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This weekend I’ll mostly be listening to… The Times June 26, 2010

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to..., Uncategorized.
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Here’s a funny one. Ed Ball and The Times, whose ‘Beat Torture’ from the late 1980s I still treasure for the astounding ‘Godevil’ song (which appeared on the near peerless ‘Doing it for the Kids’ Creation sampler). They wound up on Creation (why yes…), but their earlier more clearly mod influenced pop, indeed none more modder some might say, material from the early 1980s is something else again. Take ‘This is London’, from 1983. A great title song and the genially sarcastic ‘Whatever Happened to Thamesbeat?’ about one of those limited mod revivals that seem to come around every once in a while with it’s closing refrain of ‘powerpop… powerpop!’. And a snippet of Thames TV title music as well to start it off. What’s not to like? It’s all meant to be a concept album of sorts, and the track ‘This Green and Pleasant Land’ (unavailable on YouTube) is suitably elegiac. In it’s own odd way.

Ed Ball had been in the hit or miss Television Personalities, of whom I have a couple of albums on vinyl that I’ve never played that many times over the years. The Times were still gigging sort of a few years ago, and the magpie like shift from one style to another can be off-putting for some (check out their celebratory – ahem – ‘Manchester’ from 1990). Piss-taking, shambolic, amateurish, serious, parodic. I like it. Although I’ve always felt that they weren’t quite the same as say Half Man Half Biscuit, that the humour was a little more incidental. They’ve released an amazing number of albums subsequently to varying response all (barely) held together by Ball’s personal vision.

Red with Purple Flashes (the first TImes single)

This is London

Whatever happened to Thames Beat

I’ve thrown these in, although they’re not from the This Is London album but from an EP released the same year…

I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape (the Prisoner bits sounds like they redid them themselves which sounds odd now in age of sampling).

The Theme from Dangerman

And the enormously pisstaking (or is it too celebratory?) David Jones…

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