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Out Of The Blue (Into The Fire)

This is the The The song that the Spaceape slid into during last night’s gig.

This is from the album INFECTED. In fact, this video is from the “video album” for INFECTED — they shot a video for every track on the album and released it as a videotape, the first time this had been done (at least by a mainstream recording artist). I used to have it. INFECTED was an interesting album not only for its frank anti-American bent, which you didn’t see much of in the pop charts of 1986, but because it was a clear breakpoint for Matt Johnson. The troubled romantic balladeer of “Uncertain Smile” can be clearly seen to go stark raving mad on INFECTED, and he was never the same afterwards.

I’m tempted to link half the album: “Heartland” is a swaggering excoriation of British life of the period, “Angels Of Deception” has a beautiful refrain, and “Slow Train To Dawn” is a poisonous duet with Neneh Cherry.

Anyway. This was the cover. And I loved this album in 1986. It reminds me of the pure philosophical hate only a teenager can really summon, and of walking to my girlfriend’s house with a cheap Walkman-knockoff on…

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  1. jwz jwz

    Fantastic album, both versions. I found a decent-quality torrent of the Infected video not too long ago. (Well, decent for a release that predated DVD, anyway. I don’t think there was ever an LD release of that.)

  2. I wore out the VHS and the tape I had of that album. I got the re-issued CD a little while ago – its still great!

    “Out of the Blue” and “Sweet Bird of Truth” are the outstanding tracks for me.

  3. This and SOUL MINING were the classics, but I haven’t loved too much of what he’s done since. MIND BOMB just didn’t feel like it was written by a musical genius, apart from the scarily prophetic ARMAGEDDON DAYS, also available on YouTube.

    I still have the VHS of INFECTED. Everytime I go into HMV I have a quick glance over the music DVDs section to see if it’s been released. Well if the CDs got that treatment there’s a good chance the DVD will.

    I’ve also heard a great edit of GIANT by Pilooski (which you should be able to find on Google).

  4. Matt C. Matt C.

    I agree on the quality of INFECTED. It really is the go-to album for The The. Although I would argue that his first solo album is a better study of what he was trying to get up to back then. I saw on Amazon there is a new album ‘Horizon Line’ not certain if it is the same Matt Johnson. It’s not an uncommon joining of names.

    It would be cool if the brother came back. I’m one of the few that kinda liked ‘Mind Bomb’.

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