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XTC’s Dukes of Stratosphear vinyl LP and CD+blu-ray reissues

XTC‘s alter egos The Dukes of Stratosphear feature in the latest in the band’s acclaimed ‘Surround Sound Series’ with a new set called ‘Psurroundabout Ride’ which features the complete recordings newly mixed in stereo and surround sound by Steven Wilson. Individual vinyl reissues of both albums are also released.

The Dukes were modelled after psychedelic pop groups from the 1960s and released two albums, 1985’s 25 O’Clock (really a ‘mini-album’) and Psonic Psunspot from 1987.

Each musician got into the spirit of the concept and adopted a pseudonym: “Sir John Johns” (Partridge) “Lord Cornelius Plum” (Dave), “The Red Curtain” (Colin Moulding) and “E.I.E.I. Owen” (Ian). Both albums were produced by John Leckie.

Both 25 O’Clock and Psonic Psunspot are newly reissued on 200g vinyl, cut at Loud Mastering by Jason Mitchell.

Even more exciting than that is the CD+Blu-ray set Psurroundabout Ride which follows the style of previous XTC surround sets. The CD features 19 songs, 18 of them newly mixed to stereo via Steven Wilson. The blu-ray features ‘the complete recordings’ of The Dukes in hi-res stereo (new and old mixes) and in 5.1 surround sound (by Steven Wilson, of course). Additionally you get instrumental mixes of everything and ‘complete demos’.

All three physical releases are available via the SDE shop, including a specially-priced bundle. These are released on 25 October 2019. You can order via this link or the buttons below.

Compare prices and pre-order

XTC as The Dukes Of Stratosphear

Psurroundabout Ride (CD + BluRay)

Currency:

  • XTC as The Dukes – From Psychedelic Pswindon – the complete recordings in stereo and 5.1 Psurround Psound
  • 25 o’Clock and Psonic Psunspot newly mixed in stereo by Steven Wilson, with mixes approved by Andy Partridge (CD & Blu-Ray)
  • Both albums + 2 extra tracks  also newly mixed in 5.1 surround by Steven Wilson on Blu-Ray (with a final song up-mixed to surround using the Penteo audio system)
  • All 19 songs appear in their original mixes in hi-res stereo (Blu-Ray)
  • 18 songs appear in their new mixes in hi-res stereo (Blu-Ray)]
  • Complete demos from both albums & instrumental versions of album songs also feature in hi-res stereo on the Blu-Ray

25 O’Clock

Side One:

  1. 25 o’Clock
  2. Bike Ride to the Moon
  3. My Love Explodes

Side Two:

  1. What in the World?
  2. Your Gold Dress
  3. The Mole from the Ministry

Psonic Psunspot

Side One:

  1. Vanishing Girl
  2. Have you seen Jackie?
  3. Little Lighthouse
  4. You’re a Good Man Albert Brown
  5. Collideascope

Side Two:

  1. You’re my Drug
  2. Shiny Cage
  3. Brainiac’s Daughter
  4. The Affiliated
  5. Pale and Precious

 

54 responses to XTC’s Dukes of Stratosphear vinyl LP and CD+blu-ray reissues

  1. Steven says:

    How wonderful the five-point one mix is on this. Wilson clearly had a bucket load of fun. The music shines!

  2. Mark Fisher says:

    Sir John Johns talks about Psurroundabout Ride, the story of the Dukes of Stratosphear and his love of psychedelia. “This is pop music gone upwards towards the stars.” https://xtcbumperbookoffunforboysandgirls.blogspot.com/2019/10/andy-partridge-on-psurroundabout-ride.html

  3. Mathew Lauren says:

    Don’t really remember these albums, but this an automatic purchase. These are great cd/5.1 Blu-ray sets!

  4. Dan says:

    Anyone know why Open A Can Of Human Beans was left off? It was included appropriately so on the big box form. I seem to remember it is considered by Andy a Djkes song and something about it being a charity they got back together and did the song for.

  5. Thierry says:

    Excuse my ignorance but I am one of the few who still don’t have a blue-ray player : is there a simple way to rip it in order to put the music on a smartphone ? Thanks !

    • GentleRabbit says:

      I do wish that Apehouse/Burning Shed would put all of the contents of these BluRay archives up for download as well…

    • Brad says:

      Not sure if Mr. Sinclair is comfortable with mentions of other sites and brands so i won’t, but as i knew i was going to collect all XTC CD+blu-rays, the very reasonable price for each created my justification for buying an external optical drive for my MacBook which plays and burns blu-rays.
      With that tool in hand, i found several apps for free or a reasonable price which could convert a blu-ray file to a file type playable on multiple common devices.

