Television Personalities

They Could Have Been Bigger Than the Beatles

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Television Personalities split up in 1982, after five years as D.I.Y. pioneers. It turned out to be a temporary development (although Ed Ball, Dan Treacy's artistic foil, never did return, busying himself by turning his side project, the Times, into a full-time -- sorry -- proposition), but the split was marked by the mysterious compilation They Could Have Been Bigger Than the Beatles. An unannotated collection of re-recorded versions of tracks from their first two albums, early singles, and unreleased outtakes, this should by all rights be a complete mess. Funnily enough, it works a treat, being more consistently entertaining than 1982's Mummy Your [sic] Not Watching Me, though not as conceptually perfect as 1981's excellent And Don't the Kids Just Love It. Highlights include a much-improved new version of "David Hockney's Diaries" and the gentle freakbeat of "The Boy in the Paisley Shirt" and "Psychedelic Holiday." Treacy also pays tribute to the then-forgotten Creation, with enthusiastically sloppy versions of "Painter Man" and "Making Time." The original Whaam! release of this album came in hand-painted black-on-tan sleeves with no liner notes or other information.

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