Reissues — September 3, 2014 at 7:39 am

XTC’s ‘Drums and Wires’ audiophile reissue to include new 5.1 mix, demos, rehearsal tracks

XTC, 'Drums and Wires'

The audiophile reissue of XTC’s classic 1979 album Drums and Wires — with its new 5.1 Surround mix that frontman Andy Partridge last summer boasted is “so good it’s upped my opinion of the album” — finally arrives Oct. 27 on CD and Blu-ray, with the latter format stuffed with alternate mixes of the album and nearly 40 demo and rehearsal tracks.

The release is the second in XTC’s new reissues series, following last year’s Nonsuch makeover. Like that reissue, the new edition of Drums and Wires comes on CD, with a new stereo mix by Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson, plus six bonus singles and B-sides tacked on.

The real attraction, though, is the Blu-ray release, which includes four different mixes of Drums and Wires (original stereo, new stereo, instrumental and a new 5.1 Surround mix by Wilson), plus 11 bonus tracks (see below), and nearly 40 so-far-undisclosed demo and rehearsal tracks. There also are various original alternate mixes included and a pair of promo videos.

See track information below. The reissue can be pre-ordered through


Tracklist: XTC, Drums and Wires reissues

1. “Making Plans For Nigel”
2. “Helicopter”
3. “Day In Day Out”
4. “When You’re Near Me I Have Difficulty”
5. “Ten Feet Tall”
6. “Roads Girdle the Globe”
7. “Real By Reel”
8. “Millions”
9. “That Is The Way”
10. “Outside World”
11. “Scissor Man”
12. “Complicated Game”
Bonus tracks:
13. “Chain Of Command”
14. “Limelight”
15. “Life Begins At The Hop”
16. “Homo Safari”
17. “Ten Feet Tall” (Electric Version)
18. “Wait ‘Til Your Boat Goes Down”


Blu-ray (Region 0, NTSC):

New stereo mix = 12 tracks
Original stereo mix = 12 tracks
Instrumental mixes = 12 tracks
5.1 mix = 12 tracks
Bonus tracks new stereo mixes = 11 tracks
Bonus tracks 5.1 = 11 tracks
Demo session 1 = 6 tracks
Demo session 2 = 4 tracks
Demo session 3 = 4 tracks
Demo session 4 = 4 tracks
Rehearsal tape = 20 tracks
DJM re-recordings = 3 tracks
Various original alternate mixes = 4 tracks
Promo videos = 2 track

Presented in 24bit/96khz LPCM Audio

Album mixed in 5.1 Surround
— Steven Wilson stereo mix and original album mix in High Resolution stereo.

Blu-ray exclusive material includes: Numerous additional stereo and 5.1 tracks, new stereo album instrumental mixes, 5 demo sessions and promo films for the singles “Making Plans for Nigel” and “Life Begins At The Hop.”

Bonus tracks remixed into stereo and 5.1:

1. “Life Begins at the Hop” *
2. “Homo Safari”
(A+B side to “Life Begins at the Hop” single, UK release April 1979)

3. “Chain of Command”
4. “Limelight”
(A+B side to free single included with initial pressing of Drums and Wires, UK release August 1979)

5. “Bushman President”
6. “Pulsing Pulsing”
(B-sides to “Making Plans for Nigel” single, UK release September 1979)

7. “Wait ‘Til Your Boat Goes Down”
8. “Ten Feet Tall” (Electric version)
(A+B side to “Wait Til Your Boat Goes Down” single, UK release March 1980)

9. “Officer Blue”
(Drums and Wires outtake – B-side to “Respectable Street” single, UK release March 1981)

10. “Over Rusty Water”
(Drums and Wires outtake – B-side to “No Thugs in Our House” single, UK release May 1982)

11. “Sleepyheads”
(Drums and Wires outtake, first released on Coat of Many Cupboards box set, UK release 2002)

* (“Life Begins at the Hop” is the original stereo master due to multitrack tapes being unavailable, the 5.1 version is a Penteo upmix)






  1. I’ve always wondered what sessions produced the excellent song Wait Til Your Boats Goes Down. Hope it got cleaned up as well. The version I have on The Compact XTC is very muddled. So now I’m heading over to Amazon to price Blue Rays I guess. Thanks Andy!

  2. The album title is actually “Drums and Wires”. You missed an “s” there at the end.

  3. Sorry, I don’t know why you’re bothering. I have my original vinyl and you can’t improve on perfection.

  4. Shut up and take my money Andy, I’m sold, especially after the brilliant blu-ray version of Nonesuch. He seems to be doing these strategically in case the rug gets pulled out which is cool. I just hope this campaign lasts long enough for English Settlement to get a similar treatment.

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