Sunday, September 11, 2011

XTC: All Along the Watchtower

(To see my list of Ten Amazing XTC Videos please visit the The Big Takeover.)

For a band who are notorious for being almost too English for their own good, XTC's early work has strong American influences. You can hear the art-funk sound of  NYC's Talking Heads, the herky-jerky rock-deconstruction of Akron's Devo plus of the very few artists XTC ever covered one would be Californian Captain Beefheart (on the B-side of "The Mayor of Simpleton" single) and of course America's most towering song-writer, Bob Dylan*.

The band's version of the oft-butchered, "All Along the Watchtower" employs some of  the electric fury of Hendrix's version and some the harmonica wail of Dylan's original acoustic one but to it all they bring an incredible nervous energy and a love of odd dynamics that makes it sound like no one else's version of the song.

For more on XTC go HERE.

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*(And yes, their cover "All Along the Watchtower" on their debut album is preceded by a paean to the "Statute of Liberty".)


  1. Excellent review of the song, couldn't have done better really DOES incorporate both the Hendrix and Dylan influences, I always assumed deliberatly....the stuttered vocals are awesome, as is the aforementioned harmonica.

  2. Whoa, that Beefheart cover is right on the money!

  3. BigScott
    When I first heard I was disappointment it wasn't all fast but know I love its strange ways!

    Which is interesting because it seems their Beefheart phase would have been earlier on in their career.


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