“The Mayor of Simpleton” was released as the first single for XTC’s 1989 album, Oranges & Lemons. The song peaked at number 72 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, and peaked at number one on the Billboard‘s Modern Rock chart.
I was in the 8th grade when this song was released, and I have to admit at the time that I didn’t really care for it. That was probably due, in large part, to not quite being able to truly appreciate what the lyrics had to say. I heard this song again a few years later when I was in college, and at that point, I could better appreciate the lyrics of the song; it was then I realized that I really did like this song. In fact, it has since gone on to become one of my favorite songs by XTC. This is a very catchy song, musically, and you can’t help but move along to it as it plays.
The video is interesting. There are credits that keep popping up in the video, and several scenes in the video come across as footage from a black and white film. There are other shots included of the band sitting on stools while performing the song, as well as some other random shots. It’s a fun, yet kind of strange, music video.