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XTC — Black Sea (Steven Wilson 5.1 Remix CD + Blu-ray)
KERRANGGG!! is not necessarily a sound associated with XTC per se but, as Andy Partridge writes in his sleeve-notes, with the twin guitar line-up now fully settled, relentless touring schedule and thoughts of recording with Lillywhite & Padgham in the studio where the same engineer/producer combo had established that drum sound, thinking of XTC in "rock band" terms was the ideal approach for the multitude of songs Partridge & Moulding were individually producing.
Preceded by a set of live demos (all included on the Blu-Ray) at Phonogram studios, XTC knew exactly what it wanted from a fourth album — even down to the original album title: Work Under Pressure (which helps make more sense of the sleeve photo also), prior to setting foot in The Townhouse for the main recordings. The switch to Black Sea was made only to allay the then band manager's sensitivity to the title being interpreted as a criticism of his management style.
More Power Rock than Power Pop, when released in Sept. 1980, the album became XTC's first Top 20 chart album in the U.K., narrowly missed the Top 40 (No. 41) in the USA where it was issued in November, but spent an impressive 24 weeks on the Billboard chart nonetheless.
The sense of immediacy, the rush of a band fully living up to its potential is as apparent now as it was when the album first came out & Steven Wilson's new stereo & 5.1 mixes bring out every nuance of the original performances on what was, already, one of the best engineered & produced albums of the era. With numerous extra tracks: including the post-album single "Take This Town" from the soundtrack of the Times Square film, unissued single versions, mixes, additional tracks from singles of the period, solo demos by Andy Partridge & videos for three of the singles, this is the definitive edition of Black Sea.
• Black Sea is the fifth in a series of remixed and expanded XTC classic albums
• Mixed for 5.1 Surround Sound in 24-bit/96kHz from the original multi-track studio master tapes by Steven Wilson with input from Andy Patridge and is fully approved by XTC
• CD layer features a completely new stereo album mix in 24-bit/96kHz by Steven Wilson, who also mixed many of the bonus tracks
• Additional songs from the album sessions in stereo and 5.1, several newly-mixed by Steven Wilson
• Instrumental versions (mixed by Steven Wilson) of all new album & several bonus mixes in 24bit/96kHz
• Many album tracks in demo form as recorded (mostly live) at Phonogram Studios prior to the main album sessions.
• Three Andy Partridge demos from Phonogram studios.
• Three Andy Partridge demos from Swindon Town Hall.
• Promo films for "Towers Of London," "Generals and Majors" and "Respectable Street."
• Presented in special packaging with expanded booklet & sleeve-notes by Andy Partridge, Dave Gregory, Terry Chambers, Steve Lillywhite & Hugh Padgham.
|1. Respectable Street|
|2. Generals and Majors|
|3. Living Through Another Cuba|
|4. Love at First Sight|
|5. Rocket From a Bottle|
|6. No Language in Our Lungs|
|7. Towers of London|
|8. Paper and Iron|
|9. Burning With Optimism's Flames|
|10. Sgt. Rock (is Going to Help Me)|
|11. Travels in Nihilon|