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Nonsuch [Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered]

XTC Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
Price: £19.98 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Biography

XTC hailed from Swindon to cultivate a legacy of highly original British pop born from their early punk/new wave roots in the late 70s. Their angular yet melodic songs, lead by distinctive jagged riffs boasted the catchiest of pop sensibilities which was then injected with an edginess by the darker overtones of astute and often political lyrics. Throughout their career, from the jerky earlier ... Read more in Amazon's XTC Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Nonsuch + Oranges & Lemons + Skylarking
Price For All Three: £41.96

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Product details

  • Audio CD (11 Jun 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B00005ATHM
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 140,877 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead (2001 - Remaster) 5:02£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. My Bird Performs (2001 - Remaster) 3:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Dear Madam Barnum (2001 - Remaster) 2:48£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Humble Daisy (2001 - Remaster) 3:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. The Smartest Monkeys (2001 - Remaster) 4:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. The Disappointed (2001 - Remaster) 3:23£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Holly Up On Poppy (2001 - Remaster) 3:04£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Crocodile (2001 - Remaster) 3:56£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Rook (2001 - Remaster) 3:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Omnibus (2001 - Remaster) 3:20£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. That Wave (2001 - Remaster) 3:34£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Then She Appeared (2001 - Remaster) 3:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. War Dance (2001 - Remaster) 3:22£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Wrapped In Grey (2001 - Remaster) 3:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. The Ugly Underneath (2001 - Remaster) 3:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Bungalow (2001 - Remaster) 2:49£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Books Are Burning (2001 - Remaster) 4:54£0.99  Buy MP3 


Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

Patently incapable of making substandard records and equally hopeless at actually selling them, XTC's 10th studio album Nonsuch (produced by Gus Dudgeon and benefiting from the crisp drum work of former Fairport Convention sticksman Dave Mattacks) was yet another sublime, literate and unpredictable Anglo-pop masterpiece, brimming with tuneful deviousness, intelligent arrangements and interesting subject matter but nevertheless avoided by the public as if it were an approaching tramp with a personal hygiene problem. That quirky Canadians Crash Test Dummies actually had a hit with an exact replica of "Ballad of Peter Pumpkin" can only be attributed to their choice of deodorant. A similar injustice befell single "The Disappointed" (Andy Partridge's anthem for the amorously disenfranchised and surely one of their best ever recordings), which narrowly failed to win an Ivor Novello Award. Still, typically for a band who've never enjoyed the full rub of the green, some of the finest moments on Nonsuch deal with either underachievement (as on Colin Moulding's "Smartest Monkeys", which questions how mankind can get to the moon but can't solve problems of hunger and homelessness); such anti-showbiz mundanity as walking the dog ("Humble Daisy"); or aspiring to a retirement home by the sea (another forlorn Moulding number fusing Noel Coward with the Beach Boys' pocket symphonies). Other than "The Disappointed", the real must-hear is the anti-censorship "Books are Burning", inspired by the Salman Rushdie affair and by German poet Heinrich Heine's famous quote, and musically pitched halfway between "Hey Jude" and Leo Sayer's "When I Need You", ascending to a climactic duel between the frying guitars of Partridge and Gregory. --Kevin Maidment

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Nonsuch kicks off with the marvellously melodic trio of ... Peter Pumpkinhead, My Bird Performs and Dear Madam Barnum, before slowing down the tempo for the elegiac Humble Daisy ("I'll sing about you if nobody else will").

The intelligent and thoughtful Smartest Monkeys and The Disappointed follow, the former being a wry social commentary without the Phil Collins-type insincerity. Similarly, Holly Up On Poppy is a song of parental love and affection that cleverly (and thankfully) sidesteps the cloying sentimentality that often characterises such efforts.

The diversity and range especially typical of latter-day XTC is well illustrated by the next three songs. Crocodile is a straightforward, snappy (sorry) and punchy track, while the string-laden Rook is stark and meditative, and Omnibus is jaunty and lyrically obtuse.

From the sweeping That Wave and hook-laden Then She Appeared, through the jazz-flecked (and slightly dull) War Dance, we reach the magnificent, Bacharach-esque Wrapped In Grey. Possibly the LP's centrepiece, WIG is a life-affirming clarion call to thinkers and dreamers everywhere, featuring some of Andy Partridge's most evocative lyrics (e.g. "How coloured the flowers all smelled / As they huddled there in petalled prayer"). In fact, in terms of lyrical content alone, Nonsuch as a whole is one of XTC's very finest.

The LP winds down with the just-plain excellent The Ugly Underneath and slightly bizarre yet moving Bungalow, before Books Are Burning draws the set to an initially eerie but ultimately joyous conclusion with a guitar solo 'duel' between Messrs Partridge and Gregory. Atypical, but wonderful.

