Alternative TV – The Image has Cracked:

Alternative TV (sometimes known as ATV) were an English rock band, formed in London in 1976. Their punk rock and post-punk sound was influential for several musical artists.

01 Alternatives

02 Action Time Vision

03 Why Don’t You Do Me Right?

04 Good Times

05 Still Life

06 Viva La Rock’n’Roll

07 Nasty Little Lonely

08 Red

09 Splitting In Two

bonus tracks:

10 Love Lies Limp

11 Life

12 How Much Longer?

13 You Bastard

14 Another Coke

15 Life After Life

16 Life After Dub

17 The Force Is Blind

18 Lost In a Room

19 How Much Longer? (Diff. Version)

20 You Bastard (Diff. Version)



Starting with a nuttily bombastic synth intro (courtesy of Squeeze’s Jools Holland!) which sounds just like the music punk was supposed to be destroying might seem an unusual move for a band founded by the guy who chronicled the original London explosion. But that contrariness is part of the brilliance and charm of Alternative TV brought to the band by Mark Perry.



Seizing on the promise of punk as being a new means of expression rather than a new set of musical rules to be adhered to, this album is filled with pieces that explore with thrash moving in and out of whatever they want. “Alternatives” captures the tense spirit of the band’s work perfectly, a live recording where over a gentle groove Perry invites audience members to come up and “use the soapbox,” only to have a bunch of chancers and screamers talk a lot about nothing much at all, until Perry spits vitriol at a pair of people in a punch-up and complains about “diluted sh*t.”



As an expression of going down defiant while punk became a new fashion, it’s fierce and brilliant. A good half of the album comes from the same concert, including the harrowing final track, “Splitting in Two,” as perfect a capturing of nails-dug-in-flesh paranoia and indecision as anything in music history, revived as a live favorite years later by the Chameleons. The studio cuts include a solid run-through of Zappa’s “Why Don’t You Do Me Right?” and the closest ATV ever came to an anthemic single, “Action Time Vision.” The 1994 CD version adds 11 extra tracks to the original album, including the reggae-inflected “Love Lies Limp” and “Life After Life” singles, among many others, making it the edition of Image to look for.

Check it out: