Got another left of the dial 80s classic today, Infected by The The. Taken from the eponymous album, Infected saw The The’s Matt Johnson taking his earlier penchant for pop, and lyrical angst during his Burning Blue Soul and Soul Mining years, and using it to file his teeth into something darker. Though the idea of concept albums were almost a decade dead and buried at that point Infected‘s disparate yet extremely cohesive tracks about lust, war and “America” (as an ominous entity. A big thing during the 80s.) was about as close to any post punk/new wave idea of a King Crimson double gatefold as you’d likely get. Blowing open the doors of that album was the first and title track, Infected, a loud, shouty , energetic affair that left no doubt that this was Matt 3.0.
Surprisingly The The got big but never massive, despite the successes of his duet alums like Neneh Cherry and Sinead O’Connor. However seeing Johnny Marr jump ship from The Smiths into Johnson’s entourage (for Mind Bomb) pretty much speaks volumes about musical reputation and respect.
Which leaves us with today’s lone, but brilliant, cover by David Shaw and The Beat. Shaw’s soulful electro-disco version manages to slow down Infected‘s tempo without out losing a shrapnel of it’s original infectious vitality. Easy to see why this guy has a shelf of accolades from the likes Black Strobe, Shit Robot and Optimo and other electro-crats.
PS For those in Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub who didn’t catch it the first time around, original Infected is on the wall. Expose yourself.