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30 Years On: Soul Mining By The The Revisited
Joseph Burnett , October 23rd, 2013 04:58

Joseph Burnett looks back to The The's debut proper and finds one of the greatest albums of the 80s

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One of the most charming quirks of the very early eighties was the unexpected popularity and commercial success of the most enigmatic of pop music. In 1982, impressively-coiffed British quartet Japan were rewarded after years of near-misses when their positively minimalist single ‘Ghosts’ climbed to number five in the UK charts. A year earlier, New York avant-gardist Laurie Anderson performed even better, as her eight-minute mini-suite mixture of pop and spoken word, ‘O Superman’ hit number two. When you think of it, even the likes of Soft Cell or Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark seem quite unlikely as stars, with their peculiar dancing, affected vocals and dry, skittish percussion on singles like ‘Tainted Love’ and ‘Enola Gay’. But, aside from The Fall and the Associates, few “bands” of the early post-punk years were as popular despite being positively eccentric as Matt Johnson’s The The.

I’ve seen The The described as both synth-pop and post-punk, but neither term really seems to fit. In fact, for their first releases, including this debut album proper, they weren’t even an actual band. Only the enigmatic Matt Johnson features on all seven tracks, often playing multiple instruments in a kind of megalomaniacal desire to keep absolute control over his creation. But, given how long it appears to have taken him to make his mark (a first album, Burning Blue Soul, was released in 1981, but under his own name, and he found getting an actual band up and running more than a little difficult), it’s hard not to find some sympathy with Johnson’s determination. In this context, it’s no wonder that Soul Mining is no joyful debut from a confident young whippersnapper, but rather a claustrophobic and cynical slab of self-loathing and barely-restrained fury.

Much has been made of the current generation of synth-wielding artists who appear to have elevated bedroom-composed music to an art form. Well, Soul Mining may have been recorded in a couple of studios, but it crystallises the inner world of the bedroom-based singer-songwriter to perfection. Its opening salvo, ‘I've Been Waitin' For Tomorrow (All Of My Life)’ and ‘This Is The Day’ are two sides of the same isolated coin, the former a despondent musing on inertia, the latter a more upbeat look at potential futures. ‘I've Been Waitin' For Tomorrow (All Of My Life)’ features pounding, almost metallic rhythm stabs, almost of the sort you’d get on a same-period Einstürzende Neubauten or Test Dept. album, aligned with see-sawing bass lines, snippets of radio static and fuzz-laden guitar. Johnson practically eviscerates himself emotionally in lyrics such as “All my childhood dreams/ Are bursting at the seams/ And dangling around my knees” and, in the chorus, “Another year older and what have I done/ My aspirations have shriveled in the sun”. Anyone who has ever felt that their life failed to live up to expectations will instantly connect to such self-laceration, which reaches fever pitch as he closes on a repeated mantra of “My mind has been polluted/ And my energy diluted”, over and over again. It’s quite ironic that Johnson manages to conjure up such a potent and determined piece of deformed pop whilst simultaneously lamenting his own lack of focus.

The response to this attack of self-doubt comes, after a fashion, on ‘This Is The Day’, although it starts out with a bleary-eyed “day after the night before” vibe. Johnson quickly decides, though, that things can only get better from here, as he loudly proclaims, “This is the day your life will surely change/ This is the day when things fall into place.” Accordion and fiddle lend the track a more pastoral vibe that contrasts nicely with its predecessor’s moody rock sound, whilst its catchy melody was surely deserving of better than its eventual chart position of number 71. These two tracks set out the spirit of Soul Mining, which vacillates between a certain forlorn romanticism (‘Uncertain Smile’) and fierce cynicism (the slow-burning faux-soul of ‘The Sinking Feeling’). At a time when pop was aiming for short, sharp bursts of infectious musicality, Matt Johnson’s melodies must have seemed quite alien, with frequent temporal shifts, such as on the loping, hazy ‘The Twilight Hour’ or the multi-faceted title track. There are hints of progressive rock at some points, whilst elsewhere the album nods towards where Mark Hollis would take Talk Talk later in the decade.

