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Skylarking is the ninth studio album by the English rock band XTC, released 27 October 1986 on Virgin Records. Produced by American musician Todd Rundgren, it is a loose concept album about a nonspecific cycle, such as a day, a year, the seasons, or life. The title was chosen as a double entendre, referring to a type of bird (skylark), as well as the Royal Navy term "skylarking", which means "fooling around". It became one of XTC's best-known albums and is generally regarded as their finest work.

Like XTC's previous Dukes of Stratosphear side project, Skylarking was heavily influenced by the music of the 1960s. Most of its recording was at Rundgren's Utopia Sound Studio in Woodstock, New York. Rundgren played a large role in the album's sound design and drum programming, providing the band with orchestral arrangements and an assortment of gear. However, the sessions were fraught with tension, especially between Rundgren and bandleader Andy Partridge, and numerous disagreements arose over drum patterns, song selections, and other details. In 2010, it was discovered that a wiring error made during the mastering process caused the album to have a "thin" sound. The problem was corrected on subsequent remasters.

Upon release, Skylarking was met with indifference in the UK, rising in the album charts to number 90, while both of its lead singles "Grass" (backed with "Dear God") and "The Meeting Place" peaked at number 100. Early sales of the album were hampered by the omission of "Dear God" from the album's original pressings. In the US, the song became a college radio hit, causing US distributor Geffen Records to recall and repress Skylarking with the track included, and propelling the album to number 70. Following the song's growth in popularity, it was the subject of controversy in the US, inspiring many angry phone calls to radio stations and at least one bomb threat. Skylarking was later listed on "100 greatest albums of the 1980s" lists by Rolling Stone in 1989[2] and Pitchfork in 2002.


Summer's Cauldron
The Meeting Place
That's Really Super, Supergirl
Ballet For A Rainy Day
1000 Umbrellas
Season Cycle
Earn Enough For Us
Big Day
Another Satellite
Mermaid Smiled
The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul
Sacrificial Bonfire

2016 Stereo Mix
CD-1 Summer's Cauldron 3:20
CD-2 Grass 3:07
CD-3 The Meeting Place 3:16
CD-4 That's Really Super Supergirl 3:23
CD-5 Ballet For A Rainy Day 3:07
CD-6 1000 Umbrellas 3:29
CD-7 Season Cycle 3:31
CD-8 Earn Enough For Us 2:58
CD-9 Big Day 3:33
CD-10 Another Satellite 4:26
CD-11 Mermaid Smiled 2:29
CD-12 The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul 3:27
CD-13 Dear God 3:40
CD-14 Dying 2:35
CD-15 Sacrificial Bonfire 3:49
Bonus 2016 Mixes
CD-16 Extrovert 3:40
CD-17 Let's Make A Den 2:19
CD-18 The Troubles 3:30
CD-19 Little Lighthouse 3:22
2016 Mix [DTS HD-MA 5.1, 24/96 LPCM 5.1 and 24/96 LPCMStereo], 2016 Instrumental Mix [24/96 LPCM Stereo]
BR-1 Summer's Cauldron
BR-2 Grass
BR-3 The Meeting Place
BR-4 That's Really Super Supergirl
BR-5 Ballet For A Rainy Day
BR-6 1000 Umbrellas
BR-7 Season Cycle
BR-8 Earn Enough For Us
BR-9 Big Day
BR-10 Another Satellite
BR-11 Mermaid Smiled
BR-12 The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul
BR-13 Dear God
BR-14 Dying
BR-15 Sacrificial Bonfire
Bonus 2016 Mixes [DTS HD-MA 5.1, 24/96 LPCM 5.1 and 24/96 LPCMStereo], 2016 Instrumental Mix [24/96 LPCM Stereo]
BR-16 Extrovert
BR-17 Let's Make A Den
BR-18 The Troubles
BR-19 Little Lighthouse
2001 Remaster [24/96 LPCM Stereo]
BR-20 Summer's Cauldron
BR-21 Grass
BR-22 The Meeting Place
BR-23 That's Really Super Supergirl
BR-24 Ballet For A Rainy Day
BR-25 1000 Umbrellas
BR-26 Season Cycle
BR-27 Earn Enough For Us
BR-28 Big Day
BR-29 Another Satellite
BR-30 Mermaid Smiled
BR-31 The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul
BR-32 Dying
BR-33 Sacrificial Bonfire
BR-34 Dear God
BR-35 Extrovert
2010 Corrected Polarity Remaster [24/96 LPCM Stereo]
BR-36 Summer's Cauldron
BR-37 Grass
BR-38 The Meeting Place
BR-39 That's Really Super Supergirl
BR-40 Ballet For A Rainy Day
BR-41 1000 Umbrellas
BR-42 Season Cycle
BR-43 Earn Enough For Us
BR-44 Big Day
BR-45 Another Satellite
BR-46 Mermaid Smiled
BR-47 The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul
BR-48 Dear God
BR-49 Dying
BR-50 Sacrificial Bonfire
Album in Demo and Work Tape Form [24/96 LPCM Stereo]
BR-51 Summer's Cauldron
BR-52 Grass
BR-53 The Meeting Place
BR-54 That's Really Super Supergirl
BR-55 Ballet For A Rainy Day
BR-56 1000 Umbrellas
BR-57 Season Cycle
BR-58 Earn Enough For Us
BR-59 Big Day
BR-60 Another Satellite
BR-61 Mermaid Smiled
BR-62 The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul
BR-63 Dear God
BR-64 Dying
BR-65 Sacrificial Bonfire
Andy's Non-Album Demos And Other Recordings [24/96 LPCM Stereo]
BR-66 1000 Umbrellas (Early Acoustic Run Through)
BR-67 Season Cycle (Early Sketch)
BR-68 Another Satellite (Early Sketch)
BR-69 Summer's Cauldron (Early Sketch)
BR-70 Earn Enough For Us (Early Sketch)
BR-71 Ballet For A Rainy Day (Early Sketch)
BR-72 Dear God (Early 'Skiffle' Version)
BR-73 Mermaid Smiled (Explanation Version)
BR-74 Let's Make A Den (Early Idea)
BR-75 Let's Make A Den
BR-76 Little Lighthouse (Early Version)
BR-77 Little Lighthouse (Intro Section)
BR-78 Little Lighthouse
BR-79 Terrorism (Early Idea)
BR-80 Terrorism
BR-81 Extrovert
BR-82 The Troubles
BR-83 Lumpen Splendour
BR-84 Ra Ra For Red Rocking Horse (Rehearsal At Dave's)
BR-85 Ra Ra For Red Rocking Horse
BR-86 When We Get To England
BR-87 Shaking Skin House
BR-88 Obscene Procession
BR-89 Across The Antheap
Colin's Non-Album Work Tapes [24/96 LPCM Stereo]
BR-90 Halley's Comet
BR-91 Find The Fox
BR-92 Grass
BR-93 Dear God