XTCXTC is a pop band from Swindon, UK. They are considered the forefathers of the Britpop movement of the 1980s. They are one of the most influential bands still working today.
A short history
First coming together in 1972, the core duo of Andy Partridge (guitars, vocals) and Colin Moulding (bass, vocals) went through various band names and personnel changes over the next five years as they built up their unique brand of jagged pop.
By 1977, the group's lineup had been filled out by Barry Andrews (keyboards) and Terry Chambers (drums). With the help of the punk rock explosion, XTC got picked up by Virgin. They recorded the "3D" EP later that year, and followed it up with "White Music" in January 1978.
After their sophomore effort, "Go2", Andrews left and was replaced by guitarist Dave Gregory. Andrews went on the work with Robert Fripp's League of Gentlemen and the band Shriekback.
The loss of Andrews' hyperactive keyboard playing moved the band more towards more traditional guitar pop, although Gregory also contributed keyboards (and later, string arrangements.) The resulting album, "Drums and Wires", spawned the band's first big hit, "Making Plans for Nigel".
XTC toured up until 1982, when the demands of the tour schedule became too much for Partridge. At the peak of their popularity, off of the top 10 single "Senses Working Overtime", Partridge abruptly left the stage during a Paris concert on March 18, 1982. Since then, XTC has been almost exclusively a studio band.
Chambers left the band shortly after, not happy with the confines of the studio and unimpressed with the band's more pastoral, eccentric direction. Rather than finding a replacement, XTC has used a series of session drummers over the years, including Peter Phipps, Prairie Prince, Dave Mattacks, Pat Mastelotto, Chuck Sabo and Dave Gregory's brother, Ian Gregory.
In 1986, the band traveled to Todd Rundgren's studio-in-the-woods in Woodstock, NY to record what many consider to be the best album of their career, Skylarking. Rundgren had insisted that the band send demos of all the songs that they thought they might tackle for the record. When the band got to Woodstock, Rundgren had already worked out a running order for both the recording and sequence of the album itself. True to his "hands on" studio production style, Rundgren insisted that everyone adhere to his scheme. This did not sit well with the band, Partridge in particular. The two egos of Rundgren and Partridge clashed frequently during the recording of Skylarking and when it was finished Partridge said that he was not at all happy with the resulting product. Partridge has since softened his view and has said that the album was actually helped by Rundgren's heavy hand.
XTC has released material under pseudonyms, including two albums of psychedelic parodies as "The Dukes of Stratosphear" (compiled on a single CD simultaneous with the second album's vinyl release), a Viz comics promotional single as "Johnny Japes and his Jesticles" a Christmas-themed single as "The Three Wise Men" and a guest appearance on their own tribute album "Testimonial Dinner" as "Terry and the Lovemen"
As a result of a contract dispute with Virgin Records, XTC was "on strike" for 1994 through 1998, resulting finally in the termination of their contract, and thus they released no material during this time.
Finally released from Virgin, they formed their own label, Idea Records. Dave Gregory left the band before the release of the 1999 album "Apple Venus Volume 1", leaving just Partridge and Moulding. Now in control of their own work, XTC have built their own small studio and have released instrumenal and demo versions of their first two albums on Idea, "Apple Venus" and "Wasp Star". Having left Virgin, relations have improved and Andy Partridge is releasing a series of albums of 'demos' of his songs (mainly from the Virgin years) under the title of "Fuzzy Warbles", on a new label imprint APE (Andy Partridge Experiments). Colin Moulding declined to contribute his demos to the series.
- White Music (1978)
- Go 2 (1978)
- Drums And Wires (1979)
- Black Sea (1980)
- English Settlement (1982)
- Mummer (1983)
- The Big Express (1984)
- Skylarking (1986)
- Oranges And Lemons (1989)
- Rag and Bone Buffet (1991)
- Nonsuch (1992)
- Fossil Fuel: The Singles (1992)
- Apple Venus Volume 1 (1999)
- Homespun (1999)
- Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) (2000)
- Homegrown (2001)
- Coat of Many Cupboards (2002)
- 3D (1977)
Albums as The Dukes of Stratosphear
- 25 O'Clock (vinyl only 12" EP, 1985)
- Psonic Psunspot (vinyl only, 1987)
- both of the above compiled as: Chips from the Chocolate Fireball (CD only, 1987)
- XTC official site: http://xtcidearecords.co.uk/
- XTC fan site: http://chalkhills.org/
- XTC fan site: http://optimismsflames.com/
Collaborations and Connections
The following artists have worked with members of XTC:
- Joan Armatrading
- Peter Blegvad
- Harold Budd
- Thomas Dolby
- Peter Gabriel
- Steve Lillywhite
- Aimee Mann
- Martin Newell
- Todd Rundgren
- Hugh Padgham
- Ryuichi Sakamoto
- Saeko Suzuki
- David Yazbek
- L'Affaire Louis Trio
- The Residents
- The Woodentops
- Captain Sensible
- Voice of the Beehive