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Radios in Motion (XTC song)

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"Radios in Motion"
Song by XTC
from the album White Music
ReleasedJanuary 20, 1978 (1978-01-20)
Songwriter(s)Andy Partridge
Producer(s)John Leckie

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"Radios in Motion" is a song written by Andy Partridge of the English rock band XTC, released as the opening track to their 1978 debut album White Music.[1]

In a 2009 interview, Partridge stated, "We couldn't think of any better way to start off our first album than with the ‘kick the door in’, breezy opener we used in our live set... the lyrics are very silly, picked for their sonic effect rather than meaning. The first refuge of an inexperienced song writer, forgive me, but they do have a youthful scattergun energy. I've just remembered I used to sing the line ‘The songs are too slow’ impersonating a tape recorder slowing down or turning off. Why I didn't just ask John Leckie to do this for real I don't know. I think I was far too excited to be in a recording studio to think straight at all."[2] The song is considered representative of the band's "agitated amphetamine rock" style of their earlier works, though others would call it " relatively tame mod-pop".[3][4] Andy Partridge has referred to the words in the song as "my crappiest lyric."[5] The mention of Milwaukee in the lyrics was seen as an attempt to appeal to US audiences but was written because Andy Partridge's aunt lived in Miwaukee.[6][2][7]

The title of the song was also the name of a promtional EP about the history of the band.[8]

Live performances[edit]

The band opened their shows with this song starting in 1977.[9] The song was performed in concert by the band consistently, beginning in 1978, until it was eventually dropped from live sets in 1981.[10] A televised live performance of the song was done on The Old Grey Whistle Test in February 1978.[11]


  • Andy Partridge - lead vocal, electric guitar
  • Colin Moulding - backing vocal, bass guitar
  • Barry Andrews - keyboards
  • Terry Chambers - drums


  1. Woodstra, Chris. "White Music - XTC". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Chalkhills: XTCFans: Andy's Take: "Radios in Motion"". chalkhills.org. Retrieved 2018-06-30.
  3. Mauri, Ken (Feb 27, 2014). "Ken Maiuri's Tuned In". Daily Hampshire Gazette. Newspapers of New England. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  4. Zaleski, Annie. "This is pop: XTC's giddy, incomparable "White Music" turns 40". Salon.com. Salon Media Group. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  5. Partridge, Andy. "Tweet by Andy Partridge". Twitter. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  6. Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: CG : XTC". Robert Christgau Dean of American Rock Critics.
  7. "There's A Message In Milwaukee…". For Malcontents Only. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  8. "XTC Radios In Motion: A History Of XTC". Reverb LP. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  9. Marko, Paul. The Roxy London Wc2: A Punk History. London: The roxy Club. p. 271. ISBN 0955658306. Retrieved 11 August 2018. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  10. "Radios in Motion by XTC Song Statistics | setlist.fm". www.setlist.fm. Retrieved 2018-06-30.
  11. Vince Van Guff (2011-02-11), Radios In Motion - XTC - OGWT Feb 78, retrieved 2018-06-30

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