Producer Todd Rundgren and the members of XTC got along so woefully during the recording of "Skylarking"—their breathlessly anticipated 1987 collaboration—that the entire session was fraught with tension and the band were banned from Todd’s mixing sessions. And yet, as sometimes happens in pop music, that behind-the-scenes friction yielded brilliant results: the XTC album most often labeled "masterpiece," and certainly their best-selling and best-known album. The arrangements and production are fantastic, but it’s the absolutely stellar songs of Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding that dazzles most: "Dear God," "Grass," "Big Day," "Earn Enough for Us," "The Meeting Place," "That’s Really Super, Supergirl," "Summer’s Cauldron" and more. In 2010, during a mastering session for a vinyl reissue, engineer John Dent noticed that the original stereo master was marred by unintentionally reversed polarity, which caused the original master to lack punch and presence. The polarity was corrected, and the much-better-sounding vinyl reissue quickly sold out. This deluxe edition brings you that polarity-corrected master on newly cut 200-gram vinyl and also on CD. You get both original album sleeves, too (the released one and Andy Partridge’s design, which was rejected by Virgin Records), and inside the slipcase you’ll find a 16-page 12" booklet featuring song notes by the band as well as the sparkling lyrics that helped make "Skylarking" shine so brightly! Ape House UK.
Limited double 200gm heavyweight vinyl LP pressing cut at 45 RPM featuring corrected polarity CD edition. Includes 16 page booklet with song notes by band members, lyric sheet, and both sleeves (original design + released version). Digitally remastered edition of the 1986 album by one of the UK's finest bands. It looked perfect... on paper. Take XTC (a band whose name was, by this point, routinely prefaced with the words "quintessentially English.."), add Todd Rundgren, musical Anglophile and legendary producer (whose name was always prefaced with "studio wizard"), place in a studio together in Woodstock for several weeks and expect an album of Abbey Road proportions to appear when finished and... it almost worked out that way. For starters: Todd R. and Andy P. didn't get on... at all. Recording sessions were tense. Then Todd locked the band out of the studio while mixing the album, leaving depressed band members to return to the UK uncertain as to the value of what had been recorded. Then, there was the issue of "Dear God". Relegated from the album for fears that the same sort of people who object to pubic hair on album sleeves might object to songs about God - especially in the USA, yet issued in the US as part of a 4 song promo 12" single to promote an album on which the song didn't appear by Geffen Records, which then, unexpectedly, became a hit song with people interpreting the lyrics as they wished, necessitating the re-sequencing of the album to include the once rejected song which, in turn, helped the album to become a slow burn/steady seller all around the world and XTC's best-selling and best known album to date, leaving all participants belatedly happy.