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Homespun: The Apple Venus Volume One Home Demos [Limited Edition] [Limited Edition]

3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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XTC hailed from Swindon to cultivate a legacy of highly original British pop born from their early punk/new wave roots in the late 70s. Their angular yet melodic songs, lead by distinctive jagged riffs boasted the catchiest of pop sensibilities which was then injected with an edginess by the darker overtones of astute and often political lyrics. Throughout their career, from the jerky earlier ... Read more in Amazon's XTC Store

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Homespun: The Apple Venus Volume One Home Demos [Limited Edition] + Apple Venus Volume 1
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  • Apple Venus Volume 1 $27.49

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 5, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Limited Edition
  • Label: Tvt
  • ASIN: B000020688
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,047 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Demo versions of all 11 tracks from the English new wave leg ends' 1999 comeback outing 'Apple Venus Volume One'. Include s a 24-page booklet with lyrics, extracts from Andy Partridge's notebook and exclusive photos. 1999 TVT release.

XTC may have spent most of the 1990s locked in a protracted "strike" against their record label of 15 years, but mainstays Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding continued to compose an impressive body of songs, many of which finally saw the light of day on the elegantly sophisticated Apple Venus Volume One. This new collection documents--literally and figuratively--those "lost years," from doodlings and scratched-out lyrical fragments to rough cassette tapes and multitrack home recordings. The resulting album, whose titles match Apple Venus track for track, is essentially a documentary of the earlier album's genesis, yet one whose compelling viewpoint stands on its own. Though obviously intended for XTC diehards, these stark, modernistic takes are rife with flourishes inspired by everything from Philip Glass to modern jazz. Partridge's and Moulding's copious notes are as blunt as they are playfully self-deprecating; good humor is hardly the least of their assets. It would be easy and wrong to characterize Homespun as Apple Venus Unplugged. Extra-dimensional is more to the point. --Jerry McCulley

