Give thanks to the internet for the remaining few weeks of this series as I know absolutely nothing about what happened to XTC after their departure from Virgin Records. From wiki:-

After leaving Virgin, Partridge had the band’s accounts audited and it was discovered that the company had withheld substantial royalty payments from them. The settlement of the accounts provided the group with much-needed cash flow, allowing Partridge and Moulding to install fully equipped studios and work comfortably at home.

Though able to record the majority of their work themselves, they also used major commercial studios (including Abbey Road Studios in London) for some sessions. Finally released from Virgin, they formed their own label, Idea Records, and embarked on the recording of the ambitious “Apple Venus” project, a collection of the best material written during the band’s dispute with Virgin. The band’s initial plan had been to record a double album, featuring one disc of acoustic and orchestral songs and one of electric songs. Financial constraints forced the band to abandon the double album plan and finish and release the first volume (released 1999) before completing the second (2000).

During the recording sessions for Apple Venus Volume 1, Dave Gregory left the band after 20 years’ service. Ostensibly, this was due to “musical differences”—Gregory was unhappy with the plan to record an album whose arrangements relied largely upon orchestral instruments and keyboards rather than guitars

There were two singles lifted from Apple Venus Volume 1, the first of them in April 1999 on CD single only. It didn’t chart:-

mp3 : XTC – Easter Theatre
mp3 : XTC – Easter Theatre (home demo)
mp3 : XTC – How Easter Theatre Came To Be

The single has its charms, but it isn’t really XTC is it?

The demo is incredibly Beatles-eqsue if you like that sort of thing.

The last of the tracks is 13 minutes long, and it’s simply a spoken-track in which Andy Partridge provides a very detailed explanation of the song…incredible to think part of it dates back to 1986!!


12 thoughts on “THE XTC SINGLES (Part 31)

  1. Oh Anonymous, back again I see. Never anything constructive to say, just nitpicking about the length of a series. For what it’s worth, I and many other readers, have really enjoyed JC’s endeavours. I wasnt even aware of this single. Like you JC, post-Virgin, I had no idea what happened to XTC. Far from yawning, I’m looking forward to the remaining posts.

  2. I am with the Robster! . Eager to hear the reset – love the lp that this comes from , my favourite of theirs.

  3. The whole idea is to record and comment on all their singles.
    JC has spent a lot of time and effort and I suspect money on this project for no individual gain and should be commended.
    Jog on

  4. Quite shocked by the negative comment. This has been a great series for filling in the odd gaps in my XTC knowledge, in particular the issues they were having with Virgin. From today’s track onwards, I’ve heard very little and am looking forward to what is to come.

  5. You’re entitled to your opinion, Anonymous, just as I’m entitled to say you’re wrong. This is the very time to be checking out the series. I, for one, didn’t know today’s single, and I’m finding myself floored by it. Thanks for taking the time, JC.

  6. There is something very special about Apple Venus Vol. 1. My first exposure to Easter Theatre was one of astonishment at just how amazing XTC’s unapologetic move into Chamber Pop was. Complex use of orchestra, the growl of guitar and the feeling of that young and sexually charged emotions, scents and time of the year can produce. I knew there was going to be some heartfelt and powerful pop music on Apple Venus Vol. 1.
    In 1986 XTC reached a peak in their “pastoral” pop exploration with Skylarking. The band mined quite a bit of English 60’s pop in their journey on Skylarking and Apple Venus Vol. 1 felt like Partridge and Moulding picking up where Skylarking’s Sacrificial Bonfire left off.
    FORW has mentioned that Apple Venus Vol. 1 is his favorite XTC album. It comes in a close second to Drums And Wires for me, but my appreciation of XTC spanned their entire career and they have so many musical sides which I appreciate, that it really is hard to rank their work for me.

  7. “The single has its charms, but it isn’t really XTC is it?” I’ve got to disagree, JC. By this point it’s kind of exactly where XTC were meant to be. The band were adults, with kids and divorces and life and label struggles behind them. 20 years into a career they were also fabulous musicians. It only makes sense that they’d go in a complicated, orchestral direction like this. (Let’s not forget the musical accomplishment/crime called ‘The Juliet Letters’ perpetrated by a peer several years earlier…) I was really pleased when Apple Venus hit the shelves. Felt like seeing an old school friend now working an interesting job.

  8. The whole series of posts has taken me back to albums that I’d not given enough time to. A real education and it’s given me my new favourite old band. Thankyou. The one negative comment that was posted? F*** em.

  9. For various boring reasons I’ve only just got around to the end of this great collection JC. Brilliant stuff, thank you. I too am an Apple Venus junky with volume 1 being our family holiday album of choice that the kids still sing. Cheers.

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