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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Andy was quite correct....., 23 April 2014
By 
S.R.J "ssocialdrummer" (Huddersfield) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: Skylarking [Corrected Polarity Edition] (Audio CD)
...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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favourite albums comes alive, 12 Aug 2014
This review is from: Skylarking [Corrected Polarity Edition] (Audio CD)
Knowing this record almost note by note I hit play with keen anticipation... and as soon as the crickets and bees flew around in the space between my AKGs I knew this was something special. On the very first play, previously muddled instruments were revealed. Much as been mentioned of the improved bass, this is none more apparent than on "Summers Cauldron" where the almost dub-like bass lines drive the song beautifully (having become so familiar with the tinnier version it initially seems almost too heavy). There's a guitar following the melody line in Grass, there's a vaguely honky-tonk piano in "The Meeting Place" and again virtuoso bass playing in "Ballet For A Rainy Day".. I concentrate here on the revealing sound, but audiophile quality counts for nothing if the music doesn't stir the soul. No doubts on this record, it is one of the most complete cycle of melodic, insightful and wonderfully arranged songs ever. I guess you can tell I like it... I recommend playing while sitting under a tree, looking up through the leaves to a cloud flecked blue sky..
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, 23 April 2014
By 
Big Twink (Swansea, Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Skylarking [Corrected Polarity Edition] (Audio CD)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How much of an improvement?, 4 July 2014
This review is from: Skylarking [Corrected Polarity Edition] (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's like getting a new XTC album, 1 Sep 2014
By 
M. Harradine - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Skylarking [Corrected Polarity Edition] (Audio CD)
Blimey....! It's like getting a new XTC album. Fuller, richer..What can I say that doesn't repeat what's been said elsewhere? I don't think you have to be an audiophile to immediately notice the difference. I always wondered why the original didn't really grab the feet as well...and it all comes from the ears of John Dent the engineer who spotted the fault decades after it was originally mastered. If there was a god, then bless Mr Dent...The low end is there now, the deep thud and punch of Colin's bass doubling with the kick drum, especially on Summer's Cauldron and Man Who Sailed.., Wow..not only that, the differentiation of instruments and vocals is much clearer and well defined. I imagine Andy is finally happy, He should be, such a wonderfully rounded album, the cycle of life..one of their best and it sounds brilliant.now we can actually hear the whole band...:)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest albums ever released. An undisputed masterpiece., 31 Aug 2014
This review is from: Skylarking [Corrected Polarity Edition] (Audio CD)
One of the greatest albums ever released, I have been left staggered by how beautiful this record is. It is very artistically satisfying especially how the lyrics match the instrumentation in creating sonically transporting landscapes. There is a summery feel to the album, especially at the start but gradually one realises that the album is much more about changes to the season and themes of birth, life and death.
For me personally, XTC were a relatively obscure band. It we only by chance that I bought English Settlement by XTC from a charity shop, was blown away by it and then researched into this band and all this despite just living down the road from Swindon! I haven't been this excited about discovering the back catalogue of a band since I got into the Beatles, aged 8. That's how damn good this album is.
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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
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This review is from: Skylarking [Corrected Polarity Edition] (Audio CD)
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
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This review is from: Skylarking [Corrected Polarity Edition] (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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5.0 out of 5 stars A triumph!, 11 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Skylarking [Corrected Polarity Edition] (Audio CD)
This album has surprisingly many editions. First with the pubic cover art, then without, then in this edition again with. Similarly, the song "Dear God" has come and gone. Further, this very edition has the first corrected "sound polarity" of the original recording. I am not sure that I can detect it, though - I have the original, and the green one with the replaced cover art, but they all sound fine to me. My ears I guess are slightly polar, being from cold Sweden. Anyway, I can attest to this music's grandness as well as Rubber Soul-Revolver-Sgt. Papper Beatlesque melodic superiority. It is in fact one of the best pop albums I know - it's that good. I have read that the producer, Todd Rundgren, did not help much, and was somehow more in the way of the proceedings. Anyway, I must give the album the full mark for the two songwriters' ability to - in that Beatlesque way - draw the listeners in and not letting go.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent edition of one of the band's best efforts, 5 July 2014
By 
J. Barnes "bmoonjohn" (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Skylarking [Corrected Polarity Edition] (Audio CD)
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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