GEFD-24373 White Music
Produced by John Leckie
Released on January 20, 1978
Find it at GEMM
GEFD-24373 cover
[high resolution scan]

X TC were in the white place at the white time. England in 1977 was a hotbed of musical dissent due to the punk explosion and bands crawled out of their basements, guitars in hand, ready to revolt against popular music. If it was loud, if it was noisy, if it was shocking, it was considered punk. XTC’s debut album was all three and thus found an audience in punk’s anti-establishmentary acolytes. White Music willed itself insane with improbably tight arrangements, cacophonous clashes of instruments, churlish vocals and, despite everything, a devious sense of harmony. The latter quality was strong enough, mercifully, to make White Music not just another assault on the senses but a calculated assault on our musical sensibilities. Songs like “This Is Pop,” “Into the Atom Age” and “New Town Animal in a Furnished Cage” attacked the status quo strategically by aiming at its weakest points: normalcy, decency, complacency. This was reactionary music, over the top, an unleashed ego in the middle of a musical tantrum. Barry Andrews’ keyboards and Andy Partridge’s guitars delved deep into dissonance until the tension became unbearable, then released the tension with remarkably tuneful choruses, pretending as if bubblegum and battery acid were the most natural combination. In time, the band realized that they’d catch more flies with honey and got out of the vinegar business. The first two records remain noisy anomalies, the rugged warlords of the wilderness who sired a dynasty of distinguished kings. I’d seek audience with the kings first (Drums + Wires, Black Sea, English Settlement), but genealogists will agree there isn’t a branch on this family tree that isn’t worth climbing out on. When you’re ready, look for the expanded CD reissue with seven worthy bonus tracks including their first single, “Science Friction.”

GEFD-24373 back sleeve
GEFD-24373 back sleeve


  1. RADIOS IN MOTION    (Andy Partridge)    2:52
  2. CROSS WIRES    (Colin Moulding)    2:03
  3. THIS IS POP    (Andy Partridge)    2:38
  4. DO WHAT YOU DO    (Colin Moulding)    1:14
  5. STATUE OF LIBERTY    (Andy Partridge)    2:52
  6. ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER    (Bob Dylan)    5:40
  7. INTO THE ATOM AGE    (Andy Partridge)    2:32
  8. I'LL SET MYSELF ON FIRE    (Colin Moulding)    3:00
  9. I'M BUGGED    (Andy Partridge)    3:59
  10. NEW TOWN ANIMAL IN A FURNISHED CAGE    (Andy Partridge)    1:51
  11. SPINNING TOP    (Andy Partridge)    2:38
  12. NEON SHUFFLE    (Andy Partridge)    4:25

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  13. SCIENCE FRICTION    (Andy Partridge)    3:12
  14. SHE'S SO SQUARE    (Andy Partridge)    3:06
  15. DANCE BAND    (Colin Moulding)    2:40
  16. HANG ON TO THE NIGHT    (Andy Partridge)    2:06
  17. HEATWAVE    (Colin Moulding)    2:08
  18. TRAFFIC LIGHT ROCK    (Andy Partridge)    1:40
  19. INSTANT TUNES    (Colin Moulding)    2:28


R.J. Lange -- producer (17)

return to XTC discography

UK January 20, 1978 Virgin LP V-2095  
US January 20, 1978 Virgin LP VI-2095  
AUSL 1978 Virgin LP L-36680  
ITA 1978 Virgin LP VIL-12095  
US   Epic LP PE-38153  
UK   Virgin CD CDV-2095  
UK   Virgin CDX CDVX-2095 w. bonus tracks
US 1987 Geffen CDX GEFD-24373 w. bonus tracks
JPN 2001 Virgin CDX TOCP-65711 w. bonus tracks
JPN   Virgin CDX TOCP-67801 w. bonus tracks


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