English Settlement – XTC

I can’t believe I haven’t got round to XTC yet, something by these guys will generally grace the headphones/speakers at least once a month. I am doing something very 21st century at the moment I am listening to this on an ipod and perusing the vinyl sleeve and inner sleeves. I miss big sleeves and inner sleeves, damn you Fraunhofer. The 80s were a golden age for album packaging (the decade of the picture disc) and this one is beautiful with its parchment like inner sleeves.
XTC were from Swindon, a mecca for churning out talent, just look Dean Ashton, Diana Dors, Gilbert O’ Sullivan and Melinda Messenger, need I mention more? The old side 1 of the first disc is a gem, and the last two tracks Senses Working Overtime and Jason and the Argonauts are fantastic. I still get that wonderful warm glow inside when I hear Senses Working Overtime, everytime without fail. My favourite track though is All of a Sudden (It’s Too Late). I never really got the lyrics when I was a kid, but now in later life it is like looking in the mirror.
Hidden gem; Yacht Dance

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Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols – Sex Pistols

Where do you start with this bloody thing, if I write something flippant and trite I will have the light-middle weight wrath of serious punkologist Jon Savage to contend with. Talk about baggage, there is a whole airlines worth of baggage to unpick with this album. So, here is my trite and flippant view of this album.
I remember exactly where I was, and what I was doing when I first heard this album. I was standing in my friends back garden in the rain. The problem was I was wearing muddy wellington boots and David Goan’s mother wouldn’t allow me in the house as she had just had a new carpet fitted (rock and roll), so David had an idea. I stood in the back garden, he opened the window of his bedroom, balanced a speaker on the open window and I could listen to the album. This worked, although it was freezing and pouring with rain, until Bodies started. David panicked and jumped up to try and retrieve the speaker before the neighbours heard the offending lyrics, however rather than rescuing the speaker he sent it tumbling out of the window where it smashed on impact. Sid Vicious would have been so proud.
There are still some great songs on this album though and I would argue that the four singles are probably the four greatest consecutive single releases by any band, ever. I really hated the slower songs on this album when I was younger, but I have grown very fond of New York as I got older.
Hidden gem; Submission (is it about bondage or submarines?)