I have a fascination with why talented musicians and bands labor in obscurity while less talented “stars” become household names and sell millions of cds. One of these obscure bands is British pop band XTC. These guys produced well crafted pop and rock music for almost 30 years and I’ll bet most of you who are reading this couldn’t name 3 of their songs. They have been very well regarded by critics and music fans. They have been consistent over their 30 years as well. From their early post-punk songs like “Science Friction”, “Statue of Liberty,” and one of my favorites “This Is Pop”. This leads to greatness like “Making Plans for Nigel.” If you want a fun song to listen to in the summer with the top down, download “Life Begins at the Hop.” Even their alter ego band The Dukes of Stratosphear produced some Beatlesque songs like “You My Drug” and another personal favorite like “Vanishing Girl.” The cd Skylarking produced “Really Super, Super Girl”, “Earn Enough for Us” among a few other great songs (including a very uncomfortable, atheistic song, “Dear God.”) One of the last cds I bought from them was Oranges and Lemons, which includes “The Mayor of Simpleton” and “King for a Day.” If you have access to a music site, check out a few of these songs and ask yourself, “How weren’t these guys more popular?
Below is a video of "Life Begins at the Hop" from around 1980. Not the greatest video (pre-MTV) but a great song.