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The The


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London, England (1979 – present)

The The is an alternative/new wave band formed in 1979 in London, England. Matt Johnson (vocals, multiple instruments) is the only constant band member. Releases are fairly few and far between but over the years The The has managed to sell several million albums internationally.

Johnson formed the first version of the band in 1979, with synth player Keith Laws. The group, after opening for Scritti Politti, issued its first single “Controversial Subject” on the 4AD label in 1980. One year later, it contributed a track to the Some Bizzare Records compilation album, Some Bizarre Album. In 1981 Johnson released Burning Blue Soul, which, despite the fact that it is technically a Matt Johnson solo album (and was released under his name) is often considered to be the first The The album. The album featured Johnson and various musicians from the British underground, including various members of Wire.

By 1982, The The had become Johnson’s solo project, with a revolving lineup of musicians. That year, the album The Pornography of Despair was recorded, but not released. In 1983, the band released its first real album Soul Mining, which featured the single “This Is the Day,” recorded with Orange Juice’s Zeke Manyika, pianist Jools Holland and cult legend Thomas Leer. The band’s next album, Infected, was a commentary on the state of modern urban life in Great Britain. The album was released in 1986, with Johnson joined by musicians like Neneh Cherry, Art of Noise’s Anne Dudley, Marillion’s Steve Hogarth, and SwansRoli Mosimann, among others. It was accompanied by an album-length video and spawned The The’s first UK hit single, “Heartland”.


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  • chasterose

    Soul Mining is addictive

    9 Aug 6:01pm Reply
  • polymorphous71

    That's true noisesavvy. However, what I have always craved is a full on collaborative effort on a whole album; like Thirlwell and Mosiman's Wiseblood project. Jim played marimba on 'Flesh and Bones' too.

    27 Jun 10:06am Reply
  • polymorphous71

    27 Jun 10:04am Reply
  • noisesavvy

    Johnson already teamed up with Thirlwell on Soul Mining. He helped produce it, specifically the track "Giant". I believe he also played drums on it.

    15 May 4:10pm Reply
  • expeditopaz

    Soul Mining, what a great album!

    2 Apr 5:24am Reply
  • marjo47

    Good song. thanks Hannes!

    25 Mar 3:12pm Reply
  • gleisdreieck

    wow !!!!!

    24 Mar 3:40pm Reply
  • HaHaHaYoureDead

    интеллектуал, но хреново понимающим на языке, ловить там нечего. ну и конечно все сессионные музыканты на его альбомах - от клавишника squeeze до джонни марра, выше всех похвал

    23 Feb 4:22pm Reply
  • Rebel-Timelord

    It's only been 14 years since the last proper studio album, any chance Matt?

    3 Feb 9:08pm Reply
  • Joana37

    Soul Mining is definitely the best synth-pop album ever. Probably the best album of the 80s, at least from the UK

    16 Dec 2013 Reply
  • Cylob

    Soul Mining is the best album of all time. Discuss.

    18 Nov 2013 Reply
  • aFonderReel

    The Beat(en) Generation. This song won't leave my head.

    17 Oct 2013 Reply
  • gambero68

    è sempre un piacere ascoltarli...............

    13 Oct 2013 Reply
  • ekesner

    If there's a better songwriter I'm not aware of them? Matt Johnson is a goddamn genius!

    15 Sep 2013 Reply
  • android1985

    V THIS.

    10 Aug 2013 Reply
  • honkynut

    Brilliant, accessible & catchy stuff. Why did it take me 20 odd years to discover Matt Johnson? It's pop with a thoughtful edge, that's too hard for most sheep to swallow.

    30 Jul 2013 Reply
  • alvessergio

    After almost 20 years without listening to The The, I am listening to it now, and remembering how great it is! Actually The The sounds better now then it did when I was young.

    1 Jun 2013 Reply
  • funkmetalDK

    I had forgotten, how much I likeThe The!!!!!!! [3]

    27 Mar 2013 Reply
  • KunstMachtSinn

    Music + texts = brilliant. That's the stuff of Matt Johnson.

    30 Jan 2013 Reply
  • chocolatnoir23

    I had forgotten, how much I likeThe The!!!!!!! [2]

    24 Dec 2012 Reply
  • All 308 shouts