As previously reported, Nonsuch, the twelfth album by XTC, is getting reissued this year with a new surround mix by Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree and a host of audiovisual extras.
Featuring production by early Elton John producer Gus Dudgeon and some of the best pastoral power-pop songwriting by band brain trust Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding, including the U.S. Modern Rock chart-topper "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead," "The Disappointed," "Wrapped in Grey" and many more, Nonsuch remains something of a bittersweet note for fans of the quirky trio. Fed up with what they felt was U.K. label Virgin's shoddy promotion of the record, XTC went on strike for seven years, returning in 1999 with Apple Venus Volume 1. (Dave Gregory, third member of the band since 1984's The Big Express, quit during the recording sessions; Partridge and Moulding released Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) the following year.)
While Partridge and Moulding seemed to have put XTC to bed by the middle of the decade, this new package will feature new standard stereo and 5.1 surround mixes by Wilson - whose Emerson, Lake & Palmer remixes were lauded by many (including our own Joe Marchese - and Wilson's got plenty more where that came from in the coming months). Partridge provided input into the new mixes, and, with Moulding and Gregory, fully approved them, also contributing new liner notes.
But the excitement doesn't end there. Nonsuch will be presented as a CD/DVD-A with the new mixes as well as a CD/Blu-ray set featuring more extra material. (On all versions, the CD is expanded by one track: a demo, "Didn't Hurt a Bit," previously heard on a 2000 CD single.) Extras for the CD/Blu-ray (which, like the CD/DVD-A, is region free!) are:
- Instrumental mixes of the album in DTS-HD Master Audio stereo (24bit/96khz)
- Demos and worktapes from Partridge and Moulding, featuring songs used for and written contemporaneously to the album
- Rare footage from the Nonsuch sessions at Chipping Norton Studios
- Promo videos for "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead" and "The Disappointed"
Both versions are on track for an October 7 release and can be pre-ordered from Partridge's APE House label here (CD/DVD-A) and here (CD/Blu-ray).
Steve Bruun says
Thanks for the news about Nonsuch! It's always been one of my favorite XTC albums. I'd read about the project on Andy Partridge's web site, so it's nice to get more details. In tribute to the album's first single, I'm "Disappointed" that most of the bonus material is Blu-Ray exclusive.
Years ago, Colin Moulding announced (during an interview on Rundgren Radio) that "2009 will be the year of the XTC reissues," to commence with expanded editions of "Skylarking" and "English Settlement," including newly completed songs left unfinished from the sessions. Obviously that never happened, but I hope this new release will mark the beginning of a meaningful XTC digital reissue program.
As long as I'm in nitpicking mode, Dave Gregory joined the band in 1979, and they became a trio when drummer Terry Chambers quit early in the "Mummer" sessions. "The Big Express" was the first album they recorded ENTIRELY as a trio.
Minor quibbling aside, I love this site and I check it very frequently. I eagerly await details on the upcoming reissue of Jethro Tull's "Benefit" - I'm sure I'll read it here first!