The third and final single released from English Settlement didn’t get anywhere near the charts. It’s a song with a sound that harks back a little while to the  Black Sea era and was slightly at odds with the more acoustic and gentle material on the current album. But then again, its a tune totally befitting the tale of a nasty right-wing hooligan activist and a family who wouldn’t be out-of-place on Respectable Street:-

mp3 : XTC – No Thugs In Our House

Only released as a 7″ single, it came with elaborate packaging with the sleeve opening to form a theatre while you could utilise cartoon characters to re-enact the song lyrics which were re-produced in full on the reverse, along with to whom each line was attributed, in what was described as “No Thugs In Our House: A musical in three acts by XTC.”

You’ll also be able to make out from the back of the sleeve that three songs were made available on the b-side of the single:-

mp3 : XTC – Chain of Command
mp3 : XTC – Limelight
mp3 : XTC – Over Rusty Water

You’ll also see that the first two tracks were from the free single given away with the first pressings of Drums and Wires and therefore would already be well-known and likely owned by most long-standing fans.  The last track is an ambient instrumental lasting less than 90 seconds and is, again, very much for completists.

Maybe the fact that so little of the music was new contributed to the fact that the single sold poorly.


4 thoughts on “THE XTC SINGLES (Part 15)

  1. No Thugs In Our House roars into a room when you put it on the dansette! It follows my favorite song on English Settlement – Jason And The Argonauts as if it was meant to wake up Odysseus/Ulysses from his dream/nightmare. It is, for me one of XTC’s most enduring singles. As English Settlement is programmed, it acts as a bit of an intermission track as it’s followed by Yacht Dance which gets back to the twisted, pastoral sound of the album.

  2. English Settlement is one of my favorite XTC albums and ‘No Thugs’ is one of the best tracks on it. However, listening again to the over-the-top vocal delivery convinces me that, apart from the obvious reason of traditionally dismal American radio programming, it’s Partridge’s voice that got in the way of the band’s stateside success. Their songs were as good as any of their contemporaries if not much better, they were superb musicians, and they were (up to this point) an outstanding live act. I always liked Partridge’s singing but I can see where it would seem irritating to other folks. When XTC pulled the touring plug that basically killed off their chances of making it here, as they were never going to get the airplay they deserved.

  3. One of those singles so unsuccessful it didn’t even make Waxworks. Deserved to be a hit. Really packed a punch but had even more power behind it when performed on Peel. A 7″ I have never seen in a shop on this side of the Atlantic.

  4. You are right Brian…that is a holy grail sleeve in my mind. I know it was ordered by my local record shop but all 4 copies flew out the door the same day back then. I have only ever seen it in a used bin in a white replacement sleeve…

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