We Can’t Stop What’s Coming

Fresh up on the net after the limited vinyl release for RSD, The The with a one off reunion of Johnny Marr, James Eller and Zeke Manyika (1989 line up with Johnson, Marr and Eller pictured above. Johnny Marr’s hair and clobber was pretty much what I was trying to achieve at that time). A tribute to Matt’s brother, Andy Dog, as I’m sure you all know. This is a very special piece of music.

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All Your Friends And Family Think That You’re Lucky

I’ve posted This Is The Day by The The before, twice in fact, but until last week I had never seen the video.

None of you need me to tell you what a great song this is, from the accordian to the softly sung vocals and the affecting autobiographical lyrics. I always assumed Matt was singing about a woman he knew but it occurred to me watching the video that he might be singing to himself. Either way, the observations are spot on. It is also one of those songs which seems to be about you. I’m also a big fan of the 1993 version complete with Casio organ preset rhythm (also known as That Was The Day)

This is The Day (Disinfected Version)

The early 90s full band version of The The, including Johnny Marr and James Eller plus Zeke Manyika, reunited for a RSD only 7″ playing tribute to Matt’s artist brother Andy, who designed the eye catching The The sleeves, who sadly died last year. Just 2000 copies, no re-release, no downloads. I know at least one person reading this has one.

I Don’t Even Know Myself

I was listening to Soul Mining, now (and then I think) seen as one of 1983’s most important releases. It is the work of a man in his early twenties and some of the lyrics are a bit overwrought as a result but at least three of the songs are as good as anything else anyone put out that year- This Is The Day, Uncertain Smile and Giant. The lyrics of Giant- and much of Matt Johnson’s output- deal with existential angst, long nights of the soul, and he gets it all out in this one. How can anyone know him? He doesn’t even know himself. Giant also offers a massive step forward- you can hear the future in Giant, in the pitter-patter of the drums, the big synth bassline, the length of the song, the groove, the mad percussion break down  after five minutes and in the extended chanted vocals.

Giant

Uncertain Smile

Mrs Swiss is away for the weekend with friends at a cottage in the country- a weekend that started on Friday afternoon and she has craftily managed to get to last until half way through Monday. Yesterday afternoon while child no. 2 was at a danceshow rehearsal, I convinced child no. 1 that we should do  a little record shopping. We went to Soundwaves in Stretford Arndale to pick something up and then popped into the ever excellent King Bee Records in Chorlton. Isaac’s tolerance for record shopping is limited so it was a hit and run affair, straight into the dance/house section followed by the 80s indie/alternative rack and then Factory and Related. Didn’t get to punk, he lost interest and the shop was pretty full. We left shortly after with a handful of winners. Like this one, the 12″ of The The’s Uncertain Smile. This video isn’t much to look at but the song, the song is first rate, and it uses the full 12″ of vinyl space to great effect.

Pull Back The Curtains

I’ve been feeling a bit uninspired this week and busy with work stuff. Then driving home last night this shuffled onto the car’s stereo- This Is The Day by The The. Compared to a lot of Matt Johnson’s stuff it’s pretty subtle, those lovely observational lyrics, the wheezy rhythm and that gorgeous accordion. And compared to his grand geopolitical songs and denunciations of religion it shows that sometimes it’s the little human touches that make a song connect. This is the day, her life will surely change.

This Is The Day

The Memories That Hold Your Life Together Like Glue

This Is The Day by The The is one of those songs that defies being taken to bits-  describing its constituent parts and holding it up to the light doesn’t help explain how great it is, how universal it is, how affecting it is. The character in the song looks back on their life, red eyed at dawn, and looks at this as the day that their life will change. Which it may.

This Is The Day