. It's all over the place. Some of it's great and some of it is crap, but it's worth the listen. Ha, that's pretty much the meaning of the album's name.
 
2010-07-03 02:20:40 AM  
Generals and Majors was my favorite, but I can't say they did any thing bad.

\\just like 1961 again
 
2010-07-03 02:25:49 AM  
I'd buy this in a heartbeat. The heartbeat that hearts XTC.
 
2010-07-03 02:50:57 AM  

Third_Uncle_Eno: weird. i was THIS close to submitting this tonight.

subby had a way better headline than i would've had.

props.


Me too, but I wasn't sure how much interest there would be.

Awesome album, and I always liked the Rundgren production. Will be interesting to hear what it sounds like "fixed," especially when you never noticed anything was "wrong." Then again, Kind of Blue was out there for 30+ years, cherished as a landmark album, before anyone noticed that Side 1 was slightly off-pitch because the masters were cut at the wrong speed.

/have both the "Mermaid Smiled" version and the "Dear God" version
 
2010-07-03 04:54:40 AM  
I don't know enough about audio to know if this is b.s. or not, but Skylarking is on my favorite albums of all time list and I have to say, I'd love to hear it with some more sonic punch.

Awesome music notwithstanding, Skylarking has some of the best lyrics of any album ever. What's the best one?


Abort your mission let's just say you tried
Before you glimpse I have a darker, darker side


The Man who sailed around his soul
from east to west from pole to pole
with ego as his drunken captiain
greed, the mutineer who locked him in the hold....

Just when I thought that my skies were a June-July blue
1000 umbrellas open to spoil the view


I can't take humiliation
the hurtful comments from the boss
I'm just praying I can keep you
And to earn enough for us.

Or....
 
2010-07-03 05:45:11 AM  
Okay, here's a special treat for any and all XTC fans: A Brief History of XTC ...with puppets.
 
2010-07-03 09:22:04 AM  
I know nothing of XTC but I did read the headline as "Alan Partridge" and got a little excited. Now I am very disappointed. Gee, thanks a lot you stupid Fark Headline.
 
2010-07-03 09:45:37 AM  
I'm going to reverse the phase tonight in Audacity to see if I can tell a difference.

I have a sneaking suspicion that there's a reason he's not releasing it on CD.

/mermaid smiled version is best, but you knew that if you're reading this thread. besides, i have the dear god ep
//and every thing else except the newest box sets
///and it pales besides the Residents collection. Too many releases!
 
2010-07-03 10:30:03 AM  

Confabulat: Third_Uncle_Eno: [i don't own "oranges and lemons"... is it better than "nonsuch" ?]

Oranges and Lemons is like XTC's White Album. It's all over the place. Some of it's great and some of it is crap, but it's worth the listen. Ha, that's pretty much the meaning of the album's name.


It's one of those albums that you have to own, but it's kind of sad, because you can see the potential they had as a group. Now, the Apple Venus albums are good, and there are a few strong tracks on there.
 
2010-07-03 11:00:15 AM  
Which is what happens when you have this guy (new window) in your studio.
 
2010-07-03 11:41:18 AM  

millia: I have a sneaking suspicion that there's a reason he's not releasing it on CD.


If what I've read is true, his company, Ape House Records, only has the rights to the vinyl release.

It says that it is planned as a double-LP release. I wonder if that means that they will be spreading the album over four sides (which might sound great), or if they are planning on a normal LP of the album plus a separate disc of bonus tracks. Personally, I hope it's a bonus track-free two record version of Skylarking on thick 45RPM platters.

/Please don't pull me out, this is how I would want to go.
 
2010-07-03 12:27:01 PM  

millia: I'm going to reverse the phase tonight in Audacity to see if I can tell a difference.


How would I do that if I wanted to try the same?
 
2010-07-03 01:01:21 PM  
I'm going low tech to fix this terrible problem and simply sit with my back to the speakers.
 
2010-07-03 01:05:12 PM  
The only way polarity would make a difference is if only one channel were out of phase. If that were the case, it would sound more than a little off. It would sound totally unfocused and bizarre. As much as I love XTC, this smacks of BS.
 
2010-07-03 01:08:33 PM  
Love Skylarking, but English Settlement is better.

"Jason and the Argonauts" is just mind-blowing.
 
2010-07-03 02:15:35 PM  
Andy Partridge, who gave XTC a slow agonizing death because the other b and members had faith in him, tries to make you notice him again.

I was a HUGE XTC fan (have all their albums and CDs, and even video), but the more I've read the less respect I've had for AP and the more I've had for everyone else in the band for putting up with his BS.
 
2010-07-03 03:01:40 PM  

Gangway Fathead: Awesome music notwithstanding, Skylarking has some of the best lyrics of any album ever. What's the best one?

