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Friday, 20 January 2017

Rewind: White Noise - XTC (1978)

White Music - XTC
Produced by John Leckie
Released 20th January 1978
UK Chart #38

A1 Radios In Motion    
A2 Cross Wires    
A3 This Is Pop
A4 Do What You Do    
A5 Statue Of Liberty    
A6 All Along The Watchtower    
B1 Into The Atom Age    
B2 I'll Set Myself On Fire    
B3 I'm Bugged    
B4 New Town Animal In A Furnished Cage    
B5 Spinning Top    
B6 Neon Shuffle

2001 CD Remaster Bonus Tracks
13. Science Friction (3D EP)
14. She's So Square (3D EP)
15. Dance Band (3D EP)
16. Hang On to the Night (B-Side of Statue of Liberty)
17. Heatwave (B-Side of This Is Pop)
18. Traffic Light Rock
19. Instant Tunes 

    Andy Partridge – guitar, vocals
    Colin Moulding – bass, vocals
    Barry Andrews – steam piano, clapped out organs
    Terry Chambers – drums

Singles on White Noise

January 1978
Did Not Chart

A-Side: This Is Pop?*
B-Side: Heatwave

April 1978
Did Not Chart

*Re-recorded version

Included on 2001 CD Remaster

A-Side: Science Friction
B-Side: She's So Square / Dance Band

October 1977
Did Not Chart

Related videos


"What do you call that noise that you put on?"

Ah, the question that was asked a lot back between the years of 1976-79 as many new bands were unleashed upon the music business as a result of the whole Punk & New Wave Scene.

XTC's beginnings though go back a little further than the rise of Punk in 1976. In 1972  Colin Moulding (Bass and Vocals) and Terry Chambers (Drums) asked Andy Partridge to join their new band in Swindon and so The Helium Kidz were born (they changed their name often over the course of the years). Influenced by the New York Dolls they played their own style of Glam Rock and in 1976 Barry Andrews (Keyboards) was added to the band after the departure of John Perkins and they were already at this time playing under the new name of  XTC. There's actually some old footage of them performing Science Friction in 1975 (I think it is) with the line-up that featured Perkins on Keyboards. 

Whilst not a Punk band at all (I saw one comment somewhere that basically said, "lumped into the punk camp, they were not that angry and in person couldn’t pose a threat to your grandmother"), they did play many shows alongside Punk bands in their early days and by the time they had released their debut 3D EP they were seen to be a part of the whole New Wave. Trouser Press were not overly complimentary regarding the EP saying that it was "nothing to write home about" but ended their review by saying, "XTC  have more credibility as punks than Ultravox (and loads more energy), and appear to be on to something. They, too, are a band to watch".

Whilst hard to actually pigeon hole I love the answer to the question that we began with:
 "We come the wrong way
We come the long way
We play the songs much too loud
This is pop"

The Debut album White Noise was released on this day in 1978. It was Moulding and Partridge's vision of what was to come and precursor to the whole Post-Punk scene! It was a very different kind of Pop!

Statue of Liberty single got banned by the BBC for the line "sail beneath your skirt"! It wasn't by any means highly offensive when you give consideration to some of the utter garbage they allow these days on the radio from some of the top selling R&B artists from the States!

Whilst the album is a bit of a mixed bag and sounds a bit too rushed in places, it did set a marker for the band and by the time of their third album, Drums and Wires, and also their fourth, Black Sea, they were making a lot of progress vocally, musically and lyrically as well as getting a bit more attention from the buying public.

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