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Drums And Wires Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

49 customer reviews

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$12.63 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Drums And Wires + English Settlement + Black Sea
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Most Americans' first taste of XTC came from this CD, originally released in 1979. The band's first full-length without cofounder Barry Andrews, it was a cavalcade of Andy Partridge's neuroses and paranoia. Although it contained two quirky bona fide pop songs--the calling card "Making Plans for Nigel" and the breezy "Life Begins at the Hop"--the music as a whole was as jagged as Partridge's attitude. "Complicated Game" and "Scissor Man" have the singer's haunting howl echoing and whispering throughout, sounding like a fun house operator gone mad, while "Real by Reel," another pop standout, might be the most conventional song on the CD. Drums and Wires is a must-have for anybody who is only discovering the band. Skylarking and the collected singles are the only other releases that come close to capturing the band's early and earnest dementia. --Steve Gdula


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Making Plans For Nigel (2001 - Remaster) 4:13$1.29  Buy MP3 
  2. Helicopter (2001 - Remaster) 3:54$1.29  Buy MP3 
  3. Day In Day Out (2001 - Remaster) 3:08$1.29  Buy MP3 
  4. When You're Near Me I Have Difficulty (2001 - Remaster) 3:22$1.29  Buy MP3 
  5. Ten Feet Tall (2001 - Remaster) 3:16$1.29  Buy MP3 
  6. Roads Girdle The Globe (2001 - Remaster) 4:51$1.29  Buy MP3 
  7. Reel By Reel (2001 - Remaster) 3:47$1.29  Buy MP3 
  8. Millions (2001 - Remaster) 5:39$1.29  Buy MP3 
  9. That Is The Way (2001 - Remaster) 2:56$1.29  Buy MP3 
10. Outside World (2001 - Remaster) 2:41$1.29  Buy MP3 
11. Scissor Man (2001 - Remaster) 4:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
12. Complicated Game (2001 - Remaster) 5:04$1.29  Buy MP3 
13. Life Begins At The Hop (2001 - Remaster) 3:49$1.29  Buy MP3 
14. Chain Of Command (2001 - Remaster) 2:33$1.29  Buy MP3 
15. Limelight (2001 - Remaster) 2:26$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 6, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: 1979
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Astralwerks
  • ASIN: B00005ATHI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,344 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Chet Fakir on March 29, 2006
Format: Audio CD
On their third album it's bye bye Barry Andrews and organ and hello Dave Gregory and XTC achieve their "classic sound", ie one that lasted through Black Sea and English Settlement. On Drums And Wires Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding really came into their own as songwriters and Terry Chambers first displayed his peculiar and inimitable THUD WHACK drumming style. The freneticism of the first two albums was tempered by a growing and unique musical sophistication, yet there's an economy of style that reflects that these songs were supposed to be played live in front of actual people. Andy Partridges' crippling stage fright was still several years off and the complex arrangements of Skylarking even farther. My introduction to XTC was the second album Go2 and so when Barry Andrews was kicked out I didn't know what to expect. Well what I got was one of the nuttiest and finest albums these clever pop hooligans ever made. From Colin Mouldings' early hit Making Plans For Nigel to Andy Partridges' most loopy song Helicopter, it's sheer mad genius.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mark A. Carter on November 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
The best Pop band to come out of Britain well let me see......ever & this is possibly their best album. So many standout Pop Classics on this one. `Life Begins At The Hop' is a wonderfully high-spirited pop powerhouse. You'll instantly feel young, energized & as giddy as a school kid, enthused to do crazy things listening to this track with its unbelievably catchy refrain. The lyrics are light and fizzy bubbling over with retro 60's-fun and perhaps a nod to Beachboy's/Americana type pop wonderfulness. In stark contrast to this you have the hilariously Dark `Complicated Game' with it's gradual ascent into histrionics describing why none of us should take ourselves too seriously as no-one ever really has control in the end. The wonderful schoolboy crush of `When You're Near Me I Have Difficulty' - with the line `feeling like a Jellyfish' being a wonderful description of love run rampant in a young guy's mind. Then there's the take on superficiality of some of the human race in the pop-sonic assault of `Outside World' describing one girl's obsession with everything other than what's real (aka: the Outside World). `Helicopter' is wonderfully dizzy with the whirling blades of a helicopter opening the track to a fast paced pop ditty. `Making Plans For Nigel', shows the Teen angst that drove so much of the rebel music of the late 70's. Then there is `Scissor Man' which sounds like an extremely dark Nursery Rhyme (RE: Audition, the Movie!). Add to this the extra tracks that didn't come with my original Vinyl copy (Dammit! Another CD I have to buy to replace my worn vinyl) and you have certainly one of the top 10 Pop albums of the 70's, without a doubt. Now although XTC were sort of thrown in with the Brit-Punk crowd (mostly in part I think by their name ECSTACY.....anyone!Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Nathan M DeHoff on May 24, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Sometimes, when I haven't listened to this album in a while, I forget how great it is. This is often regarded as the first "true" XTC album, as it begins to create the "Beatle-based pop" sound for which the band is now (somewhat) famous, rather than the organ-heavy pseudo-punk of the first two albums (which are also good, by the way). It kicks off with XTC's first hit single, "Making Plans For Nigel," followed by the frantic "Helicopter." Other highlights include the tongue-twisting "Outside World" (about not wanting to know what depressing things are going on in the world, a subject with which I can often identify), the cautionary fantasy (or mockery thereof, perhaps) of "Scissor Man," and the world-weary "Complicated Game." There are also odes to the overwhelming feeling of being in love ("When You're Near Me I Have Difficulty" and "Ten Feet Tall"), and social commentaries on such issues as factory work ("Day In Day Out"), lack of privacy ("Real By Reel"), and devotion to the automobile ("Roads Girdle The Globe"). A great aspect of this album is the way that the music fits the mood of each song. "Making Plans For Nigel" is mechanical; the whirring sounds of "Helicopter" bring an actual helicopter to mind; "Roads Girdle The Globe" is noisy and droning; and "Complicated Game" is delightfully paranoid. I wouldn't say this is XTC's best work (that would be Skylarking), but it is an all-around wonderful album.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "rocknroll2" on December 20, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Clearly, this is the best work from XTC. First heard this in 1982 and had to get the CD to replace my worn out Album. People in this review have pointed out the song "Complicated Game" as unfitting. I feel completely opposite of that. Actually, one of the best songs written by this band, that and "Scissor Man" make this album a must. If you can only own 1 XTC album, this is it. It is the core of the band's sound. Everything after that pales in comparison. Excellent Intellegence.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By sich on October 13, 2001
Format: Audio CD
It's the summer of 1979. You've just graduated high school. You're eighteen and know everything about EVERYTHING, especially music. Then one day, quite by accident, you discover you don't know ANYTHING. It seems that somewhere in merry old England (the armpit of Swindon, I believe) a group of four very sharp young men have created something unlike anything you've ever heard before. Each cut on the album proves to be stranger, fresher, and more glorious than the last. In Roads Girdle the Globe, the guitars sound like steamrollers, the drums like jackhammers. In Millions, the band transports you to the exotic far East, dips you in the Yangtze, rinses years of radio pablum from your spongey little brain. All with guitars ad drums... like the Beatles' loopy cousins sending messages from a parallel universe... Drums and Wires is a freaking revelation. And you know what? Twenty-plus years later, it's still as fresh as the day it was released. It still beats the hell out of anything being recorded today. Drums and Wires is pure XTC. Buy this album, and play it LOUD.
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