Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Times - Pop Goes Art (1981)

The first release on Whaam! records (a label headed by the Television Personalities' Dan Treacy), Pop Goes Art! is basically a Television Personalities album with Treacy and his longtime cohort Ed Ball trading roles: Ball is the singer and songwriter, and Treacy just plays guitar and bass. The amateurish cover (the original LP cover was a simple white jacket with a design silkscreened on the front and a small piece of paper glued on the back listing the song titles) and no-budget production can't hide the wit and inventiveness of Ball's take on Carnaby Street-era pop. Besides two immediate classics, "Miss London" and the brilliant "I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape" (a song Ball would record several more times in the '80s), the album includes the B-side of Times' first single, "Biff! Bang! Pow!" - not the song by Ball's freakbeat heroes the Creation, but an homage to that band using the same title - and the eight-minute psychedelic closer "This Is Tomorrow," featuring the sort of droning plane-crash guitar that would figure into the next couple of Television Personalities records. Pop Goes Art! is a completely ingenuous record with no agenda, other than the re-creation of one of Ball's favorite musical eras.
(Stewart Mason / allmusic guide)

- Picture Gallery
- Biff! Bang! Pow!
- It's Time!
- If Now Is the Answer
- A New Arrangement
- Looking at the World Through Dark Shades
- I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape
- Pop Goes Art! (Melody in Mono)
- Miss London
- The Sun Never Sets
- Easy As Pie
- This Is Tomorrow...

Edward Ball (vcls, gtr, bs, keyb'ds) [ABCDEFGHI]
Daniel Treacy (gtr) [B]
John East (bs, vcls) [ABCD]
Paul Damien (drms, vcls) [ABCD]
Ray Kent (organ) [C]
Keith Allen (drms, vcls) [D]
Paul Mulreany (drms, gtr, vcls) [EHI]
Jowe Head (bs) [E]
Richard Green (gtr) [E]
Paul Heeren (gtr, vcls) [FHI]
The Shed (bs) [H]
Jan Stevens (vcls) [HI]
Nick Heyward (bs) [I]

Band origin:

 1. (B) Pop Goes Art! (Whaam! LP 01) 1982
 2. (C) This Is London (ArtPop ART 19) 1983
 3. ( ) Hello Europe (ArtPop ART 17) 1984
 4. (A) Go! With The Times (ArtPop ART 21) 1985
 5. (D) Enjoy (ArtPop ART 15) 1986
 6. ( ) Up Against It (ArtPop ART 16) 1986
 7. (E) Beat Torture (Creation CRELP 038) 1988
 8. (F) E for Edward (Creation CRELP 053) 1989
 9. (F) Et Dieu créa la femme (Creation CRELP 070) 1990
10. (G) Pure (Creation CRELP 091) 1991
11. (H) At the Astradome Lunaville
    (Creation CRELP 123) 1992
12. (I) Alternative Commercial Crossover
    (Creation CRELP 137) 1993
13. ( ) Sad But True (Rev-Ola CREV055CD) 1997
14. ( ) Pirate Playlist '66 (Creation CRECD 222) 1999

[13. 1987 recordings]

1. Red With Purple Flashes/Biff! Bang! Pow!
   (Whaam! 002) 1981
2. Here Comes The Holidays (Voici Les Vacances)/
   Three Cheers For The Sun (Artpop POP 50) 1982
3. I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape/
   The Theme From "Dangerman" (ArtPop POP 49) 1982
4. Blue Fire/Where the Blue Begins (ArtPop POP 45) 1984
5. Boys Brigade/Power Is Forever (ArtPop POP 46) 1984
6. London Boys/(Where to Go) When the Sun Goes Down
   (Unicorn PHZ-1) 1986
7. Manchester/Love and Truth (Creation CRE 71) 1990

[2. A-side as Joni Dee feat. The Times]

1. I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape [+ 5]
   (ArtPop No. 1) 1983
2. Blue Period [+ 4] (ArtPop No. 2) 1985
3. Boys About Town [+ 3] (ArtPop POP 43DOZ) 1985
4. Times TV [+ 4] (Fire BLAZE 16T) 1986)
5. Manchester [+ 2] (Creation CRE 71T) 1990
6. Lundi Bleu [+ 7] (Creation CRE 114T) 1992
7. Finnegans Break [+ 3] (Creation CRE 158T) 1993

Link removed. A re-issue is available

Listen to Looking at the World Through Dark Shades


Anonymous said...

Thankx for this unknow record for me. Congratulations for the blog.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Beautiful records.

edward ball said...


My name is Edward Ball of The Times - composer, performer and copyright owner of Pop Goes Art! which you have posted here.

I Felt I should write to you first. While it's very flattering to find my music on your blog, I'd be grateful if you would remove these as they are currently part of an Artpop! / Cherry Red reissues programme.

Thank you

Edward Ball.

djbethell said...

Sweet! Thanks. Anyone got the Pure album? It's my fave! D x

Anonymous said...


kaplan said...

if people want some Times album, look no further...

& I still wonder why some blogger guys are afraid of someone asking 'em to remove their is a mystery

Psychedalex said...

Anonymous and Kaplan: You want the music, but fuck up the artist? I don't understand it! Support them and don't discredit them! You can buy the mp3 very cheap at for example!

djbethell said...

I can't exactly speak for Anonymous or Kaplan, but I can guess their situation is the same as mine.
I've already bought The Times albums years ago, but they are sadly on formats (records, cassettes) that I can no longer play. Are you suggesting we buy them again on yet another format that too, one day will become dated? How many times should we have to buy the same piece of music before we have a right to own it?

Anonymous said...

And all of this being said: the cd seems to be out-of-print too ..... or at least VERY hard to obtain (unless you want to make some eBay sellers rich)