Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Action Time Vision...The Story of Alternative TV...Show # 309

Formed in 1976 by Mark Perry, who was know for creating the Punk fanzine Sniffin' Glue, Alternative TV (or ATV) featured Perry on vocals, Mickey Smith on bass, John Towe (previous drummer for Generation X) on drums, and Alex Fergusson on guitar. Based in England, the band began rehearsing at Throbbing Gristles Hackney Studio. In May of 1977, the band began playing gigs. They would be known for having many line up changes through out their career, the first was when Mickey Smith was replaced by Tyrone Thomas (who was in a previous band with Perry The New Beatles). Towe would quit after six gigs and was replaced by Chris Bennet on drums. Alternative TV's first single was "Love Lies Limp" it was released as a free flexi-disc that came with the August 1977 issue of Sniffin' Glue. The August issue would also be the very last edition of the Sniffin' Glue fanzine.  In December of 1977 ATV released the How Much Longer/You Bastard single. The song "How Much Longer" was a critique of youth based culture at the time.

The band released their debut album The Image Has Cracked in 1978. It was a combination of studio and live recorded material. The band continued to release singles such as "Life After Life" and "Action Time Vision". Most of these recordings featured John Towe on drums. The song "Life After Life" was actually a Dub influenced track. This song can be seen as one of the first examples of the bands future musical direction, which would involve experimentalism. By 1978 guitarist and main collaborator Alex Fergusson was no longer in the band. He would be replaced by Dennis Burns. The bands second album was more experimental, leaning towards a Throbbing Gristle influenced Avant-Garde style sound. Vibing Up The Senile Man (Part One) was released in 1978. By this point Mark Perry was the only original band member left in the band. The album turned many fans against ATV, but Perry decided to tour to support it. In 1979 Alternative TV called it quits.

While the story may seem to end there, it does not. Perry soon emerged with The Good Missionaries, a Avant-Garde based band that continued in the direction that ATV had started on their second album. In 1981, Perry, Burns and Fergusson reformed Alternative TV. The additional members of the band were filled by members of Fergussons band that he was involved with after leaving ATV, Cash Pussies. A Pop based album was released in the very same year entitled Strange Kicks. The band has reformed featuring several different line ups since then. In 1999, they reformed to celebrate the release of his 20th album. The band plays off and on and has made numerous other recordings.

The Play List:

1. Eli Paperboy Reed - Explosion
2. Seven Story Redhead - Shake It Out!
3. These United States - The Great Rivers
4. News - Angie
5. Bare Wires - Nice To Know You
6. REM - Auctioneer (Another Engine)(Demo)
7. The Famines - Got Lies If You Want Them
8. Flipper - Be Good,Child!
9. The Squires - I Wonder
10. Rip Chords - Bible Thump Funk
11. Pluto - Pretty Little Jacket
12. The Secrets - Rock Music
13. RPMS - I Don't Wanna Be Young
14. The Unicorns - I Was Born (A Unicorn)
15. Moderns - Got To Have Pop
16. The Jags - Dumb Blonde
17. Longport Buzz - Fun
18. The Biters - Hang Around
19. The Clocks - Confidentially Renee
20. Alternative TV - You Bastard
21. Alternative TV - Action Time Vision
22. XTC - Paper and Iron (Notes and Coins)
23. Boomtown Rats - She's So Modern
24. The Birthday Cakes - Mastermind
25. Sloan - 400 Metres
26. Pearl Jam - Leavin' Here

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for July 20th. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.


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