Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Transistor Blast: Best of BBC Sessions
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
"XTC live" has been an oxymoron ever since the band's stage-fright-stricken frontman, Andy Partridge, collapsed during a U.S. tour in 1982. Freed of the burden of touring and reproducing their material live, XTC spent thei... more »
"XTC live" has been an oxymoron ever since the band's stage-fright-stricken frontman, Andy Partridge, collapsed during a U.S. tour in 1982. Freed of the burden of touring and reproducing their material live, XTC spent their next five recordings gussying-up their sound--layering piano, strings, and ethereal harmonies where herky-jerky chord changes and caterwauling vocals used to reside. Transistor Blast is a heavy dose of early XTC, the Swindon, England, postpunk quartet who couldn't even spell "cello." Disc 3 features 1978 and '79 live takes of early singles such as "Life Begins at the Hop" and "This is Pop," as well as less-recognizable--and often less-listenable--album tracks along the lines of "Danceband" and "Neon Shuffle." Disc 4, a re-release of the band's legendary 1980 Hammersmith Palais show (previously only available as an import), best illustrates the dynamic, hyperkinetic live band that was once XTC. Discs 1 and 2 erect a bridge between the band's early and later material. Recorded live for BBC Radio, the 25 tracks are jumbled chronologically but still flow. Devoid of their elaborate arrangements and syrupy production, songs such as 1986's "Another Satellite" fit nicely after the likes of 1978's "I'm Bugged." --Bill Crandall
Great live energy...Somewhat stale studio reworkings
Paul Reynolds | Watertown, Mass (USA) | 03/11/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For any long-time XTC fans who are wondering about their 'live-playing' days but never had a chance to see them perform, CDs 3 and 4 provide the answer. CD3, from the early Barry Andrews days, is an engaging blast of colorful, carnival energy. These early songs, soaring with fast-paced goofiness, but lacking in the maturity that the group began to develop with 'Drums and Wires', require and thrive on that energy. CD4 combines the live energy with improved musicianship and Colin Moulding and Andy Partridge's maturing songwriting skills that developed after the arrival of Dave Gregory. Overall it seems to me that XTC was indeed an excellent live act, despite Partridge's many remarks since stating the contrary. As far as the BBC studio outtakes, I find many of them to be relatively flat and lacking compared with the original album versions - which goes to show that some of the production values and studio effects put into albums like 'English Settlement' and 'Oranges and Lemons' were not for naught."
Classic Example of band at their performing peak!
Paul Reynolds | 12/10/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wonderful set of derivitive versions of XTCs songs. 2 Live CDs plus 2 discs of Peel session versions = a Dynamite value for the money. A must buy for every XTC fan."