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Skylarking [Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered]

XTCAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)

Price: $12.63 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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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
listen  1. Summer's Cauldron (2001 - Remaster) 3:19$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Grass (2001 - Remaster) 3:05$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. The Meeting Place (2001 - Remaster) 3:14$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. That's Really Super, Supergirl (2001 - Remaster) 3:21$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Ballet For A Rainy Day (2001 - Remaster) 2:50$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. 1000 Umbrellas (2001 - Remaster) 3:44$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Season Cycle (2001 - Remaster) 3:21$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Earn Enough For Us (2001 - Remaster) 2:54$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Big Day (2001 - Remaster) 3:32$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Another Satellite (2001 - Remaster) 4:15$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Mermaid Smiled (2001 - Remaster) 2:26$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul (2001 - Remaster) 3:24$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen13. Dying (2001 - Remaster) 2:31$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen14. Sacrificial Bonfire (2001 - Remaster) 3:49$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen15. Dear God (2001 - Remaster) 3:39$1.29  Buy MP3 


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Biography

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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Frequently Bought Together

Skylarking + Oranges & Lemons + English Settlement
Price for all three: $43.67

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 14, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: 1986
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Caroline
  • ASIN: B00005ATHO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,860 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

XTC's frothy, Beatle-esque concept album about birth, death, and the passing of the seasons is hardly soft-headed: its melodic inventiveness and lush orchestrations supports bitterness ("That's Really Super, Supergirl"), displacement ("The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul"), and agnostic tirade ("Dear God") as often as it does the pleasures of sun and shower. The greatest achievement of XTC's post-Drums and Wires career, Skylarking is a must-have for the first days of spring. This deluxe, remastered version of the album contains a bonus track, "Mermaid Smiled." --Rickey Wright

Product Description


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Format:Vinyl|Verified Purchase
I've loved this album since its first release. I bought the first US vinyl pressing (with "Mermaid Smiled" but without "Dear God") and then the second US pressing (with "Dear God" but without "Mermaid Smiled.") Over the years, I then bought the CD and then the Mobile Fidelity gold CD and the Japanese "mini LP" CD. Like I said -- I've loved it a long time!

From a sound quality perspective, this sounds phenomenal. There are definitely slight differences here and there, but I can't honestly say it sounds markedly different from the Mobile Fidelity CD or the original vinyl releases. Still, I don't see how anyone could be disappointed in the sound quality here at all -- it is warm, dynamic, and engaging. From a packaging and presentation perspective, though, this is definitely my FAVORITE release so far! I bought my Deluxe Hardcover set from Amazon (not a 3rd party seller) and it arrived in GREAT condition (no split seams, dinged corners, etc.) The two 45 RPM LPs were perfectly flat, gorgeous, noise-free pressings. The packaging on this deluxe set is pretty ornate so I was glad to see it so carefully packed and shipped by Amazon!

The real point of my review, though, is to let people know that there are two distinct versions of this set for sale -- and the Amazon item description is a little vague.

If you want the DELUXE VERSION in the hardcover packaging, you should order the one with the ASIN #B0044E9M2U or UPC #5038622124717 in the Product Details.

If you want the less ornate, gatefold packaging, you should order the one with the ASIN #B0044E9M2K or UPC #5038622124618 in the Product Details.

I had a difficult time being confident I was ordering the set I really wanted, so I hope that info helps another XTC fan!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remaster Is Excellent! May 13, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The album is spectacular, this is not a comment about the music at all. I did an A/B comparison with the MFSL Gold disc version against this new corrected polarity version. I bought this version in the 90s because it had such better sound than the original Geffen release issued in the States. There is no comparison between the two. They both are mastered at a nice level, not hot or compressed, in fact the levels are so close to identical I couldn't tell the difference. But that is the only way in which they are the same. The new version has a much better stereo field, more detail with the instruments, better highs, lows and midrange, voices, instruments all sound better. The MFSL disc sounds murky compared to this version. I never bought the 2002 remaster so I can't say how different they might be, but in my case, I am very happy with this release.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
I compared the new remaster to the earlier Geffen CD release, which revealed some interesting differences.

The peak levels on both versions are the same. The new remaster (Caroline Records CAR50690) sounds louder, so average levels are bumped up. This means a compression of dynamic range between soft and loud, i.e. the loudest sounds stay the same, but the softer sounds are increased in volume. I generally prefer less compression, but this album was somewhat compressed to begin with.

