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Immortal Rich

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Album Review

Two straight albums by "immortal" ex-Adverts leader TV Smith released in the U.S.! This reflects the new commercial interest in punk's founders. The Adverts' two punk classics, the incredible Crossing the Red Sea (1978) and Cast of Thousands (1979), were both imports, and only one of his first three solo LPs found a home here. Now Smith is championed by Henry Rollins via 2.13.61, and it's high time for a reversal of that sorry trend, since Smith has never lost his songwriting touch. The Griffin release of his late-'80s work with Cheap, RIP...Everything Must Go!, was hard stuff, but with Immortal Rich, he returns to the acoustic-flavored pop he's mined since 1982's obscure, great Channel Five. Hooks seem to pour out of his fingers the way Guinness foams out of a tap, and the passion has not left his thick, familiar voice. After two decades, it's inconceivable that Smith will ever lose his burning social conscience or the lyrical snap first heard in the brilliant "Gary Gilmour's Eyes," "New Church," and "Television's Over." It still sparkles here on "Walk the Plank," "We Want the Road," and the title track. Shine on, you caustic diamond. The world needs someone to decry its bullsh*t and its ingrained, accepted injustices.


Born: Devon, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s

With TV Smith's Explorers having imploded in late 1981 and the success of the Adverts receding further into the past, TV Smith launched his solo career in early 1982, cutting a single, "Burning Rain," with Rondelet labelmates the Nervous Germans. Label politics conspired against the release actually taking place, but the new year saw Smith convene fresh sessions with guitarist Tim Renwick and ex-Adverts keyboard player Tim Cross. Channel Five, Smith's first solo album, duly appeared in spring 1983...
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Immortal Rich, TV Smith
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