Sunday, February 3, 2013

Play it again Sam

One of my favourite albums many moons ago as a young lad was Soul Mining by The The. I used to listen to it on my ghetto blaster (yes folks, it was a cassette!) again and again. Play, flip, play, flip...
The stripped back synth drum and simple keyboards were in stark contrast to the rest of my guitar-fueled CD collection, but how could I not love lyrics like these:

I see an old man fingering his perishing flesh
He tells himself he was a good man and did good things
Amused and confused by life's little ironies
He swallows his bottle of distilled damnation

Over time I lost my ability to play cassettes and lost touch with the album. Imagine how excited I was to see a CD of it for sale on TradeMe! $6 + p&p later and I slid it into my CD player, eager to trip back in time and rediscover an old friend. Hang on, what's going on here!? It's The The coming from the speakers, but it's not the The The of my youth. (I'm pretty sure that's the first time I've typed 'the The The' by the way...).

The sound was too clear and crisp and clean, almost sterile in places. Matt Johnson's voice was the same but what had they done to the rest of it? Was it the lack of 'hiss' from my trusty old ghetto blaster? Perhaps. But upon further investigation I reckon it's that 'Remastered' label on the front of the CD. In future folks, if it ain't broke, don't try and fix it.
So, the search continues for a cassette version of Soul Mining, a 1983 ghetto blaster and my bottle of distilled damnation.