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XTC — Senses Working Overtime
Album: English Settlement
Avg rating:
6.7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2391









Released: 1982
Length: 4:29
Plays (last 30 days): 2
Hey, hey, the clouds are whey
There's straw for the donkeys
And the innocents can all sleep safely
All sleep safely

My, my, sun is pie
There's fodder for the cannons
And the guilty ones can all sleep safely
All sleep safely

And all the world is football-shaped
It's just for me to kick in space
And I can see, hear, smell, touch, taste
And I've got one, two, three, four, five
Senses working overtime
Trying to take this all in
I've got one, two, three, four, five
Senses working overtime
Trying to taste the difference 'tween a lemon and a lime
Pain and pleasure, and the church bells softly chime

Hey, hey, night fights day
There's food for the thinkers
And the innocents can all live slowly
All live slowly

My, my, the sky will cry
Jewels for the thirsty
And the guilty ones can all die slowly
All die slowly

And all the world is biscuit-shaped
It's just for me to feed my face
And I can see, hear, smell, touch, taste
And I've got one, two, three, four, five
Senses working overtime
Trying to take this all in
I've got one, two, three, four, five
Senses working overtime
Trying to taste the difference 'tween a lemon and a lime
Pain and pleasure, and the church bells softly chime

And birds might fall from black skies (Whoo-whoo)
And bullies might give you black eyes (Whoo-whoo)
And buses might skid on black ice (Whoo-whoo)
But to me they're very, very beautiful (England's glory)
Beautiful (A striking beauty)

And all the world is football-shaped
It's just for me to kick in space
And I can see, hear, smell, touch, taste
And I've got one, two, three, four, five
Senses working overtime
Trying to take this all in
I've got one, two, three, four, five
Senses working overtime
Trying to tell the difference 'tween the goods and crimes
Dirt and treasure
And there's one, two, three, four, five
Senses working overtime
Trying to take this all in
I've got one, two, three, four, five
Senses working overtime
Trying to taste the difference 'tween a lemon and a lime
Pain and pleasure, and the church bells softly chime
Comments (443)add comment
 sonicxtc wrote:
As someone wrote "a criminally underappreciated band."
I CONCUR!
XTC should have gone on to enormous success based on their immense talent, diversity, songwriting skills and studio craftsmanship. 
 

Apparently Andy Partidge had terrible stage fright - didn't help one's career back in the day...but we are huge fans and still enjoy hearing them!
As someone wrote "a criminally underappreciated band."
I CONCUR!
XTC should have gone on to enormous success based on their immense talent, diversity, songwriting skills and studio craftsmanship. 
Catchy; but so's COVID.
 sm11 wrote:
Isn't the world Soccer-shaped?
 
Foot.

Ball.

A bit complicated, I grant you.
 BCarn wrote:

Although I'm a big fan of this band, I must admit you're correct on this one. The whiny voice doesn't fit. But what the hell; it was the 80's.
 
We shall assume your obvious ignorance with this song  indicates a larger more general ignorance of music.
 ace-marc wrote:

Hmmmm, No. 
It'a great fit. And their music is timeless.

 
Hmmmmmmm. Yes.
 BCarn wrote:

Although I'm a big fan of this band, I must admit you're correct on this one. The whiny voice doesn't fit. But what the hell; it was the 80's.
 
Hmmmm, No.
It'a great fit. And their music is timeless.
Isn't the world Soccer-shaped?
Would love to hear some tracks from Nonsuch - they got great with age. 
 mrselfdestruct wrote:
One of those great chorus, shitty verse songs.
 
Although I'm a big fan of this band, I must admit you're correct on this one. The whiny voice doesn't fit. But what the hell; it was the 80's.
Glad to hear it when i am working overtime...

Trying to taste the difference 'tween a lemon and a lime


Good song but overplayed to death
 nagsheadlocal wrote:
A criminally underappreciated band. 

Thanks for playing XTC!
 Perfect way to put it. Their output over the long haul has been amazing. Would like to hear more on RP!

 markybx wrote:
I had the misfortune of living in Swindon in Wiltshire England in 1981. As far as I'm concerned there were only 2 good things to come out of Swindon: Arkell's Kingsdown Ale and XTC.
 

As one who has long been happily a resident of Washington State, USA, I can't see anything to dislike about Swindon.  Perhaps it is the similarity in climate.
Hey haaaaaayyyyy. Top tune.
Football-shaped = spherical.
 nagsheadlocal wrote:
A criminally underappreciated band. 

