Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Matt Johnson: Burning Blue Soul (1981)


"And my aching little soul--has started burning blue!"
Infected, The The

In 1993, this record was released on CD, as per Johnson's wish, under the moniker The The, Matt Johnson's oddly-named new "band." I put that in quotes because Matt was the only member, at the outset anyway. I have a copy on CD as well. By the way, try searching for The The on Amazon. It's impossible. You can, of course, search the titles of records, but not the band.

The The ranks, in my ever so humble opinion, as one of the best groups to hail from the 80s. I'm a big fan, owning pretty much everything they released in one format or another. I even saw them in concert, when the band was really a band.

As much as I like this record, I feel that Johnson really hit his stride with Soul Mining, the debut record from The The. Allmusic sort of agrees with me:
Matt Johnson's work thrives on the tension between accessible pop and dissonant experimentation; between joyful wonder and despairing bleakness. Burning Blue Soul was a more disjointed solo album Johnson released under his own name in 1981 before these tensions were fully integrated. The reissue is a valuable sketchbook for The The fans interested in dissecting the early inner workings of Johnson's art, but the meandering tape-collages that serve as framework will leave most others cold. [source]
Still, I love this record. Johnson wrote all of the songs and played every instrument, but obviously not at the same time.

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