Abort your mission let's just say you tried
Before you glimpse I have a darker, darker side


I always found the first verse of Another Satellite was brilliant with its double meanings and metaphor:

My heart is taken, it's not lost in space
And I don't want to see your mooney mooney face
I say why on earth do you revolve around me
Aren't you aware of the gravity
Don't need another satellite


(Also, I have done a cover of that song)
 
2010-07-03 03:46:17 PM  
IIRC, another weird thing about this record is the run time. The total run time was listed as 46:46. Each side was 23:23 long.
 
2010-07-03 05:16:08 PM  
Unhip1: I was a HUGE XTC fan (have all their albums and CDs, and even video), but the more I've read the less respect I've had for AP and the more I've had for everyone else in the band for putting up with his BS.

A friend of mine was at the infamous Hollywood Palladium show that got canceled because AP refused to get out of bed. Here's a great interview (new window) with the drummer Pat Mastelotto (who played on Oranges & Lemons) and here's his memory of that:

I also saw the infamous English Settlement show that he didn't play -- I was friends with the production people, so I was a guest at that show at the Palladium. Had a VIP spot with a great view of the stage. The stage was all set, the opener had finished, and my buddies who were presenting the show were running by. I said, "What's taking so long?" He said, "I know you love these guys, but they're farking us! This asshole won't get out of bed, and I don't know what to do!" Sure enough, that was the day that Andy didn't get out of bed, and the last show they didn't play. The stage was completely set, and the backdrop was up, and it was about an hour of a wait after the opening act before the announcement was made that they were not going to play that night.

I think Partridge was addicted to valium (which he took to counter the horrible stage fright he had) and when he quit using it, things went a bit weird.

Great band, incredible songwriters, Black Sea FTW.
 
2010-07-03 05:53:26 PM  

Unhip1: Andy Partridge, who gave XTC a slow agonizing death because the other b and members had faith in him, tries to make you notice him again.

I was a HUGE XTC fan (have all their albums and CDs, and even video), but the more I've read the less respect I've had for AP and the more I've had for everyone else in the band for putting up with his BS.



NEWSFLASH!!! Andy Partridge is a freakin' pecan log! Surprise!

This expression, "troubled genius" -- it's a new one for you? Hey, did you hear the one about the crazy painter that cut his ear off? What an asshole! When I learned about that, I just said, "okay, that's it, I got no time for crap like that" and I never looked at another one of the bastard's bullshiat paintings again. fark him.
 
2010-07-03 07:06:02 PM  

Bird3149: I know nothing of XTC but I did read the headline as "Alan Partridge" and got a little excited. Now I am very disappointed. Gee, thanks a lot you stupid Fark Headline.


We could make this a Glen Ponder and Chalet thread if you like.
 
2010-07-03 07:44:16 PM  
meh.
 
2010-07-03 09:13:07 PM  
Just in case anyone would like to check it out, here's my cover of

Another Satellite (new window)

it's just a demo I did for fun, but it came out OK.
 
2010-07-03 09:32:43 PM  
And I just realised that link exposes my real name to all of Fark. :|
 
2010-07-03 10:04:27 PM  
Inverted the phase in Pro Tools. Sounds the same.
 
2010-07-03 11:37:40 PM  
My God...it's full of dumb!
 
2010-07-04 12:14:55 AM  

NakedReporta: millia: I'm going to reverse the phase tonight in Audacity to see if I can tell a difference.

How would I do that if I wanted to try the same?


Use the 'invert' tool. As Lou said, I can't tell a difference. Even doing both tracks individually.
 
2010-07-04 12:33:28 AM  

BreadMK: Love Skylarking, but English Settlement is better.

"Jason and the Argonauts" is just mind-blowing.


I tend to agree with this. I wore out English Settlement several times.

That said, after seeing this thread for some reason I went to Youtube and looked this (new window) up. Good luck getting this one out of your head if you click. You've been warned.
 
2010-07-04 12:52:39 AM  
26 years later, I still get shivers when I hear "This World Over", the last song on side one of their "Big Express" album.
 
2010-07-04 01:42:54 AM  
sonnyboy11
and looked this (new window) up. Good luck getting this one out of your head if you click. You've been warned.

oh man... i first heard this song on youtube a year or so ago...
i had it in my head for DAYS afterward, it was / is so catchy...

I still think it contains some of their best lyrics.

and the bass playing is inspired.
 
2010-07-04 03:47:56 AM  

Third_Uncle_Eno:

and the bass playing is inspired.


Having played bass professionally in a past life I can tell you that many musicians are confused about the role of the bass in modern popular music. Colin Moulding's playing here is the definition of how it should work.

On a side note- I used to play a Rickenbacker 4001 similar to the one in the video and would routinely call out the fact that some of the the greatest bass players- Peter Hook, Paul McCartney, Geddy Lee, Chris Squire- used a Ricky to great effect. I once got in an argument with a "grunge" dude back in the day who insisted a Rickenbacker just was not a "rock" sounding bass. All my examples to the contrary seemed to fall on deaf ears. Although I later relied mostly on a pre-CBS Fender P bass I still think fondly of the Ricky and I hope that any young bass players out there might watch the video I linked to and give it a go.