It all culminates fantastically with the unfathomable and unexpected dance epic ‘GIANT’, a track that coalesces Johnson’s pop sensibilities with his innate sense of disillusion into nearly ten minutes of p-funk bliss. In his best mix of croon and snarl, Johnson declares “I am a stranger to myself” before going on to lament his fear of both God and Hell, sounding like a man torn up by his terror. Zeke Manyika provides funky African rhythms whilst synthesizers zip and fly in all directions, guided by supple bass and snaking guitar licks. The percussions builds into a storm of pounding beats (courtesy not just of Manyika but also Foetus’ JG Thirlwell) as Johnson wails out “How could anyone know me/ If I don’t even know myself”, his voice seeming to give out through exhaustion to be repeated by a multi-voiced chant. ‘GIANT’ is a weird closer that really shouldn’t be. It’s fun and irresistibly groovy, but this simple pleasure is subtly tainted by the raw angst of the lyrics, and the increasingly claustrophobic repetition of rhythms and voices. It’s Soul Mining and The The in one track: catchy, musical, but also strangely obtuse and unfathomable.

After Soul Mining, The The would grow in strength as Matt Johnson brought an overt political angle to his lyrics, heightening the universality of albums like Infected and Mind Bomb by turning ever-so-slightly away from his debut’s moody introspection. He even allowed The The to become a proper band after 1986 or so, and forged a singular career, often at the same skewed angle away, but never disconnected, from pop music that he started with in 1983. Soul Mining is in every way a perfect starting point, and one of the best albums of the eighties to boot.

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Tooth Ache
Oct 23, 2013 9:41am

Great piece of writing. 'A potent and determined piece of deformed pop whilst simultaneously lamenting his own lack of focus.' Spot on.

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A Clockwork Lozenge
Oct 23, 2013 10:06am

But no mention of Jools Holland for that fantastic piano solo on 'Uncertain Smile'...?

Actually, on second thoughts, thank you. The man gets far too much credit for being a plum elsewhere, so let's deny it as revenge when he turns in moments of true wonder...

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tony m
Oct 23, 2013 11:17am

Love Soul Mining but Dusk has gott abe TT's finest hour.

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welshevs75
Oct 23, 2013 11:39am

From Soul Mining through to Dusk...The The's 4 albums in this period are the strongest sequence of records ever made in my opinion. Matt Johnson's output is sorely missed

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Moonee Ponds
Oct 23, 2013 11:54am

I'm old enough to have bought Soul Mining upon release, with the additional 3-song 12" slipped inside that lovely Andy Dog sleeve.

I loved it to death back then &, though some of Matt's lyrics seem a little sixth form & naive now (we were ALL 30 years younger in 1983 after all), reading this article has made me realise just how relevant most of them have become again, sadly. The social dissatisfaction that underpins Soul Mining's writing embodies perfectly many peoples' current frustration with the less-than-human Scameron government, & of living in a failing/fading country that is effectively being held to ransom by private utility providers. An "interesting" situation, to say the least... ;)

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Carpathian
Oct 23, 2013 12:38pm

I'd also recommend people try to hear/find the extra tracks from the UK cassette release ("Three Orange Kisses from Kazan", "The Nature of Virtue", "Mental Healing Process", "Waitin' for the Upturn", "Fruit of the Heart") as they add a whole extra 20 minute visceral spin on the album, the former of those tracks especially.

As far as I know these have never appeared on any of the CD reissues (Johnson asserting his creative rights just like him pulling the additional Perfect version I'd guess?) and they weren't even on the USA cassette release at the same time the UK one came out in '83.

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Sciflyer
Oct 23, 2013 1:54pm

In reply to tony m:

Agreed about Dusk, it is such a great album. Admittedly, I never really got into The The too much beyond Dusk though. I'm familiar with a handful of songs from other albums, but they don't seem to do it for me the way that this album does.

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Caveroad17
Oct 23, 2013 3:22pm

A seminal album from the 80's and my life. I hope Matt can summon the ability to use his unique talents to entertain again.

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Reggie P
Oct 23, 2013 5:14pm

What about that tour with the Auteurs, eh? Shenanigans!

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Loren
Oct 23, 2013 5:29pm

Utterly brilliant- very nearly a perfect record. I still listen to it, and it remains viscerally poignant and astonishing.

Thanks, Matt...

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Pete
Oct 23, 2013 6:07pm

Not a month goes by without me listening to "Soul Mining" cover to cover.

--Pete

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discokid
Oct 23, 2013 8:01pm

thank you, thank you, thank you joseph burnett.
soul mining, YES!
discokid's confused, desperated & depressed new wave years with brilliant music.

where is the big article about soft cell and/or some bizzare now???

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Sharpie
Oct 23, 2013 9:51pm

In reply to discokid:

Agree on Soft Cell/Some Bizzare - Quietus'll do it right, for sure, right?

Need to hunt down a vinyl copy of Soul Mining now . . .

