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Go 2

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Go 2
Studio album by
Released6 October 1978
RecordedAugust–September 1978
StudioAbbey Road (London)
ProducerJohn Leckie
XTC chronology
White Music
Go 2
Drums and Wires

Go 2 is the second studio album by the English band XTC, released 6 October 1978 on Virgin Records. The United Kingdom version contained no singles, but the American and Canadian versions included the single "Are You Receiving Me?" released on 27 October 1978 along with a music video produced for the song.

It is the final album to feature keyboardist Barry Andrews.


By August 1978, XTC were prepared to record their follow-up to White Music.[2] The band had contacted Brian Eno to produce after they learned that he was a fan, but he declined, telling them that they were good enough to produce themselves.[3] Virgin rejected Eno's advice, and the group instead returned to Abbey Road with producer John Leckie.[3] One of the album's tracks, "Battery Brides (Andy Paints Brian)", was written in tribute to Eno.[2]

Keyboardist Barry Andrews appeared at the sessions with several original songs, but frontman Andy Partridge did not feel they were right for the band. He began taking bassist Colin Moulding and drummer Terry Chambers out for drinks without inviting Partridge, allegedly in an attempt to take over the group. After most of Andrews' songs were dropped from the final track list, the keyboardist told journalists that he foresaw the band "explod[ing] pretty soon".[3]

An earlier version of "Are You Receiving Me?" was recorded during the Go 2 sessions and was later released on the 2005 boxed set Coat of Many Cupboards. Other outtakes from Go 2 include "Sargasso Bar", "Us Being Us", "Instant Tunes", "Looking for Footprints", "Things Fall to Bits" and "Strange Tales, Strange Tails".


The album's title was chosen in reference to the board game Go in order to continue the black-and-white colour scheme from White Music.[4] The "2" was added by Andrews.[5] Its cover was designed and executed by Hipgnosis. It consists of an essay about how album covers are used to attract buyers of the album. On the first British pressings of the LP version of the Go 2 album the track listing on the vinyl disc label mimicked the type style of the cover art. The label is crammed full of text. In some non-English speaking countries, the group shot that was featured on the album's inner sleeve in the UK was used instead as the album cover. The French 13-track album, including the bonus track "Are You Receiving Me?", was one of the releases that featured this sleeve. Yugoslavia was another country that issued this version of the sleeve.

The essay would change depending on the medium (vinyl or CD) and label (Virgin, Epic or Geffen) the album was released on. A separate essay was prepared for cassette editions in the UK.

Release and Go+[edit]

Go 2 was released in October 1978 to positive reviews and a number 21 chart peak.[3] The initial 15,000 pressings of the album came with a bonus disc of five dub remixes entitled Go+.[3] In 1990, these tracks were included on the compilation Explode Together: The Dub Experiments 78-80.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Chicago Tribune[7]
Christgau's Record GuideB−[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[11]
Spin Alternative Record Guide7/10[13]

Like White Music, Go 2 was given praise in Sounds, Melody Maker, and the NME.[14] The Nottingham Evening Post wrote that "there's a wider range of experimentation, less instrumental clutter and a hatful of unpredictable twists," and noted that the hooklines are "just as tricksily devastating."[15]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
1."Meccanik Dancing (Oh We Go!)"Andy Partridge2:36
2."Battery Brides (Andy Paints Brian)"Partridge4:37
3."Buzzcity Talking"Colin Moulding2:41
4."Crowded Room"Moulding2:53
5."The Rhythm"Moulding3:00
Side two
2."Life Is Good in the Greenhouse"Partridge4:41
3."Jumping in Gomorrah"Partridge2:04
4."My Weapon"Barry Andrews2:20
6."I Am the Audience"Moulding3:48
2001 remastered CD bonus track
13."Are You Receiving Me?"Partridge3:06
  • CD issues prior to 2001 placed the bonus track between tracks 5 and 6 on side one of the album.


Bonus EP included with initial LP pressings – later included on Explode Together: The Dub Experiments 78-80. Track notes adapted from XTC: Song Stories (1998), by XTC and Neville Farmer.[16]

Side one
1."Dance With Me, Germany"PartridgeDub version of "Meccanik Dancing (Oh We Go!)"3:17
2."Beat the Bible"PartridgeDub version of "Jumping in Gomorrah"2:06
Side two
1."A Dictionary of Modern Marriage"PartridgeDub version of "Battery Brides (Andy Paints Brian)"2:27
2."Clap Clap Clap"MouldingDub version of "I Am the Audience"2:17
3."We Kill the Beast"MouldingDub version of "The Rhythm"2:05



Additional personnel

  • John Leckie – production/engineering
  • Martin Rushent – associate production (uncredited)
  • Haydn Bendall – engineering assistance (Abbey Road unit)
  • Pete James – assistant engineer (Abbey Road unit)
  • Andy Llewelyn – engineering assistance (Matrix unit)
  • Jess Sutcliffe – engineering assistance (Matrix unit)
  • Dave Eagle – photography
  • Hipgnosis – cover artwork


Chart (1978) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[17] 93
United Kingdom (Official Charts Company) 21


  1. ^ Hoffmann, Frank (2004). Encyclopedia of Recorded Sound. Routledge. p. 2359. ISBN 978-1-135-94950-1.
  2. ^ a b DeRogatis 2003, p. 341.
  3. ^ a b c d e Ingham, Chris (March 1999). "XTC – 'Til Death Do Us Part". Mojo. No. 64. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  4. ^ "XTC on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  5. ^ "XTC on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  6. ^ Woodstra, Chris. "Go 2 – XTC". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  7. ^ Kot, Greg (3 May 1992). "The XTC Legacy: An Appraisal". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  8. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "X". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor and Fields. ISBN 0-89919-026-X. Retrieved 23 March 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  9. ^ Dahlen, Chris (9 July 2002). "XTC: Go 2 / Black Sea / English Settlement". Pitchfork. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  10. ^ Harrison, Andrew (July 2001). "XTC: Britpop's Spiritual Granddads". Q. No. 178. p. 139.
  11. ^ Frere-Jones, Sasha (2004). "XTC". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 890–92. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  12. ^ Mitchell, Tony (7 October 1978). "Minimalism by design". Sounds.
  13. ^ Bernstein, Jonathan (1995). "XTC". In Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig (eds.). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. pp. 441–43. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  14. ^ Twomey 1992, p. 79.
  15. ^ Anderson, Robin (20 October 1978). "New XTC triumph". Nottingham Evening Post. p. 10.
  16. ^ XTC; Farmer, Neville (1998). XTC: Song Stories. London: Helter Skelter Publishing. pp. 57–58. ISBN 1-900924-03-X.
  17. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 344. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.

Works cited[edit]