11 marzo 2014

Una versione corretta dell'album Skylarking degli XTC, con l'apparato grafico previsto in origine da Andy Partridge, l'inclusione del brano Dear God e problemi tecnici - tardivamente scoperti - finalmente risolti, apparve tre anni fa in un'edizione in doppio vinile andata subito esaurita. E' imminente ora l'uscita anche in cd: lo si può prenotare tramite Ape House / Burning Shed.

Produced by Todd Rundgren, the album was famously the most troublesome recording experience of XTC's career, yet the combination of the 'quintessentially English' band and the American 'studio wizard' resulted in one of the most successful and artistically accomplished albums of the mid-late 1980s.
When it came time to master the album on vinyl in 2010, Andy Partridge - still never entirely happy with the overall sound of the finished album - took it to award-winning mastering engineer John Dent, who noticed something that had never previously been spotted. Somewhere, possibly in the transfer from the multi-channel tape to the stereo master, a polarity had been reversed. This is not the same thing as a reversed left/right channel which puts a stereo picture out of phase & makes the sound unlistenable, but a much more difficult to pin down event that can be triggered by something as simple as a badly wired plug in the overall system which, nonetheless, removes some of the punch & presence from a finished recording.
With the polarity corrected, the album complete with original artwork & Dear God was issued on vinyl.
Now, some 28 years after its initial recording & release, Skylarking finally appears on cd as it was originally intended to sound & in the packaging as initially envisaged. The end of the world is also 28 years closer, but probably not imminent. Plenty of time then, to hear afresh the most popular album by one of the finest pop groups of that or any other era.