The remaster is more forward -- the vocals and guitars and keyboards stand out more. The sound is generally cleaner and the timbre is more natural in the midrange and high frequencies. Vocals, cymbals, guitar strums, and tinkly things sound more real.

On the other hand, the bass and drums have more impact on the original Geffen release, while the midrange and high frequencies are less prominent, and the detail is a little smeared. This is a disappointment, because I love Colin Moulding's bass work, and I don't think the remastered version does it justice.

Colin Moulding also wrote five songs on Skylarking, better than the two or three he'd get to do on some other XTC records. I think it lends more balance to the album, with less domination of Andy Partridge's sometimes strident vocals and Partridge's generally weirder -- but still fun -- songs.

Skylarking is a great pop album. I love what Todd Rundgren did with these songs, except that he tends to mix things to sound good on the radio, and that means his recordings may sound a little bland on better equipment. Oranges and Lemons, XTC's follow-up to Skylarking, is quirkier and more to my liking, but the songs and arrangements on Skylarking are top-drawer XTC.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Skylarking": The Holy Grail of Pop Music May 24, 2002
Format:Audio CD
XTC has always forged an idosyncratic career path which has delighted their fans and left others puzzled. There is a perception that the band is essentially a studio creation of a group of gifted reclusive musicians who refuse to tour because they can't cut it as a live band. In the early 90s I saw Aimee Mann coax the nortoriously stage phobic Andy Partridge out to play a few songs and he turned out to be a riveting performer as he blazed through a half a dozen XTC songs and blew the roof off the joint. Still XTC refuses to tour in support of their releases and leaving them with a hand full of devotees who count their XTC albums among their most precious possessions. "Skylarking" is the Holy Grail of lost treasures of 1980s music. I've heard a lot of comparisons to "Sgt. Peppers", but folks, this is better than the Beatles tour de force. "Skylarking" is as close to high art as pop music will ever get.
"Skylarking" is a song cycle which depicts a young man's rite of passage through the seasons of love into heartbreak and eventually disillusionment. Todd Rundgren is the cement that keeps "Skylarking" from imploding under the weight of it's big ideas. Todd's studio brilliance begs the question of why he was never able to jump start his own career. The remastering has added even more clarity to what was a "crisp as an autumn morning" original master. Todd's separtion of the vocal tracking rivals some of Brian Wilson's most inspired harmony mixes of the "Pet Sounds/Smiley Smile" era. There are charming locaction sounds like chirping crickets and singing birds that capture the esessence of XTC's eccentric pantheistic vision. If you are reading this review, you are probably among the converted. If there was any justice in this world, "Skylarking" would be grounds enough for XTC to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I have a feeling Andy and Colin could care less, but I do.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars They don't make them like this anymore.
They don't make them like this anymore.
Published 12 days ago by Alana Joseph
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thanks
Published 15 days ago by john k evan
5.0 out of 5 stars Corrected polarity edition
I have no idea what "corrected polarity" means but this pressing of Skylarking sounds brighter and cleaner than all previous (including the remaster). Read more
Published 16 days ago by Michael Mccormick
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't Need Another Satelitte
If you're a die hard XTC fanatic like I am, I think you'll still be disappointed. I listened close and hard and could barely tell any real noticable difference between the last... Read more
Published 19 days ago by Tony Y.
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe it's my imagination...
"Skylarking" has always been one of my favorite XTC albums (along with "Mummer" and "English Settlement"). Read more
Published 21 days ago by William Jens Jensen
4.0 out of 5 stars Maybe I am bi-polar? (or holy blooming bush Batman!)
Well, maybe I am going deaf, but I actually prefer the 2001 UK REMASTERED edition better. Am I alone here? Read more
Published 1 month ago by R. Kinkade
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm not going to ramble on about how great this version compared to...
I'm not going to ramble on about how great this version compared to the MFSL is blah blah blah.
I did however notice something In "Summers Cauldron" In this version... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mitchell Cassman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Classic album!
Published 1 month ago by J. Prescott
3.0 out of 5 stars Really?
Um, sure I may be in my mid-40's now, but I don't really hear a significant difference in the 'corrected polarity edition'. Read more
Published 1 month ago by W. Schneider
5.0 out of 5 stars A real improvement, remastered with care
They can call this anything they want. What’s important is that the album sounds noticeably better, and they didn’t alter the music with compression and maximum volume. Read more
Published 1 month ago by P. Couture
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