XTC - Skylarking album review
“A summer’s day cooked into one cake,” as XTC man Andy Partridge puts it.
It’s common knowledge that XTC and Todd Rundgren didn’t get along. Drafted in to produce 1986’s Skylarking at the insistence of the record label, who desperately wanted to break XTC in America, Rundgren presided over sessions that swiftly became acrimonious. The fallout is still apparent today. Early this year, the American maverick claimed that Andy Partridge never trusted him. Partridge, for his part, recently told Prog that while Rundgren was a brilliant arranger, his bedside manner was “very difficult to handle”. If any of this discord made it onto the finished result, it’s impossible to tell. Skylarking, XTC’s ninth album, is a prog pop masterpiece that glows ever brighter with the passing of time.