“Mayor of Simpleton” + “King for a Day” by XTC
Not since the Lennon/McCartney machine brought us Paperback Writer / Rain has there been a double-A single this perfectly balanced and obvious. Two parts equally placed and regared, yin and yang, perfect symmetry. One whimsical, quirky Andy Partridge pop-perfect ditty, the other a pointed Colin Moulding commentary on greed. Both halves of the XTC songwriting factory equally represented. And they’re killer pop songs.
The only problem is, they weren’t a double-A single. They were released as two different singles. To be sure, the record companies Powers That Be certainly know more than I do about hit-making (even though they didn’t seem to apply that knowledge to XTC’s career evenly). But, I cannot separate these two songs as individuals. They’re a perfect pair of pop brilliance from two very under-rated songwriters/musicians.
And speaking of pop brilliant… this is NOT it:
As a matter of fact, if you watched that you’ll need to burn your ear drums.