30 Years Ago: XTC release English Settlement
On February 12, 1982, XTC released their double-album masterpiece English Settlement. Written and recorded at a time of turmoil in the band -- main songwriter Andy Partridge was being stricken with the recurrent stage fright that would soon end the band's live performances entirely -- English Settlement pulled back from the nervy, almost hectoring new wave feel of XTC's previous four albums in favor of a gentler sound heavily influenced by the band's shared love of both '60s psychedelia and the British countryside. (The rustic figure on the album cover is the Uffington White Horse, a Bronze Age hill carving near their hometown of Swindon.)
Although the video for first single "Senses Working Overtime" soon hit regular rotation on the then-new MTV, greatly increasing XTC's stateside profile, the band's new US label Geffen Records originally released a truncated single-disc version of English Settlement that dropped five songs; it wasn't until the CD release several years later that the superior full album finally saw American release.
XTC had bigger hits after English Settlement, and never released a truly bad album during their nearly three-decade career, but this album remains the group's most iconic statement.
|Senses Working Overtime|