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Nizzy
Oct 23, 2013 10:10pm

Worthy praise for a fantastic album - great job.
It certainly was a great time for a different kind of pop music - I still love the fact that The Associates' "Sulk" LP and the associated singles sold hundreds of thousands of copies. That run of The The albums up to "Dusk" really are worth owning.

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Moonee Ponds
Oct 23, 2013 11:30pm

In reply to Carpathian:

Those songs - which appeared as contemporaneous b-sides, etc - were originally recorded for The Pornography of Despair, the pre-Soul Mining album Matt never completed, I believe?

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Michael Golla
Oct 24, 2013 2:19am

"Soul Mining" and "Infected"... the soundtracks to my misspent youth!

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Carpathian
Oct 24, 2013 7:35am

In reply to Moonee Ponds:

Cheers for that - explains them being pulled off the reissues in that case!

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Oct 24, 2013 10:45am

In reply to Carpathian:

There are various "possible" versions floating around on-line if you have a dig about... it's a bit of a Beach Boys' Smile scenario. Matt ought to don a crash helmet, rummage around in his archive & put together a definitive selection... it's long overdue. ;)

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Moonee Ponds
Oct 24, 2013 10:46am

In reply to :

p.s. Sorry, that was me btw.

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dragon drum
Oct 24, 2013 11:37am

One of my favorite albums ever. This album was one of the biggest influences on Trent Reznor too

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tony m
Oct 25, 2013 10:00am

Always think he's singing "You've been reading some old lettuce..."

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John Doran
Oct 25, 2013 10:30am

In reply to tony m:

And so the Matt Johnson/The The jokes begin. I hope this isn't merely the tip of the iceberg...

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Oct 25, 2013 6:31pm

Gorgeous chunk of pop -I accidentally 'got into' The The while hunting for industrial music in a pre-internet teenage culture vacuum and discovering that Trent Reznor had signed Marilyn Manson, Prick and The The...I assumed, naturally, that he was industrial (or at least darkwave/gothic) and was revolted by what I heard: over time, little by little, I grew to love this album and 'Infected' very deeply; my love for Matt Johnson transcends my teen obsession with Reznor and co.

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Jenny T
Oct 27, 2013 8:57am

'Soul Mining' is the 'Catcher In The Rye' of pop albums. It resonates deeply with the youth of successive generations.

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Oct 29, 2013 4:39am

In reply to Carpathian:

Hey Carpathian,
You can find...
Three Orange Kisses from Kazan Decoder OST CD Re-issue 1992
The Nature of Virtue on the Armageddon Days Are Here (Again) CD single
Mental Healing Process also on the Armageddon Days Are Here (Again) CD single
Waitin' for the Upturn so far unavailable on CD
Fruit of the Heart Film Music double CD (limited to 500 copies and only sold at The The's one-off performance at David Bowie's 2002 Meltdown Festival)

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Geoffrey Bendorf
Jan 3, 2014 5:53pm

A nearly complete discography with the exception of the sound track stuff, comps, and appearances on other artist albums. Oh, and I don't think the MM flexi was mentioned.

The The Discography

Albums

See Without Being Seen
(Unreleased demo tape, 1978/9)
Tracks:
Troops, Homa's Coma, Planetarium, Spaceship In My Barn, Insect Children, My Vymura, Windowledge

Spirits
(Unreleased, c.1979)
Tracks:
Unknown, includes What Stanley Saw

Burning Blue Soul
(4AD CAD113, UK, LP with eye sleeve, August 1981)
(4AD CAD113, UK, LP with dodgy perm photo, September 1983)
(4AD HAD113CD, UK, CD, June 1993)
(4AD ?????, UK, Cassette, June 1993)
(4AD 945266 2, US, CD, June 1993)
(4AD 945266 4, US, Cassette, June 1993)
Tracks:
Red Cinders In The Sand, Song Without An Ending, Time (Again) For The Golden Sunset, Icing Up, Like A Sun Risin’ Thru My Garden, Out Of Control, Bugle Boy, Delirious, The River Flows East In Spring, Another Boy Drowning

The Pornography Of Despair
(Unreleased, 1982)
Tracks:
Unknown…maybe Matt knows

Soul Mining
(Epic EPC 25525, UK, LP with free 12” (XPR 1250), October 1983)
Tracks:
I've Been Waitin’ For Tomorrow (All Of My Life), This Is The Day, The Sinking Feeling, Uncertain Smile, The Twilight Hour, Soul Mining, Giant
12”: Perfect, Fruit of the Heart, Soup of Mixed Emotions

