120 Reasons To Live: The The

Nothing did more to further the cause of Alternative Nation-building than 120 Minutes, MTV’s Sunday-night video showcase of non-mainstream acts. For nearly two decades, the program spanned musical eras from ’80s college rock to ’00s indie, with grunge, Britpop, punk, industrial, electronica and more in between. MAGNET raids the vaults to resurrect our 120 favorite and unjustly forgotten videos from the show’s classic era.

#21: The The “Slow Emotion Replay”

Despite having a band name that looks creativity and identity in the face and sighs “I give up,” The The was actually an inspired and shockingly long-running outfit (the group debuted in London in 1979, opening for Scritti Politti) whose sole constant is singer Matt Johnson. A peculiarly soulful vocalist for a U.K. post-punk band, Johnson was the frontman but not the focus with 1993’s Dusk: He’d recruited ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr. Easily the best The The album, Dusk isn’t notable so much for Marr’s famously jangling guitar as his harmonica chops; “Dogs Of Lust” and “Slow Emotion Replay” are both carried by harmonica melodies, a relatively rare occurrence for alt-rock of its time. In a massive career misstep, Johnson followed up the success of Dusk with an album of Hank Williams covers entitled Hanky Panky.

Comments are closed.