My Top 1000 Songs #125: Generals & Majors

"Generals And Majors," off XTC's 1980 LP Black Sea, is another one of those tracks I first heard as a young teenager that gave me a whiff of a whole world of great music that I was missing out on, that wasn't get much play on MTV or the midwestern FM radio stations. I don't remember where I first heard it--maybe on that rare hour on the classic rock station when they played more interesting new wave and punk stuff that got left off the daytime playlists, maybe on one of those late-night cable shows that ran videos to compete with MTV--but that ridiculous riff was the sort of thing that immediately got my attention and has been wedged in my mind ever since. Two thumbs up for excellent whistling!

I have to admit I didn't really get into XTC until a few years later, in college; and even then, I was more into their psychedelic alter-egos the Dukes of Stratosphear. I had a greatest hits album, and was pretty content with this song and "Senses Working Overtime" and a few others. While later records, like 1989's Oranges And Lemons, made me a true XTC convert, this will always be the song that transports me back to my younger self, still making my initial ventures into music outside the high school mainstream.