XTC - Skylarking reissue album review
Rundgren versus Partridge equals accidental classic
Classic British pop album, or sitcom plot? Major label (Virgin) with floundering band (XTC) bring in all-American producer (Todd Rundgren) to help make the band more US-friendly. But Rundgren turns out to be a rampant Anglophile who cranks up the Beatledelic feel of the band and turns the record into a summer’s day concept album, while constantly butting egos with singer Andy Partridge. Then the label goes and chops off the one song – Dear God, a chamber-folk open letter to an imaginary sky pixie – that would eventually become a US radio hit.