Friday, February 09, 2007

Forgotten Albums #3: Apple Venus Vol. 1

XTC Apple Venus Volume 1 ArtworkIn 1999, XTC released the first volume of a double album entitled Apple Venus Volume 1. I bought it because of a favourable review in a newspaper having almost no experience of XTC other than their singles in the 1980s and Andy Partridge's production of a Lilac Time album in the 90s.

Apple Venus Volume 1 is a very peculiar record indeed. Beginning with the distinctly odd and circular "River of Orchids" and with more than a nod to the Beatles and the Beach Boys, the album unfolds like a discordant, pagan garden party. It's lush arrangements, weird song structures and melodic eccentricity make it a tough first listen, but repeated plays reward the listener with the glow of having done a good thing. And the smugness of knowing that almost nobody else shares your fondness for this record.

The second volume of the Apple Venus series, "Wasp Star", was released the following year and is more of a standard XTC album and I've never really liked it. In 2003, XTC released "Homespun" which is the same album as Volume 1 but with demo versions of each song, recorded in Partridge's shed. For fans only.

A man must have a shed to keep him sane



Blogger Polarbear said...

My shed drives me insane!

We're only making plans for Nigel, he has a future in ah British Steeeeel.

12:15 pm  

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