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.