Sunday, September 2, 2007
XTC - SONIC PSYCHEDELIC RETRO POP SIDE PROJECT!
ARTIST``````````THE DUKES OF STRATOSPHEAR
ALBUM``````````CHIPS FROM THE CHOCOLATE FIREBALL
Goddamit stop reporting this file!!!!!!!
If I might add (and not sound pretencious), it seems that some "ballad" songs (if u can call them that) from Mr. Bungle's "California" were influenced by this album. This applies to Scissor Sisters also (and many bands for that matter).
During the mid-'80s, XTC developed a deep fascination with '60s psychedelia that manifested itself on their late-1986 masterpiece Skylarking. While Skylarking was filled with lush pop reminiscent of the Beatles and Beach Boys, it was generally a sober affair, since they decided to leave many of the lighter songs off the album for B-sides and future albums. During this time, they decided to develop their alter egos of the Dukes of Stratosphear, a way to let all of their infatuation with psychedelia flourish. Both the EP 25 O'Clock and the full-length Psonic Psunspot, collected on the single-disc Chips From the Chocolate Fireball, capture the sound of '60s psychedelia remarkably well. All of the sonic details, from the fuzz guitars to the cavernous echoes and sound effects, are in place, as are the self-consciously trippy lyrics. But what makes the Dukes of Stratosphear far more than a comedy band are the songs, which happen to be some of the best pure pop tunes XTC ever wrote: "My Love Explodes" has a tense, spiraling guitar line and melody; "Little
Lighthouse" and "You're My Drug" are wonderful pastiches; "The Mole From the Ministry" is a devilish homage to "I Am the Walrus" and Bowie; and the group rarely wrote a song as infectious as the bright, jangling "Vanishing Girl." Despite the clever craftsmanship, XTC has never sounded so carefree or effortless, been quite as immediately catchy or consistent — Chips From the Chocolate Fireball is too good to be overlooked as a side-project folly, because it truly is some of the best music XTC ever made. And, coincidentally, it's some of the best psychedelic pop ever recorded as well.
In 1985, the British pop band XTC recorded an EP of affectionate parodies of '60s psychedelia and guitar-pop called 25 O'Clock. Instead of releasing the EP under their own name, they released the record under the name the Dukes of Stratosphear. Working with producer John Leckie, all three members of the group adopted pseudonyms — Andy Partridge was Sir John Johns, Colin Moulding was the Red Curtain and David Gregory was Lord Cornelius Plum. For this one project Gregory's brother Ian joined the band under the name Ian E.I.E.I. Owen. The EP was released without mention of XTC's name anywhere on the record, and the group claimed they had nothing to do with the project Two years after the appearance of 25 O'Clock, the Dukes of Stratosphear released a full album, Psonic Psunspot. By the time Psonic Psunspot appeared in 1987, XTC were beginning to admit in interviews that they were indeed the Dukes of Stratosphear. Later in 1987, both the EP and album were released on a single compact disc, Chips from the Chocolate Fireball.