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Skylarking [VINYL] [Special Edition]

XTC Vinyl
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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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

Visit Amazon's XTC Store
for 106 albums, 9 photos, discussions, and more.

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Product Features

  • Ships in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging

Product details

  • Vinyl (15 Nov 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Special Edition
  • Label: Weatherbox Ltd
  • ASIN: B0044E9M2K
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 314,798 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Summers Cauldron
2. Grass
3. The Meeting Place
4. That's Really Super Supergirl
5. Ballet For A Rainy Day
6. 1000 Umbrellas
7. Season Cycle
8. Earn Enough For Us
9. Big Day
10. Another Satellite
11. Mermaid Smiled
12. The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul
13. Dear God
14. Dying
15. Sacrificial Bonfire

Product Description

Product Description

This Special EDITION 180G 2LP VINYL pressing comes in a heavyweight GATEFOLD SLEEVE with newly designed INNER BAGS. The cover is the original cover Andy had intended for the album, but Virgin had banned it. The cover you have on the copy you own is the last minute substitution. Produced in New York by the legendary USA producer Todd Rundgren, the man who gave the 699;New York Dolls 700; their distinctive sound, 699;Skylarking 700; is considered by many to be one of XTC 700;s best albums. Completely remastered from the original master tapes which were tracked down in UK and USA, there was found on inspection to be a major error in the original final mix made in Tom Rundgren 700;s studio. The polarity on the album was REVERSED, which basically means the sounds that should be pushing out from your speakers was pushing in. Hence Andy 700;s belief that the album had always sounded rather thin and distant. This means that every copy ever brought to date of 699;Skylarking 700;, on vinyl or CD including the Virgin & Mobile Fidelity Remastered editions, has this fault..... THIS IS NOW FIXED. Pressed at 45 RPM across 2 discs for superior sound quality, the album includes for the first time on vinyl in the UK the single 699;Dear God 700; and the removed track from the USA version 699;Mermaid Smiled 700;. So for the first time in 26 years you can finally hear and see the album as it was originally intended. 699;Dear God 700; was originally removed from the album at Virgin 700;s request due to fears of a backlash from religious factions. Later it was added to the USA version and 699;Mermaid Smiled 700; removed. Thus UK and USA versions differed. .

Customer Reviews

3 star
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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Andy was quite correct..... 23 April 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
...this is better, lots better. Back in the day I didnt have a lovely super duper hi fi, and whilst my adoration of all things XTC was 'up there' my appreciation of the nuances of sound wasn't quite so 'up there', both faults have been subsequently rectified.

My first impression is how gorgeous this sounds, lush, full, broad, deep, expansive........aw its just delicious....sorry, Im listening as I type.

So, expanded version with all the tracks on it including the one they thought might offend ( dear God), the cover in all its unadorned shamelessness ( how the heck this was considred risque back in the day ...ah well).

Many reviews will comment on the music, suffice to say I really do consider this album a classic, its an oft over used hyperbole, but it happens to be true, this album has stood the test of time.

Its no mistake that this album represents the psychedelic( esque) pinnacle of XTC, and, given the releases either side of it were Dukes Of Sratotsfear albums kinda confirms it.

I still dont fully understand the 'polarity' issue, but all I do know is that this album sounds utterly stunning......it is part of a body of work that it still largely underepresented in a lot of music collections of my friends( and probably generally too); but they are all gonna be forced to listen to this little beaut.

edit....it was 28 years ago!!! old!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still brilliant after all these years 8 Jun 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
To be absolutely honest, I can't tell a whole lot of difference between my previous remastered version and this corrected polarity edition. Perhaps there's a bit more depth to it, better clarity in the bottom end, but even audiophiles might struggle to detect a lot of difference. But it still sounds brilliant, arguably XTC's peak, even though they did go on to make a series of absolute gems (Oranges & Lemons, Nonsuch, Apple Venus). XTC leader Andy Partridge and producer Todd Rundgren butted heads throughout, but it was all worth it. From Summer's Cauldron to Sacrificial Bonfire, it's a stunning day in the life (or life in a day) that encompasses everything from pure power pop to faux jazz. Interesting variation on the cover too. One of the masterpieces of the '80s.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sounds Great! 26 May 2014
Format:Audio CD
This album always sounded a bit thin like all the middle had been turned up and the lows and highs turned down.
Now it sounds lush and as it probably did in the control room.
I'm not sure it's quite the classic XTC album everyone says it is but there are some absolute gems here such as Season Cycle, Dear God and the opener Summers Cauldron which previously wasn't a gem but now sounds gorgeous!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
An excellent edition of one of the band's best efforts.The sound is much warmer and the fade ins removed apart from Summer's Cauldron into Grass. Albums like this serve to remind us of how similar the human experience is for so many of us. From first and lost loves to secret trysts and the revelations that maybe we are not quite as nice as we think ourselves to be when we actually come to assess what we've actually done with our lives.
Great melodies, excellent lyrics. A welcome edition to anyone's music collection. Just watch where you're sailing.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow 23 April 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is one of the greatest albums ever released, that much is indisputable. However, I am completely blown away by the new brightness and punch of this new version - it is definitely NOT a marketing ploy to get you to buy the same album twice. Obviously, you do buy it twice, but it is worth every penny; I have been listening to this album for over twenty years and I have heard things on it this week I have never heard before. I even approve of the new tracklisting, it just sounds a fuller, more complete musical journey now, and the segue between Dear God and Dying doesn't bother me at all.
Obviously, there will always be those who still aren't completely satisfied, but as a former (average) musician I tend to glaze over when I hear studio nerds banging on about 'compression' etc. and try to listen as a fan of great music and assess its emotional impact, not nit pick the audio quality. That being said, I am very glad it's been 'corrected' and it is still an album with an impact - emotional and musical - few others have.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Like listening without wearing a balaclava 10 July 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I love Any Partridge, and rate Todd Rundgren as one of the best musicians/producers ever, so when this album came out it was a moment of excitement. The album is fantastic, probably my favourite XTC album, and I never really gave the production too much thought as the quality of songs is superb however, having heard this 'Corrected Polarity' version the album has taken on a new life. It is clearer. sharper and there are sounds that I have never heard before. Love the inclusion of Dear God which has always been one of my favourite tracks. This is a brilliant album. BUY IT!
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4.0 out of 5 stars How much of an improvement? 4 July 2014
Format:Audio CD
Most people reading this review will already be familiar with the sounds of XTC, and this album is one of the classics.
Of most interest is the improvement that the Corrected Polarity makes to the overall sound... is it significant?
The answer to this is a definite yes, it is an improvement. It's a bit like having listened to a cassette recording of an album for years and years, and then getting hold of a proper CD of the same album. It's brighter, it's more solid, it has a fuller sound.
That's not to say that you will be blown away by the difference - you might not even notice it initially. However, it is quite obvious on some tracks, particularly early on in the album - the fullness of the opening sound of Grass, for instance, or when the electric guitar kicks in in the second verse of Dear God.
If you love the album, know it inside out, then this is a definite.
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