Andy Partridge

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Andy Partridge
Andy Partridge.jpg
Partridge with XTC playing Toronto's Music Hall, February 1980
Background information
Birth nameAndrew John Partridge
Also known asSir John Johns
Born (1953-11-11) 11 November 1953 (age 65)
Mtarfa, Malta
OriginSwindon, Wiltshire, England
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, record producer
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, keyboards
Years active1972–present
LabelsVirgin, Idea, APE House
Associated actsXTC, The Dukes of Stratosphear, Monstrance
Websiteape.uk.net

Andrew John Partridge (born 11 November 1953) is an English singer, songwriter, and record producer who co-founded the rock band XTC. He was the group's primary songwriter, guitarist, and frontman. While the band was formed as an early punk rock group, Partridge's music drew heavily from British Invasion songwriters, and his style gradually shifted to more traditional pop, often with pastoral themes. The band's only British top 10 hit, "Senses Working Overtime" (1982), was written by Partridge.[1] He is sometimes regarded as the "godfather" of Britpop.[2]

Solo work and collaborations[edit]

In addition to his work with XTC, Partridge has released one solo album on Virgin Records in 1980 called Take Away / The Lure of Salvage. He has also collaborated (as performer, writer or record producer) with recording artists, including Martin Newell, with whom he recorded and produced an album in 1993 entitled The Greatest Living Englishman released in Japan as a duo album. Partridge was producer for the English band Blur during the recording of Modern Life Is Rubbish (1993). He was replaced by Stephen Street at the insistence of their record label, Food. According to Partridge he was unpaid for the sessions and received his expenses only.[3] Partridge also wrote four songs for Disney's version of James and the Giant Peach (1996), but was replaced by Randy Newman when he could not get Disney to offer him "an acceptable deal".

In the 2000s, Partridge began releasing demos of his songs under his own name in The Official Fuzzy Warbles Collector's Album and the Fuzzy Warbles album series on his APE House record label. Eight volumes of Fuzzy Warbles are now available, as well as the Fuzzy Warbles Collector's Album, which includes a bonus ninth disc Hinges. In 2004, Partridge contributed the song "I Wonder Why the Wonder Falls" as the theme music to the short-lived TV comedy Wonderfalls. In 2006, a song he and Robyn Hitchcock collaborated on "Cause It's Love (Saint Parallelogram)", was released on the Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3 album Olé! Tarantula.

Partridge mixed recordings for the band Captains of Industry.[citation needed] In 2007, Partridge released music as part of a trio known as Monstrance, made up of Andy on guitar, Barry Andrews (an early member of XTC) on keyboards, and Martyn Barker on drums. The group has released an album of the same name, as well as a download-only EP known as Fine Wires Humming a New Song. That same year, he collaborated once again with former XTC bandmate Barry Andrews on the Shriekback album Glory Bumps. In 2008, Partridge began working on an album with Robyn Hitchcock and Mike Keneally, and various solo projects.[4]

In 2010, Partridge released a limited edition CD of music inspired by science fiction illustrator Richard M. Powers' art titled Powers.[5] In 2012, Partridge's worked with Mike Keneally on the album Wing Beat Fantastic, a Mike Keneally release where 8 of the songs were co-written with Partridge.[6] In 2016, he wrote a song "You Bring the Summer" for the Monkees' 50th anniversary album Good Times in 2016. In 2017, he guested on the Downes Braide Association's Skyscraper Souls from Geoff Downes and Chris Braide.

Radio and film[edit]

Partridge in the studio, circa mid 1980s

Partridge was a regular performer on BBC Radio 1 in the mid-1980s. He has had acting roles, including a character named "Agony Andy", a spoof aunt on the Janice Long show, and he was a regular panelist on both Roundtable and The Great Rock'n'Roll Trivia Quiz.[7] He has also presented the pilot for an ITV children's quiz show, Matchmakers.

Personal life[edit]

Partridge and his ex-wife Marianne have two children, Harry and Holly. Harry is an animator, who created the comedic short Saturday Morning Watchmen.[8]

After his divorce, Partridge entered into a long-term relationship with Erica Wexler. Multiple songs written by Partridge, including "Another Satellite" and "Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her, Kiss Her" have been attributed by Partridge to aspects of their ongoing relationship. Partridge met Wexler in 1984, shortly after she had split from artist Roy Lichtenstein.[9]

Partridge revealed that he was a keen designer of board games.[10] He has stated on his website that he is an atheist.[full citation needed]

Musical influences[edit]

Partridge has cited the Monkees,[11] Brian Wilson, Burt Bacharach, Paul McCartney, Ray Davies[12] and Judee Sill[13] as personal influences. He has also stated that he is a fan of Captain Beefheart.[14]

Legacy[edit]

Partridge has been cited as an influence by John Frusciante of Red Hot Chili Peppers in a 2002 issue of Total Guitar magazine, as well as being cited as an influence on the sound of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' album By the Way.[15]

Singer and multi-instrumentalist Steven Wilson named Partridge one of his favourite songwriters of all time: "What I love about Andy's music is that every song he writes has a very strong concept or idea behind it. He's not just rattling off love songs or songs about how lonely he is. Every song has a little twist to it, and it's so clever, so smart."[16]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums

as a member of Monstrance
  • Monstrance (2007, Ape House)
  • Fine Wires Humming a New Song EP (2007, Ape House)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Andy Partridge". AllMusic.
  2. ^ Morrish, John (20 February 1999). "Arts: The agony and the XTC". The Independent.
  3. ^ "The Popdose Interview: Andy Partridge". Popdose.com.
  4. ^ "Post-punk legends team up for new album". NME. 2008-03-10. Retrieved 2017-03-01.
  5. ^ "Sample Andy's Powers". Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  6. ^ "Mike Keneally "Wing Beat Fantastic: Songs written by Mike Keneally & A - The Mike Keneally Store". The Mike Keneally Store.
  7. ^ Worthington, Tim (2012). Fun at One: The Story of Comedy at BBC Radio 1. Lulu Press.
  8. ^ "Interviews - Interview: Harry Partridge". Kittysneezes.com. 2016-12-30. Retrieved 2017-03-01.
  9. ^ "Chalkhills: XTCFans: Andy's Take: "Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her, Kiss Her"". Chalkhills.org. Retrieved 2015-11-11.
  10. ^ XTC-PLAY AT HOME-C4-1984-PART 2/3 on YouTube[better source needed]
  11. ^ "Q&A: Andy Partridge Talks About the Monkees". Rock Cellar Magazine. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  12. ^ Walsh, Ryan (21 April 2000). "Killing Your Influences, Pissing On Your Peers". The Daily Free Press.
  13. ^ Hodgkinson, Will (2 April 2004). "Above average Andy". theguardian.com. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  14. ^ "Mission: unlistenable | Music". The Guardian. 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2017-03-01.
  15. ^ "John Frusciante - Total Guitar Magazine August 02 Interview". Rhcprock.free.fr. Retrieved 2017-03-01.
  16. ^ "Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree : Songwriter Interviews". Songfacts.com. 2016-02-01. Retrieved 2017-03-01.

External links[edit]