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XTC — Summer's Cauldron
Album: Skylarking
Avg rating:
6.7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1277








Released: 1986
Length: 3:18
Plays (last 30 days): 2
Drowning here in Summer's Cauldron
Under mats of flower lava
Please don't pull me out this is how I would want to go
Breathing in the boiling butter
Fruit of sweating golden Inca
Please don't heed my shout I'm relax in the undertow

When Miss Moon lays down
And Sir Sun stands up
Me I'm found floating round and round
Like a bug in brandy
In this big bronze cup
Drowning here in Summer's Cauldron

Trees are dancing drunk with nectar
Grass is waving underwater
Please don't pull me out this is how I would want to go
Insect bomber Buddhist droning
Copper chord of August's organ
Please don't heed my shout I'm relax in the undertow

When Miss Moon lays down
in her hilltop bed
And Sir Sun stands up
raise his regal head
Me I'm found floating round and round
Like a bug in brandy
In this big bronze cup
Drowning here in Summer's Cauldron
Comments (229)add comment
 Jakethemuss wrote:

Nonconstructive response I know but you are simply as wrong as can be.
 
I feel compelled to second the complete wrongness of the remark.  The point of XTC is  brilliant and humorous lyrics, melodic, unique......
 ElCamoteLoco wrote:
I must admit I never saw the point of XTC. Plenty of bands did the unmelodic, meandering prog-rock thing before them. That seam's been mined out.
 
Nonconstructive response I know but you are simply as wrong as can be.
Opening few bars and voice reminder me of Howard Jones
One of the best 10 albums of the 80s
XTC truly were a cut above, in my books. 
only 10 songs on RP.
could , and should , be at least 40!
AAAAGH. An abrupt segue from Summer's Cauldron into Tom Petty's Restless. I love RP but I think the app got the better of Bill and Rebecca's otherwise excellent taste.
I was at show in Toronto. The Show was at a bar called the Edge, on Gerrard near Church.
Gah, it's always jarring when "Grass " doesn't follow this song.
 midigitguy wrote:
If you don't have the Steven Wilson remix of this album, you need to remedy that situation immediately.  Revelatory!
 
Better than the original?
I was hiking in the heat yesterday and passing a field of wild flowers this song was buzzing in my head...one of the best nature songs EVAH!
Trickster!  I thought that the open link window of the Big Bear Lake CA eagle's nest cam had somehow become unmuted and I was hearing the off-camera chickadees!  
Sigh. It's the last day of February and all I can think about today is my sailboat...
 Ayejoe wrote:
Its the crashing transition from this into 'Grass' that is just perfect and hence needs Grass to always be played immediately after !
 
Yes!  Something my digital copy can't do.  There's a minuscule pause between.  Thank god for this on vinyl and cassette.  
Doesn't get much better than this!!  (BZZZZZ!)    [will you play "Grass" after??] 
Its the crashing transition from this into 'Grass' that is just perfect and hence needs Grass to always be played immediately after !
Oh, no!  The favorites stream doesn't link Summer's Cauldron => Grass.  That was a momentary bummer.  Luckily, I'm listening to my favorite music...
If you don't have the Steven Wilson remix of this album, you need to remedy that situation immediately.  Revelatory!
 chinaski wrote:
Yay! Today we segue from Summers Cauldron to Grass! YES!!!!  XTC!!! Such a wonderful band. Got me through the 80's. And now we segue to Beth Orton's Thinking About Tomorrow. I'm gonna cry. So beautiful. So long my friend...

 

Cross referencing 

 ziggytrix wrote:
Yay! I hate it when Bill plays anything other than Grass after Summer's Cauldron. {#Eyes}

  
Just had that {#Eyes} experience. 


Hey @RP ! 
Why always and only this song of Skylarking, the album is full of great songs ...  do you want to save on broadcasting rights ?
I've always enjoyed Grass!
A favorite of mine from the moment it was released all those years ago. Thanks Bill!
 Proclivities wrote:

"Unmelodic, meandering prog-rock"?  Have you heard any XTC songs other than this one?  They were one of the most melodic bands of their time, they generally wrote short poppy tunes that didn't meander, and "prog-rock"?  WTF?

