On April Fool’s Day 1985, XTC released “25 O’Clock” an album under the name The Dukes of Stratosphear. It consisted of songs that sound like they were recorded in 1967 and was produced by John Leckie, who recorded and produced albums by George Harrison, Pink Floyd, and Syd Barrett. Leckies combined XTC’s sound with instrumentation and analog recording techniques of the golden age of psychedelic music. The result is simply magical or it was in 1985 when I first heard it.
Many consider this album just an April Fool’s Day joke, but I think their love of this kind of music. It certainly echoes strongly in their next release “Skylarking”. “25 O’Clock” was 6 tracks of pure joy and later in the year they release a CD with 16 tracks. My picks for this week are “What in the World” and “Vanishing Girl”. Just listen to Colin Moulding’s bass work on that first track. It just sounds like he’s channeling McCartney. If you really dig this kind of music play the entire album. It’s a blast.