- Audio CD (4 Jun. 2012)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Artpop
- ASIN: B000I2KR4E
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 151,619 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
This Is London
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You only have to play this album alongside Maximo Park, Artic Monkeys and Interpol to realize how these treasured recordings defy the passing of time. The album was originally released in 1983 and reissued in 2006 on Artpop! And what do the Creation label, Domino Records, the TV Personalities 2006 album "My Dark Places" and 90s solo hits such as 'The Mill Hill Self Hate Club' & 'Love Is Blue' have in common? Why, Edward Ball, of course! From his recordings as the Times on imprint Artpop! (with Geoff Travis's blessing through Rough Trade) to his part in Creation Records triumvirate of McGee (Poptones), Green (Witchita) & Ball, as label spokesman and releasing 30-odd albums under various guises, Edward Ball s ability to create lasting pop gems is beyond question. And with lifelong buddy Daniel Treacy as the TV Personalities, he still lurks within the contemporary zeitgeist. Features seven bonus tracks and this album is a dream for many collectors and fans.
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The Album is a 5 out of 5 but one for the mis-advertising
This 2006 Cherry Red re-issue includes, besides the original 1983 tracklist, tracks previously unavailable, like 'Here Comes the Holidays', an ironic take of a short London holiday sung by Joni Dee; the instrumental 'Three Cheers For The Sun', the alternative session takes of 'Big Painting', 'Whatever Happened to ThamesBeat?', and 'This Is London'; and finally, great live versions of 'If Only', and '(There's A) Cloud Over Liverpool, from a gig at the 100 Club in 1987.
The cover is the same 1983 iconic London Underground one but the booklet inside the CD, except from a plethora of interesting sleevenotes, contains many rare photographs. As a big Times fan I have to admit that I feel quite spoiled by this re-issue...
And then, there are the songs from the original tracklist! They do sound as contemporary now as they did 20 odd years ago, This Is truly London, your own London. I always thought that this album delineate a psychogeographical map of the city; our hero/es in the songs wander in all these familiar places, expressing different feelings with each different song. It is as if the city, a living organism in itself, with its very own personality, its 'highs' and 'lows', dictates and you captivated can do nothing but respond accordingly.
I do see - and always have seen - This Is London as a dialectic album, an album constructed of three parts. The first one includes the 8 first songs which combine a clear image of London and set the background for a story. Then, after 'Stranger Than Fiction', we enter a new setting and a new city with '(There's A) Cloud Over Liverpool'. We now learn our hero's name, Frank Summit, and we are given a description of his everyday, working class, no-way-out, life. '(There's A) Cloud Over Liverpool' feeds us a generous slice of kitchen sink pie, takes our mind off London for a bit just to land us together with Frank back to London's paved with the hopes of millions streets. In the third part, we realise that the higher the hopes, the worst the crash. London is merciless, it plays a hard and uncharitable game. The final song from the original tracklist 'In This Green and Pleasant Lan' concludes the story in the most appropriate way: with a questionmark.
London's won the game, we are down on our knees, but has it broken our spirit? The lyrics and the way they are delivered manifest despair and maybe defeat but also anger; we can hear the voice of the 'defeated' rising to a shout of contempt, resolution and ultimately defiance. And we know then that the story has not ended here, it is to be continued in the same playground which is London, your own London...