9/2/15

Television Personalities - The Goodnight Mr Spaceman EP (1993)




















One of the most dl post since the start of this blog. Don't know why. So now it's available again. Catch Mr Spaceman here if you can. And goodnight.

How can Dan Treacy write such a text of despair and mental misery such as "Goodnight Mr Spaceman" and sing it in such a poppy song? It's a complete mistery. Cos' really, the lyrics are really one of the most impressive summary of life (knowing Dan Treacy one) that have been written in Rock history. Crude, direct, without any word artifice, it says exactly what it means. Of course nobody understood it at the times (stupid journalists less than anybody else but they always miss what's good in music since the birth of this silly activity). It's not actually pure TVP and tried a little to surf on the current sound (Primal Scream, Suede, St Etienne and Denim are name-dropped in the song) but not enough to be popular or to be too difficult to listen to today.  Released in May 1993, 7 months after the great Closer To God unsuccessful double album, the song was extracted from it but not the 3 others on the EP (a single version was released with only "If I Was Your Girlfriend" on B-side. The other songs are less interesting. "She Loves It When He Sings Like Elvis" is no far to be unvoluntary parody and "The Lost in Space Mix" of the title track can be forgotten, it's really shitty (but I admit I don't like at all this style so I'm not a good judge). .


Well they gave me amytriptiline They fed me pseudochlorophine It helped me sleep But I felt so deep And most of the time I wanted to weep The days seemed black just like the night A big long tunnel without lights Where everything's dark then everything's bright Oh, the train's gone past my station Oh bloody hell I wish I'd signed to Creation Singing goodnight Jowe, goodnight Dan Goodnight Mr. Spaceman Well I think I'll die of a broken heart If my record doesn't make the indie charts I'll do anything I'll swallow my pride Commit artistic suicide And I dig St. Etienne, Denim and Suede And naturally I go to the occasional rave But when I was young it was Wizzard and Slade Oh, this record is sponsored by Pepsi I've taken three e's I still can't dance like Bobby Gillespie And maybe... Singing goodnight Jowe, goodnight Dan Goodnight Mr. Spaceman And I like to walk around the town With my trousers halfway down And I often feel like Edvard Munch If my analyst calls I'm out to lunch Singing goodnight Jowe, goodnight Dan Goodnight Mr. Spaceman




Television Personalities - Do You Think If You Were Beautiful You'd Be Happy? EP (1995)




















The ninth TVP re-up. No I don't think that if I was beautiful I'd be happy. It can help anyway. Catch it here.

Yes, you will say I'm blinded by my love for Dan Treacy to consider this EP is again a great one, but I give a shit. Recorded at the London Toe Rag studios, as much TVP sessions during this decade, it was released by Vinyl Japan, the japanese-owned London-based label that released a lot of fine stuff in the nineties, one year after the superb Far Away And Lost In Joy EP (here). The atmosphere is bleaker and bleaker, the bitterness has never been highest in Dan's spirit, and he begins to claim his hate for those who mock him. It's true that many had lost any interest in TVP during this period of high creativity (remember, noise, doom and rap were in their formative years and each month there was a novative way to play them, and there were some new pop sensations too in GB). The lo-fi depressive songs the band played certainly wouldn't fit with the rage, heavyness and energy galore. But, which of these so-novative records can provide such an emotion than this EP today? Not much actually. Although 1995 seemed one more year toward hell for Dan Treacy, it will give him the chance to give a follow-up to Closer to God some months later. The picture on the sleeve is a portrait of painter Sexton Ming, maybe the painter Dan Treacy talks about in "He Used To Paint In Colour" but I'm not really sure. Everything on this EP here. Lyrics of all TVP songs there.

Television Personalities - The Strangely Beautiful EP (1991)

Eighth one. Most of them are on the Decade of singles Vol 1 I compiled previously (see here) but now you can get them separately with their visuals. And some were not on the compilation. Catch this one here.

