This Is London

This Is London

by The TimesThe Times


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Recorded after Ed Ball had left the Television Personalities (he and TVPs leader Dan Treacy had recorded together under a variety of names since 1977; the first Times album was recorded by the pair) and set up a mostly stable band on his own, 1983's This Is London is a far more assured and accomplished record than their charmingly ramshackle debut. Adding Ray Kent, a full-time keyboardist specializing in groovy Vox Continental organ sounds, Ball, bassist John East, and drummer Paul Damien straddle the line between 1966 Small Faces and 1967 Creation, with some Kinks and Who thrown in. The Carnaby Street era is clearly everpresent in Ball's mind, with lyrics and song titles deliberately evoking the days of Julie Christie and Terence Stamp. Ball is not entirely wrapped up in the past, however; "Whatever Happened to Thamesbeat?," a mocking ode to the short-lived mod revival scene in the manner of the Television Personalities' "Part Time Punks," is one of Ball's very best tunes. [The album was reissued in late 2006 and added unreleased tracks, alternate takes and two live recordings.]

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