English Settlement

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This article is about the XTC album. For the historical area of the United States known as the English Settlement, see English Settlement (Illinois).
English Settlement
Studio album by XTC
Released 12 February 1982
Recorded October–November 1981 at The Manor, Shipton-on-Cherwell, Oxfordshire, England
Genre New Wave, Alternative rock
Length 72:22
Label Virgin Records
Producer Hugh Padgham, XTC
XTC chronology
Black Sea
(1980)
English Settlement
(1982)
Mummer
(1983)
Singles from English Settlement
  1. "Senses Working Overtime"
    Released: January 1982
  2. "Ball and Chain"
    Released: February 1982
  3. "No Thugs In Our House"
    Released: May 1982
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [1]
Pitchfork (10.0/10) [2]
Q 4/5 stars [3]
Robert Christgau (B+) [4]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars [5]
Smash Hits 8.5/10[6]

English Settlement is the fifth studio album by the English band XTC, released on 12 February 1982. The album reached No. 5 on the UK Album Chart and No. 48 on the Billboard 200 album chart.[7]

Arguably XTC's defining album, English Settlement is a significant milestone of the band's ability as musicians and songwriters. Some prevalent lyrical themes include the preservation of buildings, world peace, youthful rebellion, and the frustrations of love.

Album information[edit]

The Uffington White Horse.

The cover design is based upon the Uffington White Horse in southwest Oxfordshire, which is about 8 miles east of Swindon, Wiltshire, XTC's home town.

The album spawned three UK singles: "Senses Working Overtime" (released on 8 January 1982 and reaching No. 10 on the UK singles chart); "Ball And Chain" (released 26 February 1982 and reaching No. 58 on the UK singles chart); and "No Thugs in Our House" (released 14 May 1982).

The album was previewed with a live performance on The Old Grey Whistle Test program in January where they performed "Yacht Dance" (their only performance of the song) and "No Thugs In Our House". They also made a live appearance on The Oxford Road Show performing "Snowman", "Ball And Chain" and "Jason And The Argonauts". The song "English Roundabout" was inspired by a Swindon landmark known as The Magic Roundabout. This song is a rare example of popular music written in the unusual 5/4 time signature.

The band made promotional videos for "Senses Working Overtime", "No Thugs In Our House", "All Of A Sudden (It's Too Late)" and "Ball And Chain".

Only nine full shows were performed on the proposed 1982 English Settlement World Tour due to Partridge's collapsing at Le Palace in Paris, France on 18 March (during the first song in their set) and subsequent breakdown after their performance at The California Theatre, San Diego, California, U.S.A. on 3 April. This would prove to be XTC's last show as a touring band.

English Settlement is the last XTC album recorded while Terry Chambers was still a full member, although Chambers did appear on a few tracks of Mummer. The band's retirement from the road, caused by Partridge's nervous breakdown, meant that he could no longer make money as the band's drummer, only as a guest performer.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding.

UK LP: V 2223[edit]

Side 1
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Runaways"   Colin Moulding 4:34
2. "Ball and Chain"   Colin Moulding 4:32
3. "Senses Working Overtime"   Andy Partridge 4:50
4. "Jason and the Argonauts"   Andy Partridge 6:07
Side 2
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "No Thugs in Our House"   Andy Partridge 5:09
2. "Yacht Dance"   Andy Partridge 3:56
3. "All of a Sudden (It's Too Late)"   Andy Partridge 5:21
Side 3
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Melt the Guns"   Andy Partridge 6:34
2. "Leisure"   Andy Partridge 5:02
3. "It's Nearly Africa"   Andy Partridge 3:55
4. "Knuckle Down"   Andy Partridge 4:28
Side 4
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Fly on the Wall"   Colin Moulding 3:19
2. "Down in the Cockpit"   Andy Partridge 5:27
3. "English Roundabout"   Colin Moulding 3:59
4. "Snowman"   Andy Partridge 5:03

Initial U.S. track listing[edit]

A 1-LP version was initially released in the United States on Virgin/Epic Records. Five songs were removed for this release ("Yacht Dance" 3:56, "Leisure" 5:32, "Knuckle Down" 4:28, "Fly on the Wall" 3:19, "Down in the Cockpit" 5:27).

Side 1[edit]

  1. "Runaways" (Moulding)
  2. "Ball and Chain" (Moulding)
  3. "Senses Working Overtime"
  4. "Jason and the Argonauts"
  5. "Snowman"

Side 2[edit]

  1. "Melt the Guns"
  2. "No Thugs in Our House"
  3. "It's Nearly Africa"
  4. "English Roundabout" (Moulding)
  5. "All of a Sudden (It's Too Late)"

1-LP worldwide version[edit]

Released in much of the world in 1982.

Side 1[edit]

  1. "Runaways" (Moulding)
  2. "Ball and Chain" (Moulding)
  3. "Senses Working Overtime"
  4. "Jason and the Argonauts"
  5. "Snowman"

Side 2[edit]

  1. "Melt the Guns"
  2. "No Thugs in Our House"
  3. "Yacht Dance"
  4. "English Roundabout" (Moulding)
  5. "All of a Sudden (It's Too Late)"

Personnel[edit]

with:

  • Hugh Padgham - backing vocals on "Ball and Chain"
  • Hans de Vente - backing vocals on "It's Nearly Africa"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Woodstra, Chris. "Review: XTC - English Settlement". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 19 June 2011. 
  2. ^ Dahlen, Chris. "Review: XTC - English Settlement". Pitchfork. Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  3. ^ Harrison, Andrew. "Review: XTC - English Settlement". Q (Bauer Media Group). Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 19 June 2011. 
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Review: XTC - English Settlement". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 19 June 2011. 
  5. ^ Puterbaugh, Parke. "Review: XTC - English Settlement". Rolling Stone (Jann Wenner). Archived from the original on 11 April 2009. Retrieved 19 June 2011. 
  6. ^ Hepworth, David. "Albums". Smash Hits (4–17 February 1982): 17. 
  7. ^ English Settlement Chart & Awards - Billboard Albums