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The Big Express [Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered]

XTC Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: 10.35
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Buy the MP3 album for 7.99 at the Amazon Digital Music Store.

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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

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Frequently Bought Together

The Big Express + Oranges & Lemons + Skylarking
Price For All Three: 32.89

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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: B00005ATHG
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 75,789 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.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Wake Up (2001 - Remaster) 4:400.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. All You Pretty Girls (2001 - Remaster) 3:400.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Shake You Donkey Up (2001 - Remaster) 4:190.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her (2001 - Remaster) 3:500.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. This World Over (2001 - Remaster) 5:370.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. The Everyday Story Of Smalltown (2001 - Remaster) 3:530.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. I Bought Myself A Liarbird (2001 - Remaster) 2:490.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Reign Of Blows (2001 - Remaster) 3:270.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. You're The Wish You Are I Had (2001 - Remaster) 3:170.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. I Remember The Sun (2001 - Remaster) 3:100.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Train Running Low On Soul Coal (2001 - Remaster) 5:190.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Red Brick Dream (2001 - Remaster) 2:030.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Wash Away (2001 - Remaster) 3:010.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Blue Overall (2001 - Remaster) 4:320.99  Buy MP3 

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who cares? You might be dead... 26 Jan 2002
Format:Audio CD
XTC's seventh album is viewed by many as one of their weakest and a career nadir, perhaps on the basis of its sleek '80s (over-?)production, not to mention the fact that it was a major commercial failure on its release.
Newcomers to the band should not be deterred, however. Messrs Partridge and Moulding have always been quality songwriters and there's no shortage of top quality material here though, if you're anticipating the band's gentler and more pastoral side, forget it. This is an album that was made to be listened to at volume.
'The Big Express' features three fine, forgotten singles, 'Wake Up', 'All You Pretty Girls' and 'This World Over', while other highlights include the tongue-in-cheek C&W of 'Shake You Donkey Up', the Beatlesy pop of '...Smalltown' and 'You're The Wish...', the steaming discordance of '...Soul Coal' and the wafty, wistful psychedelia of 'Red Brick Dream'.
As any XTC afficionado should tell you, this is a band that has never made a bad album; it's just that some are simply of superior quality. Although, in the humble opinion of this reviewer, 'The Big Express' isn't a classic like, say, 'English Settlement' or 'Skylarking', it's not far off, by any means...
...so buy it, ok?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
I have to admit that this is one of my favorite XTC recordings, but at the same time the old Virgin release sounds wooly and quiet. This remaster explodes out of the speakers, and the quieter tunes like "This World Over" are much more present and listenable than on the old release. The packaging is fun, although keeping it together will take some doing. This is a record that even many XTC fans don't own, and they're crazy not to. Songs like "Seagulls Screaming (kiss her kiss her)" and "I Bought Myself a Liarbird" MUST be heard !!!!! No, really.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Immensely Underrated 28 Nov 2013
Format:Audio CD
The review's title is probably the most succinct summary of both band and album that one could conceive. Even so, this album tends to be judged by many XTC fans as a badly-produced gewgaw between two classic albums, namely 'English Settlement' and 'Skylarking'. Contrary to this view, I'd argue that 'The Big Express' is one of their best; even better than 'Skylarking', which I frankly wouldn't even place in XTC's top three.

Of the album's eleven songs, there isn't a single one worthy of negative comment. The opener 'Wake Up' accomplishes, with aplomb, the age-old XTC trick of combining off-balance instrumentation and vocalising into an immensely catchy song. Partridge and Gregory manage to weave their guitar lines about as well as Fripp and Belew did on King Crimson's 'Discipline', and that's a huge compliment. However, Partridge and Moulding's songwriting is much easier to appreciate than anything found on the aforementioned album, and the second through sixth tracks are, in their own ways, hugely admirable pieces of songwriting. 'All Of You Pretty Girls' has a superb chorus, 'Shake You Donkey Up', in spite of the C&W-esque fiddle in the middle, manages to worm its way into your brain. 'Seagulls...' combines evocative lyrics, with a busy musical arrangement which shouldn't work, but does.

I'm loathe to make this next comparison, but 'This World Over' isn't a million miles away from some of Sting's '80s socio-political numbers. Having said that, it's much more subtle lyrically than any of Gordon's material, and puts a fairly novel spin upon the matter of nuclear conflagration, a common lyrical theme of the '70s and '80s.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An ignored masterpiece.... 16 Dec 2007
By bish
Format:Audio CD
This collection of songs has brought me a massive amount of pleasure since the day I bought it-shame it bombed but it just did not fit in with the "music" of the time-sadly XTC'S most commercial period seemed to be over by now.TBE possesses far more clout than Mummer which seemed a nervy,introspective affair (understandable after Andy's health problems).Here it seems that the band's confidence was returning.
Every possible subject matter is here-daily humdrum,doomed love,politics,nuclear war and personal self-doubt to name but a few.
"Wake Up", "Seagulls Screaming","This World Over" and "The Everyday Story Of Smalltown" are classics.TBE is a fabulous hidden gem and if you are reading this with a view to buying it you would not waste a penny-whatever the price.
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