From the Vault...


"Drums And Wires"

© Geffen Records

Year of Release: 1979

track listing
  • Making Plans For Nigel
  • Helicopter
  • Day In Day Out
  • When You're Near Me
    I Have Difficulty
  • Ten Feet Tall
  • Roads Girdle The Globe
  • Life Begins At The Top
  • Chain Of Command
  • Limelight
  • Real By Reel
  • Millions
  • That Is The Way
  • Outside World
  • Scissor Man
  • Complicated Game

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    XTC related sites:
    XTC Website
    Previous Review: #899
    Next Review: #901
    Living Space--Fade Into Existence
    "Drums And Wires"

    XTC returns with their second album on our website for review (second album of their career, and first major label debut). After listening to a "best-of" compilation of XTC, it was only obvious to discover their original releases, and enjoy the many album cuts and popular hits. Drums And Wires has the styles of the late 1980s new wave, and best to compare is the Talking Heads.

    The opening track is one of the band's most popular songs, "Making Plans For Nigel," as it does capture XTC's own original sound. Yet on "Helicopter" it does have the sound of the Talking Heads or even the early sound of Joe Jackson, combined with XTC's own sound as well. "Day In Day Out" is different, as it again discovers XTC having their own sound. Joe Jackson-ish best describes "When You're Near Me I Have Difficulty," but a unique XTC sound is heard on "Ten Feet Tall" just as they were unique on "Makng Plans For Nigel."

    "Roads Girdle The Globe" branches into the current new-wave trends at the time, likewise the Elvis Costello/Joe Jackson-inspired "Life Begins At The Top." "Chain Of Command" and "Limelight" have the traditional new-wave sound of the time, but the unique XTC brillant sound as heard on Nigel and "Ten Feet Tall" returns on "Real By Real." A different approach than the common new-wave, and common XTC sound is heard on the mysterious "Millions." The early Police (as in Reggatta de Blanc) can be found in this song.

    We can also say the "not-so-familiar" XTC sound is heard again on "That Is The Way," as XTC was developing a sound of their own. Pure Punk is heard on "Outside World" (early Joe Jackson and Elvis Costello), and "Scissor Man" (Gang Of Four). "Complicated Game" is another true punkish (and unique) tune, as compared to Gang Of Four as well.

    Talking Heads, Joe Jackson, a little of Elvis Costello, and the vocals of Andy Partridge does compare to that of Gang Of Four. New-wave, almost punkish, this was the new trend and sound in 1979, as new-wave was mixing with punk. Drums And Wires will appeal more to the new-wave/punk fans. XTC did emerge into their own right in their later years. 1979 was the year for new-wave being the latest trend of music, with such groups as Talking Heads, Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello, and The Police dominating the music audiences, as they were all trying to make a name for themselves. XTC has been compared to The Beatles, and hearing an album such as Drums And Wires, like The Beatles, XTC was discovering their own unique sound, away from all the others. Songs such as "Making Plans For Nigel," "Ten Feet Tall" and "Reak By Real" are the standouts for XTC having their own unique creativity.

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    Previous Review: #899
    Next Review: #901
    Living Space--Fade Into Existence