- Oranges & Lemons is the eighth in a series of XTC Classics to be issued on a 200 gram vinyl edition.
The album has been mastered by Jason Mitchell at Loud Mastering with input from Andy Partridge & is fully approved by XTC.
The album is one of the most requested vinyl reissues as it was only on vinyl for a short period towards the end of the first vinyl era and was, as a result, never available as a decent quality pressing and poorly presented in a single sleeve.
The sleeve has been re-worked to present the front colour image in all its psychedelic glory - and expanded to a gatefold to accommodate both the weight of the vinyl & the inclusion of song lyrics.
Andy Partridge Colin Moulding Dave Gregory
with Pat Mastelotto
BRRRAAANNNNGG!! – As brash, bright & vibrant as its Alan Aldridge influenced, pop art, outer cover art, Oranges & Lemons, XTC’s ninth studio album, issued in February 1989, arrived like a burst of audio summer at the end of winter. Eloquently answering the question: “How do you follow-up a classic album?” with the most obvious answer “with another great recording”, the album consolidated XTC’s position – especially in America – as one of the era’s finest recording outfits. Following the slow burn success of Skylarking, which by then had become the band’s biggest selling album to date, Virgin suggested the band should consider another American producer. XTC settled on session musician Paul Fox who was just establishing a name for himself as an up & coming producer – having remixed tracks for Yes & Culture Club. Recorded in Los Angeles over a lengthy period, the album allowed Andy Partridge & Colin Moulding to further hone a group of songs that had initially been worked on & rehearsed in the UK with Dave Gregory’s, rarely highlighted but often crucial, contributions to the arrangements apparent in the final mixes.
Despite a Top 30 album placing on release in the UK & fine reviews, XTC’s brand of ‘grown-up’ pop music was out of synch when it came to singles releases. In a period more associated with hit singles derived from factory produced pop songs for TV soap opera stars, a song like “The Loving” (issued as the third single), sounded like Stravinsky by comparison, leaving XTC – at least in their home country – to the usual “why isn’t this band as big as …. [insert name of any then current multi-million sellers] from fans & critics.
America, however, was a different story & Geffen Records – post Guns’n’Roses but pre-Nirvana, climbed aboard the Anglophile Express – pushing the album into the Top 50 & to Number 1 in the then, all-important, Billboard College Radio/Alternative Chart. In the absence of live shows, the band did extensive radio promotion tours, with accompanying acoustic performances, slightly pre-dating the fashion for “unplugged” shows, which helped to widen their audience. With an expanding audience in the USA & a steady following in Europe & Japan, for XTC the next breakthrough to an audience of millions must have seemed so close it could almost be touched....