"Fireball X15/Fireball Dub" is a cover of the theme to the show Fireball X15, originally written by Barry Gray. It appeared on the 2002 Coat of Many Cupboards box set.
Andy: “Like most young bands, we used a simple device to crack the stony façade of loveless provincial audiences, and that was the goofy version of a TV theme tuneploy.
“As The Jam did ‘Batman’ to break the grins of steelworkers and their pints, so XTC, quite coincidentally in our parallel universe, came up with the idea of covering ‘Fireball XL5’. This was a rather clunky puppet space series from the early sixties with a theme song seemingly from the previous decade. I'd remembered it wrongly from my childhood as we totally missed out the ramp section leading to the chorus. Never mind, audiences loved it. We needed all the ice breaking equipment we could muster in some of those early pubs, clubs and halls '76/'77.
“The magic bit was actually being in the Manor Studio and having John Leckie reveal the alchemy of the ancients to us, namely, how to make a dub mix. I'd been fascinated with the sound of dub since I heard Rupie Edwards' single ‘Skanga (Ire Feeling)’ a few years earlier. Now John laid open the guts and lights of the mixing desk and effects and proceeded to conjure similar dreamscapes from the faders and buttons.
“We'd banged down ‘Fireball XL5’ but it hadn't really flown, away from the live show it seemed lifeless in the studio. I suggested this was the frog we needed to attempt our first dub dissection. So here it is. The wilful, tinny '60's mix edited onto its thousand fathom reverb twin. I went dub dotty over the next few years.”