Television Personalities

A crass meeting of 60s pastiche and a tongue-in-cheek nod towards punk have characterized Dan Treacy’s Television Personalities over their long, erratic career. Treacy teamed up with Edward Ball (b. 23 November 1959, Chelsea, London, England) back in 1977, releasing the privately pressed “14th Floor” the following year. After Ball’s solo single as O Level, the pair issued what was to be seen as a pivotal artefact of the time, the EP Where’s Bill Grundy Now? (1978). BBC disc jockey John Peel latched onto one of the tracks, “Part Time Punks” (a cruel send-up of a rapidly decaying London scene), and this exposure attracted the interest of Rough Trade Records.

Ball spent some time working on his solo projects in the early 80s, the Teenage Filmstars and the Times. Treacy, Ball and drummer Mark “Empire’ Sheppard recorded the Television Personalities” debut album, ” And Don’t The Kids Just Love It, which extended Treacy’s exploration of 60s influences. From it came the whimsical ‘I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives” as a single, the band’s last for Rough Trade.

Treacy then teamed up with Ed Ball to form the Whaam! label for Television Personalities and Times products plus other signings, including the Marine Girls.

1982, the band’s busiest recording year, saw Mummy You’re Not Watching Me share the instant appeal of their debut. “Three Wishes” followed, and coincided with a minor psychedelic revival in London. They Could Have Been Bigger Than The Beatles was a surprisingly strong collection of demos and out-takes.

The Television Personalities soon expanded by Mark Flunder (bass), Dave Musker (organ) and Joe Foster (12-string guitar) for a tour of Italy, with Flunder replaced by ex-Swell Maps bass player Jowe Head for a similar tour of Germany. “A Sense Of Belonging” (1983) saw a one-off return to Rough Trade and caused a minor scandal over its sleeve. However, delays meant that The Painted Word was not issued until January 1985.

Foster, who had played with the band on and off since 1980, and Musker soon left to work at Creation Records. With a new drummer, Jeff Bloom, Treacy set up a new label, after Whaam! folded due to pressure from pop duo Wham!

In the meantime, the German album Chocolat-Art captured one of their European live gigs. It was not until early 1990 that the next album emerged; Privilege included the catchy “Salvador Dali’s Garden Party’.

The band subsequently lay low for a further two years (punctuated by a live album for Overground Records) until the release of Closer To God. Struggling with personal problems, Treacy did not record again until 1995″s melodic I Was A Mod Before You Was A Mod.

Ball signed with Creation as a solo artist and had his first hit in 1997 with “Love Is Blue”. The most recent Television Personalities album Don’t Cry Baby ” It’s Only A Movie collected cover versions and original material recorded in 1994/95.

Web Site: www.televisionpersonalities.co.uk/

  • You, Me & Lou Reed
  • My Imaginary Friend
  • I Remember Bridget Riley
  • I Wish You Could Love Me For What I Am
  • In Your Beautiful Despair
  • A Secret Hideaway
  • Beyond My Wildest Dreams
  • She Has To Make A Drama Out Of Everything
  • An Ex-Tequila Drinker
  • As John Belushi Said
  • I Was A Mod Before You Was A Mod
  • Evan Doesn’t Ring Me Anymore
  • A Stranger To Myself
  • Little Woody Allen
  • A Long Time Ago
  • Haunted
  • I Can See My Whole World Crashing Down
  • Something Just Flew Over My Head
  • Everything She Touches Turns To Gold
  • When I Grow Up I Want To Be
  • She Lives For The Moment
  • Now That I’m A Junkie
  • How Does It Feel To Be Loved?
  • I Get Frightened Too?
  • He Used To Paint In Colours
  • I Suppose You Think It’s Funny?
  • Jennifer, Julie & Josephine
  • Do You Think If You Were Beautiful You’d (…)
  • Who Will Be Your Prince?
  • I Know Perfectly Well
  • I’ll Cry Tomorrow
  • None Of This Will Matter When You’re Dead
  • Always The Bridesmaid
  • How Was I To Know?
  • The Boy Who Couldn’t Stop Dreaming
  • Away Day To Brighton
  • God’s Got A Grudge On Me
  • Hello Edward
  • I Don’t Know What To Say
  • Girl On A Motorcycle
  • Magic Playground
  • Red And Purple Flashes
  • It Had To Happen
  • I Can’t Climb This Mountain
  • She Loves Me She Loves Me Not
  • What Time Is The Soup?
  • Maybe I Do
  • 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her
  • I Don’t Know What She Ever Saw In Him
  • When I Grow Up
  • Things Have Changed Since I Was A Girl
  • Take Me To Your Dealer
  • Fields Of Broken Glass
  • Don’t Cry Baby, It’s Only A Movie
  • I Will Never Love Again
  • Angels Don’t Tell Tales
  • Give Me The Gun
  • I’ll Walk In Your Footsteps
  • A Minor Heart Attack
  • A Cloudy Sky
  • Give Me The Ring Back
  • 3 Hail Marys And 7 Hare Krishnas
  • The Billy Liars
  • Dreams Of Leaving
  • If I’m Holding You Back
  • Too Many Ghosts In This Town
  • Girl On A Train, Crying
  • I Can’t Begin To Imagine
  • Falling For You
  • You’ve Got Me (Where You Want Me)
  • Babyland
  • When Will I Get Mine?
  • Pretty Fucking Far From O.K.?
  • You’ll Do For Me
  • Another Rainy Day In Manchester
  • He Thinks He’s Jarvis Cocker
  • Candyfloss, Sweeties And Pop
  • My Very First Nervous Breakdown
  • Are We Nearly There Yet?
  • The Peter Gabriel Song
  • The Eminem Song
  • I Get Scared When I Dont Know Where You Are
  • I See Dead People
  • Coltrane’s Ghost
  • All The Midnight Cowboys
  • All The King’s Horses
  • You Are Loved
  • It’s All About The Girl
  • The Good Anarchist
  • She’s Always Been There For Me
  • A Glimpse Of My Genius
  • The Radiohead Song
  • Two Or Three Things I Know About Him
  • Twenty Two On The Twos
  • People Think That We’re Strange
  • My New Tattoo
  • All The Things You Are
  • Funny He Never Married