Making Plans for Nigel

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"Making Plans for Nigel"
Single by XTC
from the album Drums & Wires
B-side "Bushman President", "Pulsing Pulsing"
Released 1979 (1979)
Genre New wave
Length 4:14
Label Virgin
Writer(s) Colin Moulding
Producer(s) Steve Lillywhite
XTC singles chronology
"Life Begins at the Hop"
"Making Plans for Nigel"
"Ten Feet Tall"
Music sample

"Making Plans for Nigel" is a song written by Colin Moulding for the English rock band XTC, released as the lead single from their 1979 album Drums & Wires. It spent 11 weeks on the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number 17.[1] The song also reached #12 in Canada and remained on the charts for 22 weeks.[2]

The lyrics are told from the point of view of parents who are certain that their son Nigel is "happy in his world", affirming that his future in British Steel "is as good as sealed", and that he "likes to speak and loves to be spoken to". As a response to the song, British Steel reportedly gathered four Sheffield employees named Nigel to talk about job satisfaction for the trade publication Steel News.[3]

In 2016, "Making Plans for Nigel" was ranked number 143 on Pitchfork's list of the 200 best songs of the 1970s.[3]


  1. ^ "Official Charts: XTC". Official Charts. The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2016-06-05.  N.B. This site displays 'compressed' (with exclusion rules applied) singles chart peaks between numbers 76–100.
  2. ^ "Image: RPM Weekly, April 19, 1980". RPM Weekly. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2017-01-23. 
  3. ^ a b Pitchfork Staff (August 22, 2016). "The 200 Best Songs of the 1970s". Pitchfork.