Friday, February 11, 2011

XTC: The Early Years

Many (if not most) XTC fans think the band really established itself when keyboardist Barry Andrews left the band and was replaced with guitarist/keyboardist Dave Gregory. I'm not in this camp. Although I consider XTC one of my favorite bands and think their entire discography through at least 'Oranges and Lemons' are must-have albums, my real soft spot is for the band's first two albums, 'White Music' and 'Go 2.'

I'll never forget the first time I heard XTC. As a bushy-haired 15-year-old lad I bought the band's first compilation, 'Waxworks: Some Singles 1977-1982,' without previously hearing a note from them. That first note came from Andrews' keyboard in the form of the side-one track-one song "Science Friction.' I had never heard manic keyboard solos like that before. Soon, keyboard-heavy songs like "Radios in Motion," "Traffic Light Rock," "Cross Wires" and "Into the Atom Age" became my adolescent anthems. While there is no doubt the addition of Gregory meant a more mature and accessible sound, let's not forget the hyper Andrews era.

For the next couple of days I'll feature non-album versions of some of my favorite XTC songs from 1977 and 1978. Today's songs come from appearances on the 'John Peel Show.' They can be found on the out-of-print disc 'Drums and Wireless.'

XTC - Cross Wires (BBC Radio Session) (mp3)
XTC - Into the Atom Age (BBC Radio Session) (mp3)
XTC - Meccanic Dancing (BBC Radio Session) (mp3)

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