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The Times - This Is London

(Vinyl LP + CD)

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Item: LDT12569

Lost, Found & Great: Obscure Pop Gems Of The Past is the title of a series under which Tapete Records sporadically re-releases brilliant, but hard-to-get or even out-of-print pop albums. The next installment includes The Times' legendary albums This Is London and Go! With The Times which were originally released in 1983 and 1985 respectively.

More than four decades on, with yet another round of punk anniversaries safely behind us, here's a chance to remind ourselves that not everyone believed or indeed peddled the myth of the Year Zero. Maybe that's because they were young enough not to have to prove their youth. A good three years junior to Johnny Rotten and six years to Joe Strummer, Edward Ball had spent his '60s childhood equally entranced by the Beatles and The Prisoner. And while the promises of a popular culture infused with fresh art school ideas had gone stale by the '70s, a teenage Ball would recognize the dawning of an independent DIY culture as a chance to rekindle them in a brand new way.

To do so he had to bypass the corporate machine, then otherwise busy selling the Year Zero narrative to a gullible media, and set out on an unbeaten path that would soon converge with the leftmost edges of the nascent mod revival. Having formed his first band O-Level in 1976, Ball found a kindred spirit in schoolfriend Daniel Treacy. For a while their bands Television Personalities (fronted by Treacy) and Teenage Filmstars (fronted by Ball) existed in tandem until the latter morphed into The Times. Following a legal dispute around the name of their DIY label Whaam!, Ball launched his band's very own Artpop! imprint.

Having released six Times LPs between 1982 and 1986, by the end of the decade Ball reemerged on Alan McGee's Creation Records, delving into electronic psychedelia. Some time later, Ball would return to writing observational pop songs as a member of the Mill Hill Self Hate Club. Here then is that rarest of things: British guitar pop history without baggage. Because only the best went with The Times back in the early eighties.

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