XTC as Dukes of Stratosphere – 25 O’Clock – 200 Gram, Vinyl, LP, Reissue, Ape House Uk, 2019
Limited 200gm #vinyl LP pressing. Digitally remastered release from XTC’s Andy Partridge, Colin Moulding, and Dave Gregory masquerading as ‘lost’ ’60s psych band called The Dukes of Stratosphear. This 1985 mini-album was produced by John Leckie (Swami Anand Nagara) and The Dukes. The story is a familiar one. XTC, as a non-touring band, between the recording/release of The Big Express and Skylarking, adopted the alter egos of The Dukes of Stratosphear and set about writing and recording 25 O’Clock, partying like it was 1967 and stereo phasing had just been popularized. With a clutch of songs as tuneful as Sgt. Pepper’s, guitars cranked up like a Kinks Pye b-side, the collective knowledge of a bunch of psych’s keenest fanboys and the engineering skills of John Leckie… The resulting album sits somewhere in the pantheon of greatness between Evolution, Their Satanic Majesties Request and S. F. Sorrow.