XTC was never a band that was afraid to pursue a little open experimentation in the name of pop. Smokeless Zone was a b-side that came our way via 1982’s Beeswax, which was all b-sides, all worth troubling your ears with.
“The problem with any My Bloody Valentine record is, however brilliant it may be, it can’t exist in same sonic universe of that same song performed live. Case in point, When You Sleep from Loveless. On record, it’s a superbly textured experimental pop song with a pronounced dreamy edge. Whereas live, in the Commodore Ballroom, 1992, it was a gauntlet thrown down by the gods. Swoon in our psychedelic power and complexity, it demanded. And maybe half the crowd did. The other half were gone by shows end, complaining about the noise.” (Philip Random)
Danielle Dax (pre-teen opera star turned pop experimentalist) was supposed to be the next Kate Bush, but for whatever reason, her textured approach to all things rhythmic, melodic, strange never quite caught on. Dark Adapted Eye, a compilation of some of her earlier releases, is well worth a listen with Brimstone in a Barren Land a standout for its overall feeling of impending doom crossed with cool, possibly hopeful light. 1987 in a nutshell.