(Epic EPC 25525, UK, LP, October 1983)
(Epic PEC 90699, Canada, 7 track LP, October 1983)
(Epic 466337 4, Holland, Cassette, October 1983)
Tracks:
I've Been Waitin’ For Tomorrow (All Of My Life), This Is The Day, The Sinking Feeling, Uncertain Smile, The Twilight Hour, Soul Mining, Giant

(Epic EPC40 25525, UK, Cassette, October 1983)
(Epic EPC4406, Australia, Cassette, October 1983)
Tracks:
I've Been Waitin’ For Tomorrow (All Of My Life), This Is The Day, The Sinking Feeling, Uncertain Smile, The Twilight Hour, Soul Mining, Giant, Perfect, Three Orange Kisses From Kazan, Nature Of Virtue, Mental Healing Process, Waitin’ For the Upturn, Fruit of the Heart

(Epic E 39266, US, LP, 1983)
(Epic PEC 90699, Canada, 8 track LP, 1983)
Tracks:
I've Been Waitin’ For Tomorrow (All Of My Life), This Is The Day, The Sinking Feeling, Uncertain Smile, The Twilight Hour, Soul Mining, Giant, Perfect

(Epic PET 39266, US, Cassette, 1983)
I've Been Waitin’ For Tomorrow (All Of My Life), This Is The Day, The Sinking Feeling, Uncertain Smile, I've Been Waitin’ For Tomorrow (All Of My Life) (Extended Mix), The Twilight Hour, Soul Mining, Giant, Perfect, This Is The Day (Extended Mix)

(Epic 466337 2, UK, CD, June 1987)
(Epic EK 39266, US, CD, June 1987)
(Epic ESCA 5094, Japan, CD, June 1987)
Tracks:
I've Been Waitin’ For Tomorrow (All Of My Life), This Is The Day, The Sinking Feeling, Uncertain Smile, The Twilight Hour, Soul Mining, Giant, Perfect

Infected

(Epic EPC 26770, UK, LP in Ltd Edition sleeve, November 1986)
(Epic EPC 26770, UK, LP in Ltd Edition sleeve with poster, November 1986)
(Epic EPC 26770, UK, LP, November 1986)
(Epic 40 26770, UK, Cassette in Ltd Edition sleeve, November 1986)
(Epic 40 26770, UK, Cassette, November 1986)
(Epic E 40471, US, LP, November 1986)
(Epic PET 40471, US, Cassette, November 1986)
(Epic EK 40471, US, CD, November 1986)
(Epic 40 26770, Greece, Cassette, November 1986)
Tracks:
Infected, Out Of The Blue, Heartland, Angels Of Deception, Sweet Bird Of Truth, Slow Train To Dawn, Twilight Of A Champion, The Mercy Beat

(Epic 488611 2, UK, CD, November 1986)
(Epic ESCA 5095, Japan, CD, November 1986)
Tracks:
Infected, Out Of The Blue, Heartland, Angels Of Deception, Sweet Bird Of Truth, Slow Train To Dawn, Twilight Of A Champion, The Mercy Beat, Infected (12” version), Sweet Bird Of Truth (12” version), Slow Train To Dawn (12” version)

Mind Bomb

(Epic 463319 1, UK, LP with Ltd Poster, May 1989)
(Epic 463319 1, UK, LP, May 1989)
(Epic 463319 2, UK, CD, May 1989)
(Epic 463319 4, UK, Cassette, May 1989)
(Epic E 45241, US, LP, May 1989)
(Epic EK 45241, US, CD, May 1989)
(Epic 25-8P-5286, Japan, CD, May 1989)
Tracks:
Good Morning Beautiful, Armageddon Days Are Here (Again), The Violence Of Truth, Kingdom Of Rain, The Beat(en) Generation, August And September, Beyond Love

Dusk
(Epic 472468 1, UK, LP, January 1993)
(Epic 472468 2, UK, CD, January 1993)
(Epic 472468 2, UK, Ltd Edition CD in pink box, January 1993)
(Epic 472468 4, UK, Cassette, January 1993)
(Epic 472468 3, UK, Minidisc, January 1993)
(Epic EK 53164, US, CD, January 1993)
(Epic ESCA 5661, Japan, CD, January 1993)
Tracks:
True Happiness This Way Lies, Love Is Stronger Than Death, Dogs Of Lust, This Is The Night, Slow Emotion Replay, Helpline Operator, Sodium Light Baby, Lung Shadows, Bluer Than Midnight, Lonely Planet

Solitude
(Epic EK 66125, US, CD, 1993)
Tracks:
Jealous Of Youth, Another Boy Drowning (Live), Solitude, Dolphins, That Was The Day, Dis-Infected, Helpline Operator (Sick Boy Mix), Dogs Of Lust (Germicide Mix), The Violence Of Truth (Remix)

