What does it sound like?:
Originally titled Work Under Pressure (hence the cover photo), this album, originally released way back in 1980, marks the moment when XTC’s sound changed from pop to rock. Their twin guitar sound was by now fully established, and the joint efforts of producer Steve Lillywhite and engineer Hugh Padgham were just what the doctor ordered for the new batch of songs presented by Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding. The live demos on the bluray demonstrate that the band knew exactly where they were heading with their fourth album. Early takes of the albums most well known songs like Sgt Rock, Generals and Majors and Towers of London show the songs were pretty much fully formed before the main sessions even began. As well as the extensive collection of band demos, and perhaps even more interesting, are a further half a dozen demos from Partridge individually, which give some insight into how his creative process operated. The main album has been given the 5.1 treatment by Steven Wilson of course, along with eight other contemporary songs, and if that’s not enough you also get the original and 2017 stereo mixes of all the material – and instrumental versions too if you get the urge for a bit of karaoke. Want more? There’s three promo films and a great booklet with contributions from most of the participants.
What does it all *mean*?
If you rated this album on its release, then you’ll absolutely adore this set, which has pretty much all you could ever want connected with it – unissued single versions, different mixes, additional tracks from period singles, demos, the post album single Take This Town (from the soundtrack of the film Times Square). This set really is definitive with a capital D!
Goes well with…
Immersing yourself in the Black Sea.
Might suit people who like…
Quirky innovative power rock with a pop sensibility.