Break out your speakers and climb aboard: another remix of an XTC album by Steven Wilson is coming to CD and Blu-ray this fall.
Following expanded remixes of Drums and Wires, Black Sea, Skylarking, Oranges & Lemons and Nonsuch as well as the Dukes of Stratosphear collection Psurroundabout Ride, Wilson has worked his stereo and surround magic on one of the two missing releases in that 1980-1992 run: The Big Express. The CD/Blu-ray set, available September 22, features the new mixes of the album in hi-res stereo and 5.1 surround, plus the first Dolby Atmos mix of an XTC album, along with three similarly mixed studio B-sides. Hi-res stereo versions of the original album and instrumental mixes will feature on the Blu-ray, alongside a further eight previously unreleased tracks.
Having committed solely to being a studio band following Andy Partridge's breakdown after withdrawals from a longtime reliance on Valium some years prior, the British group - singer/songwriter/guitarist Partridge, singer/songwriter/bassist Colin Moulding and guitarist/keyboardist Dave Gregory - followed the pastoral Mummer (1983) with a considerably different effort. The Big Express was conceptual and autobiographical in nature, its 11 tracks (nine by Partridge, with Moulding's contributions bookending the album) telling a loose story of the band's hometown of Swindon, a railway hub town. Arrangements were quite different, with the trio (plus co-producer David Lord and assorted studio musicians) experimenting with more synths and drum machines to complement the expansive, mechanical feel of the material. (The presence of the retro Mellotron keyboard would anticipate the group's disguised psychedelia as The Dukes.) After Mummer became their first album to miss the U.K. Top 40, The Big Express reversed course somewhat, spawning three singles that dented the lower half of the charts overseas: "All You Pretty Girls," "This World Over" and "Wake Up."
Nearly 40 years on, the album is ripe for rediscovery with the help of Wilson's work behind the boards. As with other releases in this series, the discs are packed in a digipak with slipcase and a 16-page booklet. Pre-order your copy below!
CD: 2023 Stereo Mixes by Steven Wilson
- Wake Up
- All You Pretty Girls
- Shake You Donkey Up
- Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her
- This World Over
- The Everyday Story of Smalltown
- I Bought Myself a Liarbird
- Reign of Blows
- You're the Wish You Are I Had
- I Remember the Sun
- Train Running Low on Soul Coal
- Red Brick Dream
- Blue Overall
Tracks 1-11 released as Virgin V-2325, 1984
Tracks 12-13 released on "All You Pretty Girls" 12" - Virgin VS 709-12, 1984
Track 14 released on "This World Over" single - Virgin VS 721, 1984
Above tracks in hi-res stereo, 5.1 surround and Dolby Atmos
Instrumental and original stereo mixes of Tracks 1-11 in hi-res stereo
Additional tracks in hi-res stereo:
- Broomstick Rhythm (guide vocal)
- The Troubles (The Big Express Version - Backing Track)
- Now We All Dead (It Doesn't Matter)
- Gangway, Electric Guitar is Coming Through
- Broomstick Rhythm
- Shiny Cage
- A Patriotic Romance