XTC will be forever known as one of the catchiest bands to come out of the UK. Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding both have a rare talent that allows to manufacture a solid hook in almost every song they write. Their earlier material is very punk and aggressive, but their later material seems to incorporate a more epic type of feel, as they incorporate more strings and instruments, which resulted in songs of a more pop element. Despite their excellent more mature sound in the later years with albums such as Apple Venus, Pt. 1 or Nonsuch, their early material is incredibly appealing. White Music was their debut which displayed songs that were fast-paced and fun.

The opener to the album, ‘Radios In Motion’ quickly distinguishes the album with a thumping bass beat. The chorus of this and the outstanding ‘This Is Pop’ shows XTC’s beginnings as a great band. Both of these were written by Andy Partridge, who wrote the majority of XTC’s song, but the other songwriter, Colin Moulding, wrote several gems as well. He wrote ‘I’ll Set Myself On Fire’, which is as equally great as the other two with the little Beach Boys vocal flair in the chorus. Seeing the beginning of two of the more naturally talented songwriters of our era is definitely interesting.


XTC – This Is Pop



XTC – Radios In Motion



XTC – I’ll Set Myself On Fire



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Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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  1. Thanks for putting these up; I have 2 live recordings of “This Is Pop”, but I’ve never actually picked up “White Music” — even though I think XTC is the only band since the Beatles to equal their innovation, range, and sheer brilliance as songwriters.

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