Mar 22, 2017

RhoDeo 1712 Aetix


Today's artist a former bank clerk, was sick of fanzine writing -- he wanted to step out and be written about himself. His last band, the New Beatles, had done nothing; his next, Alternative TV, could scarcely do any worse. Featuring Perry on vocals, ex-Generation X drummer John Towe, Mickey Smith (bass), and former Nobodies guitarist Alex Fergusson, the band formed in March 1977, rehearsing at Throbbing Gristle's studios in Hackney -- both "Love Lies Limp" and "Alternative to NATO" were written and recorded there -- and on May 6, 1977, ATV made their live debut in Nottingham. The first lineup splintered almost immediately. Smith was replaced by New Beatle Tyrone Thomas, and on June 5 ATV opened for Wayne County's Electric Chairs in Brighton. Six gigs later, Towe quit, but not before ATV released their first single, "Love Lies Limp," as a free flexidisc with the final, August 1977 issue of Sniffin' Glue. .....N'Joy

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Alternative TV were formed by Mark Perry, the founding editor of Sniffin' Glue, a punk fanzine, with Alex Fergusson.[4] Early rehearsals took place at Throbbing Gristle's Industrial Records studio with Genesis P-Orridge on drums (recordings from this period appeared, long afterwards, on the Industrial Sessions)

The band's debut on record was "Love Lies Limp", a free flexi disc issued with the final edition of Perry's Sniffin' Glue fanzine. For their first two singles Perry and Fergusson were accompanied by drummer John Towe (ex-Generation X) and Tyrone Thomas on bass; Towe later left to join The Rage and was replaced by Chris Bennett. This line-up was the most straightforwardly 'punk' version of ATV, although they combined short, fast songs with extended pieces such as "Alternatives to NATO", in which Perry read an anarchist political text and envisaged the possibility of a Soviet invasion of Britain. Shortly afterwards they released the "How Much Longer"/"You Bastard" 7" in December 1977. The A-side was a pointed critique of punk style: "How much longer will people wear/Nazi armbands and dye their hair?"

At the end of 1977, Perry sacked his chief collaborator and co-writer Fergusson. The latter went on to form the short-lived Cash Pussies and, a few years later, Psychic TV along with Genesis P-Orridge. Tyrone Thomas switched to guitar, later replaced by Kim Turner, while Dennis Burns joined on bass. A dub-influenced single, "Life After Life", was released, followed by the band's debut album, The Image Has Cracked, both featuring Jools Holland guesting on piano.

By the end of 1978, only Perry and Burns remained from the previous line-up, although ATV used additional musicians live and in the studio. The band's second album, Vibing Up the Senile Man (Part One), saw the band take a more explicitly experimental direction, which alienated both the music press and audiences. A recording of one gig which ended in a violent stage invasion can be heard on the cassette-only release Scars on Sunday. A live LP was released, documenting their tour with commune-dwelling progressive band Here and Now, marking the band's further movement away from the punk/new wave scene. A final single "The Force Is Blind" featured Anno from Here and Now on additional vocals.

Alternative TV soon evolved into the avant-garde project The Good Missionaries (taking the name from a track on the Vibing album), releasing one live album, Fire From Heaven, in 1979. Perry also joined the experimental duo The Door and the Window, releasing some EPs and a studio album, Detailed Twang. The following year, Perry released a solo album, Snappy Turns, before he, Burns and Fergusson briefly reformed Alternative TV along with former members of Fergusson's Cash Pussies in 1981. The reconstituted ATV released one album, Strange Kicks, a venture into light pop songs unlike any of their previous work, produced by Richard Mazda. The album was indifferently received, while a contemporary review by AllMusic panned the album, writing that the record, along with ATV's later work, "falls a little flat amidst the confusion and veer[s] closer to the new wave sound than most punks would dare to venture."

From 1981 to 1982 Perry had a new project, The Reflections, a band with Nag from The Door and the Window, Karl Blake (of The Lemon Kittens) and Grant Showbiz, among others. They released one album, Slugs and Toads, and a single, "4 Countries", before disintegrating. Perry reformed ATV in 1985. This line up started with Karl Blake, Steve Cannell and Allison Philips. Martin 'Protag' Neish and then Clive Giblin featured later on guitar and ATV released further records over the following decade with varying line-ups, Perry being the only constant member. Another line-up followed with James Kyllo, Steve Cannell and Dave Morgan, which led to the release of "Sol" and "Dragon Love".

