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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Antidote to Britain's increasingly weary musical landscape, 4 July 2002
By 
This review is from: 45 RPM - The Singles of The The (Audio CD)
This is a must-buy collection, The The's Matt Johnson has for the past twenty years been crafting songs of musical oringinality and genuinely intelligent lyrics (not like George Michael's recent foray into 'serious statements').
Dealing with all that is wrong, hypocritical and selfish in the world, as well as with the torment of the uniquely personal he can be controversial and extreme but above all immensely listenable. This music grows on you slowly but surely until you fall completely in love with it.
Get 45RPM. Simple as that. This is a different world. And it's incredible.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The man is a class act, 6 Jun 2002
This review is from: 45 RPM - The Singles of The The (Audio CD)
I have loved the music of Matt Johnson for more
than twenty years. In a music industry which is hell-bent on taking short cuts to large-scale
profitability over actual substance, he is a
true original.
Kicking off with his classic Uncertain Smile,
this collection gives you a great insight into
some of his finest work, although one should
buy his albums to get the full picture.
Not for him glib statements about life, love
and the usual futile stuff of existance. He embarks on some incredible examinations on
"the higher and lower natures of man" (his words). Rarely has pop been so intense.
He never tried to be a virtuoso musician and,
as such, there's a great deal of real creativity going on.
Perfect is just that. Culled from the never-released album The Pornography Of Despair, it's an amazing indictment of those that lead unfulfilled lives and the lack of reality of God in people's lives. The vivid lyric stings like bitter tears. I often quote it to the mundane I encounter!
Other highlights include Sweet Bird of Truth,
a prophesy of the ongoing misery that is the Middle East conflict. Heartland is one of Johnson's finext songs. A stunning lyric
decrying mid-80s Britain with its 'piss-stinking shopping centres' (a reference to London's Elephant & Castle apprently), Matt performed
it several times onstage with Red Wedge.
The closing lyric is awesome: "'Cos the stains
on the heartland will never removed/From this country that is sick, sad and confused..."
No wonder the Daily Mail didn't like him! The
sheer scope of his work (love, sex, death, religion, hope, sadness, consumerism, greed,
the destruction of the world's ecology) lifts
him into a class of his own.
Sick of the tacky and the facile? Buy some medicine here and now!
Al Ferrier
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The The Best Band In The World, 13 Nov 2008
By 
Jimbo "Jimbo L" (Manchester) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: 45 RPM - The Singles of The The (Audio CD)
Having been a fan for over twenty years of this magnificent 'band', I was pleased to learn that this, a singles retrospective was to be released featuring all the singles from the early eighties through to the singles releases from The The's latest album 'Naked Self'.
Matt Johnson (the man behind The The) was, and is, a musical genius. He is the master of creating perfect pop songs, with lyrics and music that blow away the term 'pop', and leave you wondering why such masterful creations didn't elevate him to superstar status (not that he ever craved such a status).
The first track, Uncertain Smile, was lauded as one of the singles of the year when it came out in the early eighties. With Matt's blistering lyrics and music, the song builds and builds - but unfortunately this is not the 'Jools Holland' version - see 'Soul Mining' for that. An excellent track and one to play to your friends to prove that the eighties were more than just blokes in make up and spandex trousers.
Track 2, Perfect, does what it says on the tin. A marvelous slice of perfect pop, which was originally a single release, but only released on the cassette version of 'Soul Mining' (The The's second album release) so is a welcome addition here.
Track 3, Sweet Bird Of Truth, is from 'Infected (The The's third album) and is a dig at the 'bomb first, ask questions later' brigade. Quite prophetic as twenty years later things have probably changed for the worse, not the better in this respect. An excellent track, making you feel that you are the pilot on this mission, and blood will soon be on your hands.... Matt is quite proud that a fighter pilot contacted him to say that, after listening to this track, he could never pilot a plane again.
Track 4, Infected, is the title track from album number three. a blistering all out aural assault, with drum beats and guitars popping round your ears, some first class lyrics, and probably Mr. Johnson's best known song until recently (tries not to go off on a rant about M&M adverts..)
Track 5, Heartland, is another song with a political stance. The chorus 'This is the 51st state of the USA' says it all really. This is a delicious song, from the opening clatter of guitars through to the wind down at the end. This song, to me, sums up everything that The The are about.