Released in  the summer of 1991 between Privilege and Closer To God, the LPs they did for Fire record, an intensively creative period for Dan Treacy, here is the first of a series of EP/singles that won't be on albums and not even on compilations, so it's a good news to find them on the web. This Stangely Beautiful EP is in the vein of Privilege,  meaning a less lo-fi sound than previously and a more appropriate songwriting to be accepted by the indie world. "Reaching For The Stars" is particularly impressive and should have been the A-side in my view, with the Waterboys-something in its style. I don't know if these records have sold correctly but what's sure is that it was not enough to assure the financial security of Dan Treacy. Even if in this period, a mega-notorious band, Nirvana, and more precisely his leader, Kurt Cobain, said that Television Personalities was one of his fave band (actually I don't know when he said that so maybe it was later on). All in all, these 4 songs are classic Treacy ones, and even if he would reach other summits in Closer to God, a masterpiece, it's high quality, the Ray Davies of the 1980-2010 era. And strangely, lyrics are rather based on consolation and a positive view of life. It won't last unfortunately. And thanks to The Pessimist Club blog where I found these EPs (it seems the blog is closed). The sound quality is superb.

Television Personalities - Time Goes Slowly When You're Drowning / Meanwhile In A Luxury Dockland Home 7" (1995)






















Seventh re-up for tonight. Catch it here.

Second recording for the German label Little Teddy, one year after the Not Like Everybody Else EP, it is not an EP but a single, and does not consist in covers but in 2 originals. Yes, I know my point of view (listen?) is not objective, but once again I think this is a great single. Here, Dan Treacy is not so much in an introspective mood (contrary to what may suggest the title of the A-side), and succeeds in recreating the Television Personalities of the 1984-86 era. On "Time Goes Slowly When You're Drowning", the music seems to float between floor and space and takes us with "her" over more than 6 min. On " Meanwhile In A Luxury Dockland Home", Dan Treacy uses for one of the first time in his life (maybe the first but don't write insulting comments, I'm not sure), the Bo Diddley riff, but in a psychedelic pop context. In other word, this boy, even in the terrible state of mind he was in this terrible years, was still one of the most creative of the nineties. Too bad I had my head (and ears) elsewhere. Now I find I was a real dumb asshole.





Television Personalities - You, Me & Lou Reed EP (1993)

A weird one. Released far later than it was recorded. See below for details. Catch it here.

Released in 1993 on Fantastic Plastic then in 1997 on Little Teddy label this 4-song set was recorded in 1987 during their non-LP years and between the "How I Learned To Love The Bomb" EP and the The "Prettiest Girl In The World" single. This EP can find its place among your fave Treacy songs without any problem. With him, you'll find Jowe Head. This post will begin some about obscure singles or EPs that he released over his long, uneven and often sublime career. Our thoughts go to him since he faces awful surgical and medical torments from last October. It will never be said enough as this man gave to music. So many have tried to imitate him and failed miserably. He's the one and the only one. Like Peter Perrett or Mark Perry, he will stay in my heart and mind until my last breath. Enjoy it here or there

Television Personalities - The Far Away And Lost In Joy EP (1994)






















The sixth one. Once again a must-listen for every Dan Treacy fan and for anyone who want to know what's emotional music is. Catch it here.

The year 1994 is the true beginning of the descent to hell for Dan Treacy. Of course Closer to God (in 1992) and previous EPs of 1993 were not really happy affairs, but here, contrary to what the title may infer, it's the bleakest delivery of songs ever done in Treacy life (at least until April 1994, the month this EP was issued) and maybe in history of rock. Such a honesty in describing his own situation with unsuccess, love lost and drug addict is not usual in music. And what is specially moving is that it is carried by 4 wonderful songs when some of previous EPs were a little self-indulgent and sometimes failed attempts to jump on someone else's train. Not here. It's bare to the bone. And these songs must be heard with the lyrics if you're not fluent English listeners (they are all here). Strangely, the first song of the EP is not the eponymous but "I Don't Want To Live This Life". A true torn and tormented moment. Released on a label called Vinyl Japan, it's not an easy one to find and I got it on here. Below, some pictures taken in 1994 in Edimburg. I took them from here.


























