English Settlement [Import]
(Remastered, United Kingdom - Import)
Digitally remastered edition of this classic 1982 album from British quartet XTC - newly mastered from the original half inch master tape sources. Fulfilling the promise of the band's previous albums Drums & Wires (1979) and Black Sea (1980), English Settlement emerged some 18 months after Black Sea - the band's longest period between albums to that point - in early 1982 as a defining statement of XTC's vision of British pop. The pace of many of the songs is almost leisurely when compared to their earlier, more frenetic efforts, the scope of music - in lyrics, song-writing styles and recording is expansive; the sense of a band both comfortable and confident in what it is doing is palpable. Preceded, in the UK, by the January release of the album's first single, "Senses Working Overtime" and with that single hitting the UK Top 10 and becoming the band's biggest hit to date, the album quickly climbed to a UK Top 5 position. Further singles from the album in the UK and Europe - although neither of them hits - helped to maintain the album's momentum and keep it in the charts for most of the year. English Settlement remains a final defining statement for XTC as a 'road band' and, in that sense, is also viewed as a career punctuation point. While looking for the (at this point still "lost in the archives") multi-track tapes to enable Steven Wilson to undertake new stereo and 5.1 surround mixes of the album, the original half inch master tapes were discovered. These tapes were used as source masters from which engineer John Dent has prepared this new "original master edition" - making this the best this album has ever sounded on CD. An album which set standards in 1982 on release sounds, if anything, even better now. This is Pop.