 
PErhaps sour grapes, the losing candidate in the race for The Mayor of Simpleton?
First day of winter!
 Propayne wrote:
I had incredibly high expectations when I read the my favorite musician/producer/engineer would be producing one of my favorite bands and I bought this album the day it came out.

Got home and put the LP on and had all of my expectations exceeded.

I think this album is a masterpiece. 

 
Indeed it is.  In fact, I think I'll put it on right now.  {#Guitarist}
These guys are the definition of melody.
 
 ElCamoteLoco wrote:
I must admit I never saw the point of XTC. Plenty of bands did the unmelodic, meandering prog-rock thing before them. That seam's been mined out.

 
"Unmelodic, meandering prog-rock"?  Have you heard any XTC songs other than this one?  Do you know what the word "melodic" means?  They were one of the most melodic bands of their time and they generally wrote short, poppy tunes that didn't meander.  "Prog-rock"?  WTF?
 ElCamoteLoco wrote:
I must admit I never saw the point of XTC. Plenty of bands did the unmelodic, meandering prog-rock thing before them. That seam's been mined out.

 
Does there need to be a point to them?

They just made brilliant music: Harvest Festival, Wounded Horse, Books Are Burning, etc. the list is a very long one.

 


 Propayne wrote:
I had incredibly high expectations when I read the my favorite musician/producer/engineer would be producing one of my favorite bands and I bought this album the day it came out.

Got home and put the LP on and had all of my expectations exceeded.

I think this album is a masterpiece. 

 
You should listen to Rundgren's terrific conversation with Marc Maron on his WTF podcast (episode #691). He tells an awesome story about the difficult times he had with Partridge making this album. The entire conversation is great but this segment is towards the end. Highly recommended if you are a Rundgren fan.
Thanks again Bill!
I had incredibly high expectations when I read the my favorite musician/producer/engineer would be producing one of my favorite bands and I bought this album the day it came out.

Got home and put the LP on and had all of my expectations exceeded.

I think this album is a masterpiece. 
I must admit I never saw the point of XTC. Plenty of bands did the unmelodic, meandering prog-rock thing before them. That seam's been mined out.
Yeah, what's the deal?
Come on, Bill. You can't have one without the other!
Such a grower - love it.
Yay! Today we segue from Summers Cauldron to Grass! YES!!!!  XTC!!! Such a wonderful band. Got me through the 80's. And now we segue to Beth Orton's Thinking About Tomorrow. I'm gonna cry. So beautiful. So long my friend...
Grass!!!
No
 midigitguy wrote:

The story I heard is the master for one of the sides is lost. I believe the tracking tapes are lost too. Todd said they couldn't do a surround mix of it for that reason. And that is a big bummer.

Next XTC remix by Steve Wilson will be Oranges & Lemons.  Due out Oct 30, 2015!!!

 
Oh wow, if true, that is a major drag.

A surround mix of AWATS would be wonderful. 
 Propayne wrote:

I'm a huge Wilson fan and would pick up (yet another copy!) if he does a new mix, but my all-time favorite musician is Todd Rundgren, and what he did with XTC on this us just masterful.

And yes, I'm very familiar with the clashes that went on.

And speaking of Todd's ego {#Cheesygrin} I would LOVE it if TR would allow Wilson do a new surround sound mix of A Wizard A True Star. 

 
The story I heard is the master for one of the sides is lost. I believe the tracking tapes are lost too. Todd said they couldn't do a surround mix of it for that reason. And that is a big bummer.

Next XTC remix by Steve Wilson will be Oranges & Lemons.  Due out Oct 30, 2015!!!
 nagsheadlocal wrote:
The fact that these guys never "made it big" is a serious crime. It's amazing how often I will be talking to someone about music and mention XTC and they will say: "Man, those guys are great!"

