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A little something about XTC

As did many of the bands featured on this page, XTC appeared on the scene during the punk days of London in the mid '70s. And like many of the bands who made survived the '70s and found success in the '80s, XTC showed that they had considerably more talent and writing ability than their punk contemporaries. Andy Partridge, Colin Moulding and Terry Chambers came out Swindon, England glam-rock band the Helium Kidz. As XTC the three picked up keyboardist Barry Andrews (who had been working with Robert Fripp) and headed into the studio to record "White Music." After recording their third album in two years, Andrews left to found Shreikback with Dave Allen. Often compared to the Beatles and the Kinks, XTC's releases received consistantly positive reviews. Just as consistant, however, was a lack of market success. The band had a small but faithful following in the UK, but found the US resistant to their records. After scoring their biggest hit at home with "Senses Working Overtime," the band launched an ill-fated US tour... the tour ended with singer Partridge breaking down on stage for the second time in less than a year, and the band has not played live since. Still without a widely successful record, XTC took a break of sorts by releasing a record of new wave psychedelia under the name Dukes of the Stratosphear. This half-hearted homage to the sixties sold twice as many records as their previous XTC release. The band's breakthrough of sorts came in 1986 when college radio discovered Dear God, a beautiful if sacriligious piece from their "Skylarking" album. The song put XTC on the alternative map in the US, and the album has remained a favorite of fans (including this one). In 1989 they had their first minor hit in the States with "The Mayor of Simpleton." XTC are still making music - word is they are about to enter the studio to record another album. The band was honored last year by their peers in the music industry with the release of a tribute album, featuring covers by a list of '80s and '90s acts including Joe Jackson and Sarah McLachlan.

Dear God

Dear god, hope you get the letter and...
I pray you can make it better down here
I don't mean a big reduction in the price of beer
But all the people that you made in your image
See them starving in the street
'Cause they don't get enough to eat from god
I can't believe in you

Dear god, sorry to disturb you but...
I feel that I should be heard loud and clear
We all need a big reduction in amount of tears
And all the people that you made in your image
See them fighting in the street
'Cause they can't make opinions meet about god
I can't believe in you

Did you make disease and the diamond blue?
Did you make mankind after we made you?
And the devil too!

Dear god don't know if you noticed but...
Your name is on a lot of quotes in this book
And us crazy humans wrote it, you should take a look
And all the people that you made in your image
still believing that junk is true
Well I know it ain't, and so do you
Dear god
I can't believe in
I don't believe

I won't believe in heaven or hell
No saints, no sinners, no devil as well
No pearly gates, no thorny crown
You're always letting us humans down
The wars you bring, the babes you drown
Those lost at sea and never found
And it's the same the whole world 'round
The hurt I see helps to compound
That father, son and holy ghost
Is just somebody's unholy hoax
And if you're up there you'll perceive
That my heart's here upon my sleeve
If there's one thing I don't believe in
It's you
Dear god