Drum synthesiser

Black Sea (album)

Black Sea is an XTC album released on September 12 1980. It spawned five singles - "Generals And Majors" (released August 9 1980 and reached No. 32 on the UK singles chart and No. 104 on the Billboard Pop chart), "Towers Of London" (released October 10 1980 and reached No. 31 on the UK singles chart), "Sgt. Rock (Is Going To Help Me)" (released December 5 1980 and reached No. 16 on the UK singles chart), "Love At First Sight" (released January 23, 1981 in Canada only) and a re-recording of "Respectable Street" (released March 13 1981). The band re-recorded the song to change a few words as per the BBC - who ended up never playing the clean version anyway.

The album reached No. 16 on the UK album chart, No. 41 on the Billboard U.S. Hot 100 album chart and No. 1 on the New Zealand album chart.

Considered one of the more consistent albums by the group, Black Sea is not as raw as its predecessor, Drums and Wires, although it is still focused on big drums and sharp guitars. Early copies of the album came with the sleeve enclosed in a lime-green paper bag.

Virgin media mogul Richard Branson appeared in the "Generals and Majors" video.

Track listing

All songs written by Andy Partridge, except where noted.

  1. "Respectable Street" – 3:37
  2. "Generals and Majors" (Colin Moulding) – 4:04
  3. "Living through Another Cuba" – 4:44
  4. "Love at First Sight" (Moulding) – 3:07
  5. "Rocket from a Bottle" – 3:30
  6. "No Language in Our Lungs" – 4:53
  7. "Towers of London" – 5:24
  8. "Paper and Iron (Notes and Coins)" – 4:17
  9. "Burning with Optimism's Flames" – 4:15
  10. "Sgt. Rock (Is Going to Help Me)" – 3:56
  11. "Travels in Nihilon" – 7:04

CD bonus tracks

  1. "Smokeless Zone" (Moulding) – 3:50
  2. "Don't Lose Your Temper" – 2:32
  3. "The Somnambulist" – 4:38


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