 

 
They may have "made it big" had they continued touring.  Still, they've managed to produce a great body of work I think.
Ahhh, Springsteen, not XTC's "Grass"?!! Grass is always right after. Sulk!
Aw, no grass. :(
 wgsu_1978 wrote:
Perfectly captures the heat and stinking humidity of a summer day. Beatlesque.
 
spot on! {#Biggrin}
wgsu_1978
Posted: Jul 05, 2015 - 13:26
 

Perfectly captures the heat and stinking humidity of a summer day. Beatlesque

ColdMiser
(Out in the Cold)
Posted: Jan 26, 2015 - 07:47
 

Listening to this while the weather reports of an impending blizzard bearing down on the Northeast is kind of ironic.

Hmmmm,...what's going on here?


Perfectly captures the heat and stinking humidity of a summer day. Beatlesque.
Wow. I haven't heard XTC in years. Thanks, Bill. 
 midigitguy wrote:
Can't wait to hear Steven Wilson's remastering and remixing (in 5.1 as well as 2.0) of this.  Please please!
Both Drums & Wires and Nonsuch are  fabulous on Blu-ray and this production would be mind-blowing!

And thank you for letting it play into Grass (even with the ugly little gap in there :) 

 
I'm a huge Wilson fan and would pick up (yet another copy!) if he does a new mix, but my all-time favorite musician is Todd Rundgren, and what he did with XTC on this us just masterful.

And yes, I'm very familiar with the clashes that went on.

And speaking of Todd's ego {#Cheesygrin} I would LOVE it if TR would allow Wilson do a new surround sound mix of A Wizard A True Star. 
this is so yummy. 
nagsheadlocal wrote:
The fact that these guys never "made it big" is a serious crime. It's amazing how often I will be talking to someone about music and mention XTC and they will say: "Man, those guys are great!"

 

 
yeah, same here. some insight: https://www.lettering.tattooshowtime.com/word-tattoos-27-1.jpg

they were reamed by Virgin records.


Listening to this while the weather reports of an impending blizzard bearing down on the Northeast is kind of ironic.
Can't wait to hear Steven Wilson's remastering and remixing (in 5.1 as well as 2.0) of this.  Please please!
Both Drums & Wires and Nonsuch are  fabulous on Blu-ray and this production would be mind-blowing!

And thank you for letting it play into Grass (even with the ugly little gap in there :) 
The fact that these guys never "made it big" is a serious crime. It's amazing how often I will be talking to someone about music and mention XTC and they will say: "Man, those guys are great!"

 
Gotta hear some Grass next Bill, OK??
First day of summer! Nice timing, Bill.
 DearDM wrote:
Wow, it's tough to connect to this song in January!

 
Perfect now - nice sunny and warm (finally) Spring day here in VA.
If Paul McCartney and Tears For Fears had a baby.. it would be XTC ;)
Wow, it's tough to connect to this song in January!
Sounds so nice inside this warm home office on a snowy and darn cold Sunday afternoon.
Sounds a little like Norman Greenbaum's Hole in my shoes which is leaking from water-
Perfect song for the last day of Spring.
Finally outstanding songcraft showcased on Radio Paradise!
Like a bug in brandy...
 fredriley wrote:
Lovely tweeters at the start. I could have listened peacefully to five minutes of them. Shame the song kicked in and spoiled the tranquillity...
 
Are you a closet twitcher? Anyway, they continue tweeting throughout the song so we can presume they approve and are in fact singing along. I for one approve.
 ColdMiser wrote:
I love this album this time of the year

 

Maybe you have Spring but Minnesota has winter!
I love this album this time of the year
Boring!
Boy could I use some summer's cauldron today. Kind of chilly here!
This is such an outstanding LP - I'd forgotten about it.  Even though it came out in my punk rock heyday, my friends & I always loved this disc!

A++++++  would listen again. 
Great album! Love XTC anytime. Particularly refreshing to hear... was hoping for Grass too.... and we GOT IT! Thanks Bill and Rebecca!!
Summer is slipping away, "sigh"...
 Bargamon wrote:

This is a top 100 album on many lists.

