Skip to content

Apple Venus Volume 1 – XTC

XTC Apple Venus Volume 1

Apple Venus Volume 1

1999, 9/10
After a seven year self-imposed exile to sever their ties with Virgin, XTC returned in 1999 on a minor label. A very generous minor label: for Apple Venus Andy Partridge is given an entire orchestra to play with. As much as I enjoy Nonsuch, Apple Venus is an even more successful album of mature XTC, bringing out some of Andy Partridge’s best ever work.

The closest that Apple Venus gets to sappiness is ‘I Can’t Own Her’, which is beautiful but not a love song. Along with a nasty attack on his ex-wife in ‘Your Dictionary’ (“H A T E, is that how you spell love in your dictionary?”) and a reflection on ageing in ‘The Last Balloon’, Partridge’s major preoccupation on Apple Venus is paganism. ‘Easter Theatre’ is arguably XTC’s single finest achievement, an eyewitness account of an ancient fertility rite, with seamless integration of electric guitars and orchestral instruments. ‘Greenman’ and ‘River of Orchids’ are almost as wonderful, with Partridge voicing a vision of a green England. Colin Moulding is far less interesting here and his two relatively slight songs are low points of Apple Venus  he’d stopped writing at this point, and his songs are recycled from earlier discards.

While Apple Venus isn’t fully consistent, the best songs on offer are truly stupendous, taking pop music to the limits of beauty and literacy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Mike and Paul's Music Blog

Two Guys In Search of Great Music

The Doesn't Suck

9,000 billion recordings are released on the internet each month. Roughly 5 of them will not suck.

Simone: By The River

Hey! I'm writing about travel, books, nature, music, art, food, gardening, things that inspire me, with a little bit of creative writing thrown in for good luck (if I'm feeling brave enough). Australian (Geelong, Victoria). Instagram: sima78 & trackrecordsrecords

Brendon's Beats

Album Reviews & Music Discussion

The Rockin' Chair

A place for music and books

Debbie's Song

If you can listen to it, read it, watch it, wear it, love it...I'm interested in it

Zach's Music Reviews

The Occasional Music Review

Going for a Song

An autobiography in lays and ditties

%d bloggers like this: