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XTC — Making Plans for Nigel
Album: Drums and Wires
Avg rating:
6.8

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1636









Released: 1979
Length: 4:00
Plays (last 30 days): 1
We're only making plans for Nigel
We only want what's best for him
We're only making plans for Nigel
Nigel just needs this helping hand
And if young Nigel says he's happy
He must be happy
He must be happy in his work
We're only making plans for Nigel
He has his future in a British steel
We're only making plans for Nigel
Nigel's whole future is as good as sealed
And if young Nigel says he's happy
He must be happy
He must be happy in his work
Nigel is not outspoken
But he likes to speak
And loves to be spoken to
Nigel is happy in his work
We're only making plans for Nigel
Comments (282)add comment
Great! Love XTC. Beatlesque and I mean that as a high compliment.
 SpaceCowboy wrote:
XTC is a really demanding band to listen to. You really got to pay attention. But, my god, how rewarding! Talk about thinking man's pop music! :ask:
 
"Demanding"?  I don't know about that.  Most of their songs were pretty accessible and listenable pop tunes - more "sophisticated" or "cerebral" perhaps than  the work of many of their contemporaries but it's not Thelonious Monk.
The repetition of the word Nigel, especially at the end, really makes me pause and think, "Wow, Nigel is just a strange-sounding name."
This is one of those songs that get stuck in my head for the rest of the day. I can hear a dozen more songs after this, but when the music stops, I'm still making plans for Nigel in my head. NOT a good thing.
Just heard this on NPR a few days ago... Pub gathers 433 people named Nigel for world record attempt
 JesstheMess wrote:
Who's Nigel? :) 
 
My dog!
Another band that was ahead of its time ..
The documentary about the band is interesting and worth checking out. Interesting to hear that Andy Partridge says he actually hears in pictures (i.e., music for him comes in the form of  images, not sounds!) It's a unique type of brain organization - see the documentary...
 SpaceCowboy wrote:
XTC is a really demanding band to listen to. You really got to pay attention. But, my god, how rewarding! Talk about thinking man's pop music! :ask:
 
Amen - you said it well!
 melzabutch wrote:

That is awesome.  
 
Isn't that where Clint realized the chair had won the argument?
Most under rated band ever! - seriously.
Their catalogue of songs and albums is crazy good.
Funny, but not uncommon, that their weakest songs were the radio players.
at the end of this song, it sounded like you were mixing into Seal...?
 {#Drummer}gwolfie1959 wrote:
XTC is always welcome in my book! I really like the way Terry plays the drums in this song...reverse like . It's nice to see (hear) someone reinventing the drum sound.
 
+1
XTC is always welcome in my book! I really like the way Terry plays the drums in this song...reverse like . It's nice to see (hear) someone reinventing the drum sound.
 enkay wrote:

XTC evolved from high-energy new wave artists to literate and melodic rock/pop geniuses, with a few varied stylistic stops along the way, including 60's psychedelia.

So, much as I would never normally suggest such a thing, I'd recommend you go with a compilation such as Fossil Fuel, which is chronological. It doesn't include anything from their final pair of albums, which I think are excellent, but if nothing on Fossil Fuel works for you then nothing on the last albums will either.

Start with disc 2 (the later stuff) and if you like some of that then you can work your way back to the earlier stuff on disc 1. 

 
enkay:  Tusin tuck!  10^3 thanks!

Much appreciated.



P.S.  Just added Fossil Fuel to my wish list in amazon.ca.  At C$60 a pop, I might wait for a less expensive alternative.

P.P.S.  The click-thru to Amazon does not work for this song.  
Many final exams were graded-pass thanks for songs like this!! This is one of the best tracks by XTC!
Listening to college radio in the late 70s and having your mind blown by Elvis Costello, XTC, etc.

And it's criminal these guys never really made it.
I fear Nigel is "special needs"
Friggin brilliant!
These guys were consistently way out front.
What did do Wrong to here this
The disjointed rhythm, the annoying cadence of the repeated 'Nigel'... I find this song to be more annoying than Cardi B. I hope to never hear this tune again. A pity, because XTC does have some good tracks.... but this really isn't one of them.
 BCarn wrote:
Not their best song but this band is incredibly under rated. Have a listen to Skylarking or any of their other work. Why they chose this as the commercial piece is odd.
I re-discovered XTC recently and was just "wowed" over what they did.

 
Andy Partridge of XTC fame the lyrics for Steven Wilsons new album “To the Bone".
Not their best song but this band is incredibly under rated. Have a listen to Skylarking or any of their other work. Why they chose this as the commercial piece is odd.
I re-discovered XTC recently and was just "wowed" over what they did.
 jchrise wrote:

One of the worst songs ever written.

 
No, definitely one of the best songs ever written.
 sfyi2001 wrote:



 
That is awesome.  










 Krispian wrote:
One of the greatest songs ever written.

 
One of the worst songs ever written.
XTC were such a great band. I bought Black Sea when it came out in the 80's. I still like it, its still fresh., but hadn't heard any of their other music. I recently got my hands on a discography - and it's almost all good; innovative, melodic and unpredictable. Every song stands on its own - sometimes I can't tell it's XTC w/o looking at the player.
 rpdevotee wrote:
Nigel Farage

 
Yeah, I've got some plans for THAT Nigel...
 westslope wrote:
Never did get into XTC.  Love the lyrics on this song but overall the song leaves me somewhat cold.   On the other hand, musicians and listeners, I respect dig this band.  (So what is wrong with me?)  
That said, if I was to try to broaden my horizons, what CD of XTC should I start with?  Suggestions please.   

 
XTC evolved from high-energy new wave artists to literate and melodic rock/pop geniuses, with a few varied stylistic stops along the way, including 60's psychedelia.

So, much as I would never normally suggest such a thing, I'd recommend you go with a compilation such as Fossil Fuel, which is chronological. It doesn't include anything from their final pair of albums, which I think are excellent, but if nothing on Fossil Fuel works for you then nothing on the last albums will either.

Start with disc 2 (the later stuff) and if you like some of that then you can work your way back to the earlier stuff on disc 1. 
Nigel Farage
I've always thought this was Oingo Boingo! It sounds like it would be related to Only A Lad
 oppositelock wrote:
I always think of Nigel Mansell when I hear this song.  ;)
 

 
Indeed!  Just about every Nigel I've ever met actually fits the image from the song {#Lol}
Song's about parental domination. It's semi-autobiographical in that Colin Moulding's dad didn't care for his son's long hair and decision to abandon school to hang around with Andy Partridge. 

Colin says his dad eventually got over it. 
Heard this song may times when I was in California on Radio Nigel. Always thought there was a connection, maybe not ?
I always think of Nigel Mansell when I hear this song.  ;)
 
 misterbearbaby wrote:
After the tormented, twisted rage in the Primus cover of this song, the XTC studio version sounds so perfectly British-ly INSIPID!

 

No Primus on RP (that I know of).  It would probably drive more people away from RP than it would attract, but still, it's a shame.
{#Dance} I love the music and the satire regarding the times it came out especially! {#Clap}

"A Future in British Steel"! Yeah, right!
 stevendejong wrote:
After hearing this song I cannot hear the name Nigel without getting annoyed :-)

 
Also remember Nigel from Monty Python, their dedicated loser. :))
 JesstheMess wrote:
Who's Nigel? :) 

 
Good question. Regardless, I'm a little leery of the dude. Especially with pictures of lambs on the album cover? (wink, wink)  :^ /
One of the greatest songs ever written.
 westslope wrote:
That said, if I was to try to broaden my horizons, what CD of XTC should I start with?  Suggestions please.   

 
My first contact with XTC was "Black Sea" back in the early 80s and I was hooked forever. Don't know if it will work for you too, though. {#Wink}

RP listeners being spoilt this morning - XTC a brilliant, brilliant band.


One would surmise Little Nigel is a bit.....off.
 DaidyBoy wrote:
How topical.  Our Welsh cousins are being tucked up again ...

 
    {#Yes}        {#Wall}
Never did get into XTC.  Love the lyrics on this song but overall the song leaves me somewhat cold.   On the other hand, musicians and listeners, I respect dig this band.  (So what is wrong with me?)  
That said, if I was to try to broaden my horizons, what CD of XTC should I start with?  Suggestions please.   
After hearing this song I cannot hear the name Nigel without getting annoyed :-)
Complete extase! Yeah!
Good song, actually prefer the Primus cover.
How topical.  Our Welsh cousins are being tucked up again ...
good follow up tune - "Satisfaction" by DEVO
XTC is one of the most under-rated bands of any era. Their music is a treasure trove of styles and incredible lyrics. This tune was a pretty big hit and instantly takes me back to 1980 when I was living in the UK. Wish I'd seen them live.
9 → 10 
 treatment_bound wrote:
Thanks...instantly takes me back to the VERY early eighties, when I was having way more fun.

