XTC – Go 2 (1978)

10-29-12        XTC – Go 2

Jazzer Zoot Sims born 1925, Charlie Daniels born 1936; on 10-27-73 Status Quo “Hello” LP was No. 1 in England; 10-28-78 XTC “Go 2” charts at No. 21 in England; 10-27-84 XTC “The Big Express” LP charts at No. 38 in England.

I was working in the record distributor (fall ’78) when XTC’s sophomore LP “Go 2” was released.  If I recall correctly, it was packaged with a 12” single “Go +”, and a large poster of an XTC poster (for “White Music”) being placed over a bunch of UK 70’s teenybopper stuff (David Essex etc.) – the exporter, “Caroline Exports”, was an arm of Virgin Records, the releasing company.

So, I believe that “Go +” was an actual introduction to the mighty XTC!  What speed do I play this at?  How do I feel about this “new music” that’s walking down the pike?  At that time, none of my peers had heard this band, so nobody to discuss them with – in a large warehouse of ‘music people’.

Indeed – “White Music” hadn’t made an impression on me.  I saw it, but…didn’t listen, didn’t care.  I was not automatically buying “anything” being released in England – there had been some real punk / new wave clunkers by that time!  Not everything was as good as, say, Ultravox.  Were they a “punk” band?  They sounded like Roxy Music / K.C. to my ears…and Brian Eno produced their debut album!

So, XTC will be forever be mired in the abyss of “This is ‘new music’ – do I care?”  It was so odd when, in only a few short years, they got sort-of popular in L.A., with “Life Begins At The Hop” or “Making Plans For Nigel”.  At least by 1980, there was someone to discuss XTC with!

In keeping with the state of the music business of the day, I duly ordered and got a cassette of “Go 2”, with it’s different text on the cover, “This is a cassette..” etc. Working at the distributor, I found out about the “Guillotine” sampler, the “Hope & Anchor” 2LP sampler…when it came time to investigate XTC further, I merely ordered all of their 45’s from the exporter – by 1979, they all still came in picture sleeves!  Alas, only ever got the 12” of “3DEP”, the 7” was sold out, apparently.

So, I did participate in ‘new wave’ music – at it’s nascent best.  I bought and kept these records in my collection, likely to the amusement of other older record collectors that I knew, who couldn’t believe I would “fall for this junk”.  I did always try to walk my own path, in this regard.

So, I will not argue with anybody about what their favorite XTC album is; I firmly believe it’s all in whatever you encounter first; what’s the album that made you a fan of any band?  This is my favorite XTC album.  When Barry Andrews left, I was pretty ‘bugged’ about it.  Would XTC ever be the same?  Well, yes and no.  Would I ever be the same?  Uh, no – thankfully.

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4 Responses to XTC – Go 2 (1978)

  1. postpunkmonk says:

    The “point of entry” theorum your posit for music fandom is a provocative premise. In many cases I can think of off the top of my head, my favorite albums by many groups are not the first one I have heard. Here’s a list of bands with a body of work that had more than one album when I had first heard them:

    King Crimson
    1st: In The Court Of The Crimson King
    Fav: Discipline

    Ultravox
    1st: Vienna
    Fav: Systems Of Romance

    XTC
    1st: Black Sea
    Fav: Skylarking

    Gary Numan
    1st: Replicas
    Fav: Strange Charm

    Simple Minds
    1st: New Gold Dream [81, 82, 83, 84]
    Fav: Empires + Dance

    Roxy Music
    1st: Flesh + Blood
    Fav: Stranded

    Kraftwerk
    1st: Autobahn
    Fav: Trans-Europe Express

    The Stranglers
    1st: Black + White
    Fav: The Raven

    • ronkanefiles says:

      Interesting, Monk. How many of these bands did you follow in ‘real time’?

      • postpunkmonk says:

        All of them, in one way or another. Chunks here and there. First heard KC when they were defunct [’77] and heard ITCOTCK, Poseidon, Lizard, Starless before they reactivated. Current from that point onward. Heard Vienna and quickly worked backwards with Ultravox. Stayed current with them until 2012. I can’t imagine staying current with them going forward, unless something drastic happens and many friends vouch for my ears. XTC I pretty much stayed current from Black Sea through Nonesuch, working my backward as necessary. Heard Numan when Replicas was current and stayed current through 1998. With Simple Minds I bought 2×7″ of “Sweat In Bullet” to see what the hubub was. I immediately bought the next album and quickly worked by way backwards. I’m still current with them, though I sat out much of mid-80s/early 90s crapfest in realtime. I wish I’d never bought “Street Fighting Years” but I did buy that [domestic] when it was released. I bought the first Roxy Music album [“Flesh + Blood”] that was released after getting my first stereo, and worked my way backwards. I stayed current given that there was only one real album after F+B. I was obsessed by childhood memories of the “Autobahn” single edit, so after getting a stereo, it was pretty imperative to buy the album. I next obtained the then-current album on its release as a HS graduation present [“Computerworld”] and stayed current while working my way backwards. Not quite current now since I never got their live opus. Heard Charles’ copy of B+W and obtained the then-current “Meninblack” and kept realtime while working my way backward. Lost interest after Hugh left.

  2. Brian Ware says:

    Like most Americans, my entry to XTC was “Drums and Wires”. Probably saw the videos on Hollywood Heartbeat or VH1. No MTV for me throughout the 80s, only what I saw when visiting The Monk’s house! I promptly worked backwards to the first two LPs and remained a hardcore fan and collector through “Nonesuch”. Didn’t bother with the singles and multiple LP variations for the Apple Venus and Wasp Star LPs.

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