Seems a lowly spot for this to appear but I must warn you that anything between here and my top 30 could really feature anywhere on the list.
I've followed XTC since they started out in the late 70s; saw them gigging their debut with 'Statue of Liberty' and other spiky songs of frustration. Their post punk thrash was always infused with devilish humour; underpinned with an obvious lyrical intelligence, not to mention an ear for a great melody.
Who'd have thought that once Andy Partridge had retreated from live performance and got the perfect pop of 'Black Sea' out of his system that he'd would go on to produce such pastoral classics as 'Mummer' 'Skylarking', 'English Settlement' and 'Nonsuch'.
Word had it that he was going slowly bonkers in rural parts; although anyone who had the gumption to outwit the acidic Todd Rundgren, throwing him off the 'Skylarking' sessions, must have retained some of his city smarts. Andy seems to be holding it together on this 1999 interview from Bay TV, where a resplendent Partridge does his best to make the color brown look cool...
And on to 'Nonsuch'; this box of delights starts thumpingly with 'Peter Pumpkinhead' and works its way inexorably towards the set's highlight; the baroquely beautiful 'Wrapped in Grey'.
Long may he potter away in his Swindon garden shed, come studio; conjuring heavenly words and music.