When I was studying audio engineering in London, my lecturer Carlos (a true inspiring person), realized I’m a music fanatic and from time to time tried to introduce me to new music that I got to listen.
One day he asked me about XTC‘s Skylarking. Back then, I never heard of the band nor the album, but he said it’s a must. Didn’t leave me a choice.
I only got to the album in 2008, when one day I suddenly recalled that conversation, dated 2003.
A year after, in the Third Ear record shop in Tel Aviv, one of the sellers told me that “In a world of justice, XTC would have been
bigger then The Beatles” and said I gotta listen to their 1980 release Black Sea. These two albums became Yair’s favorite.
I’m gonna write more about XTC in the future, because I think this band really deserve I’ll put couple of hours in writing about them. I’m so in love with them, they got into the exclusive list of my top five bands, that has the residency of The Beatles and Zeppelin, while the other three change. XTC will stay there. Now I can only change two. bummer.
Buy meanwhile, for those who know the band through their hits Sense Working Overtime or Making Plans For Nigel, I want to say that Skylarking, their most perfect album, that was produced by the genius legendary Todd Rundgren – is now being reissued on double LP.
Skylarking was the band’s own Sgt. Pepper. The post punk band from 1978 slowly melted the guns and became soft and by far much more interesting due to the studio experiments.
So by 1986, when the album was recorded, they produced a rocknroll albums with less guitars then ever, giving room to rich arrangements and strings, and where there are strings – that’s where my heart is.
The work with Rundgren wasn’t simple and easy, he changed the songs order, and got involved in every little note in the production.
Andy Partridge hated that but didn’t totally resist. Today, he admits Todd knew what he was doing.
XTC were always in a battle with their label Virgin. They signed the worst contract ever, a contract that is being studied in law school in the fav class “how to screw an artist in the best way”.
And because they held the band’s masters all this time, the reissue of Skylarking is a fantastic news, as it will be released by Andy’s own label – APE.
It will be released with the original front cover that Virgin didn’t approve back then and also two songs that weren’t originally released in the album, but only as singles. One of them, Dear God, was the album’s hit.
The release comes in two formats – one is the 2LP with an impressive book and pictures and sketched and what not. The non-deluxe is the plain two Lp’s.
If ever the term ‘must have’ was relevant to me – this is the case.
Honestly, I’m excited.
[BUY] APE Store