XTC was one of the smartest -- and catchiest -- British pop bands to emerge from the punk and new wave explosion of the late '70s. From the tense, jerky riffs of their early singles to the lushly arranged, meticulous pop of their later albums, XTC's music has always been driven by the hook-laden songwriting of guitarist Andy Partridge and bassist Colin Moulding. While popular success has eluded them in both Britain and America, the group has developed a devoted cult following in both countries that remains loyal over two decades after their first records. Partridge, Moulding, and drummer Terry Chambers formed the first version of the band in Swindon, Wiltshire around 1976, calling themselves Star Park. As punk rock took off in 1977, the group changed their name to Helium Kidz and added keyboardist Barry Andrews. After being turned down ...
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