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Nonsuch is an album by XTC, released on April 27 1992. In a 1992 MTV interview, Andy Partridge said that he had selected the name of the album after encountering a drawing of the castle and, thinking that the archaic word "Nonsuch" meant "does not exist" rather than, as he later learned, "unique". In addition, the album title may have derived from a couplet in the lyrics of the final song of Oranges and Lemons (their previous studio album) "Chalkhills and Children":
I'm skating over thin ice

while some nonesuch net holds me aloftThis lyric shows Partridge misunderstood the proper meaning of the word "Non(e)such" prior to the recording of Nonsuch.

The album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album. "The Disappointed" was nominated for an Ivor Novello award. The album reached No. 1 on the Rolling Stone College album chart and No. 97 on the Billboard album chart in the U.S.

The album produced three singles: "The Disappointed" (which reached No. 33 on the UKmarker singles chart), "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead" (which reached No. 71 on the UK singles chart) and "Wrapped In Grey" (which, when withdrawn by Virgin, prompted the band to go on strike).

Two promotional videos were made. A UK-only video for "The Disappointed" (the band also did a lip-sync performance of this song on Pebble Mill at One) and "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead," which received much airplay on MTV that summer.

The band performed "Books Are Burning" live with drummer Dave Mattacks on The Late Show on BBC-TV in April 1992.

The album cover is a picture of Nonsuch Palacemarker in Surreymarker, from the book A Short History of Ewellmarker and Nonsuch, by Cloudesley S. Willis. The palace no longer exists, but its former grounds included the present-day Nonsuch Park in Cheam.

Audio previews

Five tracks from the album can be previewed in their entirety on the Nonsuch page.

Track listing

UK CD: CDV 2699



Additional musicians


String and brass arrangements by Dave Gregory, except "Rook" and "Omnibus" by Andy Partridge and "War Dance" by Colin Moulding. Strings on "The Disappointed" arranged by Andy Partridge and Dave Gregory.



Year Chart Position
1992 The Billboard 200 97
Year Single Chart Position
1992 "Dear Madam Barnum" Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 18
1992 "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead" Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 1


  1. Nonsuch page.

External links

Audio previews from Nonsuch

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