Dukes Of Stratosphear / XTC

Vinyl Records and Rare LPs:

25 O'Clock
New Import - APELP023
Sealed 2019 200gm Gatefold Reissue. Issued With A Coloured Printed Polylined Innersleeve With Bevelled Corners, Showing XTC Back Catalogue On One And Some More Ape Releases On The Other Side. "XTC Spent The First Half Of The '80s Dropping Out Of The New Wave Rat Race In Favor Of Cultivating An Eccentric English Garden. It Was A Move That Mirrored The Kinks Ignoring Psychedelia For Songs About Subdivisions And Afternoon Tea, But When XTC Decided To Cut Loose, They Did So By Adopting Alter Egos To Create A Riotous Tribute To The Very Psychedelia The Kinks Shunned. They Turned Into The Dukes Of Stratosphear And Cut The Ep 25 O'clock, A Brilliant, Clever Distillation Of The Sounds Of 1967, Filled With Knowing Allusions And Outright Thievery From Psychedelic Classics Both Popular And Well-known. For Those Well-Versed In '60s Rock, It's Irresistible To Draw Parallels To The Beatles, The Yardbirds, The Move, And Pink Floyd, But 25 O'clock Practically Begs Listeners To Connect The Dots Through Its Swirling Kaleidoscope Of Phased Tapes, Fuzz Guitars, Murmured Voices, And Burbling Mellotrons -- And That's Not Even Taking Into Account Lyrical Allusions, Like How "Bike Ride To The Moon" Twists Around Tomorrow's "My White Bicycle." All This Makes 25 O'clock Something Closer To Pop Art Than Mere Homage, But What Makes It Enduring -- Even Strangely Timeless -- Pop Music Is How XTC's Reinvigorated Creativity Extends Far Beyond The Mere Form To The Songs Themselves. The Six Songs On The Ep Are Xtc At Their Very Best, Their Braininess Tempered By The Discipline Of Writing Six Songs That Could Have Been Legitimately Seen As Forgotten Gems From The Late '60s (Which Indeed This Ep Was Initially Presented As Upon Its April Fools Day Release In 1985). Although There Is Certainly Considerable Pleasure In Peeling Back The Layers Of The Production To Puzzle Out The References Or Simply Revel In Its Sound, What Is Striking About 25 O'clock Is How Joyous And Immediate It Feels, A Trait It Shares With The Very Best Pop Music -- Which It Certainly Is." AMG Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine. more
Complete And Utter Dukes
New - LP - APEBOX002
Sealed, Limited Edition 2009 Box Set With Obi. Features Remastered 180gm Pressings Of 25 O'Clock And Psonic Psunspot Repackaged With New Gatefold Sleeve And Inner Bag Artwork; Remastered CDs In Hardback Book Format Of 25 O'Clock And Psonic Psunspot Expanded With Demos And New Recordings And 2 Promo Videos; An Exclusive 7 Inch Single; A 500 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle; A Wad Of Duke Dollars. more
Psonic Psunspot
New Import - APELP024
Sealed 2019 200gm Repress Of The 2010 Reissue, Housed In A Gatefold Sleeve. "Anybody Who Heard The Dukes Of Stratosphear's 1985 Ep 25 O'clock Was Left Wanting More, So The Full-length Psonic Psunspot Sequel Was Welcomed Warmly Upon Its 1987 Release. Like Most Sequels, Psonic Psunspot Pales Slightly When Compared To Its Predecessor, And Not Simply Because The Lp Lacks The Surprise Of The Ep. 25 O'clock May Have Only Been Six Tracks, But They Were Densely Packed, Containing Enough Studio Tricks And Allusions For A Triple Album. Psonic Psunspot Doesn't Play Quite The Same Way: The Tracks Aren't As Ornate And The Songs Aren't All Necessarily Patterned After Specific '60s Singles Or Artists, The Way They Were On The Ep. All This Gives Psonic Psunspot The Feel Of A Slightly Psychedelicized Xtc Pop Album, Never Quite Getting As Far Out As 25 O'clock, But This Is All Relative, Because Compared To The Pop Of 1987, Even The Echoes Out Of The Paisley Underground, This Is Plenty Trippy -- And Plenty Poppy, For That Matter. There Are Exceptions To The Allusion Rule -- "Pale And Precious" Is An Unapologetic Beach Boys Patchwork; "Have You Seen Jackie" Is Another Salute To Syd Barrett; And Colin Moulding's "Vanishing Girl," Arguably The Best Song Here, Refers To The Hollies -- But The Album Feels Less Like An Homage And More Like Xtc Playing Heavily To Their Pop Side, Tossing Off Little Sparkling Gems Like "Little Lighthouse," "Collideascope," And "Brainiac's Daughter" (Although The Single And Standout "You're A Good Man Albert Brown [curse You Red Barrel]" Is Unmistakably A Music Hall Romp That Fits The '60s Concept). And Whenever Xtc Play To Their Pop Side, The Results Tend To Be Pretty Hard To Resist And That's The Case Here -- Maybe It's Not Quite As Epochal As 25 O'clock, But It's A Fine Companion All The Same." AMG Review By Stephen Thomas Erlewine. more

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