English Settlement

English Settlement

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English Settlement is the fifth studio album
Studio album
A studio album is an album made up of tracks recorded in the controlled environment of a recording studio. A studio album contains newly written and recorded or previously unreleased or remixed material, distinguishing itself from a compilation or reissue album of previously recorded material, or...

 by British alternative rock
Alternative rock
Alternative rock is a genre of rock music and a term used to describe a diverse musical movement that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s and became widely popular by the 1990s...

 band XTC
XTC
XTC were a New Wave band from Swindon, England, active between 1976 and 2005. The band enjoyed some chart success, including the UK and Canadian hits "Making Plans for Nigel" and "Senses Working Overtime" , but are perhaps even better known for their long-standing critical success.- Early years:...

, released on 12 February 1982. The album reached No. 5 on the UK Album Chart and No. 48 on the Billboard 200
Billboard 200
The Billboard 200 is a ranking of the 200 highest-selling music albums and EPs in the United States, published weekly by Billboard magazine. It is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists...

 album chart.

Arguably XTC's defining album, English Settlement is a significant milestone of the band's ability as musicians and songwriters. Some prevalent lyrical themes include the preservation of buildings, world peace, youthful rebellion, and the frustrations of love.

Album information


The cover design is based upon the Uffington White Horse
Uffington White Horse
The Uffington White Horse is a highly stylised prehistoric hill figure, 110 m long , formed from deep trenches filled with crushed white chalk...

, which is about 6 miles east of Swindon
Swindon
Swindon is a large town within the borough of Swindon and ceremonial county of Wiltshire, in South West England. It is midway between Bristol, west and Reading, east. London is east...

, the home town of XTC.

The album spawned three UK singles: "Senses Working Overtime
Senses Working Overtime
"Senses Working Overtime" is a single by XTC released in 1982. It is at once the apogee of their early-eighties British popularity as well as their last gasp of mainstream success in their homeland...

" (released on 8 January 1982 and reaching No. 10 on the UK singles chart); "Ball And Chain" (released 26 February 1982 and reaching No. 58 on the UK singles chart); and "No Thugs in Our House" (released 14 May 1982).

The album was previewed with a live performance on The Old Grey Whistle Test program in January where they performed "Yacht Dance" (their only performance of the song) and "No Thugs In Our House". They also made a live appearance on The Oxford Road Show performing "Snowman", "Ball And Chain" and "Jason And The Argonauts". The song "English Roundabout" was inspired by a Swindon
Swindon
Swindon is a large town within the borough of Swindon and ceremonial county of Wiltshire, in South West England. It is midway between Bristol, west and Reading, east. London is east...

 landmark known as The Magic Roundabout
Magic Roundabout (Swindon)
The Magic Roundabout in Swindon, England was constructed in 1972 and consists of five mini-roundabouts arranged in a circle. It is located near the County Ground, home of Swindon Town F.C. Its name comes from the popular children's television series The Magic Roundabout...

. This song is a rare example of popular music written in the unusual 5/4 time signature.

The band made promotional videos for "Senses Working Overtime, "No Thugs In Our House", "All Of A Sudden (It's Too Late)" and "Ball And Chain".

Only nine full shows were performed on the proposed 1982 English Settlement World Tour due to Partridge's collapsing at Le Palace in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 on 18 March (during the first song in their set) and subsequent breakdown after their performance at The California Theatre, San Diego, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, U.S.A. on 3 April. This would prove to be XTC's last show as a touring band.

English Settlement is the last XTC album recorded while Terry Chambers
Terry Chambers
Terry Chambers is an English drummer and was a founding member of XTC, appearing on all studio and live albums until his departure during the 1982 sessions for Mummer, on which he played on "Beating of Hearts", "Wonderland" and a B-side, "Toys".He moved to his wife's native Australia, drumming...

 was still a full member, although Chambers did appear on a few tracks of Mummer
Mummer (album)
Mummer is the sixth album by the group XTC which was released on 30 August 1983. It reached No. 51 on the UK album chart and No. 145 on the U.S. Billboard album charts....

. The band's retirement from the road, caused by Partridge's nervous breakdown, meant that he could no longer make money as the band's drummer, only as a guest performer.