/cool story ended bro
 
2010-07-04 07:41:31 AM  
DrBenway

Obviously you're not well read on Mr. Partridge. He's certainly had an odd life, but having read MANY interviews etc (including some interviews of the man), I'd say his "problem" may have started as an organic psychological breakdown, but was milked to suit his own interests. 50/50.
When the band went on strike with Virgin, it was the sort of outside-the-box maneuvering people who've arrived at a desperate position do. It killed their careers (as Apple Venus and Wasp Star will attest).
Andy Partridge does not suffer from a chronic psychological condition, he suffers from a very grandiose perception of himself, and the need to be lauded for being "special." Van Gogh and Syd Barrett never had that sort off arrogance.

He didn't want to tour, he came up with a convenient means of making sure he couldn't be forced to again. (by the record company, or band peer pressure)
He slowly excluded every band member from his vision. The cruellest cut was the way things ended with David Gregory. Colin finally decided he'd rather be with his family than constantly accommodate Partsy.
 
2010-07-04 07:46:14 AM  
Henry Holland
I think Partridge was addicted to valium (which he took to counter the horrible stage fright he had) and when he quit using it, things went a bit weird.


Partridge was prescribed valium since he was a child. He went on taking it, as many did in that day, without question.
During the 1979-80 tour, his wife threw a big tub he had of it (long term prescription) down the toilet. He threw a fit, wrecked a hotel room and dealt with withdrawal for the rest of the tour.
By the time the 1982 English Settlement tour kicked off, he'd been off the drug for 2+ years.
 
2010-07-04 08:24:31 AM  
good cover, Clarke
 
2010-07-04 10:35:34 AM  

Unhip1: DrBenway

Obviously you're not well read on Mr. Partridge. He's certainly had an odd life, but having read MANY interviews etc (including some interviews of the man), I'd say his "problem" may have started as an organic psychological breakdown, but was milked to suit his own interests. 50/50.
When the band went on strike with Virgin, it was the sort of outside-the-box maneuvering people who've arrived at a desperate position do. It killed their careers (as Apple Venus and Wasp Star will attest).
Andy Partridge does not suffer from a chronic psychological condition, he suffers from a very grandiose perception of himself, and the need to be lauded for being "special." Van Gogh and Syd Barrett never had that sort off arrogance.

He didn't want to tour, he came up with a convenient means of making sure he couldn't be forced to again. (by the record company, or band peer pressure)
He slowly excluded every band member from his vision. The cruellest cut was the way things ended with David Gregory. Colin finally decided he'd rather be with his family than constantly accommodate Partsy.



"Andy Partridge does not suffer from a chronic psychological condition, he suffers from a very grandiose perception of himself" sounds like a bit of a contradiction, frankly. He's a crazy asshole genius. So what? I give a lot of leeway in that circumstance... doesn't give him a free pass, and I might not want to be the one having to put up with him, but it doesn't mean I'm throwing his music in the dumper either.
 
2010-07-04 10:41:15 AM  
It's well known that Andy Partridge hated Todd Rundgren messing with his band and his music, and it infuriated it even more that "Skylarking" (the one he was so mad about) became their signature album.

This is just silly Andy trying to make some money, but I bet it's a wicked cool listen for anyone who actually has a record player in 2010. Hell I want it bad.
 
2010-07-04 01:15:09 PM  

doshus: good cover, Clarke


Thanks! :)
 
2010-07-04 01:16:44 PM  
Unhip1: By the time the 1982 English Settlement tour kicked off, he'd been off the drug for 2+ years.

Well, as Prince once sang "My face is red, I stand corrected". Thanks for the clarification.

I can't recommend highly enough the chats he does on the XTC MySpace page, great insights in to his songwriting process. He's very funny and he doesn't spare himself in those chats either.
 
2010-07-04 02:21:13 PM  

Henry Holland: Unhip1: By the time the 1982 English Settlement tour kicked off, he'd been off the drug for 2+ years.

Well, as Prince once sang "My face is red, I stand corrected". Thanks for the clarification.

I can't recommend highly enough the chats he does on the XTC MySpace page, great insights in to his songwriting process. He's very funny and he doesn't spare himself in those chats either.



Oh, yeah! I had forgotten about those "song of the week" features he was/they were doing. Are there still new ones going up occasionally, or just old ones still there? A bunch I never got around to...
 
2010-07-04 06:04:28 PM  
DrBenway, there's been new ones about various songs but he's been talking about his guitars and his influences recently. They post pretty regularly there, I check in once a week.
 
2010-07-04 06:09:27 PM  
Stupidly Happy.
 
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