I read an interview with Jools Holland. I was no fan of his big band, but I had always liked Squeeze, The Tube and occasionally someone good would be on his BBC2 tv programme. In the interview he mentioned he had played the piano on The The’s Uncertain Smile. I never knew.
The The was one of the worst names I had ever heard for a band, but I loved that single. To this day I have not heard a better piano solo on a song. Although I have read that some dislike it, that’s the joy of music, I guess. None of us are right or wrong.
Were the remaining songs on Soul Mining as good as Uncertain Smile, of course not, but they come bloody close.
I’ve Been Waitin’ For Tomorrow (All of My Life) begins with a countdown from ten before the drums and beats kick in and Matt Johnston launches into the song, what an opener, can it get better, of course. Some albums contain a classic, Soul Mining contains two, This is the Day, also a single and with a beautiful accordion should have been a huge hit but The The and singles did not seem to ignite the charts.
With space running out I am not dismissing the other four tracks, they are all sublime with the closer Giant taking us on a drum extravaganza of upbeat beats, an excellent close. This was Johnston’s second album but his first under his The The moniker. He became a major artist over the next few years and his legacy is still intact to this day.
GIVE IT A STREAM: Uncertain Smile