The Mayor Of Simpleton – XTC | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#72) and Modern Rock (#1); 1989

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

XTC started out in 1972 as Star Park (Rats Krap spelled backwards), changing to the Helium Kidz in ’73, and XTC in 1976. Two years later, debut White Noise rose to #38 in Britain; kicking off a string of cult-loved albums. Notable among them was Black Sea (1980) and English Settlement (1982). Coincident with English Settlement‘s UK success, Senses Working Overtime landed XTC in the singles Top 10 for the first time. With XTC’s star rising, key player/singer Andy Partridge went into a Brian Wilson-like tailspin and announced that the band would tour no more. Despite the ensuing turmoil, XTC delivered some fine efforts: especially Mummer (1983), The Big Express (1984), and Skylarking (1986), as well as two psychedelic side projects billed to The Dukes Of Stratosphear. XTC opened 1989 with The Mayor Of Simpleton off the forthcoming Oranges & Lemons. Mayor‘s combination of elements from Skylarking and the Duke’s gave XTC its only Hot 100 entry.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Paul Fox

Lyrics Written by:

  • Andy Partridge