Television Personalities - I Was A Mod Before You Was A Mod (Easy Mix) 7" EP (1996)






















Fifth re-up of what could have been a hit. Catch it here.

Although extracted from the I Was A Mod Before You Was A Mod album released in July 1995, this 7" EP was only released in September 1996. Not an usual choice such a delay for promoting a LP. Sad cos' if a song composed by Dan Treacy could have been an indie hit in the nineties, sure it was this one. There's a Spector flavour in it that could have make it a "Heartache Avenue" (the Maisonettes hit) for the nineties. Even the instrumental version is stomping and full of energy, not really the state of mind of Dan Treacy at the times. The 2 unreleased songs are more in the melancholic and acedic mood of what Dan Treacy wrote over the last 3 years. "None Of This Will Matter When You're Dead" is, in its uncluttered sounding, touches something so intimate that it's another one of these TVP songs able to bring tears to eyes. PS. The back cover is from me.


Television Personalities - We Will Be Your Gurus 7" (1992)


Fourth Television Personalities re-up for tonight. Catch it here.

Let's go on with the EP and single discography of Television Personalities during the Fire years. We are in June 1992, 4 months after the "She's Never Read My Poems" EP, and TVP release 3 new songs on this 7". Again, it's a rather half-surprise, half-deception. Surprise since the eponymous title is under the Indian influence, a sort of Dan Treacy meets Ravi Shankar (or less exotic, Georges Harrison), not usual in TVP repertoire. The song should have been a hit since it's rather catchy but it wasn't. The text is not really first degree and the end "If violence is your guru If money is your guru Let me be your guru" shows how sarcastic Dan Treacy is. Note that the song will feature on the double Closer To God LP in the same version, only longer, and therefore much more impressive. The 2 other companion songs are quite maisntream TVP compared to the A-side. And rather lightweight actually. The album (a masterpiece) will be much better than this 7" would suggest.


Television Personalities - Now That I'm A Junkie / How Does It Feel To Be Loved? 7" (1996)





















A third re-up. And one of the best. Catch it here.

Yes I know I become a little boring with my Dan Treacy fixation and fan-attitude (at my age it's a quite pathetic) but once again this 1996 single is a gem, a fucking depressing one, marked to the blood by the sincerity of his author (the title tells it all). If musically and melodically it was not good who would really care. But both songs are classics and it's difficult to imagine in hearing them that Dan Treacy was so low and out of himself (but was he? I was not there to attest this supposition). The sound here has something of a church one, echoes, giving the atmosphere a mystic one. Musically, there's a "Let's Spend The Night Together recorded by Phil Spector" impression on "How Does It Feel To Be Loved" whereas on "Now That I'm A Junkie" it's more "Syd Barrett has rented John Bonham to do the drumming". I seem to be joking but all this is not really fun. Sure people had better to do in 1997 than listening to this naive, childish depressive stuff, but today not much of music of this time can be listened to with the same emotion. Released by the Little Teddy label, this single was preceded by a split single, a reissue and a live one. But I prefer to post in their sequential issue, the true own studio singles and EPs of the band. Enjoy this one here.





Television Personalities - I Still Believe In Magic / Respectable 7" (1989)





















Second re-up of Television Personalities. Details below. Catch it here.

Released on an obscure label 2 months after the Salvador Dali's Garden Party EP in 1989, this very lo-fi couple of songs had been recorded 3 years earlier, in 1986, between the How I Learned to Love the Bomb and the Prettiest Girl In The World singles. It had been remixed (at least they tried to provide a decent mix) in 1989 and was therefore issued. Not a seminal one but I try to be close to exhaustive for the 1989-1999 period so it must be here. And hearing something rare from Dan Treacy is always better than hearing anything else.




