Top Ten Songs from the Album Skylarking by XTC

When XTC were prepping the music for the next album, Virgin Records executives insisted that the record sell well and drafted in Todd Rundgren as producer. Andy Partridge had an idea for creating a concept album about cycles in nature and life; he dubbed it Skylarking. Much of the music on this album is heavily influenced by 1960's psychedelic pop, with updated production values and instruments for the 80s. Many of the songs flow into each other, such as Summer's Cauldron and Grass, Ballet for a Rainy Day and 1000 Umbrellas, as well as Dear God and Dying. It has since been considered by most critics and fans to be XTC's greatest work. Feel free to vote and comment, and if I missed your favorite track on the album, please feel free to add it to the list.

The Top Ten

1 Ballet for a Rainy Day

This one's a piano driven semi ballad inspired by Andy Partridge's childhood. Being England, the weather would frequently rain, and his mother would often get frustrated over her hairdo being ruined. I love it because it has a really beautiful melody. - Gg2000

2 Season Cycle

This songs about the changes in seasons that occur regularly in nature. It's piano-driven and has a melody that is very reminiscent of The Beach Boys. - Gg2000

3 Big Day

Colin Moulding, the bass player, wrote this song after hearing that his son was going to be married. It's a great description of both the excitement and the anxiousness that young couples feel on their wedding day. - Gg2000

4 Grass

Grassin' this song, dude. - BorisRule

Another Colin Moulding song. This one's inspired by the time he spent out at Coate Water Country Park in Swindon, England (his hometown). - Gg2000

5 Dear God

This song was originally left off the album, but Geffen Records added it to the album after it started to get regular radio play in America. It was considered controversial because it was about an agnostic who writes a final letter to God, completely disowning him. - Gg2000

6 The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul

This song is interesting because the verses are written in 7/4 time rather than 4/4 time. It's got a very strong jazz influence. - Gg2000

7 1000 Umbrellas

This song has a really intricate string arrangement crafted by lead guitarist and keyboardist Dave Gregory on a sequencer and a string patch synthesizer. - Gg2000

8 The Meeting Place

Colin Moulding wrote this one too; he said that the guitar riff reminded him of the British children's T.V. series Toytown. - Gg2000

9 Earn Enough for Us

This song was inspired by Andy's first job at a paint shop, where the boss man always criticized his appearance and never respected him regardless of how hard he worked. - Gg2000

10 That's Really Super, Supergirl

This one has a more contemporary feel then most of the tracks, being driven by a synthesized drum loop. Nonetheless it does feature a short but clever guitar solo. Dave Gregory used Eric Clapton's Gibson SG, The Fool, to record it; it was owned by Todd Rundgren at the time. - Gg2000

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