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Oranges and Lemons

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Editors’ Notes

As its cover art and album title suggest, Oranges & Lemons represents the psychedelic vision of XTC, as much as such a concept could exist in 1989. The group had already issued several retro-psychedelic records as their alter-egos ‘The Dukes of Stratosphear’, emphasizing their ties to ‘60s pop, so it was hardly a stylistic shock when XTC extended these leanings to their proper group. In retrospect, it’s less a shift than a re-juggling of the band’s priorities. In the past, much of XTC’s appeal had been their jarring rhythms and slashing guitars. Over the years, the band experimented with increasingly complex arrangements that shaded their songs in dramatic light. Though the group expressed displeasure with Todd Rundgren’s production of 1986’s Skylarking, it was that careful effort that set the stage for this intricately sculpted collection. While “The Mayor of Simpleton” distills XTC’s essence to its most mind-humming basics, the baroque, carnival-esque excitement of “King for a Day,” “The Loving,” “Merely a Man” and “Chalkhills and Children” make for smart, adventurous listening.

Customer Reviews

Adventurous and enjoyable

Still one of my favorites. At first listen this album may come across as somewhat shallow but further listening reveals many well written and produced gems.
King For A Day is one of the highlights!

Oranges and Lemons

I'm glad that I purchased Oranges and Lemons. The Mayor of Simpleton and The Loving are two of the most infectious songs that I have ever heard. They are definitely ear candy. I love it as much as I do English Settlement. This is an album that grows on you. You'll keep coming back for more.


Formed: 1976 in Swindon, Wiltshire, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

XTC was one of the smartest -- and catchiest -- British pop bands to emerge from the punk and new wave explosion of the late '70s. From the tense, jerky riffs of their early singles to the lushly arranged, meticulous pop of their later albums, XTC's music has always been driven by the hook-laden songwriting of guitarist Andy Partridge and bassist Colin Moulding. While popular success has eluded them in both Britain and America, the group has developed a devoted cult following in both countries that...
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