53 Life's Hard and Then You Die by Its Immaterial 1986
Along with Furniture it is a crime that this band will forever go down as a one hit wonder, and worse than that it is sometimes refered to as a novelty song
The follow up single was a big pop song and if anything even better with its soaring harmonies by the Christians ..... it flopped
The video summed up a lot about why I liked It's Immaterial and also probably why they couldnt find mainstream success. Ideas overflow , an everything but the kitchen sink approach , and too dam clever by half (I'll ignore the essential 80s white doves) . The same could be said of the debut lp Life's Hard and Then you Die.
On one hand you have great pop songs , on the other you have strange folk tunes , chants , lullabys all feeling like they've emerged from one great big melting pot.
The record company with true lack of insight thought well lets go back to a track that has spoken bits in and a sung chorus , that will do the trick as it did with Driving .... it flopped
Having released the worst track on the lp as a single by the time the catchiest of pop songs was released it was too late and the one hit wonder label was fixed
The backing sees a host of traditional instruments , banjo , trumpet , fiddle , acoustic guitar all fed through a sampler. This makes the sound distinctly off kilter even if a tad dated in places. What I love about it is that there is so much going on that I always seem to be discovering something new each time I play it
They went on the make 2 more lps (one the holy grail of an unreleased lp House for Sale which having heard it , if it had been released would have been on the chart) which were much more reflective minimalist affairs , closer to the Blue Nile (they even used their producer) but it is the debut for its pure ambition that I keep going back to
Lullaby - Its Immaterial
Ahead of their time ( the short clip below reminds me a bit of The Arcade Fire approach of get everyone on stage ) and you felt they would rather be living in the time of the dada movement , but so much more than a one hit wonder
you can buy Lifes Hard here