The The : Infected
My friend got “Infected”, I think shortly after it was released back in 1986. At this point The The, was a Matt Johnson solo project, supported by friends and session musicians.
This boy was angry, not that fake Sex Pistols kind of angry, we are talking totally pissed off by the world, no matter if he was talking about love or politics, he was not sweet about it, something that made him perfect for my 80’s, where everyone else seemed a bit, well nice and boring. He did not seem to aim only for MTV fame, he seemed to have a message. Something as rare as a 80’s protest songs.
Infected strength lays in its contrast, at first glance it’s a powerful but relatively radio friendly 80’s Rock, with a good solid beat and some great melodies, but when the frontman starts screaming: “I can’t see for the tear gas, & the dollar signs in my eyes.” Into your ears, it creates a different energy. Energy in line with the one you would get from the much harder 90’s bands, same aggression, very different music.
By 1988 The The frontman had recruited The Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, and created a great live band.
Despite the fact that the attitude was tough, the music was accessible and their mid to late 80’s albums did do well in UK and New Zealand, and fairly well in other countries. The The haven’t played live since 2002, but Matt Johnson have made some film soundtrack. In 2011 “This Is The Day” was covered by Manic Street Preachers.
The The was and is one of my favourite 80’s bands, managed to see them live in 2000 while they was still active, they were fantastic, a concert to never forget