no more heroes

I was struck by a throwaway comment in the current issue of ‘Mojo’ magazine by Todd Rundgren.

Here you can add your own epithet for the multi-talented Mr.Rundgren.

For me, he’s the producer of my favourite album – ‘Skylarking’ – by one of my all-time favourite groups – XTC.

Évery time Rundgren has a new project to promote and is interviewed in print, I’m always intruiged to see if he’s talked about ‘Skylarking.’

As chronicled in Neville Farmer’s excellent book ‘XTC Song Stories’ (Helter Skelter Publishing), the recording of ‘Skylarking’ in 1986 was overshadowed by Rundgren locking horns with the band’s driving force Andy Partridge.

Rundgren’s ‘Mojo’ comments were to the effect that he was a huge fan of the band before becoming their producer.

But since working with them, he’s found it impossible to listen to an XTC album.

They say you should never meet your heroes, let alone work with them.

But despite the bad blood, ‘Skylarking’ is tangible proof that creative sparks flying can produce remarkable results.

The album certainly brought XTC a sizeable American audience thanks to college radio, and ‘Dear God’ – the track that did it – was originally only a ‘B side.’

As Winter starts kicking and screaming here in the UK, ‘Skylarking’ is a record guaranteed to warm the hearts of those who love melody and great arrangements.

XTC – The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul

XTC – Dear God

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