Maniacal Mondays: The The
It's a shame more people haven't heard of The The on North American shores. Sure, they've had some success overseas (a smattering of singles and albums in the Top 10), but for the most part they've never found the popularity they deserve (in my humble opinion). They've always had the support of college radio in Canada and the U.S., but for whatever reason the second those smarty-pants kids graduate they forget all about poor old The The.
For the most part, The The is the guise of singer/songwriter Matt Johnson. Over the years there have been 'official' permanent line-ups (including the late eighties/early nineties when former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr and ex-Julian Cope bass player James Eller were recruited for the recording of the Mind Bomb and Dusk albums), but for the most The The is Matt Johnson and whatever session players he recruits.
I personally started to get into The The around '92-'93, around the release of Dusk. Around that time my older brother and I had tickets to see Depeche Mode at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, and The The were the opening act. It is one of the only concerts I've been to where the venue was packed for the opening band, and when The The kicked off its set with the Dusk track Dogs of Lust the place went completely ballistic. The crowd was on its feet for the full 45 minute set, plus an encore. Very cool.
Here's The The from around that same time period, with Uncertain Smile from 1983 album Soul Mining.