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Oranges And Lemons, ...say the bells of St. Clement's
Jeff Truzzi
post Jul 28 2011, 02:38 AM
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Being American, my first exposure to that English nursery rhyme was through George Orwell's "1984."


Like many people, I anxiously anticipated XTC's followup to "Skylarking."
Unlike many people, I didn't hear the Dukes until just before this album came out. (Simp told me about them being XTC.)
So when I heard this, I went "Hurray! XTC has modernized the Dukes into their next album!"

Immediately fell in love with "Mayor of Simpleton" and went from there to "One In A Million" -
one of Colin's best songs, and absolutely one of his finest bass lines.
Ended up loving every track with the exception of "Cynical Days" which I have recently come to like and appreciate.
Also enjoyed hearing Mark Isham, whom I remember from Group 87 (another long-ago Simpleton01 turn-on.)

The arrangements and production were really busy, but I liked that! Very stylized in that bright, vivid, late 80s LA way.
(You can almost smell the salt air from the Santa Monica pier,
and see the hot women wearing those panties with the elastic up the butt crack beneath their skin-tight shorts.)
Because of that, it hasn't aged as well sonically as much of the rest of XTC's catalog. But the songs hold up every bit as good.
It felt very American, whereas Nonsuch (and even Skylarking) felt very British.
It was an energy level up from "Skylarking" - not aggressive in a Black Sea way, but extremely energetic and fun.
You could feel that recording this must have been a largely enjoyable experience.

My roommate at the time LOVED this album and Skylarking. I think they made him a fan!
And I anxiously watched XTC's appearance on the David Letterman show live,
hoping they would do "Mayor" and disappointed it was "King" instead -
with an ugly clam from Paul Shaffer.
Good performance, though.
And then they embarked on the 'radio tour' which I heard many bootlegs from many different performances of, and really enjoyed hearing.

One day at a studio other than my usual workplace, that had Yamaha NS-10 nearfield monitors, I put this CD on, and suddenly everything was perfectly imaged and balanced compared to every other system I'd heard it on. I thought: this album must have been mixed on these speakers! I also think I can hear some of the SSL console audio characteristics, particularly the channel compressors. I'd love to find out from Andy if I'm right.

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Chrestus
post Jul 28 2011, 04:03 AM
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QUOTE (Jeff Truzzi @ Jul 27 2011, 09:38 PM) *
(You can almost smell the salt air from the Santa Monica pier,
and see the hot women wearing those panties with the elastic up the butt crack beneath their skin-tight shorts.)


Very nice story Jeffrey and I was wondering if you could expand a bit on this section.
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rockpants
post Jul 28 2011, 04:17 AM
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They're called thongs. Or butt-floss. Depends on who you talk to. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/laugh.gif)

The first songs I heard from O&L were Simpleton, King, and Scarecrow (all of which I love; SP being my favourite XTC song from all the records I've heard) ... so the rest of the album surprised me. I have a hard time getting over the 1000 watt synth ... though I dig Antheap and Skeleton quite a bit despite some of the face-slappin' keyboards. C&C is glorious, an incredibly moving piece with that mature tone in the keys - if that makes sense; that kind of synth doesn't get at me the way the brighter tones do. One of the Millions I can relate to a little too much for my own liking, but for the same reason, it's another favourite.

Many tunes, however, I find the songs - well-written as they are, some of Andy and Colin's best lyrics - bogged down in 80's-ness. I'm sure I'm showing my age with my take on this record. A child of the 90's can only handle so much neon-coloured synth. I can't help but think that a lot of bands got carried away with all the toys that were available to them back then, but I understand it must have been pretty exciting to use them.

I respect what the band was going for, and I think they got it. It's big and shiny. Maybe in time I'll not be so bothered by the brightness.
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Nowhereman437
post Jul 28 2011, 09:54 PM
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QUOTE (Jeff Truzzi @ Jul 28 2011, 03:38 AM) *
Being American, my first exposure to that English nursery rhyme was through George Orwell's "1984."


Like many people, I anxiously anticipated XTC's followup to "Skylarking."
Unlike many people, I didn't hear the Dukes until just before this album came out. (Simp told me about them being XTC.)
So when I heard this, I went "Hurray! XTC has modernized the Dukes into their next album!"

Immediately fell in love with "Mayor of Simpleton" and went from there to "One In A Million" -
one of Colin's best songs, and absolutely one of his finest bass lines.
Ended up loving every track with the exception of "Cynical Days" which I have recently come to like and appreciate.
Also enjoyed hearing Mark Isham, whom I remember from Group 87 (another long-ago Simpleton01 turn-on.)

