XTC’s 1982 English Settlement album reflects something of English history, starting from its album cover. Here is an aerial photo of a 3000-year old chalk etching called the Uffington white horse as featured on the cover of XTC’s English Settlement album.

Uffington White Horse

It’s actually found in Oxfordshire, and referenced in texts starting from the middle-ages onward. It is rumoured to not actually be a horse at all, but the dragon which (as legend tells it) was defeated by St. George. Others feel that it represents an older figure, Epona the horse goddess from Celtic traditions. Here’s more information about this fantastic piece of history.

XTC English Settlement Andy Partridge has made a number of references to ancient British history in his songs. As such, I had always assumed that the cover of this album was of Celtic or ancient Briton origin. But, I had no idea that it wasn’t simply a piece of art, but an actual location…

To give you a feel for the record attached to this image, here’s a clip of XTC doing their track “Yacht Dance”, a rare live track since the group ceased touring around the time this double album came out. This is the record off of which the band’s song “Senses Working Overtime” is featured, and features a range of styles that makes it roughly parallel to XTC’s ‘White Album’.


2 thoughts on “XTC English Settlement Album Cover, with Aerial Photo

  1. I had actually been to the Uffington White Horse back in 1997 while visiting relatives in England. (I live in Sacramento, California.) I had already been a big fan of XTC for a number of years prior to that, so it was a cultural landmark for me as well as an historical one.

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