I have every album ever released by this seminal British POP band but this 1996 compilation collecting their singles from 1977 to 1992 is probably the best introduction a newbie could possible ask for.
Originally consisting of Andy Partridge (vocals, guitar), Colin Moulding (vocals, bass), Terry Chambers (drums) and Barry Andrews (keyboards), the quartet blitz their way through two LPs during the early post-punk era before Andrews made way for Dave Gregory (guitar, vocals) and significant chart success in their native UK.
However, at the cusp of a major US tour in 1982, Partridge suffered from a nervous breakdown and would never perform live again. In the wake of that disappointment, Chambers soon downed sticks and left for Australia, leaving XTC as a trio for most of the rest of their existence.
The band struggled to survive in the early 80s but thanks to an improved reception from the USA in the late 80s found renewed acceptance. Sadly, an ongoing dispute with record label Virgin Records, left the band in financial straits in the 90s.
By the time, XTC regained control of their own recording destiny, even Gregory was gone. The remaining duo of Partridge and Moulding released two more albums before Moulding effectively gave up on music altogether!
It's criminal that a band as inventive, melodic and radical as XTC never achieved the commercial success their wonderful music merited. But the music lives on...