In 1980, the prospect of World War III was still a very real concern. From my dorm room near Plattsburgh Air Force Base, I could watch FB-111s tear into the sky — and by all accounts, they were nuked and ready to rock.
Naturally, when XTC’s Generals and Majors came out in 1980, we played it constantly at the college radio station. There’s nothing like a peppy song about blowing up the world.
I’d bet you $100 that Colin Meloy listened to some XTC records when he was growiing up in Montana — and I think you can hear it in 16 Military Wives. These are two songs that belong together.