4036-2 English Settlement
Produced by Hugh Padgham & XTC
Released on February 12, 1982
UK CHART POSITION #5 . . . US CHART POSITION #48
Find it at GEMM
4036-2 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

A brilliant album and a half of pointed social criticism masquerading as a pop masterpiece. English Settlement has a far more rustic feel than earlier XTC albums: acoustic guitars are strummed incessantly like insect wings, electric guitars and drums scratch at your senses like briars in an overgrown garden, vocals give way to suburban voodoo chants. Underneath it all is the XTC you’ve come to know and love from their last two records. “No Thugs In Our House” exposes the same crumbling façade as “Respectable Street,” “Snowman” sympathizes with the familiar wallflower hero of “Sgt. Rock,” “Ball and Chain” decries the same insensible industry as “Towers of London,” etc. English Settlement isn’t a markedly better record than its predecessors (how could anything be better than that heavenly pair?), there’s simply more of it. Produced by the band and Hugh Padgham, this is their genius unconstrained and well directed, moved out of the window box and allowed to grow roots in the open ground. The songs generally fall into two groups: the tightly wound jack-in-the-boxes (“English Roundabout,” “Melt The Guns”) and the lyrical English pageants (“Ball And Chain,” “Senses Working Overtime,” “Jason and the Argonauts”). A few songs fall in between (“No Thugs In Our House,” “Leisure”), some are so disarmingly sweet (“Yacht Dance,” “Knuckle Down”) as to land outside of XTC’s boobytrapped battlefield entirely. Listening to English Settlement, it’s hard to believe that XTC were once considered a punk band; few groups have so artfully subverted their subversive tendencies. The result was work of eccentric charm and beauty that often approached the sublime. After English Settlement, it was hard to argue against XTC as the greatest living pop band on our green planet.

2GHS 4036 F front cover
2GHS 4036 F front cover
[high resolution scan]

TRACK LISTING

    record one
  1. RUNAWAYS    (Colin Moulding)    4:51
  2. BALL AND CHAIN    (Colin Moulding)    4:28
  3. SENSES WORKING OVERTIME    4:45
  4. JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS    6:03
  5. NO THUGS IN OUR HOUSE    5:16
  6. YACHT DANCE    3:52
  7. ALL OF A SUDDEN (IT'S TOO LATE)    5:18

    record two
  8. MELT THE GUNS    6:31
  9. LEISURE    5:01
  10. IT'S NEARLY AFRICA    3:54
  11. KNUCKLE DOWN    4:26
  12. FLY ON THE WALL    (Colin Moulding)    3:11
  13. DOWN IN THE COCKPIT    5:35
  14. ENGLISH ROUNDABOUT    (Colin Moulding)    3:50
  15. SNOWMAN    4:26

    single LP version
  16. RUNAWAYS    (Colin Moulding)    4:51
  17. BALL AND CHAIN    (Colin Moulding)    4:28
  18. SENSES WORKING OVERTIME    4:45
  19. JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS    6:03
  20. SNOWMAN    4:26
  21. MELT THE GUNS    6:31
  22. NO THUGS IN OUR HOUSE    5:16
  23. YACHT DANCE    3:52
  24. ENGLISH ROUNDABOUT    (Colin Moulding)    3:50
  25. ALL OF A SUDDEN (IT'S TOO LATE)    5:18

    All songs written by Andy Partridge unless noted

CREDITS

TERRY CHAMBERS -- drums, drum synthesizer, percussion, backing vocals
DAVE GREGORY -- electric 12-string guitar, electric guitars, nylon-strung Spanish guitar, fuzz-boxed 12-string guitar, mini-Korg, Prophet V, backing vocals, percussion
COLIN MOULDING -- lead and backing vocals, fretless bass, Fender bass, mini-Korg, piano, percussion
ANDY PARTRIDGE -- lead and backing vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, electric and semi-acoustic electric 12-string guitars, amplified acoustic guitar, mini-Korg, Prophet V, anklung, alto sax, percussion, frog
Trans Devente -- special guest vocal support (10)
Hugh Padgham -- vocal support (2), engineer, mixing
XTC -- mixing
Allan Ballard -- photography
Ken Ansell -- artwork
Art Dragon -- illustrations

return to XTC discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK/AUSL February 12, 1982 Virgin 2LP/CS V/TCV-2223 gatefold cover, lyric sleeves
US 1982 Epic/Virgin LP ARE-37943 lyric sleeve
CAN 1982 Virgin 2LP VL-2233 lyric sleeves
GER 1982 Virgin LP 204 446 320 lyric sleeve
JPN 1982 Virgin LP VIP-6992 lyric sleeve
MEX 1982 Virgin LP LAE-445  
YUG 1982 Jugoton LP SVIRG-73139  
US 1982 Geffen 2LP 2GHS 4036F lyric sleeves
JPN 1985 Virgin LP 25VB-1072  
US   Geffen CD 4036-2  
UK 2001 Virgin CD CDVX-2223 digital remaster
JPN 2001 Virgin CD TOCP-65715 digital remaster
US June 25, 2002 Caroline CD 50660 digital remaster
JPN 2003 Virgin CD VJCP-68534 digital remaster
JPN 2005 Virgin CD TOCP-53596 digital remaster

 

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