NME 25th April 1987|
Mummy Your Not Watching Me (Dreamworld)
They Could Have Been Bigger Than The Beatles (Dreamworld)
When George Michael gave Dan Treacy a stack of money back in '82 to disband his Whaam! label, all its previous releases
including these two TV Personalities albums and The Times' debut quickly became unobtainable. The idea was to instantly re-release
them on his new label, Dreamworld...|
Four years later, the TVPs' albums are finally available again. 'They Could Have...' (the third) was originally intended as a retrospective, coming out just after the band first split up. A compilation of out-takes, demos, first single (the perennial punk classic '14th Floor'), Creation cover versions and so on, recorded between '77 - '82, which were to prove such an overwhelming (and mostly unrecognised) influence on a teeming variety of bands ranging from Half Man Half Biscuit to The Pastels, from Talulah Gosh to Alan McGee. Although the strength of some of the songs is debateable (the Jam / Monkees influence is strongly discernable in places), the winsome charm of the frail vocals and incisive words is not to be denied.
'Mummy...' was the follow-up to 'And Don't The Kids Just Love It' (1980), their debut on Rough Trade, and in its vaguely-psychedelic way it is every bit as wonderful, containing such classics as the wistful 'If I Could Write Poetry', the Gifted Children single 'Painting By Numbers' and the wondrous 'Magnificent Dreams' - slightly precocious and self-effacing long before such words came into vogue. Listening to them now the songs do lack a certain projection, but their quality and stature remains undiminished even after all these years. Indispensable.
Up to the present with the new album from Dan's former colleague Ed Ball and his Orton-inspired Times. 'Enjoy!' is the third part of a trilogy in the life of Frank Summit, a man obsessed with English, and particularly, London values. The music varies from powerpop to, erm, powerpop, but with considerably more style than their contemporaries and the album has a distinctly '60s feel. For nostalgists only.