One look at the 7″ sleeve (pictured up top) tells me that I’m about to listen to an anti-nuclear song.

And sure enough, the second single to be released off The Big Express proves to be such:-

mp3 : XTC – This World Over

In an era when the protest song was again becoming hugely fashionable, XTC did things in a really understated way in which there was no rabble-rousing or sing-a-long chorus;  instead it’s a melancholy and resigned number that sadly looks back at the aftermath of the bomb dropping on London as a parent tried to explain the madness of it all. It’s very listenable and has dated ok, but I should add it reminds me a bit of later-era The Police.

The 12″ had an extended version of the song and was housed in a sleeve that disguises somewhat the subject nature as the sleeve uses an old-fashioned passenger request button once commonly found on buses.  But the ‘Push Once’ message is very clever and subversive:-

mp3 : XTC – This World Over (full length mix)

The same b-side was on both releases:-

mp3 : XTC – Blue Overall

It’s a bit meh… but I do accept it’s a bit unusual for a song reflecting on a relationship gone wrong.

In an era of an expanded singles chart, this one managed to find itself at #99 for one week before disappearing to the bargain bins.


4 thoughts on “THE XTC SINGLES (Part 20)

  1. In a continuing attempt to say something nice about XTC’s ’83”84 period, here goes: (a) another great sleeve by Partridge and (b) Moulding started using a Wal bass around this period and it sounds really good on this track. Otherwise, not too crazy for this song, with its minimal emphasis on guitar. Peter Phipps is solid as a timekeeper, but the drums are so up front in the mix that it seems like the band is playing around him. Terry Chambers never overpowered his bandmates. The B-side also suffers from this drum-dominant mix. Over to you, Echorich.

  2. This is just a magical, melancholy tour de force. This World Over is tender and emotionally charged with a crescendo that builds leading ultimately to a sad resignation as the song ends. It is a song that ranks very high in the band’s canon for me and one that once heard, stays with me all day.

  3. Hmm. Yeah, I guess there is a Police/Synchronicity sound to it all; albeit with better lyrics/performance. It’s on a whole different level of maturity and sophistication as compared to the Police, though I’ll concede the vibe. I am shocked that the postcards affixed to the cover of the 7″ were not mentioned. They fold out to reveal six identical postcards, perforated in a zig zag fold featuring the identical image of the following cities: Paris/Tokyo/Berlin/Moscow/New York/London. Another fine, deluxe XTC sleeve spectacular. By the way, the 12″ version is simply the 5:26 album version as opposed to the 4:46 single edit. No ZTT style dance remix there! [but imagine if there had been one…]

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