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Homegrown (The Wasp Star Home Demos)

8 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 22, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Rather like those school mathematics exams in which you were expected to hand in all your arithmetic doodlings as well as your final answers, Homegrown is XTC proffering the various porta-studio jottings and embryonic ideas which eventually added up to the Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) album (a pass with flying colors, lest we forget). Songs don't write themselves. Even seasoned scribes like Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding need to put a bit of elbow grease into it. Thus, every fumbling bedroom troubadour in the land will empathise with Partridge as he mutters and busks his way through a gestative "Wheel and the Maypole" or signs off an early draft of "The Man Who Murdered Love" (nothing like the final version) with a self-questioning "yeah, there might be something there." Rest assured--demos or not--this is a highly listenable collection of quality pop with illuminating sleeve notes from the composers in question. Colin Moulding's marital-strife-flavored "In Another Life," for example, was inspired by Stanley Holloway, Andrew Gold, and 1970s sitcoms like George and Mildred. --Kevin Maidment

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Playground
  2. Stupidly Happy
  3. In Another Life (Excerpt Of Original Demo)
  4. In Another Life (Jug Band Variation)
  5. Some Lovely
  6. Boarded Up
  7. I'm The Man Who Murdered Love (Early Other Song Cassette)
  8. I'm The Man Who Murdered Love (Tamla Demo Excerpt)
  9. I'm The Man Who Murdered Love
  10. We're All Light (Early Cassette Idea)
  11. We're All Light
  12. Standing In For Joe (Lounge Version)
  13. Standing In For Joe
  14. Wounded Horse
  15. You And The Clouds Will Still Be Beautiful
  16. Lie For A Lie (Cassette Demo)
  17. Church Of Women
  18. The Pot Won't Hold Our Love
  19. Everything Decays
  20. The Wheel And The Maypole

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 22, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Tvt
  • ASIN: B00005K9S9
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #285,992 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Belcher on July 16, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Wasp Star, XTC's wonderfully poppy follow up to Apple Venus Vol 1, is an incredible exercise in songwriting know-how. "Homegrown" is a great inside look at the songwriting process for this album, complete with informative descriptions on the songwriting process.
As a songwriter myself, "Homegrown" is an intriguing look at the growing experience that is writing a song. I'm often inspired and impressed when listening to this album and reading through the notes. Not groundbreaking listening for the lay-person I imagine, but the album is a cool source of knowledge and a nice lesson for me. Hope you like it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mitchell Cassman on June 19, 2001
Format: Audio CD
OK...If you don't love XTC you probably will hate this CD. If you do love them this CD is really cool. Home Demos take us through the infancy of a song all the way to maturity. We hear the original idea's that Andy Partridge muttered in to his tape tape recorder as well as studio rehersals. As I said if you love XTC you'll love every minute of this disc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael Stack VINE VOICE on July 28, 2006
Format: Audio CD
"Homegrown" is a collection of demos for pieces on XTC's "Wasp Star"-- if you haven't checked out the album, you should definitely look there first. Each piece on "Wasp Star" is represented on at least one track here (sometimes more) and it provides a much more intimate portrait of the creative process than "Homespun" did for "Apple Venus". Having said that, this is not going to be for everybody.

Some of the pieces are pretty much complete in these demo versions and the deltas between the original and the recordings on here is minimal ("Wounded Horse"), although particularly given the sound of "Wasp Star", sometimes the demos do a better job capturing a sense of urgency than the album tracks do (the rollicking demo of "Playground", which I prefer to the album version). There's also a handful of tracks that we get an opportunity for a really intriguing look into their development-- Colin Moulding's "Standing in For Joe" and Andy Partridge's "I'm the Man Who Murdered Love" are first presented as acoustic guitar and voice demos before a full demo is presented (the former's acoustic demo also apparently is from before lyrics were written as the vocal is wordless) and some of the pieces are dramatically different-- "Some Lovely" (which became "My Brown Guitar") has a pronounced ska influence that hearkens back to early XTC that, while it would be somewhat more recessed on the album release, paints a nice picture of how it came to be).

Admittedly, given its format, this is not going to be everyone's cup of tea-- as an obsessive music fan, I find this sort of portrait to be downright fascinating, but this isn't the kind of thing that everyone is going to enjoy. But for me, the insight this provided allowed me greater enjoyment of "Wasp Star".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 2, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I think the other reviews are being a bit harsh. I would recommend this to any XTC fan and I rate the material on Wasp Star as just as good as anything from the Black Sea/ Settlement period. There are some amazing songs on this album and to see the genesis of great ideas like "I'm the Man Who Murdered Love", "We're All Light" and "Maypole" gives the listener great insight into the world of XTC. I've actually used a couple of the recordings to introduce people to there music, because the high-gloss production of Wasp Star and Apple Venus Vl.1 isn't to everyone's taste. The only drag to this and the original Wasp Star is Colin's songs... His muse seems to have left the shed since 1990... although a lot of people disagree with that. Anyway, if you like process as much as the art, check this album out.
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