Founded in 1977 in Chelsea, England, Television Personalities recorded only eight studio albums in its career. This recent release is a compilation of singles recorded for the excellent Bavarian label Little Teddy Recordings.
TVP’s front man, Dan Treacy, has a history of severe depression and rumored heroin addiction that has caused him to retire for years between releases. This 20-song collection features several covers (Joe Meeks, John Lennon, Raincoats, Daniel Johnston, Syd Barrett, Kinks) but also displays some of Treacy’s brilliantly brutal songwriting: lyrics that focus on his apparent self-loathing that read like a sincere apology to the entire world, while the music itself is whimsical, childlike, and—dare I say it—happy.
TVP has been a major factor in the British musical underground. The lineup changes of the band read like a who’s who of the British music scene: Former members include Mute Records owner Daniel Miller and Jowe Head of the seminal British artpunk band Swell Maps. Creation Records boss Alan Mcgee (the man who “discovered” Oasis) claims TVP as his favorite band ever.
For sure, TVP developed a fan base that literally created a new sound, spawning loads of indie-rock shoe-gazers who jangled their guitars to a ‘60s beat while singing unpretentious confessional lyrics at house parties for the new wave of underaged Mods.
Dan Treacy went missing for several years in the ‘90s after the demise of his latest TVP combo, causing fans much worry that perhaps he had done himself in. Luckily he had not, and due to the support of Little Teddy, which also has a stable of artists who have covered Treacy’s songs (one band recorded a song titled "I Don’t Know Where Dan Treacy Lives"), and the British record label Fire, which is re-releasing several of TVP’s earlier albums, Dan Treacy’s music can be continually rediscovered by music fans worldwide, and Treacy may be inspired to write some more himself.