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The Dukes of Stratosphear Vinyl, CD & tapes by The Dukes of Stratosphear at Norman Records

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XTC
Skylarking

Now the stuff of legend, XTC were holed up with eccentric producer Todd Rundgren for this 1986 album in which band and producer battled, sniped and argued throughout. You'd never guess listening to the more pastoral parts of the record and despite what the band think, it's a really great album. This version is the reverse polarity edition which sorted out some of the original album's sound issues. Also includes notorious US hit 'Dear God' which was inexplicably left off the original album.  
  • Artist(s):
  • The Dukes of Stratosphear

XTC
English Settlement

English Settlement was the moment when XTC decided to do what every band should do at some point in their lifetime  - make the sprawling over-indulged double album. Yet it was this freedom that enabled the band to play in different styles other than their hitherto seen arty agit pop. It marked a move towards the the eccentric and pastoral music they would subsequently mine over the rest of their career and it spawned a top 10 hit in Senses Working Overtime. It might take you a week to get through it but it will be worth it.   
  • Vinyl Double LP (APELPX105)
  • Preorder now (ships on release)
  • Artist(s):
  • The Dukes of Stratosphear

The Dukes of Stratosphear
25 O' Clock

'25 O' Clock' rock, around the clock... The debut album from the mysterious and elusive Dukes of Stratosphear (not actually that mysterious and elusive, just XTC having some fun) is a good argument for the value in knowing your musical history. The 80s were not the 60s but that doesn't mean you couldn't make great 60s music in the 80s. 
  • Artist(s):
  • The Dukes of Stratosphear

The Dukes of Stratosphear
Psonic Psunspot

The Dukes of Stratosphear were a 60s psychedelic pop group who released two albums. 'Psonic Psunspot', their second, was released in 1987... Wait a minute, something's not quite right. These Dukes were actually the side-project of art-punks XTC who managed to not only be convincing, but also very, very good. A whole lot of fun.
  • Vinyl LP (APELP024)
  • Preorder now (ships on release)
  • Limited edition
  • Artist(s):
  • The Dukes of Stratosphear

The Dukes of Stratosphear
Psurroundabout Ride

The Dukes of Stratosphear were the alter ego of XTC in the mid '80s a time when psychedelic music was seemingly confined to the dustbin of history despite slowly emerging scenes in then UK and the US. The band adopted pseudonyms in order to make music more obviously in thrall to the 60s psychedelic experiences they'd had as youths and strangely enough the Dukes started to sell more records than its parent band. Indeed producer John Leckie was chosen by the Stone Roses after they'd heard his work on 25 O’Clock and Psonic Psunspot the two albums collected here. Both have been remastered and on the blu-ray you also get complete demos and instrumental versions.  
  • Artist(s):
  • The Dukes of Stratosphear

XTC
Apple Venus Vol. I

Not many bands release their finest album 20+ years into their career but XTC aren't really like other bands. After a long lay off whilst they were in a contract dispute with Virgin, the band returned in 1999 with this stunning collection of pastoral and orchestrated pop music. Great throughout, the final three songs are the best of their career. Surely this is Swindon's answer to Pet Sounds. 
  • Artist(s):
  • The Dukes of Stratosphear

XTC
Wasp Star (Apple Venus Vol II)

Thank the lord the mooted double Apple Venus album was split into two and therefore the magnificent Apple Venus Vol 1 could stand on it's own two feet. Wasp Star was a more muscular, guitar orientated XTC album but lacks the colour provided by the departed Dave Gregory's guitar playing and arrangements. A good album but always trails slightly in the wake to it's predecessor. 
  • Artist(s):
  • The Dukes of Stratosphear