Great production by Todd Rundgren.

Not that he needs the Rock N'Roll Hall of Fame cheese to validate his career, but why the hell is this guy not in?

Writer? Producer? Video pioneer? Performer?

Does the HOF not like guys that shook up the establishment and spoke out?

Isn't that what ROCK is really all about?
 
I know what you mean, just from the bands Rundgren produced alone, but the R&R Hall of Fame is really pretty insignificant.  It's essentially about what Jann Wenner and Dave Marsh (neither of whom are musicians) like.  Anyhow, this is an excellent tune.
 tormefan wrote:
Oh so evocative for a child of the 80s: that sound capturing the blissfully heightened purity of senses and limitless possibility of a 20-something (listening at top volume from cassette player of a Toyota model no longer made).... Had they not slipped in a song about God on the album (not unlike Crowded House Woodface) this could have been a great commercial hit in the good 'ole prudish USA. But it wasn't, so people who GOT it the first time around, like me, get to make smarmy comments about how fantastic and overlooked it was. Rundgren's production makes this an embarrasment of riches. Those crickets, apparently, can still make my heart race...
 
YES!  YES!  YES!  {#Sunny}

This is a top 100 album on many lists.

Great production by Todd Rundgren.

Not that he needs the Rock N'Roll Hall of Fame cheese to validate his career, but why the hell is this guy not in?

Writer? Producer? Video pioneer? Performer?

Does the HOF not like guys that shook up the establishment and spoke out?

Isn't that what ROCK is really all about?
Wrong time of the year to play this, but still a great song and album. I try to crack Skylarking open for a listen every July or August.
Lovely tweeters at the start. I could have listened peacefully to five minutes of them. Shame the song kicked in and spoiled the tranquillity...
Such an amazing album. 
Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!! Perfect!
I've been a XTC disciple since ~1985 and have always been frustrated that few radio stations played them.  

Thanks RP for restoring my faith in radio!! 

XTC {#Notworthy}
Hooray!
Bill did the appropriate thing and played "Summers Cauldron"/ "Grass" today!
Groovy Too! :)
 nadine_low wrote:
I agree...why no segue to 'grass'.
Though, anything XTC or Dukes of Stratospheare is always welcome every time...
 
 
You ask, RP listens.

The first time I listened to this song on headphones, I thought the "buzz" at the beginning that went from one speaker to the next was a real bug. I probably instinctively swatted at the air.
I agree...why no segue to 'grass'.
Though, anything XTC or Dukes of Stratospheare is always welcome every time...
 


Why no Grass after this? According to the song comments, that luscious segue was happening for a while. Why can't it happen all the time so that we can hear the two songs as they were meant to be heard?


keep 'em coming Bill
Great and often overlooked pop band!
GOD I'd forgotten how great these guys were...

I must be the Mayor Of Simpleton...
Damn!  Missed it!   I wanted to get "Upsey Daisy Assortment, which has every song I've heard of by XTC except, unfortunately, this one.
I guess I'll have to buy 2 albums.  Speaking of albums, I really like their album covers.

 rasta_tiger wrote:
Sounds like the vinyl is warped.
 
Part of Rundgren's brilliant production.  Listen to the lyrics and you'll understand why 'tis///
I love this song. Reminds me of College. The lyrics are intense.
Sounds like the vinyl is warped.
 LowPhreak wrote:

And here's the originally intended cover that was banned by Virgin Records:


{#Clap}
 
Want to worship at the church of women

Breathe ’em in until my head goes spinning around
Want to worship at the church
Let me worship at the church of women

Lyrics from XTC's Church of Women 

 Businessgypsy wrote:
Great to read all of the comments from so many who fell under the charms of this album. I bought the CD in a bargain bin, totally unaware and with no expectations. Don't think it could have been described to me in a way that would have influenced purchase. An anomaly, akin to magic.
 
