XTC’s 12 Greatest Songs and Greatest Discs (Representative Songs and Hidden Masterpieces)

We have created a ranking for XTC.

I think they are quite an addictive band.

Maniacal pop addicts who can’t get enough of ordinary pop music will love this band.

However, I tried to focus on famous songs and hit songs, and more songs that are relatively easy to listen to.

This blog is an automatic translation of a Japanese blog into English.

Please understand that it may be difficult to read.


No.1「The Mayor of Simpleton」(Album:Oranges & Lemons)


■Song Title:The Mayor of Simpleton
■Album Name:Oranges & Lemons
■Video link:「The Mayor of Simpleton」

The lyrics of this song go like this.

I’m dumb and I can’t learn

But one thing I do know

I like you.

Maybe Andy is the complete opposite of the main character in this song.

He’s the type of person who is smart but can’t say the one and only “I love you”.

Maybe it’s because Andy is a lovable, cynical person that he can write this song.

Now, there is a famous similar song to this one.

Please listen to the following song.

ラ・ブーム~だってMY BOOM IS ME~ / カジヒデキ

Some people call it plagiarism, but I call it a quote.


No.2「Living Through Another Cuba」(Album:Black Sea)


■Song Title:Living Through Another Cuba
■Album Name:Black Sea
■Video link:「Living Through Another Cuba」

I think the producer Stephen Lillywhite played a big role in this Album.

Stephen Lillywhite is known for producing U2’s “War” and others.

He is a person who specializes in producing straightforward rock bands.

He may have a distinctive guitar sound.

The guitar is even more prominent than on the previous album “Drums and Wires” produced by John Leckie.


No.3「That’s Really Super, Supergirl」(Album:Skylarking)


■Song Title:That’s Really Super, Supergirl
■Album Name:Skylarking
■Video link:「That’s Really Super, Supergirl」

This Album was produced by Todd Rundgren.

It seems that Andy and Todd were constantly arguing with each other during the recording process.

But from listening to the music, they seem to be quite compatible, though.

And their disagreement might be a bit exaggerated.

Afterwards, Andy said that he liked the album and partially appreciated Todd’s work.

The title of the album was “Skylarking” to begin with.

You can see that Andy was objective about the turmoil at the time.


No.4「Making Plans for Nigel」(Album:Drums and Wires)


■Song Title:Making Plans for Nigel
■Album Name:Drums and Wires
■Video link:「Making Plans for Nigel」

This album was a turning point for them.

A major role was played by newcomer Dave Gregory.

His predecessor, Barry Andrews, played only keyboards, but Dave was able to play both guitar and keyboards.

I think Dave plays the guitar on this song from 2:46 on, and it’s impressive.

Dave didn’t write any of the songs, but he was a key player in the performance.

I think it’s fair to say that Dave’s addition gave the band a wider range of expression.

However, he didn’t get along with Andy, who was a difficult person, and said that he was a difficult man.

So it was a band with many difficult members.


No.5「Ball and Chain」(Album:English Settlement)


■Song Title:Ball and Chain
■Album Name:English Settlement
■Video link:「Ball and Chain」

When you talk to their fans, there is always someone who loves Colin Moulding.

Sometimes they even like him more than Andy.

I prefer Andy, but I partially agree with those who say they love Colin.

The ratio of songs provided by Andy and Colin is roughly 7:3, and Colin is a widower.

In this ranking, Colin wrote three songs: “Making Plans for Nigel,” “Generals and Majors,” and this song.

Even though he doesn’t contribute many songs, he writes definitive songs.


No.6「Generals and Majors」(Album:Black Sea)


■Song Title:Generals and Majors
■Album Name:Black Sea
■Video link:「Generals and Majors」

This time, I decided to choose one song from each of the original albums first.

But I couldn’t leave out this song.

I was going to introduce “This Is Pop?” from their debut album, but I decided to replace it with this song.

In their early days, the songs that Colin wrote became hits and their activities took off.

Maybe that’s why the record company was trying to make Colin the center of the band at that time.

And the three songs that charted in the early days were all Colin’s songs.

This song also went up to #32 on the singles chart.


No.7「I’d Like That」(Album:Apple Venus Volume 1)


■Song Title:I’d Like That
■Album Name:Apple Venus Volume 1
■Video link:「I’d Like That」

They are said to be Beatles-like.

