Soul Mining is the debut album by British post-punk/synth-pop band the The (the 1981 album Burning Blue Soul was originally released by the band's frontman Matt Johnson as a solo album, but later reissues credited it to the The). After a bidding war between major record labels which resulted in the group signing with CBS Records, Johnson began recording the album in New York City, but the initial recording sessions were aborted after the album's first two singles and Johnson returned to London where he wrote and recorded the rest of the record. Musically, Soul Mining is a post-punk and synth-pop album with influences of the early 1980s New York club scene, while Johnson's lyrics focus on relationship insecurities and social alienation, with imagery derived from dreams. Soul Mining was released in the United Kingdom on 21 October 1983 on Some Bizzare Records/Epic Records and included versions of the singles "Uncertain Smile", "Perfect", and "This Is the Day". Although the album received positive reviews, its initial sales were modest, reaching number 27 in the UK and charting in a number of other countries, but in 2019 the album was certified gold in the UK. Soul Mining was reissued in June 2014 as a two-disc 30th anniversary deluxe version on vinyl, attracting retrospective reviews which universally praised the record, with critics describing it as both Johnson's best work and one of the best albums of the 1980s.Wikipedia
Shades of poppy, industrial, and folksy. The piano solo in Uncertain Smile one amazing moment in an album fill of them. This Aussie gives Soul Mining five shit hot burgers from Hungry Jack's out of five
I've always liked The The, but only knew "This is the Day". This album did not disappoint, there's a lot of gems here, and some jammy drawn out songs, which I always enjoy!
Highlights - This Is The Day, Uncertain Smile. This album is magical from start to finish, though the opening track (I've been Waitin' for Tomorrow) is a bit tough to get through...it's long and meandering, almost pointless as verses stretch a little to far...and that's the whole point...It's the price of admission to a goofy, introspective trip that is sure to delight.
I could say I've been waiting for this album all of my life, but that would be lying. But only because I've had it for so long! (What a song, though!) I love The The: for the lyrics that seem to have been written by me (the version of me that can write) and about me, as well as for the creative music (those solos in Uncertain Smile or Giant). Most of all, it's probably the insight gained from someone (Matt Johnson) whose view of the world seems so similar to mine. It's hard for me to convey, but it really does feel like songs written about my most intimate thoughts and experiences. You could argue I grew up with this album. I'd argue it's a hell of an album to grow up with.
This is fantastic. How have I never heard this before? Incredible synth pop/new wave throughout.
A classic, sounds better with time
Boy, the chorus for "This is the Day" sure hits different when it's not being taken out of context to sell you a car or whatever the commercial I recognize it from was shilling. Tears for Fears already made me a sucker for downer lyrics over upbeat music, and this miserable motherfucker is just full of energy. Perfectly paced, too; day lyrically turns to night to mark the end of the first side and continues in the following song, priming you for the title track's sparse, lethargic sound. I liked the album enough to opt into the bonus track included on the CD version (tacked on unbeknownst to frontman Matt Johnson), which turned out to be a mistake, as one more introspective song is the exact amount needed to go from "cohesive album about isolation and stagnation" to "get over yourself." Frontman Matt Johnson insisted on its removal in future releases. Good call. Key Tracks: I've Been Waitin' for Tomorrow (All of My Life), Soul Mining, Giant
Now THIS is some delicious 80's cheese. Fun, boppin, synthy, even atmospheric at times. Just jammed with jams.
Fucking brilliant! The The are criminally underrated and unknown, but they deserve so much more recognition for their powerful, innovative, unique music. This album in particular is a true standout gem of the 80's. It is daring and experimental but also pop as hell somehow. This Is The Day is a heartbreakingly beautiful song; the sentiments expressed in it are both sadly nostalgic and willfully optimistic at the same time. It speaks directly to my soul and calls up an exquisite ache that I'm addicted to. I adore that rich contrast in tone and meaning all of these songs seem to have. This album is endlessly listenable, I get something new from it every time I put it on. It challenges the listener, but it also excites and inspires too. It's just so fucking good, I love it!
