Episode 8. Review – XTC – English Settlement

On this episode of lo-fidelity, we conclude this first phase of our XTC extravaganza by reviewing their 1982 double-album English Settlement. Lead songwriter Andy Partridge was growing increasingly tired of the constant pressure on the band and began rebelling against the system that earned them little time to relax and little in their pocket. Armed with a new acoustic guitar, he sought to craft a set of songs that would lead the band in a new “pastoral” direction, seeking to make them difficult to reproduce live, while lyrically tackling topics such as the negative effects of colonialism and the lack of empathy in modern society.

Read More Episode 8. Review – XTC – English Settlement

Episode 7. Discussion – To Tour or Not to Tour

On this episode of lo-fidelity, we discuss a decision every artist has to make: whether to tour or not to tour. Amongst the myriad of ways artists make this decision, we specifically address different categories of answers: artists who never tour, bands who quit touring for good but continue writing and recording music, bands past their prime that continue to tour (or paying a price for nostalgia), with an added bonus of a discussion on the recent phenomenon of album-anniversary tours. There are plenty of examples to learn from, but don’t forget you can always discuss your own stories and examples with us!

Read More Episode 7. Discussion – To Tour or Not to Tour

Episode 6. Review – XTC – Black Sea

On this episode of lo-fidelity, we continue our XTC extravaganza by reviewing the band’s fourth album, Black Sea. With the success of singles from 1979’s Drums and Wires, such as their hit “Making Plans for Nigel,” the band toured at a breakneck pace into 1980. Their label, Virgin Records, gave the band some time off from touring in the summer of that year to record their next album. The result is eleven tracks of rock excellence that noticeably veer away from the band’s New Wave roots. Black Sea would find XTC once again working with producer Steve Lillywhite and engineer Hugh Padgham to expand on the new adventures Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding were taking in their songwriting, while Dave Gregory’s guitar technicality and Terry Chambers’ explosive drums would continue to supply the force behind these powerful songs.

Read More Episode 6. Review – XTC – Black Sea

Episode 5. Review – XTC – Drums and Wires

On this episode of lo-fidelity, we start our journey through the legendary albums of the underrated British rock/pop band XTC. By this point the group had been through a number of name changes since 1972, had released two albums in 1978 on Virgin Records that did modestly well, and were touring extensively to promote them. Within a couple of months keyboardist Barry Andrews would leave the group for other opportunities, setting the stage for Dave Gregory to enter as lead guitarist. The shift in dynamics leads to this powerful collection of songs with early classics written by both Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding, features the bombastic drums of Terry Chambers, and is the result of the band’s first collaboration with producer Steve Lillywhite and engineer Hugh Padgham, who would go on to produce some of the biggest albums of the 1980s. Come join us as we discuss the music that would become the group’s first musical landmark.

Read More Episode 5. Review – XTC – Drums and Wires