Author Topic: Sparkling Reviews of Sparkle in the Mud  (Read 3202 times)

Offline anotherdt

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Sparkling Reviews of Sparkle in the Mud
« on: May 29, 2010, 03:31:17 AM »
To save you hunting down whichever copy of Goldmine this will be appeaing in, here's the US collectors magazine's review of Sparkle....

TV Smith
Sparkle In The Mud – Unreleased Songs and Demos Volume One: 1979-1983
 
Boss Tuneage BTRCRS 043
 
Of all the songwriters thrown up by the British punk scene, TV Smith was the one that the critics were singling out from the start – not because they necessarily enjoyed the Adverts, the period vehicle for his output, but because the sheer quality of his writing was evident to all.  And when the Adverts split in 1979, it would have been a foolish seer indeed who would have predicted that another decade-plus would elapse before Smith found another reliable, regular outlet.  Foolish but, unfortunately, accurate.
 
Just two new albums, 1981’s Last Words of the Great Explorer and 1983’s Channel Five dignified that decade; it would be 1992 before Smith re-emerged with the remarkable March Of The Giants.  Of course, there’s been no looking back since then, but looking back is exactly what Sparkle In The Mud is for, as Smith digs through the archive of songs he wrote during those lost, long years, and lets us know exactly what we missed out on.  Some are home demos, some are full studio recordings; some show their age in terms of tape quality, others sparkle no matter how much mud is spattered across them.  And this is only four years’ worth.  Subsequent volumes will tell tales of their own.
 
Not every one of the twenty-one songs here was completely lost.  A couple of songs made it onto Channel Five, a couple more have been revisited in recent years.  And a free bonus download offers up two early sketches for Explorers era classics.  But that still leaves a lot of unreleased bang for your buck, including the first songs Smith wrote in the aftermath of the Adverts; others that would have shaped a second Explorers LP, and enough false starts for subsequent records that it’s amazing he retained his sanity. 
 
No matter what the prevailing musical moods of the day may have been, it is incredible that songs as good as “Open Up Your Heart,” “Downbeat” and “Trojan Horse” were overlooked by the A&R men of the era.  “Wheels Out Of Gear” carries us back to the riots that ripped across England in 1981.  And the understated apocalypse of “New Discoverers” and “One Of Our Missiles Is Missing” says so much about the political mood of the age that, listening to them today, you could be back in the bunker with Maggie and Ronnie, wondering who’ll be first to the final sip of water.  My money’s on Maggie.  That handbag wasn’t just for show, you know.
 
Dave Thompson
« Last Edit: June 21, 2010, 08:46:00 AM by Tj »
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Offline Klaus

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Re: A sparkling review
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2010, 09:47:56 AM »
Thanks!  :)
"And if our castle should come tumbling down - We'll fix it up again somehow
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Offline Uli

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Re: A sparkling review
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2010, 10:28:42 AM »
Some are home demos, some are full studio recordings; some show their age in terms of tape quality, others sparkle no matter how much mud is spattered across them. 

Very true! Thanks for sharing. (Especially as it'll take a while until the next volume of "The complete collector's guide", where we'll no doubt be reading such reviews.)  :)
« Last Edit: May 29, 2010, 11:04:29 AM by Uli »
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Offline anotherdt

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Re: A sparkling review
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2010, 01:10:03 PM »
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Offline Klaus

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Re: A sparkling review
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2010, 02:53:32 PM »
nice one  :)
"And if our castle should come tumbling down - We'll fix it up again somehow
We can do anything - That' the wonderful thing...

Carrying On"

Offline Tj

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Re: A sparkling review
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2010, 09:57:45 PM »
Looking at the favourite songs it's anotherdt review.  :D

I wonder why People Don't Know is such a favourite with the ladies...

...and me? :-[
"Deep inside you know it's right to lean towards the light"

Tj Sundown
Leaning towards the Starlight

Offline Uli

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Re: A sparkling review
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2010, 08:17:51 AM »
And me...  :-[

Another sparkling review, well done!  :)
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Offline Tj

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Re: Sparkling Reviews of Sparkle in the Mud
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2010, 08:58:26 AM »
A good review in Record Collector.

Although their seems to be more focus on rehashing the sleeve notes rather than talking about what Ian thinks of the songs.

Here's an excerpt...


Quote
There's a real continuity in hearing these very basic, no fuss, no frills, songs because they need no overproduction in order to make sense. They have that same acute and to the point lyric writing that marks Smith out as a key songwriter of his generation. Sharply homing in on his target. he's every bit teh equal of his contemporaries.

...The overall effect is like peeking into a treasured notebook.

Ian Abrahams


Surprisingly given the postive review Sparkle only Has three stars. If Ian had more closely looked at the cover he would have seen it actually has four stars. ;)

"Deep inside you know it's right to lean towards the light"

Tj Sundown
Leaning towards the Starlight