Bombs Away Batman Issue 1 (1983)

Like 'Rubber Soul', 'Pop Goes Art', 'The Madcap Laughs' and a couple of others, this is one of those essential albums that you haven't lived until you've experienced. Since the TVP's have more or less fallen apart this is probably the last album from them although we can only hope Dan will continue undaunted. Every track on side one of this album is brilliant - the haunting single 'Three Wishes' starts it off followed by 'David Hockney's Diaries' a different (and much better) version from the one on 'Mummy You're Not Watching Me'. 'In A Perfumed Garden' is what the Beatles might have made the anthem of '67 if they hadn't written 'All You Need Is Love' and is a wonderful, soaring hymn to optimism. The Paris-on-a-cool-summer-evening sound of the instrumental 'Flowers for Abigail' is followed by the angry, searing 'King And Country' with its feedback guitar and venemous lyrics. My favourite song on the album is 'The Boy In The Paisley Shirt', Dan's lament for the doomed psychedelic scene of '81 '82. Ending the side is 'Games for Boys', a quirky attack on the sexual roles imposed on children.
Side two is a bit more patchy but the stand out tracks are a version of the Creation's 'Painter Man', (in many ways better than the original), the first TVP's single '14th Floor', the desperate 'Anxiety Block' and 'Mysterious Ways' an amazing, traumatic account of coming to terms with the blind workings of the universe.
The production is a lot better too. It often seems as though Dan is embarrassed at the sound of his own voice and smothers it under gooey reverb but here it's clearer and stronger and all the better for it. I get really frustrated when I think of the amount of potential number one singles the TVP's have produced and had ignored in favour of the abject shit that clogs up the charts just now. How many times does it have to be said, 'Buy these records now!' Before it's all history.
Bombs Away Batman issue 1 'Bombs Away Batman' was written by Grant Morrison (of The Mixers), in East Kilbride, Scotland. Thanks to Tom Rafferty of The Primevals for the info.

Thanks to Chris Davidson for the loan of this item.
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