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White Music lyrics
White Music (1978)

Even if the throbbing "Radios in Motion" had its moments of teenage new-wave sloganeering ("All the kids are complaining that there's nowhere to go, all the kids are complaining that the songs are too slow"), White Music proves that XTC were always something more than bumpkin punks. For a start, Andy Partridge loved the Beatles, a sackable offence in those days. As this 1978 debut album proves, XTC's spiky muse--spasmodic rhythms, Partridge's scuffed guitars, Colin Moulding's stuttering bass lines, and Barry Andrews's spontaneous blurts of crocheting keyboards--was inalienably their own. Clearly more closely aligned to the likes of Wire, Devo, and the Talking Heads than to the big-city brigade, White Music was adroitly experimental and as awkward as it was irritable (as on "Crosswires," "I'm Bugged," and their sputtering dub version of Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower," which outshone the Clash's reggae efforts at this point), but also plagued by crippling commercial misfortune. XTC's indecently stymied career path hit the first of many obstacles when the lyrics to the potentially classic pop single "Statue of Liberty" ("In my fantasy I sail beneath your skirt") fell foul of the BBC's quasi-Victorian obscenity mores and failed to chart through lack of airplay. --Kevin Maidment

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Lyrics in White Music

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