XTC – Well I Never (Part 6)

Mummer 1983

510nbhjzs9l

I picked up a copy of Mummer at a record fair a couple of weeks ago, never owned it before and never heard it before. It is typically British in its title with Mummer being derived from Mummers’ Plays which are folk plays performed by troupes of amateur actors, traditionally all male, known as mummers or guisers (also by local names such as rhymers, pace-eggers,  soulers,  tipteerers,  wrenboys, and galoshins) which all seems quite apt for XTC.

I bought this particular album for one track, Love on a Farmboy’s Wages, which I adore, and everything else on it is a bonus, and what a bonus. I don’t see that much talk about Mummer compared to many of the other albums and I really do think it deserves to be up there with the rest. More great song writing, more great melodies, cutting lyrics, superb arrangements, well engineered/produced and bears up to repeated listening.  THere were three singles released, Great Fire, Wonderland and Love on a Farmboy’s Wages, the last being the only one to touch the charts at number 50.

Shilling for the fellow who brings the sheep in 
Shilling for the fellow who milks the herd 
Shilling for the fellow with a wife for keeping 
How can we feed love on a farmboy’s wages?

This was the final album that drummer Terry Chambers appeared on with XTC, as he quit the group during the recording sessions. He was replaced by Peter Phipps. Andy Partridge later said “Until early 1982, our work was like black-and-white TV. Mummer was the first in full colour — bright sky blue.”

This was the first album post Andy Partridge breakdown, which resulted in no more live performances. Freed from the possibility of performing the songs live allowed for more studio experimentation with backwards guitars, inventively creepy synth parts, and effect-laden harmony vocals.

Tracklist

A1 Beating of Hearts 3:56
A2 Wonderland 4:50
A3 Love on a Farmboy’s Wages 3:58
A4 Great Fire 3:47
A5 Deliver Us from the Elements 4:36

B1 Human Alchemy 5:11
B2 Ladybird 4:32
B3 In Loving Memory of a Name 3:16
B4 Me and the Wind 4:17
B5 Funk Pop a Roll 3:14

Rating: 9.2

Part 5

Part 7

3 Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s