Some of my best music was purchased on vinyl, in bargain bins, with no expectations. That's where I first heard about Tommy Bolin, Photomaker, Refugee, Navarro (Carole King's backup band) and the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band. Sometimes, one must take chances. My question is:  Did you LIKE your purchase?  Just curious.  I'm getting more into XTC, though I probably wouldn't have chosen to listen to them willingly had I not heard some of their music here.  Now, I'm reconsidering. They make me feel good, and lately, I'm basing my musical choices on things that make me smile, or things that at least don't make me feel threatened.

And the wheel goes 'round.... and 'round...

 LowPhreak wrote:

And here's the originally intended cover that was banned by Virgin Records:

 
well, yeah...
 gvan wrote:
The segue from this song into "Grass" is the aural equivalent of the bone turning turning into the spaceship in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Brilliant!
 
Heh. What a great analogy.

 meurglys3 wrote:
Skylarking is about to be re-issued on double vinyl with the originally intended cover.

ahem.
https://www.ape.uk.net/news/news_stories.php?newsid=356
 
And here's the originally intended cover that was banned by Virgin Records:


{#Clap}

The segue from this song into "Grass" is the aural equivalent of the bone turning turning into the spaceship in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Brilliant!
One of my favorite albums of all time.

10 all the way. 
Skylarking is about to be re-issued on double vinyl with the originally intended cover.

ahem.
https://www.ape.uk.net/news/news_stories.php?newsid=356
This is the pinnacle of XTC....................great to hear XTC on the radio..........Thanks again
such an overlooked group.
Oh so evocative for a child of the 80s: that sound capturing the blissfully heightened purity of senses and limitless possibility of a 20-something (listening at top volume from cassette player of a Toyota model no longer made).... Had they not slipped in a song about God on the album (not unlike Crowded House Woodface) this could have been a great commercial hit in the good 'ole prudish USA. But it wasn't, so people who GOT it the first time around, like me, get to make smarmy comments about how fantastic and overlooked it was. Rundgren's production makes this an embarrasment of riches. Those crickets, apparently, can still make my heart race...

 Propayne wrote:

Todd Rundgren's production and engineering also ad to the greatness.
 
Absolutely!  Todd also did some re-arranging and, according to reliable rumor, played some of the acoustic guitar tracks, too.  This album wouldn't have succeeded without his input . . . well worth the $500K that he was paid for his services.


This album and their earlier English Settlement are two of the best albums of the dreary decade that was the '80s. Simply brilliant...
Play XTC's Young Savage, please! :-D
 lemmoth wrote:
No Grass again.  Boooo!!!
 
He did it this time!  Yay!  Sadly, there was a nasty glitch at the transition point, but it's better than nothing.

Well, we went into "Grass" today! Hooray! Lovely album.
Ahhhh...like water on a burning beach!!! Refreshing and needed...thank you!
 squidish wrote:
Anyone else smell honeysuckle?
 
Coppertone on a women.
The senses reel. {#Meditate}
Great to read all of the comments from so many who fell under the charms of this album. I bought the CD in a bargain bin, totally unaware and with no expectations. Don't think it could have been described to me in a way that would have influenced purchase. An anomaly, akin to magic.
No Grass again.  Boooo!!!
 dmax wrote:
Ack!

Another vote for Grass!
 
yes please.... so wrong without it.
 lemmoth wrote:

Opening track to one of the greatest albums of all time.  Inspired by Pet Sounds and Seargent Pepper, this is fantastic from start to finish.

A little jarring however, not to segue into Grass at the end.....

 
A must.

  Excited by the first sound of the crickets. Love this song and this album.
Perfect Spring day here in Virginia for this song...
 lemmoth wrote:

Opening track to one of the greatest albums of all time.  Inspired by Pet Sounds and Seargent Pepper, this is fantastic from start to finish.

A little jarring however, not to segue into Grass at the end.....
 
Todd Rundgren's production and engineering also ad to the greatness.
Gets a 10 from me.

Bought the album the day it came out. 
 dmax wrote:
Ack!
Another vote for Grass!
 
+1!!!

Ack!

Another vote for Grass!
Sounds like Paul McCartney, slightly pitched down or something {#Roflol}