I was 19 when I first heard The The’s Soul Mining; it was a big album in my social circle.  It was a thoughtful, deep, somewhat downcast yet emotionally buoyant album that resonated with all of us.  It was a thinkers’ album and today, on the eve of the 30th anniversary of its initial release, it still is.  Matt Johnson, the mind behind The The, gave us all a musical gift for eternity and it’s fitting that the folks at Sony Legacy should want to re-visit it with a special edition.

What you get:  the original album with original artwork (there were some variations on the cover art) on 180 gram vinyl (granted, I’m not any kind of audiophile, but it is a nice element) and a second album of 12″ remixes (how essential they became in the ’80’s).  While the remixes are nice, and at times fun to listen, it’s the proper version of Soul Mining I want to re-sink my teeth into.

“Uncertain Smile”, with its (now-signature) opening was the first song that became familiar to me; if memory serves, it was the theme song for WLIR Radio’s “Off The Boat” program in ’84, ’85.  “This Is The Day” (possibly the most well-known song) was an early favorite, having seen the video on a local, experimental over-the-air video station (no, not U68 – this was about 6 months before U68 began broadcasting).  The track that had the most impact on my friends and subsequently the one I heard most often was “I’ve Been Waitin’ For Tomorrow (All Of My Life)” – a sharply personal track that still makes me remember that period of my life.  “Giant” was the other stamped-in-memory piece – after re-listening to this album, I am mired in a state of sweet nostalgia.

If you aren’t familiar with The The or Soul Mining, I have the simple directive of saying “do yourself a favor and get this – in whatever version you can, but get it”.  This is essential listening in any era and this very special edition makes the memory even sweeter now.



About the Author

Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?

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