    • richard says:

      Same problem for me too

    • Wayne klein says:

      Blu Ray players are pretty inexpensive. You can also get one for your computer and use it to rip to your phone. Having said that, if you listening lossy, it doesn’t matter and you can just ri0 the CD.

  6. Keith says:

    Love it pre ordered it.
    Swindon is renowned for its Roundabouts (Traffic Circles to our US chums) so it’s not a great leap to surroundabout and adding the p for that added psychedelic pfeel

    On a side note it does appear that like pink floyd the drummer is the only one who can speak to the rest of the band on reasonable terms. It’s psilly that with 1/2 a lifetime of recorded history together they at least cant meet up for a drink once in a while.

    • Nick Love says:

      Maybe it’s a regional thing but I’m in the US and it’s always called a roundabout here. Never heard the term traffic circle.

  7. Brian McCloskey says:

    Does Psonic Psunspot come etched like the original?

  8. Allex says:

    By the way: Just ordered XTC‘s The Back Sea-release of that series for 15€ the other day on amazon Germany. Still available for this great price!

  9. GentleRabbit says:

    Thrilled that this truly exciting campaign is now back on track. Hope those archival detectives are hard at work, digging up lost tapes for the remaining albums.

    Slightly disappointed that there was no sines postcard for those quickest off the mark this time, but I suppose the likes of Johns, the Curtain et al (assuming they survived the 60s) are rather reclusive these days.

    Here’s hoping that Messrs Partridge and Moulding can patch up their differences and at least reach some sort of truce. Thanks, as always, Paul.

    • Tim Abbott says:

      Attended a Q+A with Dave Gregory earlier this year, and when asked about a thaw in relations he was emphatic that there would never be a reunion of any sort – too much bad blood between everyone (except, it seem, Terry Chambers). To emphasise the point, he noted that he hasn’t had any contact with Andy for over seven years, and wasn’t given Colin’s current address, despite all three of them living pretty close to each other in Swindon.

      • GentleRabbit says:

        Such sad news, especially coming from a true gentleman such as Mr Gregory. If only they could at least be on good terms.

  10. Trash says:

    I’ll get this despite having the reissues from a few years back and despite the fact that I am not that big a Dukes fan (prefer the second album Psionic Psunspots, to the first as it sounds a bit more XTC-like).
    Mainly I’m disappointed that it’s these rather than Mummer or even The Big Express… maybe one day (and of course in my wildest dreams the multitrack for English Settlement miraculously turn up in Richard Bransons backyard….)

    • CAB says:

      Agree. I want to hear a Wilson mix of Soul Coal.
      (Will this post get through…….?)

    • Wayne Klein says:

      My guess is this was done because the bulk of the session tapes were easily found. Whenever you ask a company to look for session tapes they charge by the hour until they are located. It’s a bit by bit approach. I am hoping that, even if not all the tapes are found we get remixes like the first three Gentle Giant albums of the tracks they were able to located. It gets expensive to look for these things particularly after major mergers.

  11. Mister Sparkle says:

    What in the world? Acid is free! What in the world?

  12. SimonP says:

    Why 19 songs with 18 new mixes? Why was one missed out?

  13. Ryan says:

    Pre-ordered!
    Now we just need Steven Wilson’s 5.1 mix of “The Seeds of Love” and that will make for a nice little year!

    :)

  14. Francis Maher says:

    XTC ordered . Thanks Paul .
    These Steven Wilson XTC editions
    are excellent , and as other contributors
    have pointed out , you get all the music
    etc you need at a great price . Value for
    money………. a great concept .

  15. Michael says:

    OMG!! I’m salivating just thinking about The Dukes of Stratosphere albums in 5.1 blu-ray! I can’t believe something from my secret wish list has come true.

    I think Andy and the gang decided to spell ‘surroundabout’ as ‘psurroundabout’ (a marginal reference to psilocybin), to clue XTC fans that this is true psychedelic rock. The two Dukes of Stratosphere side projects were a playful and fun homage to the likes of Syd Barrett, the Electric Prunes, and the Blues Magoos, but with improved technique and sound quality. I can’t wait to get this!

    • “I think Andy and the gang decided to spell ‘surroundabout’ as ‘psurroundabout’ (a marginal reference to psilocybin), to clue XTC fans that this is true psychedelic rock.”… Well, that, and the fact that the second album did the same thing by being titled Psonic Psunspot.

      Anyone (Paul?!) found any info on whether the vinyl is of the new Wilson stereo mixes or the original mixes? It’s not specifically noted anywhere I can find.

      • Paul Sinclair says:

        I think they are the original mixes on vinyl. Pretty sure it would be noted if otherwise.

