AC6-8017 XL-1
Produced by Martin Rushent and Pete Shelley
Released on April 1983
UK CHART POSITION #42 . . . US CHART POSITION #151
Find it at GEMM
AC6-8017 cover  

B ringing guitars back into the mix, XL-1 comes closer to emulating Shelley’s taut and edgy work with The Buzzcocks. Synthesizers still play a large part in the music, but marching right behind the alienated electronica are the pop/punk sensibilities that marked his previous band. Pete’s voice really isn’t as well suited to the club milieu, which requires a slower delivery that leaves him exposed on songs like “If You Ask Me (I Won’t Say No)” and “Many A Time.” But he’s just as often charming in his humble, familiar way: e.g., “You And I,” “You Know Better Than I Know,” “I Just Wanna Touch.” Although synthesizer sounds from the early ‘80s haven’t aged especialy well, this album fares better than most thanks to Shelley’s forceful arrangements. The engine that drives songs like “Telephone Operator” and “What Was Heaven?” is ahead of its time, choosing effects that are moody and aggressive, elements which survived into the subsequent techno scene. It’s unclear how influential this album might have been on later synth bands, but the mix of pop/punk/club/krautrock is pretty unique to Shelley (although Tony Banks’ The Fugitive, released that same year, is strikingly similar in spots). The cassette adds dub mixes of “Homosapien” (now more affected than ever) and the instrumental “Witness The Change.” This gets my nod for the best Pete Shelley album; it’s cooking in a different kitchen than The Buzzcocks, but he’s managed to spice up the synth sound nicely.

TRACK LISTING

  1. TELEPHONE OPERATOR
  2. MANY A TIME
  3. I JUST WANNA TOUCH
  4. YOU KNOW BETTER THAN I KNOW
  5. XL 1
  6. *HOMOSAPIEN (DUB MIX)
  7. (MILLIONS OF PEOPLE) NO ONE LIKE YOU
  8. IF YOU ASK ME (I WON'T SAY NO)
  9. YOU AND I
  10. WHAT WAS HEAVEN?
  11. TWILIGHT
  12. *WITNESS THE CHANGE (DUB MIX)

    All songs written by Pete Shelley

CREDITS

PETE SHELLEY --
BARRY ADAMSON --
MARTIN RUSHENT --
JIM RUSSELL --
Mike Prior -- photography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK April 1983 Island LP GENETICXL1  
US July 1983 Arista LP/CS AL6/AC6-8017 CS incl. bonus tracks (*)
GER 1983 Island LP 205.629.320  

 

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