Saturday, January 13, 2018

Top 5: Happiest XTC Songs

XTC are a band whose work spans decades, and ranges from commenting on the music industry ("Funk Pop A Roll") to religion ("Dear God") to overzealous parenting ("Making Plans For Nigel"). But one of my favorite things about XTC is the fact that their songs can also be "Stupidly Happy," if you will. Despite his own struggles with mental illness, Andy Partridge is an expert at writing songs about the lighter side of life (like "You Bring the Summer" for The Monkees) and Colin Moulding is great at writing upbeat, poppy tunes. So since it's the middle of Winter and it's easy to get the doldrums, here are a few awesome XTC songs that radiate pure joy.

5. "King For A Day"

This song's melody has always made me smile. It's so upbeat and cheery, even though it's about an ugly lust for fame or wealth. But despite the lyrical content being a bit of a downer, it's still got positive vibes.

4. "Wrapped in Grey"

This isn't the most poppy XTC track, but it's all about positivity. There's almost a lullaby quality, yet it's a reminder that "your heart is the big box of paints." As Andy Partridge says "Life doesn't have to be grey and soulless. If you tap into your own emotions, you can experience all the colours."

3. "Then She Appeared"

When XTC were The Dukes of Stratosphere, they planned on using another pseudonym- The Golden- and releasing "Then She Appeared" as a lost single from 1967-1968. Instead, they ended up releasing it as XTC, and the result is probably my favorite of their songs.

2. "Stupidly Happy"

Andy Partridge describes this one as "The dumbest but happiest song I ever wrote." Ever feel so happy that you're smiling for no reason and singing along to the dumbest pop songs you normally don't even like? This is the song that perfectly describes that state of being.

1. "We're All Light"

From XTC's final album, Wasp Star, this song is probably their most positive one by a longshot. I can't help but agree with Andy Partridge: "This song makes my feet smile."

Andy Partridge quotes and factoids lifted from here and here. What XTC song makes your feet smile? Let me know in the comments!