Articles / Reviews

Adrian Borland - Linernotes of Propaganda

date: Nov 12, 1999


Re-mixing these early 'Sound' recordings with Wally Brill was quite a strange experience. Listening to yourself twenty years ago (1979) can be quite unnerving, but distance lends objectivity. It would be easy to snub the Surrey meets Detroit sub-Iggy vocal that occasionally seems to possess the singer when Patti Smith isn't in control, sneer at the youthful angst of some of the lyrics, or wonder at the logic behind one-note Roxy Music-ish clarinet bursts. But it all had a naive earnest charm somehow (and what taste!).

Proof at last in these pre-Joy Division recordings (well we hadn't heard them yet) that Graham Green's plectrum bass aggressive style was his own, as was the block chord-sevenths guitar stabs and feedback soloing my preserve. A parallel life was had by all it seems. lan Curtis had yet to affect my vocals or outlook as he obviously did post - Unknown Pleasures. The Sound are here caught at a blurred moment of metamorphosis emerging from The Outsiders, with Adrian Janes vacating the drum stool for Michael Dudley not long after Bob Lawrence had also decided on a different career path, with Graham Bailey (Green) taking over on bass, bringing with him Bi Marshall and her clarinet and sax on occasional tracks. In fact the May sessions (Missiles, Deep Breath and No Salvation) probably were recorded by The Outsiders, the name change coming in the summer. Sessions would take place in the living room with various domestic fittings resonating as loudly as our quieter passages.

My father. Bob, operated the TEAC from a small box room, communications being shouted up and down a beige carpeted staircase. The oft-repeated words 'rolling' and 'cut' are thankfully omitted from these mixes. Unlike some musicians, I have always been enormously aided by both my parents in terms of encouragement and often sheer survival. So respect is due here for that, I reckon, and thanks. It was soon after this that we began recording 'Jeopardy' in Elephant Studios, the rough mixec of which landed us a deal with Korova thanks to the enterprise of Steve Budd and the support of Rob Dickins and Greg Penny at the Warncr based label. Adrian Janes continued to contribute lyrics which I spent many a long hour working into chords and melodies that engaged me, I guess we were the new wave Bernie Taupin / EIton John(!). This album would probably have never normally seen the light of day except for the interest and support of Richard Hermitage and Mick Griffiths, but as Wally and I were fond of saying when confronted with an unalterable recorded moment - it exists. 

Adrian Borland - 1999 

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