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XTC - Towers of London

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"Towers of London" is a song by Andy Partridge. It appeared on and was released as a single for the 1980 album Black Sea. It reached No. 31 on the UK singles chart. Lyrics: Towers of London When they had built you Did you watch over the men who fell Towers of London When they had built you Victoria's gem found in somebody's hell Pavements of gold leading to the underground Grenadier Guardsmen walking pretty ladies around Fog is the sweat of the never never navvies who pound Spikes in the rails to their very own heaven Towers of London When they had built you Did you watch over the men who fell Towers of London When they had built you Victoria's gem found in somebody's hell Bridges of muscles spanning so long and high Merchants from Stepney walking pretty ladies by Rain is the tears of the never never navvies who cry For the bridge that doesn't go In the direction of Dublin Towers of London When they had built you Did you watch over the men who fell Towers of London When they had built you Victoria's gem found in somebody's hell And I've seen it in a painting And I've seen it in engraving And I've seen it in their faces Clear as children's chalk lines on the paving And I've seen it in a painting And I've seen it in engraving And I've seen it in their faces Clear as children's chalk lines on the paving Towers of London When they had built you Did you watch over the men who fell Towers of London When they had built you Victoria's gem found in somebody's hell Towers of London La la Londinium
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Text Comments (35)
PUNKISINTHEDETAILS (22 days ago)
Making Plans for UKIP
Jules Kazen (1 month ago)
I love love that bridge in this song!!!!
crane4533 (2 months ago)
One of the greatest long fadeouts I've ever heard!
kausmo tumynski (2 months ago)
Classic 80's album impeccably crafted in every detail, from songwriting, analog production and performances well before the days of pro tools. The bass lines are especially of note, in that they are on many bassists top 100 lists of the greatest rock composition and performances on record. Colin Moulding played a short scale Epiphone Newport and a Wal fretless on most of the record I've read. His playing is textbook in its melodic and song supporting style, with a dark fat tone that carries the bottom end and sits in the mix perfectly.
Luka Meah (2 months ago)
Just watched XTC at the Manor doc, which chronicled the making of this great track. Fascinating footage of XTC in the control room with producer Steve Lillywhite.
MEOR DC (4 months ago)
One of the greatest songs of a GREAT band! A whole world and history in three minutes... remarkable.
Steve L (4 months ago)
Wished I'd seen them live. This album and English Settlement are flat out awesome
Shelley Rothenburger (4 months ago)
Yes they are very sophisticated song writers
Fryksdahl S Travel (5 months ago)
Funny thing about all the comparisons to the "Fab Four" throughout XTC's entire career. But this album - Black Sea and especially Towers and No Language remind me soooo much of the Stones instead. The strumming guitars for sure, i've always thought that even in 1980! Have never seen anyone mention XTC and the Rolling Stones in the same breath. But what do i know.....i'm probably 1/2 deaf!!
Shelley Rothenburger (4 months ago)
And of course vocals and harmonies are nothing like the raw belting of the stones
Shelley Rothenburger (4 months ago)
I can see your comparison to guitar but in writing there are a lot similarities to the four
P Smith (9 months ago)
xtc has been my secret weapon for years to blow music lovers minds away who have never heard of them!!! where to begin!! They constantly were evolving. one of the greats hands down. pop..
I am Rhino (11 months ago)
La La Londinium ....
Lawrence Fran (1 year ago)
One of my first albums - all great songs!
Brendan Barry (1 year ago)
Many of the great rock classics feature a magnificent outro.
muzquiz sebastian (1 year ago)
I had the privilege of seeing them live twice back in the early 80,s and I miss them.
Ken H (1 year ago)
One of my all-time favorite XTC songs.
You Stupid Boy (1 year ago)
<3
Ariel Kars jamoosica (1 year ago)
Best. band. ever
james woody (1 year ago)
Another Sterling Steve Lillywhite mix from the early 1980's! Wasn't this engineered by Hugh Padgham?
Olive Eisner (4 months ago)
James. I don't know who can hold claim to inventing it really. Tony Visconti has a decent stake in it. Go listen to the gated drums he did for David Bowie's Low album in 1976. try "Breaking Glass". I believe he was using the Evantide Harmonizer to alter the drum sound. Pretty epic.
james woody (1 year ago)
Nevermind. Of course, it was engineered by Padgham. He and Lillywhite were inseparable during that short window of time. This was released a year prior to Peter Gabriel 3 (I think it was a year prior) and already had that huge, gated reverb drum sound from recording in the huge stone rooms at the Manor and Townhouse Studios, using the noise gates to cut off the decay (check out "Respectable Street"). Why do people still think that "Intruder" or "In the Air Tonight" was the first song to ever use the "big, gated drum sound?" Why do people think Phil Collins discovered it? He didn't - Hugh Padgham discovered it! They came up with a different method for "Intruder," however. They mixed in the leaking talkback microphone from the desk. There were a number of ways to dial it up but Padgham "discovered" this - not Collins, not Lillywhite.
John Mc Cann (2 years ago)
great pop!!!Imagination all over the place!
Larry Colon (2 years ago)
Fantastic band heard them for the first time in college in 1989.. in Baltimore md on 99.1 WHFS&WCVT 89.7 FM
Matt Quinlivan (5 days ago)
Treat Your Ears
S. Giles (2 years ago)
Only reached #31 in the charts. An example of XTC casting pearls before swine.
Rick Hankins (2 years ago)
Full of very inventive little guitar riffs. one of the greatest British bands that most people here in the States know nothing about.
Luka Meah (2 months ago)
American musicians know XTC ( well, those over 40 anyway.)
womanskornd (2 months ago)
Some of us in the US have been fans of XTC since at least 1981. I still have this on vinyl, complete with the lime green paper wrapper. Absolute treasure of an album.
ariestacrat1966 davis (9 months ago)
Rick Hankins agree!! Also the guitar riffs on shake you donkey up and no thugs in our house.
james woody (1 year ago)
It's sad, really. They could have been very popular if something that went wrong in 1982, had NOT gone wrong in 1982. On the eve of their U.S. Tour for English Settlement, in the States, Andy stopped it all. That was that!
Rick Hankins (2 years ago)
+johnnydontdoit I think people recognize some of the tunes, but aren't so familiar with the band. They have a great pedigree with Steve Lillywhite and Branson's Virgin. A few things more or less derailed their popularity. Partridge's anxiety issues, poor management, and lack of record label support really hurt them.
TheTanthius (3 years ago)
Superb song. Love the fact that they used a fire extinguisher as a percussion instrument. Brilliant.
1分01   ネバネバな水~
d22 (4 years ago)
Very good album.

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