I was blown away by this record when I first heard it in college radio days in the mid-to-late ‘80s and I’m even more impressed at how well it’s stood up. Soul Mining avoids all the excess and cliche of the era. It’s dramatic and cinematic; new wave-y, but not self-consciously so; it’s politically committed and serious-minded, but not humorless; it’s emotionally rich and balanced and musically intriguing. “This Is the Day” is a first-rate pop song and “Uncertain Smile” a higher-order musical event, truly one for the ages with an all-time great piano solo (I ran right for the extended 9+ minute mix after hearing it here for the first time in ages). “The Twilight Hour” and “Giant” are also hugely engaging and very impressive tracks (but generally, little-known). So good, with bonus points for reconnecting me to my youth.
This is the kind of album absolutely surprising! I don't know the band, I never listened to anything from them, The name was strange, the first song is catchy but not so special, but when the album ends it looks like something different happened. What I listened here? A simple post-punk album? Why this band is so underground? More people should listen to it. Well, for me it's something that I'll sure listen to again in the future and hope that more people know it
loved it forever
I really love this record, and every song brings something unique and amazing. The first two songs are an absolute banger back2back. A true gem that I'd never have listened to otherwise.
top notch new wave
Stronger than the followup musically, though I prefer that record's lyrical themes. Those on display here aren't camp, though I'm tempted to use that word; There's a definite theater taste, coming I assume out of the New York influence. The instrumentation is all over the place: Violin, even electric, gets its obligatory shoutout and the record comes together as it arises and fades back into fuzz muck.
Man, this is some seriously angsty shit. I hope this guy finds what he's looking for. In the meantime, I'm going to recommend that he stay away from drugs. Best track: Uncertain Smile
"I'm just a symptom of the moral decay that's gnawing at the heart of the country." It absolutely should not be a catchy line to sing along with... but it is. It forms the heart of "The Sinking Feeling", a typically nihilistic song by Matt Johnson. The The's debut album scorches through its runtime with a mixture of bitter irony and honest despair. While lyrically dark and dense, the music is upbeat, catchy and even euphoric. "This Is The Day" is a world-class song: it's a work of soaring cynicism that wields a bright and cheerful accordion hook like a plastic umbrella in a cocktail of bourbon and broken glass. Elsewhere, "Waiting for Tomorrow (All of My Life)" summarises the mid 20's angst at the heart of the record's philosophy, with a glorious bassline to boot. "Uncertain Smile" treated the world to a virtuosic three minute Jools Holland piano solo, while everyone was still lucky enough not to know what a Hootenanny was. While "Soul Mining" and "The Twilight Hour" bring the pace down slightly too far into maudlin navel-gazing, "Giant" more than makes up for it. Nine and a half minutes with just four chords and limited words, but its a masterclass in pacing. Its lengthy outro presents a repeeated "yeah yeah yeah" chant and an elephantine wall of percussion, which lead the way in a reprisal of each layer of sound. It's "Hey Jude" for the twisted post-punk generation... and its wonderful.
Although The The's first album barely hinted at the experimentalism of later records like Infected and Mind Bomb, Matt Johnson crafted a pleasant set of dance-pop on the group's Soul Mining debut.
Grooves as flat, hooks as ignorable, instrumentals as uninspiring, and weirdo vocals as amateurish as the last one. Only thing that's changed is I'm getting the sense he's a bit of a curmudgeon, which makes me even less favourable.
Very special! Loved It
Excelente disco. Tiene un sonido potente y sus varios moods equilibrados. Mis favs: "This Is The Day", "Uncertain Smile" y "Giant". 10/10
Otro de mis discos favoritos. Cima del pop.
Cool sound! Sounds like it could be the inspiration for modern punk sound.
