Album: single, 1989; Electronic (reissue), 1994
Justification: I still remember the first time I heard this – the dream supergroup of Johnny Marr from the Smiths, Bernard Sumner from New Order, with Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys (and, as it turned out, drums by David Palmer of ABC and strings arranged by the Art of Noise’s breakthrough genius Anne Dudley). I mean, it was basically like a bunch of my record collection had melted together.
It’s also the best thing they did. Most of the first album’s pretty great, but the drop off is abysmal after that (1994’s Raise the Pressure is notable for Sumner writing the lyrics while dosing himself on Prozac, which made them even more godawful than usual) – and I didn’t know this at the time, but the lyrics to ‘Getting Away With It’ were Tennant and Sumner taking the piss out of Marr by writing as Morrissey-like stanzas as they could (“I’m walking in the rain just to get wet on purpose”, ‘However I look it’s clear to see / I love you more than you love me” – genius!).
The initial band didn’t last long – proper duties interfered, with Marr joining The The and Sumner with New Order, and Tennant never returned after the first album. They did two more discs, but all the important stuff’s on the first one.
I kinda wish this was the only thing they did. Then they would have been perfect.
SONG YOU SHOULD HAVE REDISCOVERED THIS TIME IN 2010: The weird, sad story of Phil Judd and the coulda-been-huge Schnell Fenster, via their magnificent ‘Whisper’.
AND HERE’S THE LAST FIVE…