Inside XTC's "Complicated Game"


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Chuffed to see my longtime favorite band here, but one small correction: The song you cited from the White Music album is called “This is Pop?,” not “Pop Song.”


Oops. Yes. Thank you for the gentle correction. Fixed.


As a fan of XTC, this book sounds interesting even if a bit derivative of another book written on this subject back in the late 1990’s called ‘XTC Song Stories’ by XTC and Neville Farmer. I have a copy and it covers just about every song and album from White Music through Nonsuch, plus a few tunes that would later end up on the Apple Venus and Wasp Star albums. Since the book was released just prior to Apple Venus Vol 1, it also includes lots of detail on the issues XTC had with their label as well as their struggle to record a new album. If you liked Complicated Game, you should check out this book as well.




Interesting that you mention this, SC, because the book – in the fact, the interviews themselves – in large part grew from Andy’s frustration with “Song Stories.” Because he felt that so much good information had gotten left on the cutting-room floor, so to speak, and was frustrated by the word-count limitations of print, he was very open to doing longer, more detailed interviews about each song.

Of course, the irony here is that we were only able to include 30 interviews (albeit with new content in each one, and with other new material) in this printed book. So, to address your frustration about this, Gareth (as well as mine), Andy and I are looking at creating a second volume that will cover more songs from the XTCatalog, as well as some songs he’s written but hasn’t yet released (but hopes to).

Oh, and I’m glad you enjoyed the book. :slight_smile:


Amazing job on the book, Todd. Loved it. Would love to see a second volume.


Thank you! :blush:


Fans of XTC will enjoy Todd Rundgren’s appearance on Mark Maron’s “WTF” podcast–he gives an excellent recap of his struggles with Andy Partridge during the production of Skylarking.


I read this last year, along with Elvis Costello’s recent memoir. Enjoyed both immensely. And here’s another nice AP interview by the Sodajerker podcasters who cover songwriting craft pretty well: Their others are also great - Check out Nick Lowe, Robyn Hitchcock in particular.


“Enjoy” might not be the right word. Andy is famously prickly, but in that interview Todd was just kind of a prick, and Maron egged him on a bit.

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