As I wait for a #BombCyclone and a polar vortex to finish with their frigid duties, I’m staying warm with a glorious, off-balance, new-to-me bit of British pop.
Following up on this post, I bought myself a pair of XTC albums. One of them, 1984’s The Big Express, got its first spin today.
And this got its first five plays — of many, I expect:
I am coming to love the way Andy Partridge’s weird, herky-jerky pop twitches give way to huge sunny choruses, as they do so nicely here.
As far as I can tell, this got no measurable airplay anywhere at the time. XTC were not exactly chartbusters at the best of times, but The Big Express was an especially slow seller Stateside (No. 181!)
Wiki indicates the song was never chosen as a single, and of course it never shows up in the ARSA database. The Big Express shows up on only one chart, from an alternative station in Calgary.
A shame — this would have sounded golden on college radio stations everywhere, shaking the basement of the student union on Saturday afternoons.
And while it’s probably just a little too flaky for mainstream pop, that chorus would have sounded pretty great in Casey Kasemland too, maybe sneaking in at Number 34 for a week or two as a wild-card made good.
(“I thought I was writing a real sweet pop song,” Partridge said later. He was.)