ARTIST: Alternative TV
TITLE: Action Time & Vision – the Very Best of Mark Perry & ATV 1977-1999
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Love Lies Limp, How Much Longer, Action Time & Vision, The Force Is Blind, Life
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Definitely not here.
LINEUP: Mark Perry and a rotating cast of characters after he basically fired everyone a year after starting the band.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Fanzine editor Mark Perry decides to show punk rockers how to do it, and starts a long career as an experimental music maker and gadfly commentator on the scene.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Sniffin’ Glue was a fanzine that was a must read in the UK in 1976 and 1977. It lasted just 12 issues but soon grew to a circulation of 15,000. Mark Perry, the instigator, decided he’d had enough writing and formed Alternative Television (ATV for short).
After releasing some punk records (and being one of the first to mix punk and reggae), and after basically firing everyone, Perry dove into a long career distinguished by side projects, changing lineups, and not caring about expectations. This makes this compilation interesting, challenging, and compelling.
He toned down a little bit as he got older and released a great song about the long lost space program “Apollo”. That’s relative, of course, as he’s still a bit combative and changes directions constantly. “Action, Time, & Vision” is an all-time classic track and you should give the others a listen, even if like me you exile a bunch.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: This has a solo record and songs by The Reflection and The Long Decline.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No, but you can get all of the original independent records that were released from 1977-1980. Mind you, that’s a MUCH bumpier ride than this compilation.
GRADE: B+ – There’s a lot of…interesting stuff that doesn’t quite work in my ears, but “Action, Time, Vision” is an ALL TIME track.