106. perfect

The The being (at the time anyway) the last of the The bands, and they weren’t really a band anyway, being mostly the vision, the passion, the soul of Matt Johnson. And man, did he get it right in and around and on 1983’s Soul Mining, one of those albums where every song works, every moment feels inevitable. And yet, there didn’t seem to be room for Perfect, not on the original vinyl anyway, certainly not the longer, cooler, better remix version. Which is the first The The track I ever heard. One of those psychedelically enhanced long day’s journey into night and then back again into day situations. And yeah, I’d be paying for it in the long run, but in that sublime dawn moment, my friend Simon’s freshest mixtape playing from yonder blaster, the first rays of sun touching my face, it was a grand thing, like feeling the gods invent the world anew … grasping all of my considerable problems as their work, essential to the great scheme, whatever it was. Because in the end, everything’s perfect somehow, thus justified, even as a wild wind kicks up, sends loose trash swirling … or is it shrapnel from some distant warzone? You probably had to be there. I still am apparently.” (Philip Random)

Advertisements

244. Giant

“Don’t let the tricky name fool you. The The (mostly the work of just one man, Matt Johnson) are one of the pivotal outfits of 1980s, particularly Soul Mining, their first proper album, of which Giant is the final track, and yes, it’s at least as big as its name. And forever dedicated by me to everyone who’s ever chased their passions, pushed envelopes, stayed awake way too long, and gotten torn apart for their troubles. Because Giant seems to be about all of this — scared of God, scared of hell, caving in on upon itself.” (Philip Random)

(photo: Nicola Tyson)

443. this is the day

“It’s all there in the first couple of lines of This is the Day, the story of my life, summer 1983: Well you didn’t wake up this morning ’cause you didn’t go to bed – You were watching the whites of your eyes turn red. Maybe 5AM, looking myself in the mirror after way too many mixed up hours of mixed up partying, imbibing, whatever. The song spoke directly to me, Matt Johnson and his burning blue soul joining me in my young adult mixed up pain and ecstasy, telling me I wasn’t alone, wherever the hell I was. Melody was pretty much perfect, too. The whole album really.” (Philip Random)