atv: the image has cracked

deptford fun city, DLP01.

I made reference to Mark P. and Alex Fergusson of Alternative TV sometime back in a previous post on Eater, a band the \”Sniffin\’ Glue\” editor seemingly – and to my mind, unaccountably – detested.

I mentioned then that \”The Image Has Cracked\” was every inch one of the most superior and long awaited releases of 1978, and I stand by that claim. The tone throughout the first LP to appear on Perry\’s Deptford Fun City label is racked with discord and ill-concealed contempt for the self congratulatory illiteracy of shop-lifting punk rockers as 1977 drew to a dreary close, and that sentiment was very much mirrored by the circumstances in which I first heard the album.

\”The Image Has Cracked\” was our adopted soundtrack, a nihilistic badge of distress for Michael especially. I just went more or less along for the ride. A clueless navigator sunk deep in the passenger seat without crash helmet or map.

Alternative TV went on to record a split live LP with Here & Now, an offshoot of Gong, before finally dissolving as the 70s gave way to the brash consumerism of 1980. Fergusson went on to team up with Throbbing Gristle\’s Genesis P. Orridge in Psychic TV, while Mark Perry turned solo with varying results. Listen closely to the following tracks and you just might hear the faint echo of mutant Zappa and krautrockers, Can. It doesn\’t make for comfortable listening, so if you would sooner relish more genteel Sunday afternoon fare – as is your right to expect, perhaps – be warned.

This is 1978\’s soundtrack to the slow-burning fragmentation of ego and the banal subjugation of id.

ALTERNATIVE TV: NASTY LITTLE LONELY from \”The Image Has Cracked\” LP (Deptford Fun City) 1978 (UK)

ALTERNATIVE TV: RED from \”The Image Has Cracked\” LP (Deptford Fun City) 1978 (UK)

ALTERNATIVE TV: SPLITTING IN TWO from \”The Image Has Cracked\” LP (Deptford Fun City) 1978 (UK)



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