The arrangements and production were really busy, but I liked that! Very stylized in that bright, vivid, late 80s LA way.
(You can almost smell the salt air from the Santa Monica pier,
and see the hot women wearing those panties with the elastic up the butt crack beneath their skin-tight shorts.)
Because of that, it hasn't aged as well sonically as much of the rest of XTC's catalog. But the songs hold up every bit as good.
It felt very American, whereas Nonsuch (and even Skylarking) felt very British.
It was an energy level up from "Skylarking" - not aggressive in a Black Sea way, but extremely energetic and fun.
You could feel that recording this must have been a largely enjoyable experience.

My roommate at the time LOVED this album and Skylarking. I think they made him a fan!
And I anxiously watched XTC's appearance on the David Letterman show live,
hoping they would do "Mayor" and disappointed it was "King" instead -
with an ugly clam from Paul Shaffer.
Good performance, though.
And then they embarked on the 'radio tour' which I heard many bootlegs from many different performances of, and really enjoyed hearing.

One day at a studio other than my usual workplace, that had Yamaha NS-10 nearfield monitors, I put this CD on, and suddenly everything was perfectly imaged and balanced compared to every other system I'd heard it on. I thought: this album must have been mixed on these speakers! I also think I can hear some of the SSL console audio characteristics, particularly the channel compressors. I'd love to find out from Andy if I'm right.


What do you mean by 'with an ugly clam from Paul Shaffer.'?
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Jeff Truzzi
post Jul 29 2011, 04:28 AM
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QUOTE (Nowhereman437 @ Jul 28 2011, 02:54 PM) *
What do you mean by 'with an ugly clam from Paul Shaffer.'?


"Clam' is musician-speak (in the US anyway) for a wrong note or mistake. I remember hearing it and going "DOH!"
Maybe it wasn't Paul, but it sure sounded like it was on keyboards to me. I'll have to revisit the clip on YouTube.
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Jeff Truzzi
post Jul 29 2011, 04:36 AM
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And of course I meant "One Of The Millions", not "One In A Million."
I somehow got an XTC song juxtaposed with one from Giles, Giles & Fripp.
Age dyslexia.
(IMG:style_emoticons/default/laugh.gif)
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Jeff Truzzi
post Jul 29 2011, 05:05 AM
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QUOTE (Chrestus @ Jul 27 2011, 09:03 PM) *
Very nice story Jeffrey and I was wondering if you could expand a bit on this section.


I'm sure I wouldn't know...heh heh!
(IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

Actually Rockpants, they weren't thongs (which is what we used to call flip-flops when I was a little kid in the 60s) which are butt crack only underwear that completely exclude the ass cheeks.

These were fairly expensive underwear of fairly substantial nylon (or other synthetic stretchy fabric) construction, completely outlined in elastic, and with a sewn in elastic strip that went straight up the center of the rear, which would make the entire garment strictly conform to the contour of the body. And it kind of did a 'lift and separate' thing for the cheeks of the derriere, analogous to what a push-up bra does for the breasts. I had a girlfriend at the time who used to wear these, under either skin-tight short shorts or with tiny little flimsy skirts that you couldn't help but catch a peak of, which would drive me absolutely CRAZY.

Yup.
1989.
I remember it entirely too well.

Not that I don't remember Tiananmen Square.
Or the Berlin Wall coming down.
Or the demise of the East Block, and (very soon thereafter) the Soviet Union, something I NEVER thought I would see in my lifetime.
Much less my wonderful and (unfortunately) only visit to the UK that very year, during the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.

Sure I remember all that.
AND Oranges and Lemons.
And shoulder pads on women's dresses.
And George Bush without the W.

But the heart flutters caused by a peek of those damn panties under the short skirt of my old girlfriend remind me of just how damn real it all was.

Know what I mean, Chrestus?
(IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

This post has been edited by Jeff Truzzi: Jul 29 2011, 05:06 AM
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rockpants
post Jul 29 2011, 06:47 AM
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You know much more of women's fashion than I, O Jeff. Anyhoo ... they sound really, really uncomfortable.
We used to call flip-flops thongs, too, until adolescence made it a giggler.
I remember hearing about the Exxon Valdez oil spill, being that it was on my 7th birthday. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/sad.gif)

And yeah, Paul fucked up the Late Night performance. I also couldn't help but notice that World's Most Dangerous Band bassist Will Lee (with his awesome weirdo bleach blonde combover), Colin (Wayne Gretzky was jealous of that mullet), Andy (top hat for a top act), and Dave (red shirt, not coming back from an away mission) were all wearing white pants.
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Jeff Truzzi
post Jul 30 2011, 05:57 PM
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QUOTE (rockpants @ Jul 28 2011, 11:47 PM) *
You know much more of women's fashion than I, O Jeff. Anyhoo ... they sound really, really uncomfortable.


