See all that I said last week, it’s much the same this week. Except…….

……………..I have recently watched This Is Pop, a new documentary film that tells the tale of XTC.

It aired on Sky Arts here in the UK – the satellite station seemingly picked up the option after it had been rejected by the BBC – a big mistake on the part of the national broadcaster.  The film was every bit as different and entertaining as the band were throughout their time together.  It did centre around the often self-deprecating and very funny contributions of Andy Partridge but there was plenty of screen time given to the other band members, particularly Colin Moulding and Dave Gregory.  The vintage footage was priceless and there was a fair bit of honesty about where things had gone wrong over the years.  Some fans will be disappointed that the film largely focussed on the earlier years and the post-English Settlement material didn’t get anything like the same level of attention or detail, although there was a decent segment on the Dukes of Stratosphear project and the issues that arose around Skylarking.

The film does provide a reminder of how many other great groups over the years have grown and evolved to ensure they never got boring or clichéd.  It also was a wonderful reminder of why nobody could ever make the suggestion of XTC being a contender for the ‘Had It. Lost It’ feature in these pages.

And so while the final few singles the band would release aren’t to my personal tastes, I really am wide of the mark by suggesting that while they ‘have their charms, but it really isn’t XTC is it?’  The songs from Apple Venus Volume 1 are very much those of the band – they may be a long way removed from the sounds they made in the late 70s/early 80s but they are unmistakably, undeniably and still uniquely the work of XTC.  It’s my fault for not paying attention back in the day.

Single #2 from Apple Venus Volume 1 was released in June 1999. Just like its predecessor Easter Theatre, it didn’t chart, and it also had a similar style in terms of content:-

mp3 : XTC – I’d Like That
mp3 : XTC – I’d Like That (home demo)
XTC – How I’d Like That Came To Be

The demo actually appears to be two recordings spliced together – a genuine low-fi effort of about a minute in length before it becomes something a bit more sophisticated.  While it might not be my preferred choice of beverage,  JTFL will disagree as he included the song on an ICA in June 2016

I didn’t bother trying to track down the spoken word effort this time. Sorry if you were looking for it.

Next week is the final instalment of this series.  A huge thanks to all of you who have taken the time to drop by and offer your own views, thoughts and opinions.  Even those of you who found it boring.


6 thoughts on “THE XTC SINGLES (Part 32)

  1. While an excellent series almost comes to an end, is there any chance a fellow XTC fan could contribute the spoken word track for completeness? Love to here what AP has to say about this track. Keep up the good work and I look forward to the next series….

  2. Thanks for remembering, JC, as I do love this song. It’s a very polished single; elegant, melodic and carefully constructed, well-produced, positive and upbeat. Only a mature band would have the patience to give the song space to expand before kicking in the tempo and guitar at the 3:00 minute mark. In the ICA you mentioned I wrote that 20 years into their career XTC were still making relevant music. Nearly 20 years on from then this song still sounds fresh and timeless. Beautiful.

  3. Just realised… your first ICA was published in June 2014. That’s three and a half years ago. And it’s still going! Testament to a great concept.

  4. Felt the need to chime in that I’m loving the XTC series JC, even if I am several weeks behind! A typically remarkable piece of work.
    Looking forward to what comes after next week.

  5. While I’m a huge XTC fan, I haven’t listened to these Apple Venus albums for years, your series has made me re-evaluate them. They’re good records but they were starting to get a bit like ‘Gaucho’ era Steely Dan — they may have spent too long in the studio on them, they sound over arranged, or overproduced. Seems like they’re missing the arranging skills of Dave Gregory.

  6. I again find myself in agreement with JTFL, will wonders never cease….I’d Like That is one of my all time favorite songs by XTC and to come so late in their particular game, it just goes to show that there was really no lack of ideas or virtuosity in the band some 20+ years on.
    On my Master XTC Playlist, I’d Like That sits comfortably between Skylarkings That’s Really Super Supergirl and The Everyday Story Of Smalltown. Three songs I can’t do without.
    Moulding’s bass is wonderfully front loaded and fluid throughout the son. The final coda/chorus breaks into some wonder flamenco percussion as the song floats away.
    With the knowledge that this is the penultimate single, it is tempting to start to wax lyrical over the wonder that this series has been, but I will save much of that for next Sunday’s post…

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