Hanky Panky
(Epic 478139 0, UK, 2x10" LP, February 1995)
(Epic 478139 2, UK, CD, February 1995)
(Epic 478139 3, UK, Minidisc, February 1995)
(Epic 478139 4, UK, Cassette, February 1995)
(Epic BK 66908, US, CD, February 1995)
(Epic ESCA 6162, Japan, CD, February 1995)
Tracks:
Honky Tonkin', Six More Miles, My Heart Would Know, If You'll Be A Baby To Me, I'm A Long Gone Daddy, Weary Blues From Waitin', I Saw The Light, Your Cheatin' Heart, I Can't Get You Off Of My Mind, There's A Tear In My Beer, I Can't Escape From You

(Epic BK 66908, US, 2xCD wooden box set, 1995)
Tracks:
CD1: Honky Tonkin', Six More Miles, My Heart Would Know, If You'll Be A Baby To Me, I'm A Long Gone Daddy, Weary Blues From Waitin', I Saw The Light, Your Cheatin' Heart, I Can't Get You Off Of My Mind, There's A Tear In My Beer, I Can't Escape From You
CD2: I Saw The Light, I'm Free At Last, Someday You'll Call My Name, There's No Room In My Heart For The Blues

Gun Sluts
(Unreleased, 1998)
Tracks:
Unknown: includes DieselBreeze and Gunsluts

NakedSelf
(Nothing 4905102, US, CD, February 2000)
(Nothing 4905104, US, Ltd Edition CD with photobook, February 2000)
(Nothing 4905102, US, CD, February 2000)
(Nothing 4905104, US, Ltd Edition CD with photobook, February 2000)
(Nothing MVCT-24058, Japan, CD, February 2000)
Tracks:
BoilingPoint, ShrunkenMan, TheWhisperers, SoulCatcher, GlobalEyes, DecemberSunlight, SwineFever, DieselBreeze, WeatherBelle, VoidyNumbness, PhantomWalls, SaltWater

Singles

Controversial Subject
(4AD AD10, UK, 7", August 1980)
Tracks:
Controversial Subject, Black And White

Cold Spell Ahead
(Some Bizarre BZS 4, UK, 7", September 1981)
(Some Bizarre SBZ 016, UK, 7”, October 1992)
(Some Bizarre SBZX 016, UK, 12" Picture Disc, October 1992)
(Some Bizarre SBZCD 016, UK, CD, October 1992)
Tracks:
Cold Spell Ahead, Hot Ice

Uncertain Smile
(Epic EPC A2787, UK, 7" with lyrics/photo insert, October 1982)
(Epic EPC A2787, UK, 7" with lyrics on back cover, October 1982)
(Epic EPC A2787, Spain, 7", October 1982)
(Epic YC 15084, Italy, 7", October 1982)
Tracks :
Uncertain Smile, Three Orange Kisses From Kazan

(Epic EPC13 2787, UK, 12" with lyrics/photo insert, October 1982)
(Epic EPC13 2787, UK, 12" with lyrics on back cover, October 1982)
(Epic EPC13 2787, UK, Yellow Vinyl 12" with lyrics/photo insert, October 1982)
(Epic 0-29878, US, 12", October 1982)
Tracks:
Uncertain Smile (extended version), Three Orange Kisses From Kazan, Waitin’ For The Upturn

(Epic EPCA 3588, UK, 7", November 1983)
Tracks:
Uncertain Smile, Soul Mining

(Epic EPCTA 3588, UK, 12", November 1983)
Tracks:
Uncertain Smile (extended version), Soul Mining (definitive version)

(Epic EPC A 4323, Holland, 7", 1983)
Tracks :
Uncertain Smile (album version), Three Orange Kisses From Kazan

Perfect
(Epic EPCA 3119, UK, 7", February 1983)
Tracks:
Perfect, The Nature Of Virtue (Version 1)

(Epic EPCA13 3119, UK, 12", February 1983)
Tracks:
Perfect (extended version), The Nature Of Virtue (Version 1)

(Epic E4-8548, Canada, 7” February 1983)
Tracks:
Perfect, Uncertain Smile

(Epic 12 EXP-8552, Canada, 12", 1983)
Tracks:
Perfect (extended version), Uncertain Smile (extended version)

This Is The Day
(Epic EPCA 3710, UK, 7", September 1983)
(Epic EPCA 3710, Italy, 7", September 1983)
Tracks:
This Is The Day (7" version), Mental Healing Process (for a mixed up kid)

