BRAINIAC'S DAUGHTER by The Dukes of Stratosphear.
Whatever I was doing it the Eighties, it wasn't listening to XTC. My Anglophilia didn't really begin in earnest until later, when I realized all my favorite classic rock was British, but I missed most of punk and new wave. Even when Blur was my favorite group, the references to them being a "new XTC" or "third-rate XTC" basically went over my head. And when I finally did try them out, they didn't do much for me.
But a couple years ago, Nick gave us "The Dukes of Stratosphear" and it just blew me away. The Dukes of Stratosphear was an XTC side project from 1985, the point of which was to pay homage to their sixties psychedelic heroes. And as indifferent as I was to XTC, I'm totally devoted to The Dukes.
Brainiac's Daughter is a favorite. Andy Partridge and David Gregory describe it pretty comprehensively:
Andy: “Right, well Brainiac is the character in the Superman comics, the evil genius with the green skin and the sort of lightbulb screwed in his head. He was like a Martian Lex Luther and I thought he's be a wonderful psychedelic subject to write about, and his potential daughter: I don't think he had one but if he had she would have been, well, colourful, mauve and purple.”Oh, and it was produced by John Leckie.
Andy: “Brainiac's Daughter was a conscious attempt to write as if McCartney had tried to come up with a track around the time of Sgt. Pepper or Yellow Submarine - 1967/68 - so all the ingredients were picked to sound like McCartney. Banana fingers piano, descending chord changes, falsetto vocals, nonsensical lyrics . . . it's got the lot! We tried to make a McCartney psychedelic soup. People thought it was the Bonzos by the time we'd finished it.” Dave: “Or Thunderclap Newman!”
Photo: Sunrise at the office.