You have to get through the fashion to get to the women. They probably were, but I wasn't complaining.
She never complained, either. And I never asked her to wear them.
But she said she'd be happy if I bought some for her on her birthday.
And whatever made her happy, made me happy.
Isn't that what a good boyfriend is supposed to be about?
(IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

Women's discomfort to look better for men fuels entire industries.
Bras, girdles, high heels, makeups, surgeries...and (as you know) it gets much worse.



This post has been edited by Jeff Truzzi: Jul 30 2011, 06:10 PM
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Jeff Truzzi
post Jul 30 2011, 06:19 PM
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Ed Thacker is an excellent recording engineer.
He recorded that Group 87 album where I first heard Mark Isham.
And he worked with Zappa, whose albums - regardless of what you thought of the music - were always particularly well recorded.

And as I said over in the Nonsuch thread, I'll bet Oranges & Lemons would sound a lot less 80s and a lot more modern and Nonsuch or AV sounding if it was remixed.
Like a new stereo mix when they were doing the 5.1 version.
Dream on, eh?
(Andy has said that's all up to Virgin, all he & Colin have the rights for are AV1 & Wasp Star.)
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rockpants
post Jul 30 2011, 09:17 PM
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Despite it making me an outcast, I rejected almost all of those western societal demands early on in adolescence. Never saw the appeal.

Wonder if an Amnesty International-style campaign would work with Virgin Records. Ya' know, polite-yet-sternly written letters of encouragement to do the right thing.(IMG:style_emoticons/default/dry.gif)
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MarmaladeArmy
post Aug 3 2011, 08:48 PM
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Love alot of the songs on this one but the production seems to ware on me. Its almost too full of stuff - too thick. And to my ears it sounds pretty dated now too. Also loved the vids I've seen of Andy,Colin and Dave hawking these tunes on Mtv. The original "unplugged". Tremendous!

This post has been edited by MarmaladeArmy: Aug 3 2011, 08:49 PM
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Nowhereman437
post Aug 4 2011, 10:19 AM
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a good album with some outstanding moments. My fav's are TGOED, KFAD, HCPKA & C&C. MOS is a bit one dimensional and boring & the rest seem to be the v. epitome of 'just decent album tracks' imo.
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Andy Partridge
post Aug 4 2011, 12:05 PM
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No wear, OUCH!
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MarmaladeArmy
post Aug 4 2011, 01:48 PM
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Wear? Ware? Ugh.

Sorry Andy, I'm always wondering if I should give my true opinions. I truly love all of the XTC canon (yup, i'm a certified fan-boy, boot licker) but i realize that even some puke from Amerigo's words can sting. Not meant to be hurtful....
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Nowhereman437
post Aug 6 2011, 03:49 PM
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QUOTE (Andy Partridge @ Aug 4 2011, 01:05 PM) *
No wear, OUCH!


I meant decent as in good. Good and decent are interchangeable like Mass and energy. They can't all be great as in...great! Sorry.
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Bimble
post Aug 7 2011, 06:59 PM
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QUOTE (Nowhereman437 @ Aug 4 2011, 11:19 AM) *
a good album with some outstanding moments. My fav's are TGOED, KFAD, HCPKA & C&C. MOS is a bit one dimensional and boring & the rest seem to be the v. epitome of 'just decent album tracks' imo.



Is there any effing danger you could take the time to type the full titles? My tiny brain fibrillates wildly trying to work out what's what, what?
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Andrew Swainson
post Aug 7 2011, 08:29 PM
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QUOTE (Bimble @ Aug 7 2011, 07:59 PM) *
Is there any effing danger you could take the time to type the full titles? My tiny brain fibrillates wildly trying to work out what's what, what?


I was even more confused because I thought I was in the Nonsuch thread!
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Nowhereman437
post Aug 7 2011, 09:08 PM
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QUOTE (Bimble @ Aug 7 2011, 07:59 PM) *
Is there any effing danger you could take the time to type the full titles? My tiny brain fibrillates wildly trying to work out what's what, what?

well I think the words 'tiny brain' are most operative in this situation. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/rolleyes.gif)
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donavan
post Aug 7 2011, 09:26 PM
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WTF?
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