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  • 25 O'Clock [Vinyl]
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25 O'Clock [Vinyl] Limited Edition, Original recording remastered

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Vinyl, Limited Edition, Original recording remastered, January 26, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

An alter ego of XTC, this group was a vehicle for Andy Partridge's psychedelic frustrations of being born a decade or two out of time. Both albums the group released contained brilliant pastiches of virtually every pop band of the mid to late 60s period. In many cases the Dukes' tongue-in-cheek parables were far superior to the songs to which they gently alluded. It was suggested that their albums actually outsold the XTC product available at the same time.


Hearing these guys bathe their boyhood record collections is the chief hook, followed by the way they let their eyes bug out a little farther than on their "proper" album of the time. --Pitchfork

1. 25 O'Clock
2. Bike Ride To The Moon
3. My Love Explodes
4. What In The World??
5. Your Gold Dress
6. The Mole From The Ministry

Product Details

  • Vinyl (January 26, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Limited Edition, Original recording remastered
  • Label: APE
  • ASIN: B002ZIAC3K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #510,622 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By S. Schorn on June 16, 2009
Format: Audio CD
The Dukes/XTC were looking back twenty years or so when they recorded "25 O'Clock." What seemed like a pretty straightforward spoof/homage at the time sounds more complex now, since another couple of decades have gone by. And it's still vastly entertaining.

Younger listeners who've heard that the Dukes were a "60s spoof band" may be forgiven for thinking, upon listening to this album, "Oh come on--were people ever really THAT high, even in the 60s?" Yes. Yes they were. Listen to George Harrison's guitar solo (for want of a better word) on "All You Need is Love"--it's the sound of a man falling offstage, rendered on six strings. Measured against this standard, many of the Dukes' musical excesses seem almost subtle. The songs skate gleefully along the very edge of plausibility. Frankly idiotic lyrics and musical structures are executed with a supreme confidence that is strangely satisfying, and irresistibly funny. Don't, for example, listen to "The Mole from the Ministry" if you're drinking anything you don't want coming out your nose.

The import version includes abundant liner notes. Vocalist/guitarist/compulsive demo-maker Andy Partridge recounts the history behind the Dukes; bassist Colin Moulding contributes some memories of the songs and the recording sessions. Guitarist David Gregory describes the Dukes' gear with a level of detail that is frankly astonishing; in fact, at times it's downright perplexing--more on the level you would expect in an eBay listing, or eyewitness testimony at a murder trial. There's something kind of flattering about this, like talking to a highly-educated friend who frequently drops Latin phrases into the conversation, just as if you really understood them.
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Format: Audio CD
Oh those psychedelic groundbreakers that The Beatles, The Byrds and other bands stole from FINALLY get a deluxe edition of their first EP. The Dukes are the band XTC on psychedelic holiday--aping the bands that inspired them and making a fun, amusing and musical classic.

This new remastered edition of the EP (which was combined in its original CD incarnation with "Psonic Psunspot" as a single CD)sounds superior to the 2001 "Chips" anthology issued on CD. That version sounded harsh and lacked the warmth, detail and depth of this reissue. This is comparable to (and if I may dare say superior)to the original CD issue of "Chips".

The EP is effectively doubled with demo tracks most of which have not been released before AND the music video for "The Mole from the Ministry" in a Quicktime file on the disc. We also get the final Dukes track "Open A Can of Human Beings" (which appeared on Andy Partridge's Fuzzy Warble CD and a charity CD). Additionally, we get Bike Ride to the Moon, My Love Explodes,What in the World?? all in demo form plus some rare or unreleased Andy Partridge demos including "Black Jewelled Serpent of Sound" and "Tin Toy Clockwork Train" which fits on here nicely. We also get acoustic demos for Nicely Nicely Jane.

The really big question though is how is the sound. The EQ is a bit different here than on the original Geffen/Virgin CD that combined this album with its follow up "Psonic Psunspot". I actually like this version a bit better as with time I've noticed things that I hadn't before (and not because it's horribly compressed or loud either--just has to do with some of the EQ choices).

The CD is presented in a deluxe hardcover miniature book and the CD slides into a cardboard holder (I'd recommend moving it into a plastic CD holder so it doesn't get scratched). The booklet includes comments from Andy, Colin and equipment/recording info from Dave.

Highly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Jefferson TOP 100 REVIEWER on May 9, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
One disc 49 minutes approximately. The sound has been cleaned up and is better than previous releases. Everything is clean and immediate sounding. This edition is packed in a substantial hardback book,with the original cover. Included in the notes are how all this music came to be and how the group approached recording. The artwork is in the style of the sixties (think CREAM-DISRAELI GEARS)with psychedelic colors and lettering. The original EP is filled out with demos and several extra tracks,which make this the edition to own. The demos of the first several tracks are different in that they use somewhat different instrumentation and arrangements. While technically the same song,they are different enough to stand alone,which makes them enjoyable in their own right. The extra tracks fit in with the original tracks seamlessly,which makes this release cohesive sounding. There is also a cd-rom track tacked on to the end,which I have not seen. They also recorded an album proper,PSONIC PSUNSPOT,which is equally good.
THE DUKES OF STRATOSPHEAR were in reality the eighties pop-rock group XTC. In the beginning the group took great pains to disavow themselves from these recordings,(even taking fictitious names for the band members) until eventually the secret became known. For those unfamiliar with these two albums,they were released in homage to the psychedelic music from the sixties,which the group listened to (and liked) a great deal. They had leaned toward this type of music on their (then) recent release SKYLARKING,which was a bit more "serious" because the tracks they chose to put on it were a bit "harder". Saying this,don't think this is a bunch of throwaway odds and ends,or a parody of the "psychedelic sixties" the group threw together and then released under a pseudonym.
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