Mummer (album)

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XTC Mummer.jpg
Studio album by
Released30 August 1983
RecordedSeptember – December 1982
StudioThe Manor, Oxfordshire, and Genetic Studios, Berkshire, England
ProducerSteve Nye, XTC, Bob Sargeant
XTC chronology
English Settlement
The Big Express
Singles from Mummer
  1. "Great Fire"
    Released: 22 April 1983
  2. "Wonderland"
    Released: 24 June 1983
  3. "Love on a Farmboy's Wages"
    Released: 19 September 1983
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
Chicago Tribune2.5/4 stars[2]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music3/5 stars[3]
Q3/5 stars[4]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2/5 stars[6]
Smash Hits9/10[7]
The Village VoiceB−[8]

Mummer is the sixth studio album by the English band XTC, released on 30 August 1983. It reached No. 51 on the UK album chart and No. 145 on the U.S. Billboard album charts. The album title refers to a Mummers play. A working title considered for the album was Fruit Fallen From God's Garden.[9]

It spawned three UK singles; "Great Fire", "Wonderland" and "Love on a Farmboy's Wages" (reached No. 50 on the UK singles chart). This was the final album that drummer Terry Chambers appeared on with XTC, as he quit the group during the recording sessions, frustrated with the band's decision to becoming a solely studio-based act. He was replaced by Peter Phipps. Andy Partridge later said "Until early 1982, our work was like black-and-white TV. Mummer was the first in full colour -- bright sky blue."


The album was delayed many months by Virgin Records. It was originally supposed to be released by Epic Records on 26 May 1983 in the U.S.A. (it was assigned a catalog number: BFE 38516), but the label thought it was too acoustic and pastoral for American audiences. It was finally issued in the U.S. by Geffen Records (who subsequently issued all of XTC's Virgin releases) in February 1984. "Wonderland" was the only single issued by Geffen from the album.

The only promotional public appearance made by the band for this album was in late 1983 when they appeared on the BBC-TV show Pebble Mill At One where they lip-synced to "Love on a Farmboy's Wages". A promotional video was made for the "Wonderland" single. Five more videos were also made in July 1983 for the television documentary program Play At Home.

Track listing[edit]

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

Side one
1."Beating of Hearts" 3:56
2."Wonderland"Colin Moulding4:50
3."Love on a Farmboy's Wages" 3:58
4."Great Fire" 3:47
5."Deliver Us from the Elements"Moulding4:36
Side two
1."Human Alchemy" 5:11
2."Ladybird" 4:32
3."In Loving Memory of a Name"Moulding3:16
4."Me and the Wind" 4:17
5."Funk Pop a Roll" 3:14



Additional staff

  • Peter Phipps - drums on remaining tracks
  • Steve Nye - producer, mini-korg on "Wonderland", mellotron on "Elements"
  • Nigel Warren-Green – strings on "Great Fire"
  • Gavyn Wright – strings on "Great Fire"
  • Gavin Cochrane - album sleeve photography
  • Bob Sargeant – producer ("Great Fire"and "Gold")


  1. ^ Woodstra, Chris. "Mummer – 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. ^ Sinclair, David. "XTC: Mummer". Q. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
  5. ^ Considine, J.D. (29 March 1984). "XTC: Mummer". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 12 April 2009. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Black, Johnny (15–28 September 1983). "Albums". Smash Hits: 21.
  8. ^ Christgau, Robert (29 May 1984). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
  9. ^ "XTC Reel by Real: XTC: Mummer". Chalkhills. 21 September 2013. Retrieved 12 July 2017.