ATV's last studio album for over a decade, Revolution, was released in 2001, followed in 2003 by the official bootleg album Viva La Rock'n' Roll – consisting of live performances recorded in the UK, France, Germany and the US. In 2004, Perry recorded the Ramones song "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue" for a single and an Argentinian Ramones tribute album.

Their first studio album in fourteen years, "Opposing Forces", was released through Lost Moment/Public Domain on 10 July 2015.

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Viva La Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Complete Deptford Fun City Recordings 1977-1980, a box-set that rounds up the first four albums from Perry and his ever-rotating cast of characters. His presence could be felt in many forms, from Alternative TV to the more broadly-titled Good Missionaries to his first-ever solo set under his own name, but the sloppy, held-together-with-tape recordings prove powerfully intriguing. A lot of it isn’t great. Some of it is fantastic. Yet that enthusiasm and excitement that reverberates through every recording is what ultimately what drives it forward.

Starting with a nuttily bombastic synth intro (courtesy of Squeeze's Jools Holland!) which sounds just like the music punk was supposed to be destroying might seem an unusual move for a band founded by the guy who chronicled the original London explosion. But it's that very contrariness in Mark Perry which made the original Alternative TV such a thrilling prospect, and which makes The Image Has Cracked an unfairly neglected classic from the late-'70s upheaval. Seizing on the promise of punk as being a new means of expression rather than a new set of musical rules to be adhered to, Perry, along with a solid-enough band, whip up a series of incendiary pieces that explore as much as they thrash, caught somewhere between the Fall's divine ramalama and three-chord snarls. "Alternatives" captures the tense spirit of the band's work perfectly, a live recording where over a gentle groove Perry invites audience members to come up and "use the soapbox," only to have a bunch of chancers and screamers talk a lot about nothing much at all, until Perry spits vitriol at a pair of people in a punch-up and complains about "diluted sh*t." As an expression of going down defiant while punk became a new fashion, it's fierce and brilliant. A good half of the album comes from the same concert, including the harrowing final track, "Splitting in Two," as perfect a capturing of nails-dug-in-flesh paranoia and indecision as anything in music history, revived as a live favorite years later by the Chameleons. The studio cuts include a solid run-through of Zappa's "Why Don't You Do Me Right?" and the closest ATV ever came to an anthemic single, "Action Time Vision." The 1994 version adds 11 extra tracks to the original album, including the reggae-inflected "Love Lies Limp" and "Life After Life" singles, among many others, making it the edition of Image to look for.

Alternative T.V. - The Image Has Cracked (flac  498mb)

01 Alternatives
02 Action Time Vision
03 Why Don't You Do Me Right?
04 Good Times
05 Still-Life
06 Viva La Rock 'N' Roll
07 Nasty Little Lonely
08 Red
09 Splitting In 2
10 Love Lies Limp
11 Life
12 How Much Longer
13 You Bastard
14 Life After Life
15 Life After Dub
16 Another Coke
17 How Much Longer (Different Version)
18 You Bastard (Different Version)
John Peel Session 05/12/77
19 Love Lies Limp
20 Action Time Vision
21 Still-Life
22 Life After Life

Alternative T.V. - The Image Has Cracked   (ogg  183mb)