Thanks for playing XTC!
 

I agree. Amazing band with impressive volume of quality music. 
This entire album was of particular significance to me back in the day. Thank you WHFS!  Thank you WGTB! Thanks Bill!
Oh, yessss!!! Thank you for sharing XTC. I adored them and miss hearing them.  Add more of their tracks, please!  Thank you, Bill!!!
 tonyjory wrote:
Dig the beat provided by the sound of steel scaffolding rods dropped on concrete.

 

 tonyjory wrote:
XTC - brilliant band. Clever, highly original, and unashamedly Beatlesque. All great tracks, my favourite being about Irish navvies breaking their backs building the "Towers of London".
 

XTC - brilliant band. Clever, highly original, and unashamedly Beatlesque. All great tracks, my favourite being about Irish navvies breaking their backs building the "Towers of London".
and the most underappreciated bass player in all the land!
I had the misfortune of living in Swindon in Wiltshire England in 1981. As far as I'm concerned there were only 2 good things to come out of Swindon: Arkell's Kingsdown Ale and XTC.
Senses working overtime? Man it was 1982. Social media didn't even exist then.
 mrselfdestruct wrote:
One of those great chorus, shitty verse songs.
 
Good verse, great pre-chorus, great chorus, superb middle eight (or 16 or 24 or whatever it is).

= Great post punk pop song.
 wgsu_1978 wrote:
Great song by The Beatles of the 80s.
 
NEVER call a band "The Beatles of..." or the "next Beatles"...kiss of death. 

 MrMelons wrote:
Utter Shite
 

12345 senseless working overtime!
Utter Shite
One of those great chorus, shitty verse songs.
Always a pleasure to hear. Thanks again Bill!
A criminally underappreciated band. 

Thanks for playing XTC!
chinaski wrote:
WHFS in Bethesda, MD. used to play lots of XTC all those years ago. This song in particular is memorable as one girl I was fond of had my senses working overtime for sure but alas it wasn't the other way around.
 
I was a big time listern of WHFS during 85's and '95!!! And XTC was one of those rare precious bands they played diligently!!

 
Not heard this for quite some time
WHFS in Bethesda, MD. used to play lots of XTC all those years ago. This song in particular is memorable as one girl I was fond of had my senses working overtime for sure but alas it wasn't the other way around.
More XTC for sure!
Wonderful band and album -
{#Daisy}
 wgsu_1978 wrote:

I just wish RP would dig a little deeper into XTC's amazing catalog. "Chalkhills and Children" is an absolute masterpiece that you NEVER hear here.
 
Don't forget "Oranges & Lemons" ... A remarkable collection in every aspect.
And its cover? Unabashedly The Beatles of the 80's indeed!
 
More from this band please, RP!
 wgsu_1978 wrote:
Great song by The Beatles of the 80s.

 
I just wish RP would dig a little deeper into XTC's amazing catalog. "Chalkhills and Children" is an absolute masterpiece that you NEVER hear here.
absolutely brilliant
Gonna rate this song - 1,2,3,4      5


Did this song just start over? Please make it end.
Godlike indeed!  Yumm.  Layers, complexity, wit, a hook And an irresistible Groove!  Oh my.  
I was watching this over the weekend. It's Andy Partridge explaining the origins of this song and whatnot.
Great song from an amazing band. I'm surprised they never went to supergroup status,
 VH1 wrote:
Loved it then, love it now!{#Dancingbanana}

 
exactly !
Still good to hear this. Such a THE WHO-ish prechorus.
A good 7 for me.
And you'll see a VERY good live version here.
I had'nt hear since years. In the eighties, their records was not easy to find in France and i was searching them everywhere in records shops, like a fool! I was so fond of this band. And i was right, it still very good. Play more from "Black sea" or "The big express" please...
they're wonderful. :)
Great song by The Beatles of the 80s.

I will never understand why this band never became big?


 Krispian wrote:
One of the greatest bands ever. 

 
+1  
One of the greatest bands ever. 
I was infatuated with a girl when this album came out. Senses Working Overtime nailed my feelings. Senses working overtime. Yeah they were.
Loved it then, love it now!{#Dancingbanana}

This song reminds me of college.....WBRU , Thursday nights "For Headphones Only" This song always headlined the show.


 Andybob wrote:
From English Settlement. One of the greatest albums of the 80s, or any decade for my money. Not a bad song on it and musical variety that would do RP proud.

