The 90s dawned on us and the demand for idiosyncratic, guitar-led music was at it an all-time low since rock’n’roll had been ‘invented’ It was no real surprise that XTC battoned-down the hatches a bit and waited till February 1992 before emerging, blinking, into the daylight.
mp3 : XTC – The Disappointed
It’s unmistakably Andy Partridge on lead vocal and it’s a clever enough lyric, but the tune is a huge let down. Dull to the point of being a Tears For Fears mid-80s reject. But it did have its fans, reaching #33 in the UK singles charts and paving the way for the parent album Nonsuch to go Top 30 on its release a few months later.
The b-side of the 7″ was a Colin Moulding effort:-
mp3 : XTC – The Smartest Monkeys
I’ll hold my hands up and say that my first exposure to this was very recently as I had to go and find a lot of b-sides to complete the series. If I had owned a copy of Nonsuch, I’d have been familar with it as it would later appear on the album. I think it’s way superior to the a-side , but I’m afraid that’s damning it with faint praise as it’s not a patch on so much of the 70s and 80s output. They are both songs that would, I reckon, have had a live audience shuffling around the venue with boredom while waiting with anticipating for something more typical….so just as well then that the band didn’t tour!
The single also came out on 10″ format and on CD; it’s the latter I grabbed off Discogs a while back and here’s the other tracks:-
mp3 : XTC – Humble Daisy
mp3 : XTC – The Smartest Monkeys (demo)
Humble Daisy would also be on Nonsuch, and compared to the plethora a of otherwise unavailable b-sides in years gone by, this is also something of a letdown.
Nobody knew back then that this would be the final time XTC would ever have a hit single in the UK.