XTC – Apple Venus Volume 1 (1999)
I was chatting with a friend recently about the group James, specifically their album Laid.
He made an interesting point: with that album (and only a handful of others), he insisted on full running-time listening sessions. Every song was a keeper, the track-list worked brilliantly, and even if individual songs stood out, he refused to skip anything to get to them.
If time did not permit a full listen, he’d have to choose a different record; partial Laid listening experiences just wouldn’t work.
Which, as you might imagine, got me thinking about what some of my all-or-nothing records might be.
Apple Venus Volume 1, though new to me as of this year, might one day meet that criteria.
This morning, I was singing Easter Theatre (track 3) to myself and felt inspired to play the individual track. Though when I tried to cue it up, I couldn’t do it; it just didn’t feel right unless it followed River of Orchids & I’d Like That. And I couldn’t stop there because Frivolous Tonight was coming up soon. But then I couldn’t miss Your Dictionary a song or two after that. And so it went!
Overall, it’s one of those delightful records whose year of origin is hard to pinpoint. XTC’s influences have been well documented but they still manage to produce an orchestral sound unlike any other group.
Throw in two lead singers & you’ve got a combination that is, to borrow a Robert Palmer song title, simply irresistible.
Naturally, I’m curious as a cat (some of my friends call me Whiskers) – what are your all-or-nothing/full running-time only albums?!