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A Testimonial Dinner: The Songs of XTC

A Testimonial Dinner: The Songs of XTC

Various Artists - RockAudio CD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Price: $16.98 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25. Details
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Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Earn Enough For UsFreedy Johnston 3:29$0.99 Buy Track
listen  2. Senses Working OvertimeSpacehog 3:52$0.99 Buy Track
listen  3. All You Pretty GirlsCrash Test Dummies 4:15$0.99 Buy Track
listen  4. Wake UpThe Verve Pipe 4:04$0.99 Buy Track
listen  5. Making Plans For NigelThe Rembrandts 5:03$0.99 Buy Track
listen  6. Dear GodSara Mclachlan 3:58$0.99 Buy Track
listen  7. The Man Who Sailed Around His SoulRuben Blades 4:53$0.99 Buy Track
listen  8. Another SatelliteP.Hux 4:20$0.99 Buy Track
listen  9. 25 O'ClockThey Might Be Giants 4:05$0.99 Buy Track
listen10. The Good ThingsTerry And The Lovemen 4:41$0.99 Buy Track
listen11. Statue of LibertyJoe Jackson 3:05$0.99 Buy Track

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 17, 1995)
  • Original Release Date: October 11, 1995
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Thirsty Ear
  • ASIN: B0000057NY
  • Also Available in: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #211,442 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

7 Reviews
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Average Customer Review
3.3 out of 5 stars (7 customer reviews)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than I expected, February 29, 2000
By Michael J Edelman (Huntington Woods, MI USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Testimonial Dinner: The Songs of XTC (Audio CD)
Most songs by quirky rock/pop composer-performers don't survive being covered; If they do, it's often only by slavishly copying the original note for note. But Partridge and Moulding's songs are so strong that they often do very well in other hands.

Some of the songs on this collection don't survive the individualistic treatment; the first three cuts on this album are pretty forgettable. But some are gems. Reuben Blades changes "The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul" from XTC's Rundgren-produced spy movie theme into a steamy Latin tune. TMBG's"25 o'Clock" is as much fun as the original. Sarah McLachlan's "Dear God" is as good in its own way as the original. And "The Good Things" by Terry and the Lovemen is probably unique in the history of recorded music- a band covering itself!

If you're an XTC fan you'll need this album to complete your collection, of course. If you're not already a fan, buy the XTC originals, but buy this one just for McLachlan's cut.

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
2.0 out of 5 stars A Testimonial Snack, March 25, 2002
This review is from: A Testimonial Dinner: The Songs of XTC (Audio CD)
If you're new to XTC, and like other artists better (maybe some that are on this CD) then maybe this is the one for you.
For me, this was a little disappointing. I think too many of the artists stuck too close to the original and didn't try injecting anything of themselves into the songs. But that is the problem with XTC songs, they are so indelibly stamped with XTCishness, it's hard to imagine them being covered.
Granted, there are many singers who can carry off an XTC song better than Moulding or Partridge, but when you've heard the sheer quality of their work, you can't imagine anyone else singing them really.
I am a fan of Sarah MacLachlan, but to be honest, I found her rendition of the song a little bit boring. The songs lyrics can be sung out with either venom or sadness, it seems she did neither, which is surprising because she can be quite melancholy and wistful on her own tracks. She didn't seem to take this anywhere.
Ruben Blades version of "The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul" is absolutely stunning, and dare I say it, as good as the original. He made this song his own, and he sounded like he cared. It gives this CD authenticity, and is the only track worth it apart from the following . .
The Verve Pipe's "Wake Up" and Terry & The Lovemen's "The Good Things". Verve Pipe because they made the song their own without losing what makes the song recognisable as an XTC song, they put enough of themselves in without forgetting that the song is great with or without them.
And "The Good Things" because it's XTC, and it's one of the best things Colin Moulding has written in the XTC canon. He may write less than Partridge, but he absolutely comes up with very observant, life catching songs without being pretentious.

The rest of the songs are a mixed batch -- the strongest being They Might Be Giants "25 O'Clock", which matches the original in sound and texture, but beefes up the solo section a bit, making it a bit snappier and less psychedelic.
And those are the only ones I remember from this disc worth mentioning. Just an opinion.

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
3.0 out of 5 stars Typical Tribute Mixed Bag, December 5, 1999
By Alf Kremer (Denver CO) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Testimonial Dinner: The Songs of XTC (Audio CD)
There's a fundamental problem with tribute albums - big fans of the original band won't like them ("they've ruined the songs!") and fans of the covering bands tend not to listen to much else but their favorite band's one track. That said, TE has compiled an impressive and varied group to take a stab at XTC's oeuvre. Highlights include: Sarah McLachlan's haunting remake of "Dear God", the Rembrandts' straight "Making Plans for Nigel", Ruben Blades recasting of "The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul", Crash Test Dummies' odd reworking of "All You Pretty Girls" and They Might Be Giants' typically odd "25 O'Clock". Only Spacehog's glam "Senses Working Overtime" doesn't quite work. Oddly, Joe Jackson's "Statue of Liberty", which should be a match made in heaven, is simply good. XTC fans, approach with an open mind...and be pleasantly rewarded.

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Most Recent Customer Reviews

1.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't rate it any lower....
If you are a fan of XTC, DO NOT listen to this. You will want
to kill yourself. I almost did.
This compilation is the biggest insult to
one of the greatest (and...
Published on December 13, 2003 by Matthew A. Schaldach

4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant concept & solid execution, with a few mis-steps
The subtle reworkings of "Earn Enough for Us" and "Senses Working Overtime" are smart interpretations, staying close to the original but being different enough...
Published on January 29, 2002 by mooshai

4.0 out of 5 stars Fine for its particular audience
The 'Testimonial dinner' set of covers is smart, well produced, and interesting to people who know the XTC material already.
Published on August 28, 2000

5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it if only for Sarah McLachlan's Cover of "Dear God"
I thoroughly enjoyed this CD. I purchased it after being blown away by hearing XTC's classic "Dear God" covered in a new, unique manner - a manner which payed great...
Published on January 7, 1998 by Clark Adams

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