Monday, 19 December 2016

Psychic TV - Dreams Less Sweet (1983)

Should probably use this week for posting anything Christmassy that I have... no matter how tangential...  What's that song that goes 'Santa Claus is checking his list, going over it twice; to see who is naughty and who is nice'?  Oh yeah, it's Psychic TV.  Any excuse to post the greatest stone-cold (yup, bits of it were recorded in a cave) classic of the post-industrial 80s, Coil notwithstanding - and of course, the core Coil duo were still in the PTV fold at this point, making for an unbeatable supergroup.

I remember listening to White Nights for ages before finding out where that refrain quoted above comes from - it was taught to the children of Jonestown to instill paranoia by the Reverend Jim himself, and all the other lyrics were taken from his horrific final address.  Aside from a cherubic choral rendition of a Manson Family ditty, this was the darkest, and perversely most melodic depths that were plumbed on what was once brilliantly described as 'the Sgt. Pepper of icky music' - wish I could remember what magazine I read that in - and the rest is pretty listenable and accessible stuff considering the roll call of contributors. 

Based around oboe and Reichian marimba, The Orchids is simply gorgeous, one of my favourite songs of all time, and a good chunk of Dreams Less Sweet is the most musically ambitious stuff GPO ever put his mind to - aided in no small part by arranger Andrew Poppy.  19 tracks, many of them fascinating little fragments, zip by in a tight, coherent 43 minutes, and remain a huge high-watermark in the post-TG fallout and in dark, twisted 'England's Hidden Reverse' creepiness in general.  Essential alchemical musick.

A civilization that knows no honour, that knows no respect, that knows not its desires or true meaning; a lie within a lie within a lie


  1. ha nice one. love to revisit this album. Califone did an interesting version of The Orchid, magical song!

  2. A total classic that I lost long ago. Thanks for the link!