|Produced by John Leckie and The Dukes|
|Released on August 1987|
|no chart information|
|Find it at GEMM|
[high resolution scan]
A fter the excellent Skylarking, XTC went on a lark of a different sort, resurrecting the nomme de plumacy of The Dukes of Stratosphear for a full album. Unlike their earlier EP 25 O’Clock, Psonic Psunspot is a more serious attempt to make an XTC-quality album in the idiom of the Dukes. Sandwiched as it is between the band’s best “renaissance” albums (Skylarking, Oranges and Lemons), the songs are often stellar: “Vanishing Girl,” “Collideascope,” “Brainiac’s Daughter,” “Little Lighthouse.” These are just the sort of discoveries that curl the toes of XTC fans in childish delight. Where the earlier EP was an acid trip full of psychedelic sights and sounds, Psunspot brings the songcraft side of the band into the spotlight. Colin Moulding (re-appearing as The Red Curtain) contributes three tracks, Andy Partridge (Sir John Johns) the remaining seven. Personally, I think Psunspot would have been the perfect time to introduce a Dave Gregory-penned song, but with brother Ian on drums you can’t say the Gregory contingent is underrepresented. In a commercial sense, XTC may have done too good a job with the Dukes (or Geffen/Virgin too poor a job of promoting it). Psonic Psunspot, like the earlier EP, slipped under the radar of college radio and failed to chart. In retrospect, releasing the inferior Albert Brown as the UK single couldn’t have helped matters. Though a different chapter than the “proper” XTC works around it, Psonic Psunspot is no mere collectible but a highly listenable record. You may not get all the psychedelic references (The Who, Pink Floyd, The Byrds, etc.), you may not care. Honestly, you don’t need to be a connoisseur of the period to enjoy these songs, though being an XTC fan will help immensely. Those interested would do well to seek out the original CD version of Psunspot, repackaged as Chips From The Chocolate Fireball, which in the spirit of the then-recent Geffen/Virgin reissues adds the earlier EP on the front end.
DAVE GREGORY (LORD CORNELIUS PLUM) -- mellotron, piano, organ, fuzz-tone guitar
IAN GREGORY (E.I.E.I. OWEN) -- drum set
COLIN MOULDING (THE RED CURTAIN) -- vocals, bass
ANDY PARTRIDGE (SIR JOHN JOHNS) -- vocals, guitar
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|REGION||RELEASE DATE||LABEL||MEDIA||ID NUMBER||FEATURES|
|UK||August 1987||Virgin||LP||V2440||gatefold cover|
|UK||August 1987||Virgin||LP||VP-2440||brown vinyl|
|US||August 1987||Geffen||CDX||24169-2||repackaged w. 25 O'CLOCK EP as CHIPS FROM
THE CHOCOLATE FIREBALL (AN ANTHOLOGY)
|UK||April 20, 2009||Ape House||LP||APELP-024||180g vinyl|
|UK||April 20, 2009||Ape House||CDX||APECD-024||w. bonus tracks|
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