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Biography

  • Years Active

    1978 – present (41 years)

  • Founded In

    London, England, United Kingdom

  • Members

    • Daniel Treacy
    • Edward Ball
    • Joe Foster
    • Jowe Head (1984 – 1994)
    • Sexton Ming

The Television Personalities are an English group with a varying line up. The only constant member is singer/songwriter Dan Treacy.

Their first release (January 1978) was the single "14th Floor / Oxford Street W1". Their second release, the EP Where's Bill Grundy Now? features one of their best-known songs, "Part Time Punks".

The Television Personalities' first album And Don't the Kids Just Love It was released in 1981. It set the template for their subsequent career: neo-psychedelia, an obsession with youth culture of the 1960s, a fey, slightly camp lyrical attitude, and the occasional classic pop song. Their second album Mummy Your Not Watching Me demonstrated increased psychedelic influences. Their third album, ironically entitled They Could Have Been Bigger Than The Beatles showed Treacy's sense of irony: the TVPs (as they are affectionately known) were never to have any major commercial success. The first three albums featured Treacy and schoolmate Ed Ball; Ball left the band to found The Times, but rejoined in 2004.

The 1985 album The Painted Word was unexpectedly dark in content, reflecting Treacy's despair at Thatcherite Britain and his personal circumstances.

Various line up changes prevented their next album (Privilege) from appearing until 1990. Their next album Closer to God was a combination of fey sixties style pop and darker material, similar in tone to The Painted Word.

The album Don't Cry Baby, It's Only a Movie was released in 1998. Since then Treacy has battled mental health problems, and his addictions to heroin, amphetamine and alcohol. He has been homeless on various occasions and was briefly arrested and imprisoned in 2003/2004. However, since his release, Treacy has attempted to get his life back together and in February 2006 a new TVPs album My Dark Places was released. Despite their small sales the TVPs were very influential on British music in the 1980s, especially the so-called C86 generation and many of the bands on Creation Records.

In an article in The Guardian on April 24 2006, it was implied that Dan Treacy is in some way behind the Arctic Monkeys, although this is based on little more than a perceived similarity between their lyrical style and that of Treacy, and the fact that the lead singer of Arctic Monkeys is mysteriously not credited with their songwriting.

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