Monday, April 06, 2009

'80s Monday: XTC

XTC is another great band that was moderately popular in the UK and well outside the mainstream in the USA during the 80s. They only had one single make the Billboard Hot 100, although they did manage a couple of Top 50 albums. They're probably best known for their anti-religion anthem "Dear God."

"Dear God" (1987). I know some people consider this song blasphemous, but I think it's one of the most moving songs ever written. What makes it beautiful rather than a mere rant is the sincerity with which the song is addressed directly to God. It takes the form of a letter to God, in which the writer states why he can't believe in Him (i.e., "the problem of evil"; how can a good God exist if he allows so much evil to exist?).



Not all their songs were so dramatic though. This is "Senses Working Overtime" (1982). It's a celebration of the senses. Watch out, because it's got a serious earworm hook in it:

And I've got
One-two-three-four-five
Senses working overtime



"Generals and Majors" (1980) was a very catchy and danceable anti-war song. With XTC, if the lyrics weren't necessarily deep, the subject matter usually was.



Usually I only plan to do three songs for 80s Monday, but I couldn't decide between "Generals and Majors" and "Making Plans for Nigel" (1979), so here's an extra one. I think everybody knows somebody like Nigel. Other people plan his life for him, and he just goes along with it. Poor Nigel.


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