You can feel the influence from their psychedelic sound, but especially their melodies are Beatles-like.

Especially the songs Andy writes remind me of Paul Mccartney.

This song, for example, is a case in point.

They have always been known as a band with good melodies.

They have always been said to be a band with good melodies, but it is only when you adapt to their unique quirks that you realize how good their melodies are.

This song removes that peculiarity.

This is a song that stands out for its pure melodic quality.


No.8「The Disappointed」(Album:Nonsuch)


■Song Title:The Disappointed
■Album Name:Nonsuch
■Video link:「The Disappointed」

This album was not well received when it was released.

The previous album, “Oranges & Lemons”, had many quirky songs that convinced even the most maniacal fans.

However, the poison and twists are gone in this album.

However, when I listen to it now, it’s still a great album.

Let me introduce one more song.

XTC – Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead

For many years they have been under pressure from record companies to produce songs that sell.

The producer of this album is Gus Dudgeon, famous for his work with Elton John.

I think he was probably chosen to make the album a hit, but it seems he did his job.

The song reached #33, surpassing “Mayor of Simpleton”, and the Album went up to #28.


No.9「I’m the Man Who Murdered Love」(Album:Wasp Star / Apple Venus Volume 2)


■Song Title:I’m the Man Who Murdered Love
■Album Name:Wasp Star / Apple Venus Volume 2
■Video link:「I’m the Man Who Murdered Love」

This album was supposed to be released as a 2-disc set along with “Apple Venus Volume 1”.

However, it was decided to release them separately.

Before this album, they had a dispute with their label, Virgin Records, and were unable to record.

They then moved to Cooking Vinyl, and this is where they released the songs they had written during that time.

In 2005, however, Colin left the band.

According to Andy, there will be no new album under the name of XTC in the future.

This will probably be the last album.


No.10「Great Fire」(Album:Mummer)


■Song Title:Great Fire
■Album Name:Mummer
■Video link:「Great Fire」

At the time, Andy was feeling pressured to play live, and finally announced that he would no longer play live.

Disappointed by this decision, Terry Chambers left the band.

This Album contains a variety of songs, but many of them may not be suitable for live performances.

Some people call their music “boxyard pops,” and I think this tendency has been growing since then.

It is true that the music has lost some of its dynamism, but the quality of their work has been maintained.


No.11「Are You Receiving Me?」(Album:Go 2)


■Song Title:Are You Receiving Me?
■Album Name:Go 2
■Video link:「Are You Receiving Me?」

This song is usually found on “Go 2”, but it is a bonus track, so be careful when you buy it.

I don’t often listen back to the first two albums.

However, there are a few songs that I like, such as this one.

As for “This Is Pop?” from the first “White Music” album, I’ll just post a link.

XTC – This Is Pop

It had a sharp sound at the time.

Andy’s guitar and Colin’s bass play wonderfully in this song.


No.12「This World Over」(Album:The Big Express)


■Song Title:This World Over
■Album Name:The Big Express
■Video link:「This World Over」
The sound is muffled, so please turn up the volume.

They may have been aware of the Police.

In the past, they used Hugh Padgham, the producer of Police’s “Ghost in the Machine”.

This song, for example, sounds just like the Police, not only in its melody but also in the way it utilizes gaps in the sound.

It’s a straightforward song, which is rare for XTC.

It’s a straightforward message song with all their strengths sealed up.

But I think it is one of the most moving songs of theirs.


Other The Dukes of Stratosphear「Brainiac’s Daughter」(Album:Chips from the Chocolate Fireball)


■Artist Name:The Dukes of Stratosphear
■Song Title:Brainiac’s Daughter
■Album Name:Chips from the Chocolate Fireball
■Video link:The Dukes of Stratosphear「Brainiac’s Daughter」

Which is XTC’s best work?

I think it depends on who you ask.

For me, I like “Black Sea”, “English Settlement” and “Skylarking” equally.

However, there is one work that surpasses all of those masterpieces.

This is the album of XTC’s pseudonymous project.

If you don’t care about the XTC name, this album is my favorite.

I would also like to introduce another song called “Vanishing Girl”.

The Dukes Of Stratosphear – Vanishing Girl

This album features a psychedelic rock-influenced sound from the late 1960s.

There is a Beatles-inspired sound effect at 2:02, which I really enjoy.

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