It took a long time for the any new material to be released, but once again the alter-egos were busy with a second Dukes of Stratosphear album and single appearing just a month after Dear God in the summer of 87:-
Maybe it was the fact the Dukes were getting more praise from many quarters, but the next XTC single and album come January/February 1989 were quite different in sound and look than any recent releases. There were more than a few hark-backs to 60s pop and psychedelia……..
The lead off single from what would subsequently the double-album Oranges and Lemons took the band back into the UK Top 50 for the first time in almost six years and would also provide them with their biggest chart success in the USA:-
mp3 : XTC – Mayor of Simpleton
It’s a real pop number with a catchy sing-a-long chorus. And a fine moment in the band’s history.
It was released in a number of formats here in the UK. This is the 7″ b-side:-
A track that would also be included on the parent album on its release a month later. As a 7″ release, this makes for a high quality offer. Here’s the extra track from the 12″:-
mp3 : XTC – Ella Guru
This had originally appeared on the compilation LP Fast and Bulbous – A Tribute to Captain Beefheart released in June 1988. Not being a fan of the Captain, I can’t comment on how faithful or otherwise it is to the original. But I won’t be playing this version again after today. Made my ears hurt.
There was a second 12″ version also issued but all of its b-sides were previous singles – Dear God, Senses Working Overtime and Making Plans for Nigel.
A CD single was also available to buy. It contained two other tracks:-
Two demos, the first being by Andy and the second from Colin, recorded at their homes on four-track machines, much the same as the b-sides on the 12″ of The Meeting Place as featured in Part 23 of this series.
Neither song got developed any further.