XTC announce vinyl reissue for The Big Express

A portrait of XTC L-R: Dave Gregory, Colin Moulding, Terry Chambers, Andy Partridge
(Image credit: XTC, L-R: Dave Gregory, Colin Moulding, Terry Chambers, Andy Partridge)

XTC are to have their 1984 album, The Big Express, reissued on vinyl for the first time since the 1980s, through Ape House Records on November 11.

The album, the band's seventh, was a concept album of sorts, a partly autobiographical reflection on growing up in an industrial town, Swindon, with its history of engineering and railway accomplishments.

Recorded on a budget over £75,000 (over £250,000 today!), The Big Express was released on October 15, 1984 but only reached No. 38 in the UK album charts. The single All You Pretty Girls only managed No. 55 in the UK singles charts, despite the video having a £33,000 budget from Virgin Records.

"I love that album and nobody ever mentions it. That and Mummer are the two ignored discs," Andy Partridge has said. Both were the first albums the band recorded having retired from live performance.

The Big Express was recorded as a core trio of Partridge, Colin Moulding and Dave Gregory, with The Glitter Band's Pete Phipps as a session drummer (he'd also played on Mummer). The album was originally released in a circular sleeve as an homage to the Small Faces Ogden's Nut Gone Flake.

The album is being reissued on heavyweight 200g vinyl newly cut from masters by Jason Mitchell at LOUD mastering and approved by AndyPartridge.

Pre-order The Big Express.


(Image credit: Ape House)

XTC: The Big Express

Side One
1. Wake Up
2. All You Pretty Girls
3. Shake You Donkey Up
4. Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her, Kiss Her
5. This World Over

Side Two
1. The Everyday Story Of Smalltown
2. I Bought Myself A Liarbird
3. Reign Of Blow
4. You’re The Wish You Are I Had
5.  I Remember The Sun
6. Train Running Low On Soul Coal

Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.