XTC


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At a Glance

Formed: 1976 (38 years ago)


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 sound to the lushly arranged meticulous pop of their later albums, each new project marked a progression that spawned classic hits.

The songwriting partnership of vocalist and guitarist Andy Partridge ... Read more

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 sound to the lushly arranged meticulous pop of their later albums, each new project marked a progression that spawned classic hits.

The songwriting partnership of vocalist and guitarist Andy Partridge and bassist Colin Moulding formed XTC along with drummer Terry Chambers around 1976, as Star Park. They then recruited keyboardist Barry Andrews for a stint as Helium Kidz in 1977, and finally settled upon the name XTC when they signed to Virgin in the same year.

In October 1977 they released their first EP, 3-D, and followed up immediately with their debut full-length album White Music which they completed in only one week to critical acclaim and a chart position of 38 in the UK. “This Is Pop” was released as a single but remained relatively underground, as did the teaser single “Are You Receiving Me?” from their second album Go 2 in 1978.

After a short US tour, Andrews left the band (he went on to pursue a solo career and later joined The League of Gentlemen with Robert Fripp) and guitarist David Gregory joined. Soon XTC were to enjoy chart success when they released the single “Life Begins At The Hop” and their third album Drums and Wires was released in the summer of 1979. Colin Moulding’s more pop-orientated take on the XTC guitar sound created their breakthrough hit single “Making Plans For Nigel” which took the album to number 37, as well as breaking the US charts.

In 1980 elements of mid-60’s Beatles and Kinks added further musical commercial pull to the album Black Sea which spawned the anti-war single “General and Majors” and “Towers of London”. The album was also their most successful American release; peaking at number 41 and reaching number 16 on the British charts. 1981 saw the release of English Settlement which demonstrated a return to a more complex sound and boasted some of Andy Partridge’s most highbrow lyrics, and yet deservedly earned the band their biggest success. While the album reached number 5, the classic hit “Senses Working Overtime” climbed to Top 10.

XTC’s live career came to an end in 1982 when Andy Partridge collapsed on stage suffering from exhaustion, and again soon after from a stomach ulcer. Much of the stress is believed to have been caused by extreme stage fright, and XTC cancelled the tour and announced their future plans would be committed to studio recording only.

Their sixth album Mummer arrived in the summer of 1983, featuring the Glitter Band’s Pete Phipps on drums, as Chambers had left the band once they were studio-bound. The Big Express followed in 1984 charting higher, and then XTC were to record their critical masterpiece Skylarking in 1986. The recording session with producer Todd Rundgren was reputedly problematic but the album spent over 6 months on the charts in the US.

The band then at last enjoyed their first US charting single “Mayor of Simpleton” from the album Oranges and Lemons in 1989. The album reached number 28 on the British charts and 44 in the US. Three years later the group released Nonesuch, an album that recalled Pet Sounds and Revolver. This time XTC’s sound was more popular in the US than Britain, reaching number 97 and staying on the charts for 11 weeks.

Throughout their career, XTC retained a balance of pop success and cult status and kept a devoted following. Their trademark guitar-driven pop sound and intellectual lyrics always attracted critical acclaim and shunned easy commercial gloss, and yet much of their work is considered classic today.

THE DUKES OF STRATOSPHEAR

In 1985 XTC took time out, by donning a psychedelic mantle and recording an EP 25 O’clock under the name The Dukes of Stratosphere. Alongside producer John Leckie, the band adopted comical pseudonyms – Andy Partridge was Sir John Johns, Colin Moulding was the Red Curtain and David Gregory was Lord Cornelius Plum. Gregory’s brother, Ian, also joined the band as Ian E.I.E.I. Owen. XTC did not admit to being one and the same until 1987 when the Dukes released their full album Psonic Psunspot. Later in 1987 both the EP and the album were combined onto a single CD Chips From The Chocolate Fireball

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

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 sound to the lushly arranged meticulous pop of their later albums, each new project marked a progression that spawned classic hits.

The songwriting partnership of vocalist and guitarist Andy Partridge and bassist Colin Moulding formed XTC along with drummer Terry Chambers around 1976, as Star Park. They then recruited keyboardist Barry Andrews for a stint as Helium Kidz in 1977, and finally settled upon the name XTC when they signed to Virgin in the same year.

In October 1977 they released their first EP, 3-D, and followed up immediately with their debut full-length album White Music which they completed in only one week to critical acclaim and a chart position of 38 in the UK. “This Is Pop” was released as a single but remained relatively underground, as did the teaser single “Are You Receiving Me?” from their second album Go 2 in 1978.

After a short US tour, Andrews left the band (he went on to pursue a solo career and later joined The League of Gentlemen with Robert Fripp) and guitarist David Gregory joined. Soon XTC were to enjoy chart success when they released the single “Life Begins At The Hop” and their third album Drums and Wires was released in the summer of 1979. Colin Moulding’s more pop-orientated take on the XTC guitar sound created their breakthrough hit single “Making Plans For Nigel” which took the album to number 37, as well as breaking the US charts.

In 1980 elements of mid-60’s Beatles and Kinks added further musical commercial pull to the album Black Sea which spawned the anti-war single “General and Majors” and “Towers of London”. The album was also their most successful American release; peaking at number 41 and reaching number 16 on the British charts. 1981 saw the release of English Settlement which demonstrated a return to a more complex sound and boasted some of Andy Partridge’s most highbrow lyrics, and yet deservedly earned the band their biggest success. While the album reached number 5, the classic hit “Senses Working Overtime” climbed to Top 10.