(Epic EPCA 3710), UK, 7" doublepack in gatefold sleeve, September 1983)
Tracks:
This Is The Day (7" version), Mental Healing Process (for a mixed up kid), Absolute Liberation, Leap Into The Wind

(Epic TA 3710, UK, 12", September 1983)
(Epic 49-04315, US, 12", 1983)
Tracks:
This Is The Day (12" version), I've Been Waitin’ For Tomorrow (All Of My Life) (Special Mix)

Sweet Bird Of Truth
(Epic TRUTH 1, UK, 12", May 1986) (limited edition of 7500 copies)
Tracks:
Sweet Bird Of Truth (extended version), Harbour Lights, Sleeping Juice

(Epic TENSE 2, UK, 7", May 1987)
Tracks:
Sweet Bird Of Truth (7” version), Sleeping Juice

(Epic TENSE 2 & TENSE 1, UK, 2x7" in shrinkwrapped double pack, May 1987)
Tracks:
TENSE 2: Sweet Bird Of Truth (7” version), Sleeping Juice
TENSE 1: Slow Train To Dawn, Harbour Lights

(Epic TENSE T2, UK, 12", May 1987)
Tracks:
Sweet Bird Of Truth (12" Version), Harbour Lights, Sleeping Juice

(Epic TENSE C2, UK, Cassette Single, May 1987)
Tracks:
Sweet Bird Of Truth (12" Version), Harbour Lights, Sleeping Juice, Soul Mining (Previously Unreleased Mix), Sweet Bird Of Truth (7" Version)

(Epic CDTHE 2, UK, CD Single, May 1987)
Tracks:
Sweet Bird Of Truth (12" Version), Harbour Lights, Sleeping Juice, Soul Mining (Previously Unreleased Mix)

Heartland
(Epic TRUTH 2, UK, 7", July 1986)
(Epic ES1152, Australia, 7", July 1986)
(Epic ????, Italy, 7", July 1986)
(Epic EPCA 6983, Holland, 7", July 1986)
(Epic EPCA 6983, Spain, 7", July 1986)
Tracks:
Heartland (7" Version), Born In The New S.A.

(EpicTRUTH T2), UK, 12", July 1986)
(Epic EPCA 126983, Holland, 12", July 1986)
Tracks:
Heartland (12" version), Born In The New S.A., Flesh And Bones

(Epic TRUTH C2, UK, Cassette Single, July 1986)
Tracks:
Harbour Lights, Heartland (4’55” version), Flesh And Bones, Born In The New S.A., Sweet Bird Of Truth (12" version)

(Epic TRUTH Q2, UK, 12", August 1986)
Tracks:
Heartland (12" Version), Born In The New S.A., Sweet Bird Of Truth

(Epic TRUTH D2, UK, 2x12" double pack, September 1986)
Heartland (12" Version), Born In The New S.A., Flesh And Bones
Perfect, Fruit Of The Heart

(Epic ES 12188, Australia, 12", July 1986)
Tracks:
Heartland (12" Version), Sweet Bird Of Truth (12" Version)

Infected
(Epic TRUTH 3, UK, 7”, October 1986)
(Epic TRUTH 3, US, 7”, October 1986)
(Epic 650167 7, Spain, 7”, October 1986)
(Epic TRUTH 3, UK, 7” in withdrawn sleeve, October 1986)
(Epic IE4-7202, Canada, 7", October 1986)
Tracks:
Infected (7" Version), Disturbed

(Epic TRUTH T3), UK, 12", October 1986)
(Epic TRUTH Q3), UK, 12" in withdrawn sleeve, October 1986)
Tracks:
Infected (Extended version), Infected (Energy Mix), Disturbed

(Epic TRUTH Q3), UK, 12", October 1986)
Tracks:
Infected (Skullcrusher Mix), Infected (Energy Mix), Disturbed

(Epic 49-05982), US, 12", October 1986)
(Epic CE-EP-18074, Philippines, 12”, October 1986)
Tracks:
Infected (Extended version), Infected (Skullcrusher Mix), Infected (Energy Mix)

(Epic TRUTH C3), UK, Cassette, October 1986)
Tracks:
Infected (Skullcrusher Mix), Soul Mining (Previously Unreleased Mix), The Sinking Feeling (Original Version), Infected (12" Version), Disturbed

(Epic TRUTH D3), UK, 2x 12" double pack, November 1986)
Tracks:
Infected, Infected (Energy Mix), Disturbed
Soul Mining (Previously Unreleased Mix), The Sinking Feeling (Original Version)