      • Michael says:

        Hi, Marshall. I thought the correlation between “psurroundabout’ and ‘psonic psunspot’ was obvious and didn’t need mentioning, but I appreciate your adding this point to my comment.

        The 200 gram vinyl releases look very tempting too. Paul, do you know if the vinyl releases will feature gate-fold album jackets? Thanks very much :-)

  16. Brad says:

    You’re a good man Andrew John Partridge!

    Hope the shed’s feeling cooler, the Apple’s playing nice, and you’re not wanting for Stu-time.

  17. Mike Cox says:

    Yes, these guys know how give you a bang for your buck….or pound….or whatever! I think this is the first in the series to not have an autograph from one of the band members for the first 1000 or so orders. Only minor gripe is you can’t listen to the instrumentals and other special features unless played on a blu ray. Keep ’em rolling!

    • Wayne Klein says:

      I’d accept an autograph from E.I.E.I. Owen (Dave Gregory’s brother Ian). As to relations, it might have been a while but Dave did thaw his relationship withAndy some time back. Colin, On The other hand, isn’t interested and he has issues with Andy that Partridge still doesn’t quite get as Andy had asked (before taking an understandable break from Twitter) others who might know Colin to ask what issue he had so Andy could at least address it.

      Sad that there’s so much damage in their relationship.

  18. 7 says:

    2. Quadraphonic (4.0) mix – I remember Andy Partridge replying, via Twitter, that it would probably be too difficult to do, as the fx on the album were done using 1960s techniques.

  19. yelko says:

    Man, I ordered the lot. XTC are the best. Phinal!

  20. 7 says:

    Another fab release in the series! I wonder if I had any influence on this being release? About 2 years ago I suggested to Andy Partridge, via Twitter, that he should release quadraphonic (4.0) mix’s of these albums! Like numerous records were in the early 1970s.

  21. Chris says:

    I’m *really* confused. I thought these were already done, in the thick booklet-style releases with extra tracks and demos from about 10 years ago that I have back at home.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Those were 2CD reissues and didn’t feature any 5.1 mixes, instrumentals, new stereo etc.

      • Chris says:

        Thanks Paul. So those were just straight reissues (modulo the extra content), and not Steven Wilson products? OK, that makes sense.

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          Yes. They were still good and had the demos on them, but this is a big step up so definitely worth the upgrade.

          • GentleRabbit says:

            That futuristic, robo-synthtastic demo version of What In The World?? is truly a thing of madness and wonder…

  22. Timm Davison says:

    I managed to track down a copy of the Dukes box set a few years ago off Ebay for a not-terrible price. Still, I think the CD/Blu-Ray is worth it due to the low cost.

  23. Magoo says:

    David you are so right.
    Get this ordered and start dreaming.

  24. Ade Swatridge says:

    Been waiting what feels like an age for the next XTC release as these are so good. I suspected (rumours on t’internet) it would be The Dukes this time. Ordered day 1 – is there any video content on the bluray Paul?
    Usually XTC bundle a video or two and I know there is a video for Mole From The Ministry.

  25. Mr. Ska '57 says:

    Another for the What Am I Buying For Myself for Xmas list! Abbey Road, Elvis 1969, OMD, Gong … US $500 and counting!

  26. David says:

    Awesome! Ordered. Pity there’s no mention of coloured vinyl. My original copy of “Psonic Psunspot” is pressed on amazing purple spatter vinyl. “Vanishing Girl” is such an ear worm it still pops into my head every few months and goes round and round… They have really studied the form – it goes way beyond pastiche. When you listen the 60’s tracks that inspired this it could so easily be a contemporary release from that period. Incredible to think it was recorded in the 80’s when pretty much everything else sounded just awful to my ears – gated snares, guitars so low in the mix they might as well not have bothered to record them, soulless synths, china cymbals, flat singing… I’ll get off my high horse. Buy this folks!

    • stevieB says:

      I’m totally with you on those last couple of lines David. So much 80s pop does absolutely nothing for me!

  27. Mark Colan says:

    Will this set be available in USA, such as from Amazon?

  28. -SG- says:

    So here is how it should be done, bacic CD and Blu-Ray for everything else. Technology is your friend here and there is often no need for a bleedin’ oversized hollow box… full of redundant formats with the same stuff on everything. These are priced accordingly and don’t take up your entire shelf with a bunch of tat the size of a mini fridge, a $500 price tag, and the embarassment you may eventually feel once you realize you were fleeced. Compare that to Pink Floyd and nearly every other recent super deluxe box, charging a premium for chestnuts like “forgotten blues jam #5 (extended monitor mix)” All that is fun, but XTC have the right idea here, include it but don’t over-do it.

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