TV Smith:Â Lucky Us: Unreleased Songs And Demos Volume 2 1983-1986Â (Boss Tuneage)
A collection of previously unavailable material makes for a nice fan piece, but may be for completists only. Ged Babey tells us more.
Following on from 2010âs âSparkle In The Mudâ demos compâ¦ 22 previously unreleased tracks from the period between TV SMITHâs EXPLORERS breaking up and the release of the âChannel 5â album through to the formation of TV SMITHâS CHEAP. All 22 tracks have never been commercially released before, and in effect compile what would have been two âmissingâ albums. âLucky Usâ has been titled as a fitting tribute to Tim Cross, TVâs long time collaborator who sadly died in July this year after a battle with lung cancer whilst this album was being compiled.
The inlay card essay by Dave Thompson makes it clear that these songs were recorded at a time when Tim was starting to lose faith â¦and it was his friend and musical collaborator Tim Cross who kept him going. It was the Eighties, âa pretty dismal place to liveâ as Dave notes. On the musical landscape synths and shiney-happy pop was the order of the day. Tim Smiths articulate songs of subtle protest were not what was required.
Sounding a bit like the synth-driven Psychedelic Furs or Talk Talk at best this could be presented as TV Smiths equivalent of Pete Shelleys Homo-Sapien albumâ¦only its not. Nor is it TV Smith going through a âNew Romantic phaseâ despite the fact that at worst some of this cd does sound like Howard Jones or Nik Kershaw in a bad mood, on a low budget, but with decent lyrics! The rinky-dink keyboards and Numanoid vocals of Trans-Time, which regrettably is the opening track really is the worst thing TV has ever committed to tape. Its as if heâs agreed for it to be included as a bizarre bet or a dare. Things do gradually improve thoughâ¦ and get gently funky, thereâs a touch of cod-reggae here, a bit Bowie there, a bit Pet Shop Boys there â¦ Itâs a world away from Crossing the Red Sea. If youâre looking for punk rock guitars, youâve come to the wrong place.. although Girlschools Kelly Johnson does play a great geetar solo on Love Chain Letter. And the song TV wrote for the Lords of the New Church, the Lords Prayer appears here standing head and shoulders above the rest of the material.
This album really is for loyal TVS completists only, but also one for collectors fascinated by early electronic-y, 80âs ânew popâ which emerged after-punk.
TV Smith’s Website can be found HERE
All words by Ged Babey. You can read more of Ged’s posts for LTW HERE.