Uncertain Smile

My earliest memory of the band The The relates to a former schoolmate whose condominium I rented a room in, during the early 1980s. Ours was a friendship I mentioned in my post on “Song to the Siren.” He’d heard of The The, somehow, and I remember him finding the name quite noteworthy and funny. I have numerous musical memories with him, actually. He was the first in our school friends’ group to buy a good stereo, so we certainly shared a love for higher-quality music reproduction. I was the one in the group doling out most of my cash on long-play records, and am pretty sure I brought them to play at his place often as our gang often hung out there.

One exceptional memory of our time together is when he took me to see the British ska band The Beat (famous for their 1980 single “Mirror in the Bathroom”) as a gift for my birthday. It would have been around 1983-85, but that’s about as close as I can narrow it down as I couldn’t find a reference to The Beat giving a show at Winnipeg’s Playhouse Theatre, which I’m almost certain is where they played. (One of my favourite mid-sized venues, by the way. A beautiful building and excellent place to see a show.)

Aside from that rather vague and random recollection about my friend and The The, I don’t know anything about the band. I’ve heard a few of their songs lately and, listening to this past weekend’s episode of Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour on BBC Sounds, I heard “Uncertain Smile,” which the band released in October 1982 in advance of the album Soul Mining, released a full year later. (You don’t see that kind of lag-time very often!)

I enjoyed hearing the song today and believe it’s the first time I’ve listened to it. A commenter on the YouTube post remarked on turning the volume up for the piano solo — it’s a cracking one, for sure!

Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s the audio for the song from The The’s official YouTube channel

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