66 Soul Mining by The The 1983
1983 and I ws struggling with both my o levels and figuring out how to talk to girls ( I went to an all boy grammar school and we would spend out lunchtimes ahnging around the record section in Smiths trying to look cool to the High School girls who were also there).
Friday night meant Spalding's semi alternative disco Wagon Wheels ( a barn at the back of a pub where you could get served vomit inducing vodka and orange cordial) for a tap of your foot . nod of your head , dance to something by the already disbanded Jam and a hopeful search for a snog.
One weekend 2 things happened. Firstly the dj at Wagon Wheels (notorious for ignoring requests) played this
and then on the sunday Annie Nightingale played the full lp version of this
I rushed out to buy the lp Soul Mining that monday and got home to lsiten to seven tracks of a man slowly falling apart in his room .
Largely a one man band with session musicians ., Matt Johnson brought out the best in those he played with , whether it is Jools Holland's endless piano solo or Orange Juice's Zeke Manyika manic drumming.
He and co producer Paul Hardiman (who strangely a year later would produce LLoyd Cole's Rattlesnakes) managed to make an lp that blended traditional rock instruments with synths so that the end results sounded like neither. Little things like leaving in the string scratches of the chord changes on Uncertain Smile made the whole thing feel slightly off kilter.
The lyrics were perfect for the mixed up , angst ridden self centred world of a 16 year old. Here is the closing track taken out of the bedsit and onto the road with Johnny Marr on guitar