XTC

3D EP


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1977 was a classic year for singles, the year when ‘Punk’ mutated into New Wave producing a seemingly endless run of great 45s – from The Ramones to The Jam, Elvis Costello to Jonathan Richman, Sex Pistols to Richard Hell. With David Bowie (Heroes), Kraftwerk (Showroom Dummies) and Bob Marley (Jamming) also, releasing key singles – it was as if Marley’s Punky Reggae Party had plenty of wonderful music from the mainstream to broaden the 7” mix still further… but that’s only one side of the story…

Mainstream music buyers seemed oblivious to much of the above as - Elvis Presley (death), David Soul (TV, twice), Rod Stewart (preventing Sex Pistols from reaching No.1) and Mull of Kintyre (ending the year and the start of 1978), dominated the pole position in the singles charts.

The major labels’ priorities remained little changed. CBS may have had The Clash but the attention was on Abba, Polydor had The Jam but Jean-Michel Jarre had the marketing spend, United Artists had Buzzcocks and The Stranglers, but the priority (& No. 1) single came from Kenny Rogers, in a country that, reputedly, dismissed Country music – even MOR Country.

But the speed of musical change underneath the mainstream was as fast as a shouted “1, 2, 3, 4” on any number of monochrome identi-punk singles in equally drab sleeves and it was into this febrile mix that XTC released its first 12” EP – 3D, at the end of September ’77 (a 7” version was withdrawn) and for all that it shared the freneticism of its punkier brethren, it also boasted – even across just three tracks - a variety, a colour and a pop sensibility that acted as a marker for the band’s future rapid development. Whisper it, but these guys could actually play… and write tunes, accessible ones that burrowed their way into your ears and brain…

An album wouldn’t appear until early 1978 (by which time “Post Punk” was emerging as marketing name of the month) but XTC had made their recorded entry in that magical year and not for the first or last time, shown they could compete with the best (and worst) that 1977 placed on vinyl.

Reissued for the first time in decades as a standalone title the 47th (and a bit) anniversary 3D EP CD is issued on November 24th 2023.
Tracklist

1. Science Friction
2. She’s So Square
3. Dance Band