Daily Song Study

XTC – The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead

In songs on December 28, 2011 at 11:01 am

XTC is often a go-to band for people who want to hear a bit of pop music, but don’t generally like pop music. Their tunes don’t pander, but are intensely singable. Witness today’s example.

In addition to being catchy, the song tells a really engaging story about a fictional messiah who runs the standard course, ending up crucified on live television. This is a simpler chord progression than the band normally use, and it fits well with the populist tale.

From a production standpoint, I just have to say that this may be my favorite drum sound ever. For that, credit Nick Davis, who has also engineered fantastic sessions for Genesis.

People often think they don’t like pop music, which I can certainly understand, given that field’s checkered output. But when we hear artists like this, it reminds us that the form itself may not be the problem, but instead the low standards to which it is commonly held in the culture. If we demand more XTCs, will they come?

  1. Awesome song by an awesome band.

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