Showing posts with label XTC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label XTC. Show all posts

Coming Up: XTC - 'The Big Express' Newly Mixed Steve Wilson Edition Expands 1984 Album on CD and Atmos Blu-Ray

Out Order now from Amazon.


The Big Express (1984) is the seventh in a series of expanded XTC album reissues, including 5.1 Surround mixes, Dolby Atmos (for the first time with an XTC album), 2023 stereo mixes and High-Resolution stereo mixes by Steven Wilson, along with a wealth of extra audio and visual material. 

A neglected classic of its era, the album creatively fused the band's immense songwriting gifts with the technology of the day to produce a vibrant Post-Punk concept album about growing up in an industrial town.

“The Big Express is the closest we ever came to recording a 'concept' album. It’s full of Swindon and deep seams of life there, that run through myself, Colin, and Dave, (Terry too of course). It's populated by members of our families, our hopes and dreams. The things we wished for, or feared, a stew of memories.” - Andy Partridge (excerpted from the book Popartery, 2023)

Packaged in a 2-disc digipack sleeve with 16-page booklet in a cardboard slip case.

All copies come with a postcard signed by Colin Moulding (while stocks last).

CD features the complete album newly mixed in stereo + three additional tracks.

Blu-Ray includes the newly mixed material as featured on CD in Hi-Res Stereo, 5.1 Surround and Dolby Atmos + 2023 stereo out-takes & instrumental mixes in Hi-Res stereo. Also includes the original album + additional tracks in Hi-Res stereo. The complete album & more also appear in demo form (16/48 stereo reflecting the source material).

XTC’s seventh album, “The Big Express” was virtually ignored on release, much as its immediate predecessor “Mummer” (which was reissued on vinyl earlier this year to universal acclaim) had been. If Mummer was XTC’s quiet album, this was its polar opposite: bright, brash, noisy - even cluttered on occasion if the song demanded it - as it became a concept album of sorts, a partly autobiographical reflection on growing up in an industrial town, Swindon, with its history of engineering and railway accomplishments. 

Perhaps in keeping with that tradition of technical innovation, the album also made extensive use of (at the time) new technology with Linn-Drum programming (alongside drummer Peter Phipps), E-mu Emulator and other synths claiming space among the more traditional guitars, bass and drums mix under-pinning the vocals.  

This technology was juxtaposed with technology of a slightly earlier pop/rock era as phasing, backwards tapes and the inclusion of a mellotron hinted at a psychedelic influence that would move more centre stage with the band’s next project – ‘The Dukes of Stratosphear’.

With XTC no longer touring, the sound radically different to any previous XTC album, in a musical climate where the upper end of the charts reflected national radio, producing the most mainstream result for years: Lionel Richie, Sade, Spandau Ballet, Howard Jones, Tina Turner, Queen – Frank Sinatra’s final solo studio album… the space for a metallic, post-punk concept album about growing up amidst the ghosts of Swindon’s industrial heritage proved non-existent.

Of course the songs were as good as on any other XTC album - a very high standard indeed – but they went largely unheard. Given that position, it would be easy to conclude that the timing was wrong for the album. But the best musicians follow the music and allow the times to catch up with that; precisely what happened when XTC released its next album “Skylarking” in 1986.  

Track list:

01 Wake Up
02 All You Pretty Girls
03 Shake You Donkey Up
04 Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her
05 This World Over
06 The Everyday Story Of Smalltown
07 I Bought Myself A Liarbird
08 Reign of Blows
09 You’re The Wish You Are I Had
10 I Remember The Sun
11 Train Running Low On Soul Coal
Bonus Tracks
12 Red Brick Dream
13 Washaway
14 Blue Overall

BD (Stereo Hi Res/5.1 Dolby/Instrumental/Dolby Atmos)
01 Wake Up
02 All You Pretty Girls
03 Shake You Donkey Up
04 Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her
05 This World Over
06 The Everyday Story Of Smalltown
07 I Bought Myself A Liarbird
08 Reign of Blows
09 You’re The Wish You Are I Had
10 I Remember The Sun
11 Train Running Low On Soul Coal
Bonus Tracks
12 Red Brick Dream
13 Washaway
14 Blue Overall
15 Broomstick
16 The Troubles
17 Now We All Dead (It Doesn’t Matter)
18 Work
19 Gangway, Electric Guitar Is Coming Through
20 Broomstick Rhythm
21 Shiny Cage
22 A Patriotic Romance

Coming Up: "Psurroundabout Ride" by XTC (as the Dukes of Stratosphear)

Out Oct 18. Order from Amazon now.