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice February 28, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Yes, the arrangements are almost identical to the studio release. But in many cases the performances are superior. Vocals come through clearer; ideas are more obvious. It's a real testament to their musicianship/professionalism that the songs are so similar in demo and final form. Clearly, they are their own producers, rather than pretty faced fools who let others turn their songs into hits. Have some heart, pundits. They need the money. I read a long (and entertaining) interview where they described how much it cost to rent the orchestra for one day. It wiped out almost all the money they had. Yes, their own money. So if you wanna hear the second Apple Venus, quit yer yappin. This demo CD is for supporters and fans of musicians, rather than record companies.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blueprint of Happiness December 16, 2000
Format:Audio CD
One of the biggest problems I have with XTC is that so few people realize that Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding are Britain's greatest gift to songwriting since Lennon and McCartney. But you see, you can't really tell people this without them reacting as if you just blasphemed God.
That being stated, my reaction to those detractors who consider this release to be self indulgent would have to be something like, would you say something like that if The Beatles released a collection of rough demos of songs before being produced as polished albums? Imagine Abbey Road before the orchestral arrangements and segues were worked in.
If anything, hearing the rough takes of these magnificent songs gives a deeper appreciation for each one, if you happen to adore the album as much as I do. Actually, before buying this version I was expecting a tad more rough edges; I wasn't aware that much of the "orchestral" arrangement on Apple Venus was sampled sound. So let the buyer beware ... this is not exactly the "unplugged" approach.
Homespun could indeed be considered a for-fans-only release. Or maybe directed towards "limited edition" suckers like myself. I guess I just appreciate this album because it's sort of an invitation into the musical world of a songwriting team I happen to respect very highly, especially after such an admirable comeback effort as Apple Venus. I have already sung its praises in another review of that album. Hopefully THAT won't be considered too self-indulgent.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I think you're missing the point. December 1, 1999
Format:Audio CD
I think a couple of people are missing the point... The reason this is out is (I heard) they didn't have the cash to finish AV Vol 2, so this would generate some cash AND be of interest to their core fans. Plus, the demos ~are~ a good insight to their creative process.... I ~love~ to see the rough drafts... If you're just waiting for Vol 2, why did you buy this in the first place?
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What's the point? October 9, 1999
Format:Audio CD
Don't get me wrong. I'm a HUGE XTC fan from the beginning. I love "Apple Venus Vol. 1", but I'm perplexed why they would bother to put out this CD of "home demos" which do not differ significantly from the final product. I mean, this is an exact replica of "A.V. Vol. 1", track by track, except that the songs are in a cruder form. Okay, it's interesting for a listen or two, but why bother? I'd much rather listen to the final "Apple Venus Vol. 1"! For that matter, I'd rather hear "Apple Venus, Vol. 2!" I thought that was supposed to be out in August! Come on Andy, Colin... this is a bit of musical m*****bation, isn't it?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare insight into the creative process October 5, 1999
Format:Audio CD
This unique 'home demo' cd offers a rare insight into the creative process of writing and recording the Apple Venus Vol. I album and it is an essential purchase for every xtc fan.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting rough draft of Apple Venus Vol. 1 October 7, 1999
Format:Audio CD
Clearly designed for the XTC fan, Homespun probably isn't the best place to be introduced to the band. Still, the variations (minor though they may be)are interesting between final draft and rough sketch. Both Partridge and Moulding have a fairly clear idea as to what they want the final product to sound like.
The packaging is actually superior to AV1 with reproductions of lyrics, etc., that make this a much more attractive package than the average "rarities" package. The cover art, a visual pun on the AV1 cover, is quite clever. A bonus that might have made this disc a little more fun for the XTC fan would have been to include the spoken word portion featured on the singles about how each song was created.
Oh, well, for that you have to get the Japanese import (it features the previously released "How they came to be" sections).
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars : interstate5 from USA Must not listen to XTC much April 16, 2000
Format:Audio CD
first of all, the whole 'obscene abomination of a song' thing does not paraphrase The Dukes Of Stratosphear (XTC) it is simply a line in one of thier songs taken from a radio interview of a guy whining about the lyrics of an unrelated 1970s anti-war song..they just liked the line. secondly...any TRUE XTC fan would know exactly what they are getting from a demo album...if you had ever listened to any 'recorded live'/radio performance you would be impressed with the quality of thier sound.... particularily 'acoustic' performances, so what is your logic...they are they have to sound rough and scratchy? go record all your cds on to poor quality audio tape if thats what you want.... the fact of the matter is..the only time i have EVER heard a poor XTC performance is when there has been TOO MUCH electronics used and ruined thier own 'natural sound' the reason these particular demos sound as good as the CD is because A: they just DO B: they arent with Virgin/Geffen any one messing with thier stuff C: this stuff isnt recorded onto cassette tape.....its recorded onto professional tape using 4-track or better professional quality machines in thier own home studios D: these guys are f'n talented..thier work is grossly under-appreciated (my $.02 plus any applicable taxes) (or are we REALLY upset that Homespun doesnt have any original tracks and its just a home demo duplicate of Apple Venus 1 and we didnt bother to read the back label...?)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Liner Notes!
The material doesn't add to the studio version, but the liner notes are well worth having. Buy this is you're an XTC addict.
Published 5 months ago by Alan F. Dyche
4.0 out of 5 stars A peek inside the process.
First thing's first, "Homespun" is an album of demos for "Apple Venus". If you don't have that record, look there first (although if you're new to XTC, "Skylarking" is the usual... Read more
Published on July 27, 2006 by Michael Stack
4.0 out of 5 stars wrong cover displayed...
(...the cover currently displayed belongs to the "parent" album, Apple Venus. Homespun's cover is similar, but is an embroidery of the peacock feather. Read more
Published on March 4, 2006 by Stargrazer
5.0 out of 5 stars Demo's? I know, sounds strange, but well worth it!
Probably one of my favorite albums ever is Apple Venus pt. 1. Therefore, the demos were a welcome addition to my collection. Read more
Published on October 9, 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Only Us English Recognise Talent
Having just reviewed XTC'S Wasp Star,I thought I would check out previous reviews of their works.Only to find out that unless you live outside the USA,then anything of true... Read more
Published on August 30, 2000 by Christopher Page
2.0 out of 5 stars thumbs down
I don't actually own this album, but I did buy Apple Venus, and I'll say this: I hope that this album has the charm that that album lacked. Read more
Published on December 29, 1999 by ""
2.0 out of 5 stars Good songs, but I have heard them all already
The Dissapointed. Why do I need demos of all the songs already on Apple Venus 1. Let's bring on Apple Venus 2, after all, isn't that what we were promised?
Published on October 8, 1999
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