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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
The Image Has Cracked
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£11.42+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 5 October 2017
This album is what the original punk movement was all about. I always had a lot of time for Mark Perry, from Sniffin' Glue onwards. This album shows that punk wasn't all crashing guitars and shouting vocals, this is the real DIY deal. It is very difficult to categorise (something I don't like doing anyway) but if pushed I would point roughly in the direction of early incarnations of The Fall. The album is a mix of live & studio recordings which showcase a variety of styles. As extras, all the early singles & B sides are present, giving the full package of early ATV. Standout tracks for me would have to be the more experimental numbers 'Nasty Little Lonely', 'Viva La Rock 'n' Roll' and the B side to 'Action Time Vision' - 'Another Coke'. Marks vocals are very powerful & lyrically he is up there with the greats of the early movement.

The first review was a strange one to read. I have a lot of time for Siouxsie & the Banshees but The Scream is definitely more Post Punk & the band were very dismissive of the punk label anyway. Joy Division's debut album Unknown Pleasures is one of the all time greats of the post punk movement but Permanent is a compilation album so forget it.

The Image Has Cracked is one of the greatest albums ever released from one of the most important eras in modern music. Ignore the aforementioned review about middle class mockney vocals. Mark P was the real deal, a working class kid from Deptford who is still loyal to his roots today. If you are expecting the shouty nonsense of latecomers like The Exploited or the Oi gang then you will be disappointed but try it, give it a listen & hear for yourself the true sound of British punk rock.
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on 11 July 2004
I have to say that I was slightly taken aback by the first rather eccentric review of this CD.To call Mark Perry a 'Middle class mockney' is absurd.The man was born and bred and still lives in Deptford! Hardly the last bastion of middle England I'd say.The claim that this CD is for ageing punks who weren't there in the first place is absurd beyond belief. This is the man who wrote the UK's most famous fanzine 'Sniffing glue'. Unlike those other clothes horses and fashion victims (the Banshees - From Bromley, Kent I might add), this is the sound of a group who lived the punk ideal for what it was meant to be and at the time.
Now ATV weren't the greatest group to come out of punk, but they had the right attitude and tried to seperate themselves from the crowd. They refused to tow the punk party line and were just as likely to be seen playing with Gong and The Pop Group as they would be with Adam and the Ants. I would reccomend this CD for people who are interested in a slice of realism as opposed to some of the posed attitudes that could be so prevelant in 1977.
I rest my case - An ageing ex punk who was there at the time!
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on 19 October 2000
The true spirit of punk, as it was in the early days, is perfectly captured on this CD. Ingenuity, invention and enthusiasm made up for lack of musical skill. On the track "Force is Blind" it sounds as if even wind chimes have been used as a musical instrument. Mark Perry pours out his soul and is sometimes embarrassingly frank. This CD is worth buying for "Love lies Limp" alone. Mimimalism to perfection with poignent lyrics to a basic reggae beat. The opening track features members of the audience "on the soap box" and despite the chaos, is strangely compelling. Buy this CD and learn what the true spirit of Punk Rock was really about.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 11 July 2015
The 'street preaching’ of Mark Perry might be a little OTT at times – after all, who (punk or no punk) would open a debut album with a live ten-minute jam (recorded at the 100 Club, as are at least five other tracks here) on which Perry attempts to give his audience a once-off 'soapbox’ opportunity? – but this extended version of his band’s 1978 debut album is (for me, at least) something of a landmark recording of the 'punk era’ by a band largely forgotten (or certainly overlooked) when charting the history of this key period in UK music history. Actually, the 20 recordings packaged here (we get two versions of How Much Longer? and You Bastard) demonstrate to great effect just how eclectic Alternative TV were – arguably one of the period’s greatest singles bands, whose mix of punk-reggae-pop was (pretty much) unique (Love Lies Limp, How Much Longer?, Life After Life, Action Time Vision, Life – all included here make for a stunning five single run), plus much of their remaining repertoire also belied punk’s 'one chord wonder’ image (‘guest’ Jools Holland doing a Vladimir Ashkenazy here on Viva Rock n’ Roll is something to behold!).

So, whilst we get some good-natured thrashing on the likes of Good Times, You Bastard and an invigorating version of Frank Zappa’s Why Don’t You Do Me Right, there are many other influences at work (including a discernible 'mixed 60s psychedelia’ – Velvets, Zappa, Beefheart – feel) across the likes of Viva La Rock n’ Roll, Nasty Little Lonely and the two (remarkably powerful) live versions of Still Life and Splitting In Two – the songs driven on by pounding bass-lines (courtesy of Dennis Burns) and Perry’s edgy, neurotic lyrics. The other song here that sticks in my mind is the live Another Coke (originally the b-side to Action Time Vision) which, to another vibrant beat, finds Perry at his most confrontational (à la Mark E Smith).

It’s a provocatively diverse collection that comes highly recommended. And, as if by magic, the band is in the process of releasing their first new album (Opposing Forces) in over a decade – I must give it a listen.
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on 21 January 2005
I was amazed by david57448's review. This bloke clearly wasn't around at the time. Or if he was then he must have been with the poseurs around the "Bromley contingent" and all the rest of the middle-class mockney clothes horses. ATV were exactly what it was all about in 76/77/78. True DIY ethic, painfully honest stuff, completely fearless. Mark Perry's a forgotten genius who deserves more recognition. If you're at all interested in hearing music that encapsulates what punk really meant, start here.
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on 9 January 2013
Had this on vinyl way back when, always thought of Alternative TV as a singles group then, so rediscovering this album (plus a slew of singles and b-sides as extras) has been a revelation - what an amazing noise they made! A real original,refusing to be hidebound by the rules and new orthodoxies of punk, they went off in all sorts of unexpected directions after this but even here on their debut they turn the tables over. How they don't get some of the credit routinely dished out to what is now called 'post-punk' is now officially a mystery to me. The live as possible 'debate' opening track which I hardly ever listened to me now seem like a manifesto , a goodbye to the punk scene as it bedded down to become just another style. Mark Perry's voice and lyrics are both defiant and romantic, there's a great urgency in his words and tone. 'Action Time Vision' is something of a classic of the period and the rest of the album is as creative and inventive as that - I never noticed what a great band they were - listen to 'Nasty Little Lonely' or 'Viva la Rock and Roll', with Jools Holland on the joanna, for evidence. Extras include my favourite single of theirs, 'Life After Life'. All in all I'm finding it hard to think of a better way to spend a tenner on Amazon.
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on 29 July 2000
then this is the LP, nevermind your cartoon punks like the (excellent) pistols, gen x, etc this LP gives you a taste of authentic punk. An inventive, group who looked to take their genre forward without losing the ideals of the movement, this LP is a useful artefact of the period. Nasty Little Lonely and Still Life showed us all what Punk could have been beyond the confines of the three chord thrash.
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on 9 February 2000
The original album with most of the best of the rest, an ideal starting point for this influential band. Life is one of the most exciting thing's that you will ever hear for the first time,the energy & the youth shine through. There's optimism & pessimism starting to show(he got pretty weird in later day's)
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on 19 January 2014
.....to my first year in University in 1978, listening to this non stop on a portable cassette player. Now listening to it non stop in my Car on the way to work.

Great LP (CD), plus some extra's "for free" (not on my cassette!).
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on 13 March 2016
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