The ’59 2018 #132: 180512
XTC – Drums & Wires (1979)
This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 21 – 1979
Drums and Wires was the third studio album by XTC, released on 17 August 1979, on the Virgin record label. It marked the debut of Dave Gregory, who joined the band as lead guitarist following keyboardist Barry Andrews’ departure in early 1979. Gregory went on to remain with the group up until 1998, during the recording of Apple Venus Volume 1.
Drums and Wires reached No. 34 on the UK Albums Chart, and No. 176 on the US Billboard Albums Chart. The lead single, “Making Plans for Nigel”, was released from the album on 14 September 1979, and reached No. 17 on the UK Singles Chart.
The album also contained the original recording of “Ten Feet Tall”, a re-recorded version of which was released in March 1980 in the US only, as the band’s first American single, designed to coincide with their first American tour. Certain versions of the album also include “Life Begins at the Hop”, which was released on 27 April 1979, and reached No. 54 on the UK Singles Chart.
In later years, the album was rated at number 38 on Pitchfork’s “The Top Albums of the 1970s” list