Den skiva her svinger
Where's this been all my life?!?!?!
This album is awesome. Is it post-punk? Industrial? I don't know but I love it. Some tracks are sparse and minimalist. Others are a waterfall of sound.
A true gem. This album is the best of New wave. Great lyrics too. A must listen
Very cool and ahead of it's time. Less kitschy than Gary Newman.
Lyrics are nice. The sound is kind of slouchy and sleepy. Idk. I'm new to this so I will give it more time to settle in.
Great synth rock vibes on this one
The perfect The The album, still like it very much. Just noticed that some months ago for some reason I rated Infected with only three stars. I have now listened to that album again as well and am surprised. I still think it is not as good as Soul Mining but I should have given that album four stars.
First time listening to this band - liked it nice clear vocals but billy bragg meets pop - more please
Classic 80's sound but somehow futuristic with some synthwave vibes. Easy to pickup and loads of replayability. Superb
Awesome from start to finish!
Very different than what I have heard, and the opening song was not my favorite, but everything else was amazing.
Like if Bowie leaned hard into post-punk. I really liked it.
Has to be a 5 with an album cover like that and the piano solo on Uncertain Smile.
An old favorite. Totally 80s and 90s. Listening now reminded me of hope and angst!
I've Been Waitin' For Tomorrow goes hard, very aggressive and in your face which it doesn't match for the rest of the album. Instead it takes it back a notch into a more melodic and calmer state of being. That being said, the remaining tracks are mostly great. This is the Day and The Sinking Feeling are slower and uptempo songs that you can click your fingers or clap your hands to. The former is the most accessible track on here with its accordian driven melody and relatable message. The latter is more aggressive in delivery of vocals and lyrics, but musically is positive. And then you get to the Uncertain Smile which is essentially a two parter. The first half is driven by arpeggio guitar riffs and an upbeat chord structure. Its up there with This is the Day so far, and then that awesome 4 minute piano solo kicks in to finish off the track, elevating to the album highlight. After those four tracks, the album provides its two weaker offerings. The Twilight Hour and Soul Mining are a servicable listen in album form, but they are just too slow to listen outside of. Last but not least there's the appropriately titled song Giant, a 9 minute piece that is strongly driven by percussion along with keyboards and synths. Its hypnotic structure works to deliver an effective closing to a pretty awesome album. 5/7 songs are very neat and make this an essential listen, while the other 2 work for the overall atmosphere. It might not be a 5 for most but it just connects to me a lot to write this long of a review.
This is the day is one of the biggest bangers of the century. Imo. And the rest of the album is also great
Definitely my favorite The The album!
An album I had first on cassette (with additional album Burning Blue Soul), then on CD and now am streaming. As debuts go it didn't reveal quite how far Matt Johnson would go in terms of blood, sweat and guns but it's a solid gold set of tunes.
Would have given 6 stars if allowed. Released when I was 18 and world was Thatcher/Reagan/youth unemployment. Album that helps in troubled times, beautiful expression of what it is like being depressed or troubled or insecure or not knowing what the hell to do with life. Add Jools Holland, Thomas Leer and more giants and could be in 11 best albums ever.
Wasn’t sure I needed two The The albums on this list, but this one is different from the second release “Infected.” I loved this one as well. Some nice 80s goodness - particularly enjoyed the song I knew (This is the Day), I’ve Been Waiting for Tomorrow, and Giant. Really great to become more familiar with The The.
This is the sort of music that was my favorite in college. "This is the Day" was a favorite song of mine then. I never had the album, but it sounds faintly familiar as a friend must have played it sometimes. I love the instrumentation, Matt Johnson's moody singing...I feel 20 years old again when I hear this.
This album is a full bop and speaks to me. Like an album that’s been missing all my life. One of the first albums I’m actually adding to my rotation. Unobjectively giving it 5/5 .I don’t care - I want to blast it in my car.