 
Me too.
Who's Nigel? :) 
Never heard this before; loving it
 On_The_Beach wrote:

https://www.founditemclothing.com/halloween/spinal-tap-cap-1.jpg

 
You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where? ... These go to eleven.
 Geecheeboy wrote:
I don't know a soul named Nigel.

 LowPhreak wrote:

I knew one in upstate NY. He didn't go into British steel.

 
Good decision. He'd be out of a job now if he had {#Frown}
Suprised to hear XTC on here, was certainly 'an aquired taste' at the time. I liked them. I vaguely remember seeing some TV documentry about an XTC album launch involving Richard Branson, and blowing up a lake. Very bizarre {#Laughing}
 Geecheeboy wrote:
I don't know a soul named Nigel.
 
https://www.founditemclothing.com/halloween/spinal-tap-cap-1.jpg
Just wondering if Nigel gets a say?  {#Stupid}
Nigel just needs that helping hand.

Great song, great group, great era of music.

MORE XTC!! 
 Geecheeboy wrote:
I don't know a soul named Nigel.

 
I knew one in upstate NY. He didn't go into British steel.
 Geecheeboy wrote:
I don't know a soul named Nigel.

 
I know a couple of them.  I've got no plans for them, though.
After the tormented, twisted rage in the Primus cover of this song, the XTC studio version sounds so perfectly British-ly INSIPID!
I don't know a soul named Nigel.
Great memories, great song.
My gawd.  This is painful.
XTC started to really pick up their game with this gem of a song.
Love it - nice little pick-me-up this afternoon!
real Brit pop ! Really like it ! thanks !
 
Thanks...instantly takes me back to the VERY early eighties, when I was having way more fun.
oh yeah ! british sounds from the 80"s !
one of the best band in UK !
Thanks for that !
 
This one gets a 10 ... just because XTC is one of the most underated bands I know.
 Well, then you have a stressful situation at every family gathering.

Baby_M wrote:
But what if Nigel doesn't want you making plans for him?  What if Nigel is an individualist philosophically opposed to this sort of collectivist, top-down centrally-planned corporatism?  What then?

{#Mrgreen}

 


I guess Nigel's parents wanted him to work in British Steel - which at the time of this song, was going through rather a rough patch, as was most of Britain - Nigel was probably more interested in becoming a pop star.
Maybe one of the worst songs I've ever heard on RP, exacerbated by the fact that the PSD button is not functioning. Mute.
A "must" from 70's
My friend Nigel does not like this track.
One of my favorite XTC tunes.
Dinner plans, I hope. 
Why does Nigel need plans making? And why are you only making plans for him? I doubt he's happy if he can't make his own plans?
Love to hear more XTC. Skyarking?
 rtrudeau wrote:
This song tries very hard to be amusing and misses the mark by a wide margin.
 
No it doesn't. Neither misses the mark nor tries to be amusing. 
Throwing some love XTC's way.

Miss them. 
 misterbearbaby wrote:

The Primus cover of this tune, on Miscellaneous Debris, is the killer cut— it teeters on the insane in that unique Claypool way.

 
100% agreed.
 rtrudeau wrote:
This song tries very hard to be amusing
 
Does it?

More XTC!!!!

I remember seeing them at the Park West in Chicago. The place was so packed the only way I could see them play was to look in a mirror near the ceiling on the wall. And I am not short.
Again freaking AMAZING tune.. thanks, Bill & Rebecca!!
A great tune, I love it.

Loved it since it first came out. 
The Bearette named her cat Nigel... he's happy in his world!
This song tries very hard to be amusing and misses the mark by a wide margin.

The Primus cover of this tune, on Miscellaneous Debris, is the killer cut— it teeters on the insane in that unique Claypool way.


Apparently, Nigel's a dumb ass.
 isayhoomhom wrote:
You realize, of course, "Nigel" is slang for penis. The song is about how men frequently let the "little head" do the thinking.
 
You must be thinking of "Pink Thing" from Oranges and Lemons.

This song is a little bit too much, not a fan
Love quirky, melodic power pop.

Love XTC. 
 alaken wrote:
Please, more XTC on RP! One of the most courageous, talented, interesting groups ever.
 