UK LP: V 2223


Initial U.S. track listing


A 1-LP version was initially released in the United States on Virgin/Epic Records.
Five songs were removed for this release ("Yacht Dance" 3:56, "Leisure" 5:32, "Knuckle Down" 4:28, "Fly on the Wall" 3:19, "Down in the Cockpit" 5:27).

Side 1

  1. "Runaways" (Moulding)
  2. "Ball and Chain" (Moulding)
  3. "Senses Working Overtime"
  4. "Jason and the Argonauts"
  5. "Snowman"

Side 2

  1. "Melt the Guns"
  2. "No Thugs in Our House"
  3. "It's Nearly Africa"
  4. "English Roundabout" (Moulding)
  5. "All of a Sudden (It's Too Late)"

Side 1

  1. "Runaways" (Moulding)
  2. "Ball and Chain" (Moulding)
  3. "Senses Working Overtime"
  4. "Jason and the Argonauts"
  5. "Snowman"

Side 2

  1. "Melt the Guns"
  2. "No Thugs in Our House"
  3. "Yacht Dance"
  4. "English Roundabout" (Moulding)
  5. "All of a Sudden (It's Too Late)"

Personnel

  • Colin Moulding
    Colin Moulding
    Colin Ivor Moulding is a bassist, songwriter and vocalist. He is a founding member of the band XTC. Though less prolific than bandmate Andy Partridge, Moulding wrote many of the group's most popular songs, including their first three UK hit singles: "Life Begins At The Hop", "Making Plans For...

     - lead vocals, backing vocals
    Backing vocalist
    A backing vocalist or backing singer is a singer who provides vocal harmony with the lead vocalist or other backing vocalists...

    , fretless bass, Fender bass, mini-Korg
    Korg
    is a Japanese multinational corporation that manufactures electronic musical instruments, audio processors and guitar pedals, recording equipment, and electronic tuners...

    , piano
    Piano
    The piano is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. It is one of the most popular instruments in the world. Widely used in classical and jazz music for solo performances, ensemble use, chamber music and accompaniment, the piano is also very popular as an aid to composing and rehearsal...

    , percussion
    Percussion instrument
    A percussion instrument is any object which produces a sound when hit with an implement or when it is shaken, rubbed, scraped, or otherwise acted upon in a way that sets the object into vibration...

  • Andy Partridge
    Andy Partridge
    Andrew John "Andy" Partridge is an English singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He has been known as Sir John Johns and Melchior and rose to fame as a founding member, guitarist and chief songwriter of the pop/new wave band, XTC. He lives in Swindon, Wiltshire, where he was raised.Partridge also...

     - lead vocals, backing vocals, electric guitar
    Electric guitar
    An electric guitar is a guitar that uses the principle of direct electromagnetic induction to convert vibrations of its metal strings into electric audio signals. The signal generated by an electric guitar is too weak to drive a loudspeaker, so it is amplified before sending it to a loudspeaker...

    , semi-acoustic electric 12-string guitar, semi-acoustic electric guitar, acoustic guitar, mini-Korg, Prophet V, anklung, alto sax, percussion, frog
    Frog
    Frogs are amphibians in the order Anura , formerly referred to as Salientia . Most frogs are characterized by a short body, webbed digits , protruding eyes and the absence of a tail...

  • Dave Gregory - electric 12-string guitar, electric guitars, nylon-string Spanish guitar, semi-acoustic electric 12-string guitar, Prophet V, mini-Korg, backing vocals, percussion, piano
  • Terry Chambers
    Terry Chambers
    Terry Chambers is an English drummer and was a founding member of XTC, appearing on all studio and live albums until his departure during the 1982 sessions for Mummer, on which he played on "Beating of Hearts", "Wonderland" and a B-side, "Toys".He moved to his wife's native Australia, drumming...

     - drums
    Drum kit
    A drum kit is a collection of drums, cymbals and often other percussion instruments, such as cowbells, wood blocks, triangles, chimes, or tambourines, arranged for convenient playing by a single person ....

    , drum synthesiser, percussion, backing vocals
  • Hugh Padgham
    Hugh Padgham
    Hugh Padgham is a British record producer. He has won many awards, including four Grammys, with Producer of the Year and Engineer of the Year. A 1992 poll in Mix magazine voted him one of the world's Top Ten Most Influential Producers....

     - backing vocals on "Ball and Chain"
  • Hans de Vente - backing vocals on "It's Nearly Africa"