THE XTC SINGLES (Part 21)

The third and final single lifted from The Big Express was a Colin Moulding composition. Given it was the opening track on the album it was always a reasonable bet that the record label had it down as a potential single from the off. It’s a song that makes a promising start with the late 70s/early 80s era choppy guitars but it doesn’t really develop all that much with changes in tempo and volume proving to be a bit distracting:-

mp3 : XTC – Wake Up

The single version was about a minute or so shorter than the album version (which itself featured on the 12″ release). The b-side of the 7″ was a very old track, and indeed Take This Town featured earlier in this series as one half of a split single with The Ruts. Oh and there was a second b-side made available:-

mp3 : XTC – Mantis On Parole (Homo Safari Series No. 4)

And so, after six years the Homo Safari series was finally out there for all to appreciate…..

The 12″ contained all three of the songs on the 7″ but threw in three additional tracks. Only thing was, they were three of the earlier and better known singles – Making Plans For Nigel, Sgt Rock (Is Going To Help Me) and Senses Working Overtime – as if somehow folk buying Wake Up were completely new to the band.

A #95 flop in February 1985

JC

3 thoughts on “THE XTC SINGLES (Part 21)

  1. Having heard one or two of the more obvious XTC tracks, my eldest (18) started going through the others that I have – this turned out to be one of his favourites.

  2. Wake Up is properly positioned on the album as an opener…its appeal as a single has always been questionable in my mind. The song is a studio marvel, maximizing the amount of time the band was spending in it. The counter punch of piano to non traditional 4/3 guitar time signature is pretty brilliant.

    The missed opportunity is that The Everyday Story of Smalltown WAS NOT A SINGLE! If any song on Big Express harkens back to the time of Black Sea, it’s this one. Just one listen and you will convinced, some devious record company executive went into the office after hours and switched out the song titles on the release schedule for Big Express. …Smalltown is just about the BIGGEST song XTC ever recorded and it has never gotten the accolades it deserves.

  3. The thing I like most about XTC’s Mummer/Big Express period is how much Echorich digs it. JC said it correctly about ‘Wake Up’ – promising but doesn’t develop. Still, got to respect my blogbrother’s passionate and articulate explanation of why I’m wrong.

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