English Settlement

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English Settlement
XTC English Settlement.jpg
Studio album by XTC
Released 12 February 1982
Recorded October–November 1981
Studio The Manor, Shipton-on-Cherwell, Oxfordshire, England
Genre New wave, alternative rock
Length 72:22
Label Virgin
Producer Hugh Padgham, XTC
XTC chronology
Black Sea
English Settlement
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]
Chicago Tribune 3/4 stars[2]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 3/5 stars[3]
Pitchfork 10/10[4]
Q 4/5 stars[5]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2/5 stars[7]
Smash Hits 8½/10[8]
The Village Voice B+[9]

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.[10] The lyrics are largely political and often feature critiques of the British people and their ways of life.

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.[citation needed]

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 full show; the band abandoned the next night's show in Los Angeles.[11]

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.

English Settlement is XTC's longest studio album, as well as the band's first double album. Despite being well short of the industry red book requirement of a maximum 74:33 playing time for CDs, the first pressings of the CD edition removed the tracks "Leisure" and "Down In The Cockpit", with no explanation given. All later CD remasters restore the entire album.

The drums on the The New Radicals debut album's Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too title track were sampled from the XTC song "All of a Sudden". According to XTC's songwriter Andy Partridge, "the sample was used without permission" and the band and its record company eventually received £70,000 in compensation for its use.

Track listing[edit]

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. and Canadian track listing[edit]

A 1-LP version was initially released in the United States on Epic Records and in Canada on Virgin 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

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

Side 2

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




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

Chart performance[edit]

English Settlement spent 11 weeks on the UK album charts, reaching No. 5.[12] In the U.S., the album spent 20 weeks on the Billboard 200 album charts and reached its peak position of No. 48 in May 1982.[13]


Year Chart Position Citation
1982 UK Official Charts 5 [12]
1982 US Billboard 200 48 [13]


  1. ^ Woodstra, Chris. "English Settlement – XTC". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 June 2011. 
  2. ^ Kot, Greg (3 May 1992). "The XTC Legacy: An Appraisal". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  3. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8. 
  4. ^ Dahlen, Chris. "XTC: Go 2 / Black Sea / English Settlement". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 4 June 2003. Retrieved 19 June 2011. 
  5. ^ Harrison, Andrew. "XTC: English Settlement". Q. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 19 June 2011. 
  6. ^ Puterbaugh, Parke (29 April 1982). "XTC: English Settlement". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 11 April 2009. Retrieved 19 June 2011. 
  7. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 890–92. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  8. ^ Hepworth, David (4–17 February 1982). "Albums". Smash Hits: 17. 
  9. ^ Christgau, Robert (6 July 1982). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 20 June 2011. 
  10. ^ English Settlement Chart & Awards - Billboard Albums
  11. ^ "35 Years Ago: Andy Partridge suffers nervous breakdown during XTC show". Diffuser. March 17, 2017. 
  12. ^ a b "UK Official Charts: English Settlement". Official Charts Company. 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017. 
  13. ^ a b "Billboard 200: XTC". Billboard. 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.