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4.4 out of 5 stars18
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 8 November 2013
A great re-issue for both contents and quality. The new mix available on the CD is great. One major difference from the original version is that songs do not crossfade into each other, which is a good thing as most of the cross-fades were peculiar to say the least.
I don't know if it's because of the new mix but I have discovered that Wrapped In Grey is one of the greatest XTC songs and I had never realised that before. I think it would have flopped completely as a single (most XTC fans will know the story about this infamous single) but nevertheless it is really a jewel of a song.

The BluRay disc is full of just about anything related to this album. New 5.1 and stereo mixes, original mix, instrumental versions, a massive amount of demos, two videos and about 50 minutes of footage showing XTC recording the album where we also learn that XTC were close to producing an album of Indian music (I am not going to say more on the matter but I can guarantee you will have a good laugh).

The 5.1 mix on the BluRay disc is very nice, not gimmicky at all. I think Steve Wilson has been more adventurous in his approach to other 5.1 mixes but this one is really a pleasure to listen to.

Nonsuch is not my favourite XTC album but this edition has definitely done a lot to improve my opinion of it. I just can't wait to listen to English Settlement and Skylarking in 5.1! Bring them on!

Oh by the way, I am NOT Andy Partridge :)
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on 7 November 2013
I've been listening to this beauty all day. If ever a band was made for 5.1 mixes then it is XTC. The multi layered complex tracks that these guy's make are stunning in normal stereo, but this 5.1 mix is astonishing. I own quite a few of these type of mixes but I have to say, this one may well be the very best of them all. Steve Wilson deserves all the accolades he will get for serving up this feast for the ears. It as been thought out so well. Nothing sounds cluttered and the placement is superb throughout. One minor difference from the original album is that 'The Disappointed' doesn't segue straight into 'Holly Up On Poppy', which in a way makes this version slightly better as one can listen to each track individually without the former ending abruptly or the latter crashing in. There are small odds & ends here and there that are different, but nothing that detracts from, what is, a brilliant album. The package overall is a lesson to many a label. The CD has the 'new' stereo album mix, without the segues as per the 5.1 mix, which means that those people who already own the original CD or Vinyl album are not buying the same thing again just to get the 5.1 mix, whilst the Blu Ray disc has, wait for it, the original stereo mix, the 'new' stereo mix, a 'new' instrumental mix, a 'new' 5.1 mix, well two of them actually, one in DTS - HD the over a standard 5.1 mix, plus (!) 23 Andy Partridge demos for the album including tracks that didn't make the cut, plus (!) 8 Colin Moulding demos, again with a few that missed out, plus (!) two promotional films AND 48 minutes of footage of the guy's working in the studios, all for under £17. The icing on the cake is that the whole set is sub labelled 'XTC - The Surround Sound Series' which tells us that this is obviously the first of a number of these releases. The very thought of having 'Skylarking' and all their other classics given the extra special treatment is enough to send any XTC fan to heaven.
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on 4 November 2013
Nonsuch is the first release from Burning Shed, these new discs are beautifully packed with many extras and additional tracks. With Partridge, Moulding & Gregory contributing you know that it's in safe hands. The surround sound is superb and gives this fine record a new lease of life. These releases should see XTC take place next to The Kinks & Small Faces in the canon of great British bands, roll on Oranges & Lemons and the supreme English Settlement.
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on 12 November 2013
The others have already written about this. All I'd like to say on it is this is how any reissue should be done, the sound is just incredible and the 5.1 mix lets all the instruments breathe in a way they don't in stereo. Having bought reissues in 5.1 by Talking Heads and the Beach Boys, this blows them out the water.