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On the second album of Alternative TV, Mark Perry and friends did to punk exactly what the movement had intended for the establishment. About-facing punk and turning it on its ear would be a difficult task in 1980, and while Alternative TV's peers headed down new wave paths or into commercialism, the authors of the quintessential "You Bastard" single (regarded by many, John Peel included, as a classic) and, of course, The Image Has Cracked LP, which remains on a par with the first Sex Pistols or Clash albums for genre-defining punk, who would have expected a follow-up as avant-garde abstraction that challenges P.I.L's Second Edition for absolute left-field swing? With Genesis P-Orridge in the ranks, Vibing Up the Senile Man became closer to free improvisation and avant-garde jazz without a punk anthem in sight, and a dub edge to some of the tracks of the double LP suggest that Alternative TV had similar modernist aspirations to John Lydon's post-Sex Pistols project. Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa spring to mind as much as Pere Ubu and the Red Krayola, who were similarly exploring the avant-garde liberties of post-punk and disappointing the punks and record industry alike. What Vibing Up the Senile Man represents two decades later is a door opening on multi-faceted post-rock music -- which draws on avant-garde, noise, and jazz and arguably makes more sense in the context of year 2000 as a musical treasure much more than in 1980, when it seemed simply a spit in the eye to the industry that codified punk.

Alternative TV - Vibing Up The Senile Man (flac  359mb)

01 Release The Natives
02 Serpentine Gallery
03 Poor Association
04 The Radio Story
05 Facing Up To The Facts
06 The Good Missionary
07 Graves Of Deluxe Green
08 Smile In The Day
09 Vibing Up The Senile Man (Alias Vibing)
10 The Force Is Blind
11 Lost In Room
John Peel Session 17/07/78
12 The Good Missionary
13 Release The Natives
14 Going Round In Circles
15 Nasty Little Lonely

Alternative TV - Vibing Up The Senile Man   (ogg  146mb)

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One of the most Experimental Post-Punk records around. There's some funky bass rhythms, some guitar noodling, some dissonant organ playing, a very creepy atmosphere, some uncomfortable chimes, some really haunting, at times ghostly vocals, a bunch of Industrial guitar noise, some good old Free Jazz sax, electronic noise, and a lot of dissonance. This, the Good Missionaries only released album, is amongst the best of Mark Perry's side projects with tracks such The Radio Story / Strange Looks and Release The Natives amongst his greatest work, despite the album as a whole sometimes threatening to disappear up it’s own weird ass. Some of the tracks sound like Funk Rock getting an unhealthy dose of radiation. It's quite a warped experience, and definitely an album that's very disorienting.

The Good Missionaries - Fire From Heaven (flac 355mb)

01 Another Coke / The Body
02 The Force Is Blind
03 Thief Of Fire
04 The Radio Story / Strange Looks
05 Fire From Heaven
06 Release The Natives
07 Fellow Sufferer In Dub
08 Bugger The Cat
09 The Good Missionary - Part 1
10 The Good Missionary - Part 2
11 Kif Kif's Free Freak Out
12 Action Time Lemon
13 Going Round In Circles
14 Fellow Sufferer
15 Splitting In Two

The Good Missionaries - Fire From Heaven   (ogg  141mb)

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With his 1980 debut solo LP, Snappy Turns, Perry continued this experimental streak, in true punk form. Perry was sick of touring and the whole scene, eventually retreating to make his own solo set, Snaffy Turns, in 1980. Initially conceived as a more commercial record than anything he’s done since Vibing, he sort of lives up to that goal, as the almost-jazzy title track and the guitar-and-keyboard oddball that is “You Know” adhere to somewhat-conventional structures, but the oboe-driven “The Object is to Love” shows that that ever-strange side of Perry’s personality will never be fully quelled, even as the spoken-word sax-and-bass viber “Inside” feels like an otherworldly amalgam of the score to Manos: The Hands of Fate and The Velvet Underground’s “The Gift”. Snaffy almost feels like a revistation of every turns and style Perry had accomoplished up to this point, which makes it as entertaining as it does frustrating.

Mark Perry - Snappy Turns (flac 398mb)

01 Snappy Turns
02 The Object Is To Love
03 You Know
04 Inside
05 At War
06 Death Looks Down
07 The Game Is Over
08 Quagga's Last Stand
09 Whole World's Down On Me
10 I Live - He Dies
11 You Cry Your Tears
12 Music Death?
13 Dear, Dear
14 Fellow Sufferer
15 Graves Of Deluxe Green
16 Alternatives To Normal Eating Habits

Mark Perry - Snappy Turns   (ogg  157mb)

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1 comment:

Charles said...

Fantastic! I've always wanted to hear some of the other records by Alternate TV besides 'Vibing" Now's my chance. Thanks!