Track 6, Armageddon Days (are here again) is taken from album four (Mind Bomb, which was Johnny Marr's first stint of working with Matt, and was written when they were both 'off on one', to be polite) and is a wonderful song. The start is taken from 'Ballroom Blitz' by Sweet (with Steve Andy and Mick replaced by Jesus, Muhammad and Buddha) and is another political song and one that is spookily still relevant today (Islam is rising, The Christians mobilising, The world is on it's elbows and knees, It's forgotten the message and worships the creeds).
Track 7, The Beat(en) Generation is again culled from Mind Bomb and features some beautiful harmonica playing from Mr. Marr. This song is wonderful and is eerily reminiscent of The Smiths.
Track 8, Dogs Of Lust, is from album five (Dusk, Johnny Marr's second The The album) and starts with Mr. Marr's magnificent harmonica and a thumping bass line from the unusually coiffured Mr James Eller.
Track 9, Slow Emotion Replay is a belter - Mr. Marr's guitar and harmonica are at the forefront here, with Matt's vocals delivered brilliantly.
Track 10, Love Is Stronger Than Death, is a wonderfully haunting song, simple in structure but so cleverly put together that you cannot help falling in love with this song.
Track 11, This Is The Day, was originally featured on Soul Mining, but this remix is probably the better known version (steers clear of M&Ms once again).
Track 12, I Saw The Light, is from album 6 (Hanky Panky, Matt's tribute to Hank Williams. This is probably the best song from that album, in that it is turned into a 'real' The The song. Not a bad single really.
Track 13, December Sunlight (AKA Cried Out), is a lovely song, lifted and revamped from album 7 (Naked Self, on Trent Reznor's label)
Track 14, Pillar Box Red, a non album track, harks back to the days of Heartland, buts puts Mr Johnson's take on missing the old UK. This song is a belter.
Track 15, The Deep Down Truth, is another non album track, and is a real grower. This one is produced by Madness' old producers.

All in all an excellent introduction to The The, and hopefully one that will encourage more people to buy his sublime albums. Buy It!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A solid collection., 15 Aug 2005
By 
John David Charles Hilton "Creative spark...." (Redcliffe, Bristol United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: 45 RPM - The Singles of The The (Audio CD)
Matt Johnson's The The cut a distinctive swathe as a pop group. Lyrically they were defined by MJ's left wing politics. Musically they were defined by his almost magpie accumulation of influences and styles. This is the singles collection. It is not quite complete, but it is pretty comprehensive.
Uncertain Smile and Perfect are presented in different form to their final versions on the original CD of Soul Mining. Both represent the band at their most poppy.
The three Infected singles showed a move into heavier territory, with Heartland becoming a slow burning top 40 hit.
Then we're onto Mindbomb, the most experimental of the albums. Beat(en) Generation cuts an MJ version of The Smith's sound. Armageddon Days is much more satistfying
Dusk saw MJ treading water. The two singles here are good songs, but bring no surprises.
The version of Hank Williams' I Saw the Light is distinctive and worthwhile.
December Sunlight is a great song that comes from the under-rated Naked Self album (though it is a new version).
The two new songs are both solid The The tracks. Either could have been released as a single.
The second CD in this set is what makes it most interesting to fans. Eight lengthy extended versions. It is a great CD to blast out when you're in the right mood.
All in all a great collection for those who like leftist pop/rock. Seeing that it is now only £1 more expensive than the single CD version, I would recommend you spend the extra money for this version, even if you're not a big fan.
At this price it represents great value for money.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The The, 45RPM, 24 Jan 2003
This review is from: 45 RPM - The Singles of The The (Audio CD)
This album has the defining tracks of 'The The' from the 80's and 90's. Music that has a strong message and not for the fan of disposable pop. No two songs sound the same, which is tribute to Matt Johnsons suberb lyrical imagination and musical talent. The album has three modern tracks, which only goes to show that 'The The' have not lost their edge. This is my favourite music ever and I can only recomend that everyone should listen through it at least once. Might change the way you see the world. Superb
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5.0 out of 5 stars TheThe 45RPM, 6 Nov 2010
This review is from: 45 RPM - The Singles of The The (Audio CD)
Brilliant! Great way to catch up with all those fabulous tracks at one time you played to death!!!
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