I have been meaning to write a thousand words to tell everyone about our latest release incidently called “I Would Write A Thousand Words”, the second installment of the Television Personalities tribute series – but I just never find the time – so this will have to do for the moment.
The track listing is going to be:
1. The Shambles – If I Could Write Poetry
2. Summer Factory – Look Back In Anger
3. Semion – The Prettiest Girl In The World
4. The Cult 45’s – Silly Girl
5. Pacific Radio – This Time There’s No Happy Ending
6. The Groovy Cellar – Say You Won’t Cry
7. Superszar – There’s A Cloud Over Liverpool
8. Thy Surfyn Eyes – La Grande Illusion
9. The Airwaves – Part Time Punks
10. The Mandervilles – Where’s Bill Grundy Now? (Slow Mix)
11. Swell Maps – 14th Floor
12. The Paisley Shirts – The Dream Inspires
13. The Loch Ness Mouse – Favorite Films
14. Jonathan Caws-Elwitt – Geoffrey Ingram
15. The NoMen – Mysterious Ways
16. Phil Wilson – God Snaps His Finger
17. Pub Fiction – Three Wishes
18. BMX Bandits – Girl At The Bus Stop
19. The Legend! – Look Back In Anger
20. Nikki Sudden – If I could Write Poetry
It will be a beautifully packaged artifact with liner notes by Bart Mendoza talking about his meeting with Nikki Sudden and the love of the TVP’s that they share – even covering the same song, but I will let you read the rest yourselves.
When the Canadian imprint Beautiful Music set out to release a series of tribute albums devoted to a single visionary band, well, the idea was bound to catch some audiophile’s ear. But when the band in question is the ultra-influential Television Personalities — listen up, indie kids — the project suddenly shoots up to must-hear status.
Formed by songwriting wonder Dan Treacy in 1977, The Television Personalities were quickly embraced by BBC mouthpiece John Peel, and proceeded to leave an indelible mark on the London music scene with a sound that stretched from punk to soul, mod to psychedelia. Though TVP earned some attention with songs like “Part-Time Punks” and “I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives,” legions of rare gems preceded and followed those mix tape faves. And that seemed reason enough for super fan Wally Salem to begin crafting this extensive project – hand-picking songs and submissions from artists who were clamoring to cover them. The first foray into a TVP tribute collection, subtitled If I Could Write Poetry, appeared in 2005.
Now Beautiful Music unleashes Vol. 2 in the ambitious series. I Could Write A Thousand Words delves deep into the pages of pop history to offer up a charming selection of 20 songs covered by as many artists. “Part-Time Punks” makes an appearance, as interpreted by The Airwaves, as does TVP’s blues-infused first single, “14th Floor,” as performed by Swell Maps. (Richard Earl is on vocals for that one; Nikki Sudden appears later with a demo-type recording of “If I Could Write Poetry.” His brother Epic Soundtracks appears on drums on the track.)
The comp also dishes out the bashful shimmy of “The Prettiest Girl in The World,” re-envisioned by UK indie-poppers Semion, and The Cult 45’s offer up a spacy version of “Silly Girl.” A final highlight: Jonathan Caws-Elwitt’s rendition of “Geoffrey Ingram.” While the set is largely a UK indie pop affair, it’s not so much about one’s recognition of these bands on their own as it is their interpretations of the Television Personalities material, and in that respect, they nail it. Even the least creatively-inclined listener might well be inspired to write a sonnett or dedicate a few stanzas to this positively inspired collection.
– Ava Dial