The Ultimate ultimate reissue, part of the Fire Embers reissue series. Delux mini gatefold CD sleeve, double CD version with sleeve notes from Henry Rollins. Praised by everyone from Phil Alexander at MOJO to good old Everett True!
"Seemingly typecast by the very title of the their wryly observed debut single, One Chord Wonders, The Adverts would take two and a half years to follow up their first album, Crossing The Red Sea With The Adverts. Yet the result stands only second to The Clash's London Calling in terms of illustrating just how adventurous punk rock could get.
Indicating their ambivalence toward punk orthodoxy, TV Smith, Gaye Advert and co hired producer Tom Newman, who'd helmed Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells. As if that wasn't controversial enough, the road-weary band repaired to the plush, un-punk surroundings of Manor Studios (the UK's first residential studios, then owned by Richard Branson) to begin recording. The result was staggeringly bold and confirmed TV Smith as one of the finest tunesmiths of the new wave.
The opening title track saw sweeping orchestral arrangements welded to the band's pop-punk sensibilities. Smith described the song as "intended to spoof The Adverts image: the little amateurish punk band - now with added grandiose piano, massed choirs and wild synthesizer!" And while The Adverts only had the dough to record four songs at The Manor, that wasn't their only indulgence (Television's Over actually included tubular bells).
Mercilessly slammed by fans and critics upon its release in October 1979, the failure of Cast Of Thousands sped the demise of The Adverts (lawsuits from ex-members and the elecrocution of manager Mike Dempsey didn't help) and they'd played their last show, at unglamorous Slough College, before the month was out. Today, however, the album sounds as fresh as anything recorded by The Libertines or Graham Coxon and remains a bold and beautifully frayed statement of intent"
"Bangs alive, it sounds incredible: articulate, melodic, sarcastic, nasty, challenging, full of fire and vigour and saliva and that killer drum sound. Way too smart for its good, of course. As I mentioned here, TV Smith was totally '77's most underrated lyricist. (I heard a solo album of his a couple of years back and he still sounds super-fine.)
Like many, I never fully appreciated The Adverts at the time, beyond the killer run of singles - it took me over a decade to catch up, and I'm catching up still. Would I be incorrect to thinking they were more akin to Television or Voidoids or Subway Sect then most of their two-chord peers? (Not that there was anything wrong with being a two-chord peer.)
The music press of the day loved them because bassist Gaye Advert wore a school tie and a leather jacket. It still strikes me as an odd reason"
released November 8, 2010
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