 
Absolutely, it's a great album.
 treatment_bound wrote:
Nice!  Instantly transforms me back to the Summer of '82, when I threw this on my turntable for relief from the Asia and "Eye of the Tiger" onslaught!
 
{#Lol}
 gemtag wrote:
Great song, and a reason to give RP dollars to keep things going. How many other stations will you hear great music like this. Support RP or be forced to listen to advertiser supported radio.   

 



Well said..

This track was like wallpaper when I was kid in the 80's - so much airplay that I didn't really listen to properly it until just a few years ago.  The I started exploring the rest of  the discography - so much excellent stuff from XTC and such an astonishing lack of recognition.  I suppose it illustrates how important touring is.
Great song, and a reason to give RP dollars to keep things going. How many other stations will you hear great music like this. Support RP or be forced to listen to advertiser supported radio.   
One of my favorite all-time songs. The writing, changes and arrangement still blows me away 32 or so years after first hearing it!
 Andybob wrote:
From English Settlement. One of the greatest albums of the 80s, or any decade for my money. Not a bad song on it and musical variety that would do RP proud.

 
{#Yes}
 Andybob wrote:
From English Settlement. One of the greatest albums of the 80s, or any decade for my money. Not a bad song on it and musical variety that would do RP proud.

 
{#Cheers}
 slandering wrote:
the drummer is sooo cool, also on making plans for nigel

 
That'd be Terry Chambers. Check out his work on the rest of the album or on Black Seas.
 greiffenstein wrote:

Wow, I'd never heard this song or this band and I instantly love it.  Complex enough to be interesting but not too much to be annoying.  Great sound, I hear a little Men at Work, Big Country, The Clash, Yes, perhaps a sprinkle of Bowie in there...

 

Once again, Bill, thank you for the introduction!  {#Cheers}



 
Oh my, you are in for a treat!  This was the first album of theirs I heard.  Many, many moons later, they remain My Favorite Band In The Whole World!

Wait until you hear Black Sea, Oranges & Lemons, and the Todd Rundgren produced Skylarking...  Joy! 
From English Settlement. One of the greatest albums of the 80s, or any decade for my money. Not a bad song on it and musical variety that would do RP proud.
Nice!  Instantly transforms me back to the Summer of '82, when I threw this on my turntable for relief from the Asia and "Eye of the Tiger" onslaught!

Wow, I'd never heard this song or this band and I instantly love it.  Complex enough to be interesting but not too much to be annoying.  Great sound, I hear a little Men at Work, Big Country, The Clash, Yes, perhaps a sprinkle of Bowie in there...

 

Once again, Bill, thank you for the introduction!  {#Cheers}


the drummer is sooo cool, also on making plans for nigel
"And all the world is biscuit-shaped. It's just for me to feed my face."

8 -> 9 
 ScottishWillie wrote:
Never understood why this band didn't make it BIG
 

Me too—perhaps it was because they went into hibernation.

I actually saw them live once in late 1980 (a "festival seating" show on the floor at the Mpls. Armory) opening for The Police, and it did seem at that time like they were on their way bigger and better things in the U.S.  
 
I only really remember standing way at the back casually grooving with friends during their opening set as they plowed through many cuts off the quite likable current release "Black Sea" and some stuff off "Drums and Wires".

If I'd known they were going to quit touring less than 14 months later after A. Partridge suffered a mental breakdown, I surely would have tried to work my way up closer to the stage and get into it a bit more. 

But ultimately, I had to settle for a series of decent studio albums all through the eighties.  They turned into some sort of "Alternative Steely Dan"!  
Never understood why this band didn't make it BIG
Outstanding, and there's even better XTC out there.
Chalkhills & Children, please. 
 aspicer wrote:
Outstanding tune and shocked the rating is not higher.  Yes it has been overplayed, but still it is a lyrically and musically impressive piece of work.  This album, BTW, is a desert island disc IMHO.  BRILLIANT!   {#Cool}

 
+1  {#Cool}
Outstanding    (wow '82! loved it then, love it now)
We be singing loudly in the kitchen!
XTC ....too smart to be successful.
Aptly named band. I haven't logged in for ages. Furst heard this little ditty whilst traveling amongst the fungi.{#Sunny}
Outstanding tune and shocked the rating is not higher.  Yes it has been overplayed, but still it is a lyrically and musically impressive piece of work.  This album, BTW, is a desert island disc IMHO.  BRILLIANT!   {#Cool}
senses working outstandingly!
Great track from a criminally underrated band. Prefer the Black Sea album though.
Around our household, and even in the workplace, when, on the odd occasion, I've said or done something particularly clever or witty, I've used this song's chorus as an explanation for my insight. Usually brings a chuckle. And of course, NO ONE knows who the heck XTC is. Too bad.
 Tony0600 wrote:
An irritating, boring and monotonous song

 
Checking out your past song ratings we seem to be of similar age and tastes.