Hopefully it won't be too long till we get the other XTC albums this way. Personally I can't wait to hear Skylarking, English Settlement, Mummer. Hopefully, even the Dukes albums which would be mind blowing and the Apple Venus albums too! I just hope this isn't a series which doesn't see fulfilment due to lack of funds, interest etc.
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on 26 December 2013
A great 2-disc package from Andy Partridge's APE label. Those who are familiar with XTC's Nonsuch don't need me to tell them what a fantastic album it is, so feast upon the new remixes (by the talented Steve Wilson) on the first disc (a CD), and then enjoy the instrumental versions, a 5.1 Surround Sound version and another additional mix, the Virgin promo videos for The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead and The Disappointed, behind-the-scenes footage from the recording sessions at Chipping Norton and the myriad demos too, all on a second disc (a Blu-ray), plus extensive liner notes by Dave Gregory, Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding. All this for fourteen quid represents AMAZING value. Buy it and keep Mr. Partridge and the lads in business.
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on 8 January 2014
This is the first in a series of xtc expanded cds....well I hope they do the whole set of studio albums as xtc have been a firm favourite of mine since anout 1983 and I remember buying about half a dozen singles from second hand shops and a couple from the newsagents years ago when they sold old records that were 6 months to year old and my first single I bought after seeing the video on a saturday morning programme was Wake Up,and within an hour I was in Our Price buying it.....those were the days indeed....
anyway this may not be my favourite xtc album but the bluray videos of Peter Pumpkinhead and the disappointed look fantastic but no video for Wrapped in Grey? im disappointed haha.
I have only heard so far of Andys home demo's Always Winter Never Christmas and I fell in love with that already and going to play a second time would make a great xmas record and its as good as Thanks for Christmas and Colins Where Did The Ordinary People Go? is a stunner also....a rumour it was released as a single but The Smartest Monkeys was always my fsbourite of Colins on this Album and im liking Didnt Hurt a Bit as well all in all what ive played so far is perfectly stunning deserves Top Marks and looking to the rest of XTC on Bluray YEAH MATE White Music will be very interesting my favourite album from their wacky days .......and I should mention Dave Gregory wjo has been with a member of the band since 79 and if only they had the Red Noise drummer Dave Mattacks for earlier recordings as he is a brilliant drummer I must add.
XTC om BLURAY ....who would have thought that when alot of the top artists over the years have not even got a dvd out? Alot of respect goes out to Virgin and Andy for patching up their differences for this and its great seeing home video of the boys working away
fantastic .....
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on 16 January 2014
British New Wave/Alternative Pop band XTC's tenth full-length release, Nonsuch, was both a continuation and a natural progress, as the trio build upon - and refined - the sound and style of their preceding albums, in particular their two previous LPs, 1986's Skylarking and 1989's Oranges & Lemons. Recorded with a small group of session musicians and produced by Gus Dudgeon (Elton John), Nonsuch showcases XTC at their very best and in all their eccentric glory.
Featuring all of seventeen sophisticated songs, many of which draw on various sources of influence, Nonsuch is an eclectic, kaleidoscopic and idiosyncratic album - XTC's magnum opus in every sense of the word. A carefully and cleverly crafted masterpiece, Nonsuch might very well be the most fascinating, multifaceted record of the 1990s.
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on 4 February 2014
I am an avid XTC fan and this addition to my collection is of excellent quality. The much missed group showed the last 30 years of pop and rock to be "manufactured pulp" in comparison to their output. Wit and expertise were in abundance in XTC
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on 30 November 2013
I can't wait for more XTC albums to be released in this format, the surround sound mixes really give an added dimension. Many thanks Andy
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on 17 September 2015
My love of XTC knows no bounds so its not really sensible for me to review Nonsuch as I am mucho biased.

But suffice to say that Nonsuch is in the top 5 of all XTC albums; and what that means is that you are right at the very top of quality pop/rock material issued over the last 3 or 4 decades. I am amongst those that think Andy Partridge's songs are right up there with messrs McCartney, Davies and Difford/Tilbrook in terms of English pop songwriting.

AP doesn't disguise his Beatles infatuation on Nonsuch. Indeed, the standard of song herein is such that Books Are Burning could have been lifted from The White Album; Humble Daisy could be from Magical Mystery Tour, and the Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead could be from Revolver. As many have indicated, AP could be John Lennon; Colin Moulding could be Paul McCartney and Dave Gregory could be George Harrison in an alternative Fab Four.

But lets discuss the Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead.........after many years of studying this allegorical lyric - just who is Peter Pumpkinhead? Is he a politician - or a philanthropist - or Buddah - or JC himself? You choose.....This is where AP's songs are so enthralling. Not only do you have a punchy powerpop chord structure, but you also have a lyric that works at many levels leaving the listener engaged and wanting more. That is a gift that many songwriters just don't aspire.

These recent re-masters sound great (albeit quite clinical); but if you really want to hear Nonsuch at its very best, then you need to seek out the original vinyl played on a decent hi-fi. The legendary Gus Dudgeon's production is probably the best that XTC achieved (including Skylarking) , and only analogue brings out Moulding's bass to its best effect. But just buy the album anyway - XTC are way beyond any rock/pop issues over that last 2 decades.

Oh - and by the way - just to infuriate XTC fans - my top 5 XTC albums are:

#1 Black Sea
#2 English Settlement
#3 Skylarking
#4 Nonsuch
#5 Wasp Star

What's yours????????
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