The Big Express

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The Big Express
Studio album by XTC
Released 15 October 1984
Recorded Early 1984 at Crescent Studios, Bath, England
Genre New wave, pop rock
Length 53:24
Label Virgin Records
Producer

David Lord and XTC

Photography Gavin Cochrane
XTC chronology
Mummer
(1983)
The Big Express
(1984)
25 O'Clock
(1985)
Singles from The Big Express
  1. "All You Pretty Girls"
    Released: September 1984
  2. "This World Over"
    Released: October 1984
  3. "Wake Up"
    Released: January 1985
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [1]
Robert Christgau (B) [2]

The Big Express is the seventh studio album by the English band XTC, released in 1984. It was one of XTC's harder-edged albums, in contrast to the pastoral Mummer and Skylarking which were released in sequence with it. Initial copies of the LP were released in a round sleeve. Working titles considered for the album were Coalface, Head of Steam, Shaking Skin House, Bastard Son of Hard Blue Rayhead, The Known World, and Bull with the Golden Guts.[3]

The singles released from the album were "All You Pretty Girls" (released 3 September 1984 and reached No. 55 on the UK singles chart), "This World Over" (released 29 October 1984) and "Wake Up" (released 28 January 1985). The album reached No. 38 on the UK album chart and No. 181 on the U.S. Billboard album charts.

The band made a big-budget promotional video for "All You Pretty Girls", and appeared on the BBC-TV programme Saturday Superstore with lip-synch performances of "This World Over" and "All You Pretty Girls".

The seventh track, "I Bought Myself a Liarbird" is about their former manager, Ian Reid. The fourth track, "Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her, Kiss Her" was written by Partridge on the band's mellotron. It inspired the name of the Japanese indie rock band, Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Andy Partridge, except where noted.

UK LP: V 2325[edit]

Side A
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Wake Up"   Colin Moulding 4:40
2. "All You Pretty Girls"     3:40
3. "Shake You Donkey Up"     4:19
4. "Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her, Kiss Her"     3:50
5. "This World Over"     5:37
Side B
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "(The Everyday Story of) Smalltown"     3:53
2. "I Bought Myself a Liarbird"     2:49
3. "Reign of Blows (Vote No Violence!)"     3:27
4. "You're the Wish You Are I Had"     3:17
5. "I Remember the Sun"   Moulding 3:10
6. "Train Running Low on Soul Coal"     5:19

2001 Remastered CD: CDVX 2325[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Wake Up"   Colin Moulding 4:40
2. "All You Pretty Girls"     3:40
3. "Shake You Donkey Up"     4:19
4. "Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her, Kiss Her"     3:50
5. "This World Over"     5:37
6. "The Everyday Story of Smalltown"     3:53
7. "I Bought Myself a Liarbird"     2:49
8. "Reign of Blows"     3:27
9. "You're the Wish You Are I Had"     3:17
10. "I Remember the Sun"   Moulding 3:10
11. "Train Running Low on Soul Coal"     5:19
12. "Red Brick Dream"     2:01
13. "Washaway"   Moulding 3:01
14. "Blue Overall"     4:26

Personnel[edit]

with:

  • Peter Phipps - drums, percussion
  • Stuart Gordon - violin, viola
  • Annie Huchrak - female choir voice on "Wake Up"
  • Steve Saunders - euphonium on "Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her, Kiss Her"

References[edit]