Television Personalities - Salvador Dali's Garden Party EP (1989)






















First of a long series of re-up consisting of all the singles and EPs Dan Treacy issued under the name of Television Personalities after 1989. I'll do it in stages (in times?). Most of them are eternal gems. A true genius for sure. Catch this first one here.

This EP should have been posted at the beginning of my Television-Personalities-in-the-nineties series, but it will actually close it (I think I'll compile them all on a single fake LP later on, so that this missing link is at least provided in one shot). Released in October 1989 (23 years from now, help ! it's a nightmare all these years passing by as fast cars that never crash), after 3 years of silence (the real previous one was the "How I Learned To Love The Bomb" 7" and then EP) it preceded by 4 months the mediocre Privilege album (surely the worst in all TVP discography). But this EP is one of their best, with 4 strong songs, in particular the wonderful "The Room At The Top Of The Stairs" sung in duo with a girl called Chrysanthenum Mordin (surely her true forename) in which a Gainsbourg - Birkin flavour is quite obvious. The production doesn't kill the songs as it will on the album. The EP (and the album) is said to be engineered by Matthew Fisher, not sure this is the ancient Procol Harum member but why not. I hope he's not too much responsible for the awful sound TVP had at the times. So, everything seemed to announce great nineties for Dan Treacy. Musically, it would be, but on a human plan, it would be a slow wreck in oblivion as we have described it previously. But let's enjoy things as they started, that's what all we do in life, although we know it will end bad. Sorry for the low quality sleeve picture. I got the EP but I'm too lazy to take a picture  and it's too large to be scanned, so I took what I found on the net. Moreover, now that I finished to post most of my fave artists rarities (Dan Treacy, Melanie, Peter Perrett, Mandy Morton, Mark Perry, Barry Ryan, Alex Harvey, Tony McPhee, Free, Family, Golden Earring, Alain Kan, Jean-Claude Vannier and some more) this blog will be fed less frequently. It's true I'm also a little bored by the mandatory technical stuff to do for  publishing each post. And I don't want this blog becomes another part of what I feel forced to do without feeling any pleasure. There's enough of it in one day. Last, the number of visitors is rather modest and this doesn't encourage much to go on every night. After all I could read a book or just listen to some music.








9/1/15

Web - I Spider (1970)



Another self-requested re-up of this strongly underrated masterpiece, mainly due to Dave Lawson, another unsung heroes of the seventies (I think I'll post a compilation of his songs played when he was in Greenslade, you'll be surprised). The songs "I Spider" and "Love You" are each in their own style, real classics. So here it is again. Really, with Spring, Fuchsia or Comus albums, this is one of the most overlooked album of that era. Catch it here.

I think I have quite a large knowledge of the music of the seventies (let's say music between 1967 and 1977) but contrary to many fans of this period and notably of obscure or at least, less-known bands than the ones the posterity kept in memory, I don't consider there are many forgotten masterpieces. I would say about a dozen. But it's only my opinion and I can be wrong. I'll try to post those I consider such. Here's the first, an LP by a band called Web. Previously they were called The Web but didn't exactely play the same stuff. The reason is that a fantastic guy joined them. His name? Dave Lawson, the future Greenslade keyboard/singer/composer. He took the wheel of this sonor vehicle and the result is stunning. Somewhere between Georgie Fame, Barry Ryan, The Nice, Colosseum or The Battered Ornaments, their music is classy, original, rich, various, never boring, and never totally in the progressive mood. More what rock could have been if it had been the new jazz. The lyrics are very good, based on intimate feelings of loneliness, jealousy, inability to get loved, metempsycosis, rather than the usual bullshitty hippie-influenced litanies of most bands. This is really a must-have, must-listen and so on. Esoteric records released it with 2 live bonus tracks (didn't put them in the file since I always respect the initial version of the songs environment). Later, the band will change its name for Samurai, but the album will be much weaker. Then, they gave up and Dave Lawson joined Dave Greenslade (from Colosseum) to form Greenslade. But that's another story.