XTC as The Dukes - From Psychedelic Pswindon - the complete recordings in stereo and 5.1 Psurround Psound / 25 o Clock and Psonic Psunspot newly mixed in stereo by Steven Wilson, with mixes approved by Andy Partridge (CD & Blu-Ray) / Both albums + 2 extra tracks also newly mixed in 5.1 surround by Steven Wilson on Blu-Ray (with a final song up-mixed to surround using the Penteo audio system) / All 19 songs appear in their original mixes in hi-res stereo (Blu-Ray) / 18 songs appear in their new mixes in hi-res stereo (Blu-Ray)] / Complete demos from both albums & instrumental versions of album songs also feature in hi-res stereo on the Blu-Ray. Produced by John Leckie (Swami Anand Nagara) and The Dukes.
Sometimes it pays to be a studio band... Between 1980 (when they were still performing live) and 1989, XTC wrote, recorded and released a series of albums from Black Sea to Oranges & Lemons that cemented the band's reputation as songwriters and recording artists almost without parallel in the UK. They may not have sold as many as some and they tended to sell more in Japan and America than on home soil. They may not be as famous as other bands of the era but, to many of those with discerning ears, they're rated among the very best, the select few who rise above their contemporaries...
As if six stellar albums in ten years including two double LPs, in an era when the advent of digital technology and CDs left many artists struggling to issue one or two albums in the same period, wasn't enough, the band also issued two albums under completely different names as The Dukes of Stratosphear, an unashamedly psychedelic ensemble which phased and flanged in and out of existence in 1985 and 1987 respectively... (Though rumours continue to circulate of an earlier proto Merseybeat/Brit Blues incarnation of the band under yet another name..)
Psurroundabout Ride gathers all of the Dukes' material, with both albums remixed in stereo and 5.1 surround by Steven Wilson and mixes approved by Andy Partridge. No need for mushrooms, simply position yourself between 6 speakers, play the blu-ray, relax and float downstream, as the music takes you to places un-imagined, even in the original summer of love...

Disc: 1

  1. 25 O'Clock
  2. Bike Ride to the Moon
  3. My Love Explodes
  4. What in the World?
  5. Your Gold Dress
  6. The Mole from the Ministry
  7. Psonic Psunspot
  8. Vanishing Girl
  9. Have You Seen Jackie?
  10. Little Lighthouse
  11. You're a Good Man Albert Brown (Curse You Red Barrel)
  12. Collideascope
  13. You're My Drug
  14. Shiny Cage
  15. Brainiac's Daughter
  16. The Affiliated
  17. Pale and Precious
  18. Open a Can of Human Beans
  19. Black Jewelled Serpent of Sound (Radio Caroline Edit)

Disc: 2

  1. Tin Toy Clockwork Train
  2. 25 O'Clock
  3. Bike Ride to the Moon
  4. My Love Explodes
  5. What in the World?
  6. Your Gold Dress
  7. The Mole from the Ministry
  8. Psonic Psunspot
  9. Vanishing Girl
  10. Have You Seen Jackie?
  11. Little Lighthouse
  12. You're a Good Man Albert Brown (Curse You Red Barrel)
  13. Collideascope
  14. You're My Drug
  15. Shiny Cage
  16. Brainiac's Daughter
  17. The Affiliated
  18. Pale and Precious
  19. 25 O'Clock (Demo)
  20. Bike Ride to the Moon (Demo)
  21. My Love Explodes (Demo)
  22. What in the World?... (Demo)
  23. Nicely Nicely Jane (Demo)
  24. Susan Revolving (Demo)
  25. Psonic Psunspot
  26. No One at Home (Vanishing Girl Demo)
  27. Little Lighthouse (Demo)
  28. Collideascope (Demo)
  29. Shiny Cage (Demo)
  30. Brainiac's Daughter (Demo)
  31. The Affiliated (Demo)

Coming Up: New version of XTC's classic "Black Sea" on the way


Black Sea is the fifth in a series of remixed & expanded XTC classic albums. The album has been mixed for 5. 1 Surround Sound from the original multi-track studio master tapes by Steven Wilson with input from Andy Partridge & is fully approved by XTC.

CD: features a completely new stereo album mix by Steven Wilson with many of the bonus tracks also newly mixed by Steven Wilson.

Blu-ray: a 5. 1 Surround mix in 24bit/96khz mixed from the original multi-track tapes available in LPCM and DTS HD MA. Additional Blu-ray features include: The new stereo album mix in 24bit/96khz LPCM audio. Additional songs from the album sessions in stereo & 5. 1, several newly mixed by Steven Wilson. The original stereo album mix in hi-res stereo + bonus tracks. Instrumental versions (mixed by Steven Wilson) of all new album & several bonus mixes in 24bit/96khz LPCM audio. Many album tracks in demo form as recorded (mostly live) at Phonogram Studios prior to the main album sessions. Three Andy Partridge demos from Phonogram studios. Three Andy Partridge demos from Swindon Town Hall. Promo films for Towers Of London, Generals & Majors & Respectable Street. Presented in special packaging with expanded booklet & sleeve-notes by Andy Partridge, Dave Gregory, Terry Chambers, Steve Lillywhite & Hugh Padgham.     

You can pre-order the album from Amazon here.