I'm with alaken. Love XTC and this is one of the better ones.

That's Nigel on the left.


this is so dumb, Bill should make plans to remove this from the library, and of course he will check with NIGEL 1st

Ahh the sound track to my youth! My name is Nigel and some people never grew tired of singing it to me at school :)

Another one of those bands that made the late 70's bearable.
10 from me.
"He has his future in British Steel" - boy, does that age this song! The steel industry has been decimated and privatised and only exists as a tiny remnant of what it was. Not much of a source of secure jobs these days.
Any chance of their Young Savage song?! :-D
 isayhoomhom wrote:
You realize, of course, "Nigel" is slang for penis. The song is about how men frequently let the "little head" do the thinking.

Interesting, but apparently inaccurate theory.
 
Origins of the song from its author - Colin Moulding:
 "Partly biographical, this one. My dad prompted me to write it. He wanted a university future for me and was very overpowering in trying to persuade me to get my hair cut and stay on at school. It got to the point where he almost tried to drag me down the barber's shop by my hair. I know the song tells of a slightly different situation, but it all boils down to the same thing - parental domination."

Great song from an excellent album.

 Hannio wrote:


Yes, but only in the way that nanny-state governments assume all their constituents to be.

 

Love the correct info about this song!

This tune ROCKS!

 Govi wrote:

Did you ever read the lyrics?  Here they are:

Were only making plans for nigel
We only want whats best for him
Were only making plans for nigel
Nigel just needs this helping hand
And if young nigel says hes happy
He must be happy
He must be happy in his work
Were only making plans for nigel
He has his future in a british steel
Were only making plans for nigel
Nigels whole future is as good as sealed
And if young nigel says hes happy
He must be happy
He must be happy in his work
Nigel is not outspoken
But he likes to speak
And loves to be spoken to
Nigel is happy in his work
Were only making plans for nigel 

It's a very long stretch from the lyrics to your concept of the song.   

 Yeah stretch that penis...er  theory


I wonder what Nigel is up to nowadays. . . especially as British steel is no more. 
 sirdroseph wrote:
Good song, I also like Primus's version.
 
Bill: Primus!
Good song, I also like Primus's version.
XTC on RP - time again for me to lament the fact they never rose above cult status. But, jeeze, what a great band.
 thewiseking wrote:
is Nigel mildly retarded?

 

Yes, but only in the way that nanny-state governments assume all their constituents to be.

I don't mind it but in my view this mix isn't as good as the original album track.  And i think the person asking for more XTC on RP just needs to listen more.  I'm pretty sure i have heard senses working overtime and dear god on here not too long back too.

...i always knew they played favorites...
 isayhoomhom wrote:
You realize, of course, "Nigel" is slang for penis. The song is about how men frequently let the "little head" do the thinking.
 
Did you ever read the lyrics?  Here they are:

Were only making plans for nigel
We only want whats best for him
Were only making plans for nigel
Nigel just needs this helping hand
And if young nigel says hes happy
He must be happy
He must be happy in his work
Were only making plans for nigel
He has his future in a british steel
Were only making plans for nigel
Nigels whole future is as good as sealed
And if young nigel says hes happy
He must be happy
He must be happy in his work
Nigel is not outspoken
But he likes to speak
And loves to be spoken to
Nigel is happy in his work
Were only making plans for nigel 

It's a very long stretch from the lyrics to your concept of the song.   

Please, more XTC on RP! One of the most courageous, talented, interesting groups ever.
 Baby_M wrote:
But what if Nigel doesn't want you making plans for him?  What if Nigel is an individualist philosophically opposed to this sort of collectivist, top-down centrally-planned corporatism?  What then?

{#Mrgreen}
 

{#Cheers}
But what if Nigel doesn't want you making plans for him?  What if Nigel is an individualist philosophically opposed to this sort of collectivist, top-down centrally-planned corporatism?  What then?

{#Mrgreen}
 isayhoomhom wrote:
You realize, of course, "Nigel" is slang for penis. The song is about how men frequently let the "little head" do the thinking.
 
Maybe your little "Nigel" made you make this post?? {#Roflol}
The video for this has cropped up on YouTube. Worth the search to remember what promise we thought music + TV had for the future.
I musta been an a bad mood when I rated this a 3 way back who knows when. Still not god-like IMHO, but it definitely got bumped up a few notches.