Slow Train To Dawn
(Epic TENSE 1, UK, 7", January 1987)
(Epic TENSE 1, UK, 7" with car stickers, January 1987)
(Epic EPC 650350 7, Spain, 7", January 1987)
Tracks:
Slow Train To Dawn, Harbour Lights

(Epic TRUTH T1, UK, 12", January 1987)
(Epic TRUTH D1, UK, 12" with stencil, January 1987)
Tracks:
Slow Train To Dawn (12" Version), Harbour Lights, The Nature Of Virtue (Version 2)

(Epic 49-06810, US, 12", 1987)
Tracks:
Slow Train To Dawn (12" Version), Harbour Lights, Heartland, The Nature Of Virtue

The Beat(en) Generation
(Epic EMU 8, UK, 7", March 1989)
(Epic EPC 654578-7, Spain, 7", March 1989)
(Epic EPC 654578-7, Holland, 7", March 1989)
(Epic 34T 68883, USA, Cassette Single, March 1989)
Tracks:
The Beat(en) Generation, Angel

(Epic EMU Q8, UK, Ltd Edition 12", March 1989)
(Epic EMU B8, UK, 12" box set, March 1989)
(Epic CBEMU 8, UK, 3" CD box set, March 1989)
(Epic EMU CD 8, UK, CD, April 1989)
Tracks:
The Beat(en) Generation, Angel, Soul Mining (Previously Unreleased Mix)

(Epic EMU T8, UK, 12", April 1989)
(Epic CPEMU 8, UK, CD, April 1989)
(Epic 654578 3, Austria, 3" CD, 1989)
Tracks:
The Beat(en) Generation, The Beat(en) Generation (Palmer Mix), The Beat(en) Generation (Campfire Mix), Angel

Gravitate To Me
(Epic EMU 9, UK, 7", July 1989)
(Epic 654971 7, Holland, 7", July 1989)
(Epic EMU C9, UK, Cassette Single, July 1989)
Tracks:
Gravitate To Me, The Violence Of Truth

(Epic EMU T9, UK, 12", July 1989)
Tracks:
Gravitate To Me (Dance Version), Gravitate To Me (Little Version), The Violence Of Truth (Remix)

(Epic CD EMU9, UK, CD, July 1989)
(Epic 654971 3, Austria, CD, July 1989)
Tracks:
Gravitate To Me (Little Version), I've Been Waitin’ For Tomorrow (All Of My Life), Gravitate To Me (Dance Mix)

(Epic EMU E9, UK, 12" Etched Vinyl, August 1989)
Tracks:
Gravitate To Me (Dub Mix), I've Been Waitin’ For Tomorrow (All Of My Life)

(Epic EMU B9, UK, 12" box set, August 1989)
Tracks:
Gravitate To Me (Dub Mix), I've Been Waitin’ For Tomorrow (All Of My Life)

Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)
(Epic EMU 10, UK, 7", October 1989)
Tracks:
Armageddon Days Are Here (Again) (Radio Edit), Armageddon Days Are Here (Again) (Orchestral Version)

(Epic EMU T10, UK, 12", October 1989)
Tracks:
Armageddon Days Are Here (Again), Perfect, Mental Healing Process, Armageddon Days Are Here (Again) (Radio Edit)

(Epic CD EMU 10, UK, CD, October 1989)
Tracks:
Armageddon Days Are Here (Again) (Radio Edit), Perfect, Mental Healing Process, Armageddon Days Are Here (Again) (Orchestral Version)

(Epic EMU QT10, UK, 10", October 1989)
(Epic EMU C10, UK, Picture CD, October 1989)
Tracks:
Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)(Album Version), Nature Of Virture, Mental Healing Process, Perfect

(Epic EMU E10, UK, 12” Etched Vinyl , October 1989)
Tracks:
Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)(Radio Edit), Perfect

Jealous Of Youth
(Epic 655796 7, Holland, 7”, February 1990)
Tracks:
Jealous Of Youth (7" Version), Beyond Love

(Epic 49K 73151, US, CD, February 1990)
(Epic 49T 73151,US, Cassette Single, February 1990)
Tracks:
Jealous Of Youth (7" Version), Beyond Love, Jealous Of Youth (12" Version)

Shades Of Blue
(Epic 655796 8, UK, 12", February 1991)
(Epic 655796 4, UK, Cassette Single, February 1991)
(Epic 655796 2, UK, CD, February 1991)
(Epic 655796 2, Australia, CD in card sleeve, February 1991)
(Epic ESCA 5278, Japan, CD, February 1991)
Tracks:
Jealous Of Youth (7" Version), Another Boy Drowning (Live), Solitude, Dolphins