Not in this case, I guess.
An irritating, boring and monotonous song
XTC in the Spring.

Love it. 
 eve_silver wrote:
It looks loke alot of people here are wearing nostalgia's glasses. This song is extremely annoying and I'm surprised the rating isn't lower than it actually is.

 
Maybe even more than you think.  This is reminiscent of 60s pop tunes like "Needles and Pins".
For the XTC fans out there, check out the new Mike Keneally/Andy Partridge collaboration "Wing Beat Fantastic"

No nostalgia glasses needed.... 
It looks loke alot of people here are wearing nostalgia's glasses. This song is extremely annoying and I'm surprised the rating isn't lower than it actually is.
 
msymmes wrote:
I keep bumping this up the rating scale.
 

Not sure I can go past 7 on this one.
 Fooboy wrote:
How many was that again ?
1, 2, 3, 4 ?
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 ?
 



..there you go again, overworking my senses.. :P
How many was that again ?
1, 2, 3, 4 ?
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 ?
 Bobert_ParkCity wrote:
amazed at the low rating. a great tune.
 
Me too. I can only put it down to people not having known it when it was released and maybe hearing it now for the first time it could appear a tad dated. It deserves to be on occasional rotation here on RP though as it is so nostalgic. 
Holy smokes, heavy flashback to high school.  Cool.
They were playing this in the grocery story the other night...and I started laughing because I knew all the words.
 This was a sing-along song with my kids way back when...
I'll second that.

maderi wrote:
Excellent song from one of the best albums ever........ rating must go up
 


Excellent song from one of the best albums ever........ rating must go up
Creative Geniuses for sure!
I am glad they never made too big.
They have had a very successful career.
I think I enjoy the verse part more than the poppy chorus...yet the contrast is what helps this propel above most other rock music. A balance that only XTC seem to handle effortlessly. Great album! A definite Top 10 of the 80s.
 nagsheadlocal wrote:
Too bad these guys never really hit the big time. At last report Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding had gone their separate ways, with Andy writing music for TV and adverts. I wish them the best, they were my favorite band from the late 70s into the early 90s.

"We thought we'd form a band and meet girls, get famous, and drink a lot of beer. Well, we've drunk a lot of beer . . . "
- Andy Partridge 
 
I've drunk a lot of beer two|
amazed at the low rating. a great tune.
I keep bumping this up the rating scale.
as my father said,
     "They dont write 'em like this anymore."
 msymmes wrote:

Agreed !

 
 
I'll take the third spot on that island of yours. :-)
 aspicer wrote:
Awesome song from a ridiculously brilliant album - a desert island disc for sure!!!!
 
Agreed !

 
Too bad these guys never really hit the big time. At last report Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding had gone their separate ways, with Andy writing music for TV and adverts. I wish them the best, they were my favorite band from the late 70s into the early 90s.

"We thought we'd form a band and meet girls, get famous, and drink a lot of beer. Well, we've drunk a lot of beer . . . "
- Andy Partridge 
XTC in general bugs me, I hate the whiney voice, but this one is not bad.
Awesome song from a ridiculously brilliant album - a desert island disc for sure!!!!
8 to 9
Anything that makes me sing at work before 8 am after <6 hours of sleep is good. I might even agree with brilliant!
i do not really like XTC, in general - but this one is really brillant!
 terrapin52 wrote:
wow.  this doesn't sound so good.  ouch!
 

are you shitting me?

this is —->
{#Sunny}BRILLIANT!!! {#Cool}

wow.  this doesn't sound so good.  ouch!
 AlonzoTheArmless wrote:

I heard a sample of Mandy Moore's version on iTunes. It was hideous.

 



Thanks for the tip. There's 4 minutes I'll never get back. If you watch the You Tube performance she looks like she's giving birth to a porcupine as she searches for the right key to sing in. Ouch!
XTC. One of my all time favorite bands. This is one of my all time favorite songs. 
Just another one of those quirky songs that I get a big kick out of!

God I Wish my LP sounded this good  {#Bananajam}
 AlonzoTheArmless wrote:

I heard a sample of Mandy Moore's version on iTunes. It was hideous.

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcIuHDrZ7Bw&feature=related

{#Puke}