XTC – Well I Never (Part 9)

Oranges & Lemons 1989


The name of the album came from the old English nursery rhyme and was also referenced in the song “Ballet for a Rainy Day” on Skylarking. This was their second double album, after 1982’s English Settlement and was recorded in Los Angeles. I have a copy on the way that was priced pretty reasonably online.

The album produced three singles, Mayor of Simpleton, King for a Day, and The Loving. None found any major success, which was a trend for the band by now. This was not due to the quality of the songs but was more likely the lack of promotion through touring, marketing and a change in public tastes. I’ve read that the single King for a Day was Steely Dan-influenced, which I can hear to a degree but it sounds like XTC to me,  and it it did reach No. 10 on the US alternative / modern rock charts, although I’ve no idea how that is measured.  Same for the album which reached No. 1 on the US college / alternative album chart. Reaching No. 44 on the US Billboard Top 200 chart and No. 28 on the UK album chart is certainly worthy of counting as decent though.

The band did promote the album with a two-week acoustic radio-station tour of the US on which they performed a few songs from the album and a few medleys of earlier hits, as well as album reject “Blue Beret”. The tour commenced on 15 May 1989 in Boston and ended on 31 May 1989 at Eastern Sound Studios in Toronto before a live studio audience of two hundred people.


A1. Garden of Earthly Delights 5:02
A2. Mayor of Simpleton 3:58
A3. King for a Day 3:35
A4. Here Comes President Kill Again 3:33

B1. The Loving 4:11
B2. Poor Skeleton Steps Out 3:27
B3. One of the Millions 4:42
B4. Scarecrow People 4:12

C1. Merely a Man 3:26
C2. Cynical Days 3:17
C3. Across This Antheap 4:49

D1. Hold Me My Daddy 3:47
D2. Pink Thing 3:48
D3. Miniature Sun 3:49
D4. Chalkhills and Children 4:59

Rating: 9.0

Part 8

Part 10

4 thoughts on “XTC – Well I Never (Part 9)”

  1. I only have one album to go and I haven’t really listened to it yet. There are a couple of bits and pieces but I’ll be stopping at Nonesuch I think. I really should try and listen to it at the weekend.


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