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ALTERNATIVE TV BIOGRAPHY

Alternative TV was one of the groups present at the very dawning of the punk movement (1976/77), which was rooted among British youth, dissatisfied with the social status quo in their homeland. That matter aside, Alternative TV is probably best known for the oft-anthologized single, "Action, Time, Vision" (pictured at right) and even better known for leader Mark Perry's Punk Fanzine Sniffin' Glue.

ATV (as our abbrev-minded world tended to call the band) was among the first acts signed to Deptford Fun City Records, one of Miles Copeland III's many musical concerns. Soon after, Miles gave Mr. Perry the reigns of another label in the Illegal/Faulty family: Step-Forward Records, where acts such as Chelsea, The Fall, The Cortinas and Sham 69 were signed.

In early 1979 ATV split and Mark Perry (with the ever-faithful Dennis Burns) formed Good Missionaries. Through 1980 Perry did solo work and formed yet another band, Reflections.

In 1981 Perry and Burns along with ATV alumni Alex Ferguson reformed ATV with newcomers Ray Weston and Alan Gruner and recorded Strange Kicks for Miles Copeland's I.R.S. Records. Mark and the boys (admittedly with an ever changing line-up) continued to perform and record as recently as 2002! Among the many musicians who've been in ATV: John Towe, Micky Smith, Henry Badowski, Chris Bennett and even Police Tour Manager Kim Turner (on guitar)!

In 1996 Mark Perry found time to write (with Erica Echenberg) And God Created Punk, a book about those pivotal early years and the musical legacy they left -- today's Green Day, OffSpring, etc owe their very existence to the UK punk trendsetters of the late 70s)...


Mark Perry Alex Ferguson Dennis Burns Ray Weston Alan Gruner
ATV at the time of STRANGE KICKS (L to R) Mark Perry, Alex Ferguson, Dennis Burns, Ray Weston and Alan Gruner...


ALTERNATIVE TV I.R.S. DISCOGRAPHY

This discography will cover only ALTERNATIVE TV's recordings for I.R.S. Records. Recordings for other labels, other recordings, solo recordings and guest appearances, may be mentioned in the biography or discography, but details can be found by visiting some of the cool links for ALTERNATIVE TV, below...

Albums & EPs

SP70023 STRANGE KICKS
IRS SP 70023 (Released 4 Aug 1981)

Vinyl and Cassette.
Produced by Richard Mazda
Engineered by Jess Sutcliffe with Reno and Tim
Recorded at Matrix Recording Studios, London
Cover by X3 Posters
Design by Barbarann Reeves
Front Photo by Flash Gunn
Back Photos by Watal Asanuma

Musicians:
Mark Perry Vocals
Alex Ferguson Guitar
Ray Weston Drums
Dennis Burns Bass>
Alex Gruner Keyboards
Additional Musicians:
Richard Mazda Guitar, Percussion, Backing Vocals
Dee Dee Thorne Vocals on *
Brian James Guitar on *

Track Listing:

  1. The Ancient Rebels (Perry/Ferguson) 2:56
  2. Strange Kicks (Perry/Ferguson) 2:44
  3. Communicate (Perry/Ferguson) 2:47
  4. Mirror Boy (Perry/Ferguson) 3:03
  5. Anye Is Back (Perry/Ferguson) 2:46
  6. My Hand Is Still Wet (Perry/Ferguson) 3:22
  7. Fun City (Perry/Ferguson) 2:47
  8. T. V. Operator (Perry/Ferguson) 3:20
  9. There Goes My Date With Doug * (Perry/Ferguson) 2:55
  10. Cold Rain (Perry/Ferguson) 3:49
  11. Who Are They (Perry/Ferguson) 3:23
  12. Sleep In Bed(Perry/Ferguson) 3:04

This effort by the reformed Alternative TV is overall a satisfying record (though AMG says otherwise, but what do they know?) Admittedly there is no real stand out tune like their classic "Action, Time, Vision" single but there are some real gems here. Tunes you may find yourself humming after a listen or two include "The Ancient Rebels" (the song wisely selected by IRS/UK as the single cut), "Communicate" and "There Goes My Date With Doug" (featuring co-vocals by Dee Dee Thorne and the guitar rifts of ex-Damned and soon to be Lord of the New Church, Brian James). The final cut, "Sleep In Bed" was remixed for the B-side of the UK single as "Dub In Bed"


Compilations & Soundtracks

IRS GREATEST HITS VOLS 2 & 3 (SP 70800): features "Action Time Vision"
KILL YOUR RADIO (IRS29696): also features "Action Time Vision"


ALTERNATIVE TV LINKS AND OTHER COOL STUFF

Unfortunately at the present time there are no working links to websites strictly devoted to ALTERNATIVE TV, and there is no fan club info. There is no alternative... anywhere! But perhaps a few of the following will satisfy:

Return To The I.R.S. CORNER HOME PAGE
Return To The I.R.S. CORNER ARTIST ROSTER
Return To The I.R.S. Records A&M Era Discography
Discuss Alternative TV in the DISCUSSION FORUM
This Page Last Updated 9 October 2002

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