The Times – This Is London

This Is London

Attack of the Killer Track! is a series that explores tracks from artists from a variety of genres. Some of the tracks were singles, some of them were obscure b-sides or long forgotten album tracks. One thing is certain – all of them are killer tracks.

1983 saw The Times release their 3rd full length (though 2nd released) LP, This Is London (their 1st LP proper was held back and not released until 1985). Ed Ball fronted The Times through various guises, but the period immediately following his tenure as a founding member of the Television Personalities, O-Level, and Teenage Filmstars is my favorite. Hipsters and those in the know look towards The Jam for their daily fix of mod inspired punk rock – dig a little deeper and you’ll find that Ed Ball was a mod before Paul Weller was a mod. The Kinks as filtered through a punk rock delivery? Something like that. The title track presents a bleak picture of London, England – times changing, hope evaporating. The song has a mod punk vibe but is wrapped up in pop sensibilities making it one of the most memorable songs by The Times. Resignation and anger collide as Ball delivers these words “I’m walking in the streets of Battersea in search of happiness / But all I find is misery in this London borough mess / My very best friend deserted me for someone else today / She met a small time insurance broker / And they’ll be married by next May”. This is amazing stuff and it is fairly easy to find as most of the early records by The Times were reissued in 2007. You can’t go wrong starting out with this song and record.

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