Sound, The – Propaganda

For a lot of 80’s wave I still have a weak spot, and in particular for The Sound. I can’t explain why, but their songs sound just as good and powerful as they did when I first heard them. It took some time, but lately some classic Sound albums have been released on cd, although their best one, “From the Lion’s Mouth”, is still not available. The cd “Propaganda” is pretty special, because the tracks haven’t been released before! This album was recorded in the summer of 1979, before their offical debut “Jeopardy”, but for some obscure reason it never saw the light. In 1999 it was finally remastered and released on cd, with nice, often humorous liner notes by singer Adrian Borland, shortly before his tragic suicide.

In 1979 the band had just changed its name from ‘The Outsiders’ and recorded these songs in the living room. Three tracks appeared later in altered version on their debut album. Although we hear a band in its early phase on these recordings, it is definitely a worthwile album! Raw and powerful, already with the strong, convincing emotions the band became known for. Although various influences can be heard (Borland himself mentions Iggy Pop, Patty Smith and Roxy Music, but they hadn’t heard Joy Division yet), the Sound already was on its way to create an own style and atmosphere. My favourite song is ‘Quarter Past Two’, a haunting track about loneliness: “I’m torn apart by self obsession / I need someone else to think about” (apparently 2.15 a.m. is the time most people die in their sleep).

artist: Sound, The
label: Renascent