XTC – ” White Music ” Released 40 Years Ago in 1978

Posted: February 27, 2018 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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xtc_white_music

XTC detractors would often accuse the band of being “too quirky.” While they definitely had that side, their debut, ‘White Music,’ showed that they were not going to be some cookie-cutter new wave or punk rock band. The opening frantic surge of “Radios in Motion” gets things rolling and it’s all forward drive from there. “Statue of Liberty” and “This Is Pop?” are among the many treasures here as they sounded like none of the punk era brethren, but rather like some holy merging of ‘Trout Mask Replica’ and ‘With the Beatles’ on an amphetamine bender. While they would rapidly move forward with each release, ‘White Music’ was a hell of a place to start.

This one is a bit uneven, I think mainly due to the band attempting to find its voice. Overall, the album has all that quirkiness that defined the band in their early years, which works most of the time. It seems Colin Moulding is trying a little too hard to be quirky on two of the three songs he wrote, but I’ll Set Myself On Fire is a good early effort. Radios In Motion is a fantastic opening track and Andy Partridge also scores well with Into The Atom Age, New Town Animal, and This Is Pop? (I do agree with that other list-maker that the later single version of this song is much better). However, their cover of Dylan’s All Along The Watchtower really does fall flat.

An album that was more influential than successful, White Music was the first album by the much-loved English new wave popsters around whom an obsessive cult following has grown over the years. The album includes one of Andy Partridge’s most enduring song “This Is Pop”, and was produced by John Leckie, who subsequently has gone on to work with the Stone Roses, Radiohead and others.

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