Dogs Of Lust
(Epic 658457 7, UK, 7" Pink Marbled Vinyl, January 1993)
Tracks:
Dogs Of Lust, The Violence Of Truth (Remix)

(Epic 658457 6, UK, 12" Picture Disc, January 1993
(Epic 658457 2, UK, CD (Part 1), January 1993)
(Epic 658457 2, Australia, CD, January 1993)
Tracks:
Dogs Of Lust, The Violence Of Truth (Remix), Infected (Live)

(Epic 658457 5, UK, Ltd Edition CD (Part 2), January 1993)
Tracks:
Dogs Of Lust, Jealous Of Youth (Live), Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)(DNA Remix), Beyond Love

Slow Emotion Replay
(Epic 659077 6, UK, 12" Red Vinyl, April 1993)
(Epic 659077 2, UK, Ltd Edition CD (Part 1), April 1993)
Tracks:
Slow Emotion Replay, Dogs Of Lust (Spermicide Mix), Dogs Of Lust (Germicide Mix), Dogs Of Lust (Squirmicide Mix)

(Epic 659077 5, UK, CD (Part 2), April 1993)
Tracks:
Slow Emotion Replay, Scenes From Arctic Twilight I-V

(Epic 659077 1, Austria, CD, April 1993)
Tracks:
Slow Emotion Replay, Dogs Of Lust (Spermicide Mix),

Love Is Stronger Than Death
(Epic 659371 2, UK, CD (Part 1), June 1993)
(Epic 659371 6, UK, 12", June 1993)
Tracks:
Love Is Stronger Than Death, The Sinking Feeling (Live), The Mercy Beat (Live), Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)(Live)

(Epic 659371 5, UK, Ltd Edition CD (Part 2), June 1993)
Tracks:
Love Is Stronger Than Death, Infected (New Version)(Live), Soul Mining (New Version)(Live), Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)(New Version) (Live)

Dis-Infected
(Epic 655796 6, UK, 12", January 1994)
(Epic 655796 8, UK, Cassette Single, January 1994)
(Epic 659811 2, UK, CD, January 1994)
Tracks:
That Was The Day, Dis-Infected, Helpline Operator (Sick Boy Mix), Dogs Of Lust (Germicide Mix)

(Epic ESCA 5911, Japan, CD, January 1994)
Tracks:
That Was The Day, Dis-Infected, Helpline Operator (Sick Boy Mix), Scenes From Arctic Twilight I-V, Infected (New Version)(Live), Soul Mining (New Version)(Live), Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)(New Version) (Live)

I Saw The Light
(Epic 661091 0, UK, 10”, January 1995)
(Epic 661091 2, UK, CD, January 1995)
(Epic 661091 4, UK, Cassette Single, January 1995)
Tracks:
I Saw The Light, I'm Free At Last, Someday You'll Call My Name, There's No Room In My Heart For The Blues

(Epic 661091 1, Austria, CD, January 1995)
Tracks:
I Saw The Light, Your Cheatin’ Heart

Interpretations: Issue 1 Shrunken Man
(Nothing 497273-2, UK, CD, April 2000)
Tracks:
ShrunkenMan (The The), ShrunkenMan (Daau), ShrunkenMan (John Parish), ShrunkenMan (Jim ‘Foetus’ Thirlwell)

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Geoffrey Bendorf
Jan 3, 2014 6:05pm

In reply to Geoffrey Bendorf:

I forgot to mention the promo only The The VS Hank; with has all of Hanky Panky with all of Hank's versions as well.

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Aaron
Apr 17, 2014 9:02pm

Wonderful write-up. Says what I've thought ever since I first discovered this album in the 80s. It influenced me greatly; one of my first recorded tunes was in essence an ode to Matt and Soul Mining, on the subject of desperate insomnia...

Soul Mining and Talk Talk's Spirit of Eden are my top albums of the era. With OMD's Dazzle Ships a close 3rd...

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jake bickerton
Apr 29, 2014 8:02am

Great review of a brilliant, brilliant album. Grew up with it, and rest of Matt Johnson's discography, and had huge impact on my teenage self. Anyway, small point of order... You reference the lack of chart success of This Is the Day, however, a re-recording of the track under the slightly different guise of That Was the Day made it in at reasonably impressive #17 in singles chart as the lead track off the Dis-Infected EP The The released in the late 90s. It even received quite a bit of radio plays at the time too. Cheers, Jake.

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