XTC: Andy Partridge (vocals, guitar); Dave Gregory (vocals, guitar, piano, Chamberlin, synthesizer); Colin Moulding (vocals, bass). Though borne out of frustrating circumstances, SKYLARKING proved, upon its 1986 release, to be XTC's biggest seller. Attention was spurred along by "Dear God," which was originally issued only as a B-side and not even included on the album. Subsequent pressings quickly substituted the song (removing "Mermaid Smiled," which resurfaced on RAG & BONE BUFFET). At the time, Andy Partridge was extremely vocal about the band's dissatisfaction in working with producer Todd Rundgren. Intervening years have softened the memory of personal clashes and he now also embraces this as one of their finest hours (as had been the case with most of their fans all along). With hooks galore ("That's Really Super, Supergirl," "Season Cycle"), lush orchestrations ("1000 Umbrellas"), acoustic reveries ("Grass," "Sacrificial Bonfire"), and even some big fat electric guitars and drums ("Earn Enough For Us"), this is a perfect starting point for anyone unfamiliar with the fine XTC catalog.