XTC – Well I Never (Part 3)

Drums and Wires – 1979


Released in August 1979, only 10 months on from ‘Go 2’, and where I come into the story with the first track I heard, and loved, the single ‘We’re only making plans for Nigel’. The whole sound of the band seems, to me, to have focused and so has the song writing. The album marked the debut of Dave Gregory, who joined the band as lead guitarist following keyboardist Barry Andrews’ departure in early 1979, which would have affected the sound, as would the Steve Lillywhite production.

There was only the one single released from the album in the UK although there was a re-recorded version of ‘Ten Feet Tall’ released in the US but it didn’t trouble the charts over there, which doesn’t surprise me really as I find XTC to have a very British view on things which may not travel all that well, but it works for me. Ten Feet Tall is a damn fine single and it’s a shame it wasn’t released over here as I think it would probably have done quite well.

The album peaked at 32 in the UK and 174 in the US, although I think a lot of people may have picked up on it later as it is a very well thought of album, and with good reason. Thinking back on the musical landscape back in 1978, I genuinely believe that there are 5, possibly 6 hit singles on this album, however, albums didn’t tend to be milked in quite the way they were in the next few decades, well, not as many were at least.

Side A

1. Making Plans for Nigel – 4:13
2. Helicopter – 3:54
3. Day In Day Out – 3:08
4. When You’re Near Me I Have Difficulty – 3:20
5. Ten Feet Tall – 3:12
6. Roads Girdle the Globe – 4:51

Side B

7. Real by Reel – 3:46
8. Millions – 5:57
9. That Is the Way – 2:56
10. Outside World – 2:40
11. Scissor Man – 3:59
12. Complicated Game – 4:53

Rating: 9.0

XTC – Part 2