XTC’s live career came to an end in 1982 when Andy Partridge collapsed on stage suffering from exhaustion, and again soon after from a stomach ulcer. Much of the stress is believed to have been caused by extreme stage fright, and XTC cancelled the tour and announced their future plans would be committed to studio recording only.

Their sixth album Mummer arrived in the summer of 1983, featuring the Glitter Band’s Pete Phipps on drums, as Chambers had left the band once they were studio-bound. The Big Express followed in 1984 charting higher, and then XTC were to record their critical masterpiece Skylarking in 1986. The recording session with producer Todd Rundgren was reputedly problematic but the album spent over 6 months on the charts in the US.

The band then at last enjoyed their first US charting single “Mayor of Simpleton” from the album Oranges and Lemons in 1989. The album reached number 28 on the British charts and 44 in the US. Three years later the group released Nonesuch, an album that recalled Pet Sounds and Revolver. This time XTC’s sound was more popular in the US than Britain, reaching number 97 and staying on the charts for 11 weeks.

Throughout their career, XTC retained a balance of pop success and cult status and kept a devoted following. Their trademark guitar-driven pop sound and intellectual lyrics always attracted critical acclaim and shunned easy commercial gloss, and yet much of their work is considered classic today.

THE DUKES OF STRATOSPHEAR

In 1985 XTC took time out, by donning a psychedelic mantle and recording an EP 25 O’clock under the name The Dukes of Stratosphere. Alongside producer John Leckie, the band adopted comical pseudonyms – Andy Partridge was Sir John Johns, Colin Moulding was the Red Curtain and David Gregory was Lord Cornelius Plum. Gregory’s brother, Ian, also joined the band as Ian E.I.E.I. Owen. XTC did not admit to being one and the same until 1987 when the Dukes released their full album Psonic Psunspot. Later in 1987 both the EP and the album were combined onto a single CD Chips From The Chocolate Fireball

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

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 sound to the lushly arranged meticulous pop of their later albums, each new project marked a progression that spawned classic hits.

The songwriting partnership of vocalist and guitarist Andy Partridge and bassist Colin Moulding formed XTC along with drummer Terry Chambers around 1976, as Star Park. They then recruited keyboardist Barry Andrews for a stint as Helium Kidz in 1977, and finally settled upon the name XTC when they signed to Virgin in the same year.

In October 1977 they released their first EP, 3-D, and followed up immediately with their debut full-length album White Music which they completed in only one week to critical acclaim and a chart position of 38 in the UK. “This Is Pop” was released as a single but remained relatively underground, as did the teaser single “Are You Receiving Me?” from their second album Go 2 in 1978.

After a short US tour, Andrews left the band (he went on to pursue a solo career and later joined The League of Gentlemen with Robert Fripp) and guitarist David Gregory joined. Soon XTC were to enjoy chart success when they released the single “Life Begins At The Hop” and their third album Drums and Wires was released in the summer of 1979. Colin Moulding’s more pop-orientated take on the XTC guitar sound created their breakthrough hit single “Making Plans For Nigel” which took the album to number 37, as well as breaking the US charts.

In 1980 elements of mid-60’s Beatles and Kinks added further musical commercial pull to the album Black Sea which spawned the anti-war single “General and Majors” and “Towers of London”. The album was also their most successful American release; peaking at number 41 and reaching number 16 on the British charts. 1981 saw the release of English Settlement which demonstrated a return to a more complex sound and boasted some of Andy Partridge’s most highbrow lyrics, and yet deservedly earned the band their biggest success. While the album reached number 5, the classic hit “Senses Working Overtime” climbed to Top 10.

XTC’s live career came to an end in 1982 when Andy Partridge collapsed on stage suffering from exhaustion, and again soon after from a stomach ulcer. Much of the stress is believed to have been caused by extreme stage fright, and XTC cancelled the tour and announced their future plans would be committed to studio recording only.

Their sixth album Mummer arrived in the summer of 1983, featuring the Glitter Band’s Pete Phipps on drums, as Chambers had left the band once they were studio-bound. The Big Express followed in 1984 charting higher, and then XTC were to record their critical masterpiece Skylarking in 1986. The recording session with producer Todd Rundgren was reputedly problematic but the album spent over 6 months on the charts in the US.

The band then at last enjoyed their first US charting single “Mayor of Simpleton” from the album Oranges and Lemons in 1989. The album reached number 28 on the British charts and 44 in the US. Three years later the group released Nonesuch, an album that recalled Pet Sounds and Revolver. This time XTC’s sound was more popular in the US than Britain, reaching number 97 and staying on the charts for 11 weeks.

Throughout their career, XTC retained a balance of pop success and cult status and kept a devoted following. Their trademark guitar-driven pop sound and intellectual lyrics always attracted critical acclaim and shunned easy commercial gloss, and yet much of their work is considered classic today.

THE DUKES OF STRATOSPHEAR

In 1985 XTC took time out, by donning a psychedelic mantle and recording an EP 25 O’clock under the name The Dukes of Stratosphere. Alongside producer John Leckie, the band adopted comical pseudonyms – Andy Partridge was Sir John Johns, Colin Moulding was the Red Curtain and David Gregory was Lord Cornelius Plum. Gregory’s brother, Ian, also joined the band as Ian E.I.E.I. Owen. XTC did not admit to being one and the same until 1987 when the Dukes released their full album Psonic Psunspot. Later in 1987 both the EP and the album were combined onto a single CD Chips From The Chocolate Fireball

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

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