In summary? Well, put in the simplest terms I can conjure up, Nonsuch is yet another superb LP from one of, if not THE most consistently imaginative and interesting bands of the post-punk era. Nothing short of genius, in actual fact.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars XTC - still making my senses work overtime. 18 Jun 2002
By DiBosco VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
Say XTC to most people and they'll say, "They did 'Making Plans for Nigel', didn't they?" Tell them you've just bought XTC's latest album and they'll say "XTC, are they still going?"Although the answer to both is decidedly "yes", neither answer begins to tell the story of band that has survived twenty five years and numerous heartaches.
Nonsuch was the last album they recorded before going on strike in protest at the record deal they had with Virgin records. We had to wait about seven years before they released anything new, but at least they left us something truly memorable to drown in during that long wait.
This album creates a big divide between hardcore XTC fans - many people on the mailing list dismiss it as being lightweight, but that is to do it a grave disservice. What the album could be described as, is once of the band's most accesible albums - which may be what puts off some of the more elitist fans...
The album kicks off with the sound of Dave Gregory's Rickenbacker being plugged in; and then: the chiming chords of "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead" smash you in the ears; Dave Mattacks' drums crash in and Andy's memorable harmonica hook draw you in to an album that never lets you go, until the final solo of "Books are Burning" fade away an hour or so later.
What is Nonsuch? It's an album of quintessential Englishness; it's an amalgam of modern day Kinks outlook, wrapped up in (at times) Beatlesesque music (although the Beatles comparison sometimes detracts from the unique sound XTC have created), topped off with the incredible ablities of Partridge, Moulding and Gregory - each of whom add their own little bit to the recipe of the music that I have gorged on in the past twenty years.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite XTC after just 3 listens 26 April 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I discovered XTC quite late really, which makes me feel a bit sad. About a year ago I was buying some CDs from an online used CD store and came across the familiar title of XTC - Oranges and Lemons. Most Americans like myself will not have heard much that came before this nor probably after. I decided to purchase this disc along with another title, Rag & Bone Buffet. The former I absolutely love, but it was the latter which really surprised me and got me thinking I should go after some more. I've since acquired Skylarking, the Apple Venus pair and now this. What I find most remarkable about the band is how they have managed to steadily change so much yet never sound like anything other than themselves. Also they never seem to lose site of what is great artistic songwriting. Some of my former idols have really let me down in this regard, take Rush or Yes as examples. I feel that Andy Partridge's art speaks to me more than any other songwriter's and I hold his work in the highest regard. In spite of a couple tunes I'm not crazy about, Nonsuch with its staggering diversity has become my favourite after 3 listens, edging out Apple Venus vol 1 by a narrow margin. XTC must be pop music's best kept secret. I'm so glad they're still going and I hope they make many more albums. I'd hate to think of a world without XTC.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing but the best 18 Sep 2006
By D. J. H. Thorn TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
I've been following XTC since their 'White Music' debut album in 1977 and have all of their 'proper' releases. While 'Skylarking' is generally thought of as their best album (and I won't argue), 'Nonsuch' is my favourite. Great albums don't necessarily contain songs of one quality and this is such an example. It contains several outstanding songs: the symbol of common humanity and what he's up against, 'Peter Pumpkinhead'; the clown complaint of 'Dear Madam Barnum'; the broken-hearts club that is 'The Disappointed'; the twisted beauty of 'That Wave'; the pure beauty of 'Wrapped In Grey'; and the climactic 'Books Are Burning' with its uncharacteristic guitar hero solos.

Some criticise the less prominent tracks, such as 'Rook' and 'Omnibus', but songs like these are necessary to an XTC album. They add to the richness of variety on offer and complement the better-known songs perfectly. Lyrically, XTC are unstoppable, as they usually are, but on 'Nonsuch' they maintain a higher standard of engaging, poetic content. Musically, the arrangements are sympathetic to each track, with touches of viola here and trumpet there, without ever dislodging the soul of the band.

'Nonsuch' was made fourteen years after XTC's punk-flavoured debut and reveals a band a long way into their journey, fully-matured and ripe for the picking. Anyone who claims to like British pop music at its best should appreciate this.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best album by one of the most underrated bands of ...
Possibly the best album by one of the most underrated bands of all time. Pick up a music mag and it's always Bowie, Beatles, Stones, Dylan etc on the front cover. Read more
Published 2 months ago by MICHAEL SHERGOLD
3.0 out of 5 stars I Like some tracks
I LIke some musics. I Listen the disc and I Think more or Less. Contain very musics and I think regular performance.
Published 14 months ago by Carlos Nat Budeu
4.0 out of 5 stars Some great songs on this one
XTC have produced some of the most varied, musical and nimble pop music of the last 30 years-fans of the band will no doubt enjoy this on form album which was the last album done... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Andy Clambake
4.0 out of 5 stars SWINDONS FINEST
The whole neighbourhood heard the Postman this morning"Good morning Mr Looney,i've got another delivery for you""What is it "i enquired"Aceeeeed!!! Read more
Published on 4 Mar 2012 by Finbar the looney
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime and varied, and far from disappointing...
Nearly 20 years after hearing the beautiful 'The Disappointed' get some - sadly limited - airplay on British radio, I decided somewhat at random to buy this album. Read more
Published on 12 Oct 2011 by TheRoaringCataract
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad but not the best
There are no bad songs on the album let me make that clear, not from the song-writing point of view that is! However, the production I think really lets this down big time. Read more
Published on 28 Sep 2011 by Mr. S. Morris
4.0 out of 5 stars Where they burn books, people are next
Hard to imagine now, but at one time, XTC were all over your radio. Now it seems the only place you'll hear them played is on BBC 6 Music. Read more
Published on 12 Mar 2010 by Bill Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars Its enough to make one weep
I bought this album immediately on its release all those years ago and played it to death at the time. I dig it out at regular intervals and it never fails to move me. Read more
Published on 27 Aug 2009 by joolsm
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Baroque Pop classic.
Although not as popular as Skylarking, Nonsuch is yet another fine effort from the lads from Swindon. Read more
Published on 29 Jun 2009 by T.K
5.0 out of 5 stars None suck
XTC's final outing on the Virgin label is one of their strongest entries. Admittedly it has none of the sparkle and charm of "Skylarking" or the gloss and sheen of "Oranges and... Read more
Published on 27 Jun 2008 by Wowbagger the Infinite
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