Paula Yates said on The Tube in December 1986 to watch Channel Four during the week as The The were premiering their new album. All as videos.
I had just turned sixteen, listened to John Peel, bought NME, Melody Maker and Sounds depending on the front cover and, I thought, was an expert and already a musical snob on music. What sort of nonsense was this, a relatively unknown band doing a whole album of videos I would need to give this a watch.
I remember it was an excellent, sadly you cannot get the eight videos commercially, but several are available to watch on YouTube.
Johnson is confident from the off as the album storms into the title track Infected, harsh drums kick in as Johnson gets more irate and frantic with his vocals as the song storms along. All eight songs are well written and well-structured with the singles Heartland, stunning backing vocals and Slow Train To Dawn, a duet with Nena Cherry standing out.
Johnston is clearly the star here but he brought in a vast talent of musicians to bring his tunes to life and Sweet Bird of Truth is intense, and The Mercy Beat is a perfect way to finish an album, but this is a record to listen to all the way through and not miss a track. Matt Johnston was justified to make the videos, and someone somewhere needs to make them commercially available again and there is really no justification for not listening to this album.
GIVE IT A STREAM: Heartland