Saturday, January 26, 2013
Top 102 Albums. No 61. Go 2
Top 102 Albums. No 61.
Go 2 - XTC
When I think of XTC it is usually one of their many fine singles that comes to mind. Making Plans for Nigel and Senses Working Overtime are peerless moments of pop brilliance. However the album I listen to most doesn't have any of their singles on it. Nor is it one of their albums from the period after they had passed their commercial peak. It is, in fact, their difficult second album. It is a pulsing grim meditative album full of bubbling frustration and self-hatred, Go 2 - my favourite XTC album, remembered now more for it's Hipgnosis cover (click on the image to bring up a larger version) than for the music within.
Go 2 feels like a Friday night in Bray in the early eighties. A group of boys on a night out, with barely enough money to get merry, simmering in sour testosterone, fearful and frightening. There is excitement but at the same time a sense that there is nothing much worth getting excited about.
Acting macho, afraid of being laughed at, only happy when lost if the music, these are ordinary people, in an ordinary place, drinking, fucking, fighting in the car park. But it's not the loose concept but the music that brings me back. Low key, pulsing, with more of a debt to Can than The Clash, I can listen to this album over and over and not get tired of it.
This was the last album with the original XTC line up. Keyboard player Barry Andrews left, to be replaced by Dave Gregory and the sound of the band changed thereafter. Which led to some great work. But I still love this best, modest, low key but great.
And if you don't agree I'll have you outside. NOW.