Such an amazing album, running the full gamut between the stripped back synth and lush piano, all with angry, acerbic, self defeating lyric.
A personal fave.
One of my favourites. Love the introspective lyrics, love the synth. Soul Mining, This is the day, Uncertain Smile with Jools Holland’s piano solo, it goes on. Then there’s Giant where it all comes together with the cool synths, the lyrics, those drums and chanting. Unimpeachable and magnificent. ImThat one song on its own makes this legendary.
I'm still angry at the person who borrowed and never returned this album from me. I picked up a copy on CD later. This album was unlike any other record of the time. Where's as new music was getting light and frothy (Cindy Lauper, Nena) this was dark and mysterious. If anything it presaged later music from Depeche Mode, whose lighter weight Construction Time Again came out about the same time.
A beautiful and unique album that floats somewhere between post-punk and synth-pop but with accordion and xylorimba 4.5/5
This has really grown on me. Giant is incredible.
What a great discovery. Love the synth, love the popiness of it. I think my favourite song from this album is Giant, the arrangements work so well! Saved tracks: This is the Day, Uncertain Smile, The Twilight Hour, Giant
Way ahead of its time. Poetry in paranoia!
Pretty cool, pretty vibey. Surprised I hadn’t heard of it before.
Deep groove Synth-pop with melodies to spare. Lyrically powerful & self absorbed... in a good way.
pretty typical 80s sounds but expertly done. Uncertain Smile is unreal
Really liked it. Had never heard of them before. Loved The Sinking Feeling and a lot more - liked the vibe quite a bit. Might check out more of the artist sometime later maybe.
1. Really cool drums and synth, really like the boom of the drums. Funky, reminds me of GUM's Television Sick. Solid album intro. 2. Like the arpeggiated synth, as well as the 'accordion' synth. Good vocals, the song is just plain good. 3. Weird and interesting synth at the start, sounds cool. The flanged out guitar in the chorus sounds nice too, as well as the leading synth. The guitar work is nice and additive. The distorted guitar is cool. 4. The guitar is cool, as well as the bass. Has a nice rhythm and momentum. The piano pops off and goes ham. 5. Pretty cool, percussion is interesting. 6. Phaser guitar is awesome, the eerie synth is nice too. The quiet guitar is really nice. Probably my favorite song on the album. The synth at 3:00 is really cool. I like how the song builds up as it goes on. 7. Mallets are pretty cool, as well as the unusual percussion. The synth is really interesting throughout the song, and I think its a strong finish to the entire album.
love the album cover. Never listened to this before, but knew some of the singles, "this is the day" is an amazing song, bittersweet and nostalgic (although I have no history with it) also love "giant"
Strange that I enjoyed it more than I expected. Particularly the slightly cheesy 80s stuff :)
Didn't have super high hopes for this one but I thought it was super good! I rarely pay so much attention to the drums but they really led the way here, and the bass lines were pronounced and funky, so i was a big fan!
I actually really liked this, would definitely relisten. High 8
this was really fun! the vocals leave a little to be desired but it's cool, catchy synth pop music with interesting lyrics. also i like the accordion. 8/10
This is a really good album. It's actually really good for getting work done to because it's not too in-your-face but it's not just background music. And damn, the piano solo on Uncertain Smile is great. My only criticism is that it isn't always the most interesting but I would never say that it's bad Favorite Songs: I've Been Waitin' For Tomorrow (All Of My Life), This Is the Day, Uncertain Smile, The Twilight Hour, Giant Decent 8/10
I'd say this is a 3.5. Some really great songs, a lot of howling pain!
Excellent ! Sonne vraiment unique ! très belle découverte. Fav : Soul mining
loved it. some really interesting composition stuff and the dark introspective lyrics were delightful. well, maybe delightful isn't the word...
Excellent album. Closest to 5 stars than to 4, but I can't give it a 10/10. It's more like 9.1/10, really great.
This is the Day
A tight pop album. Didnt blow me away though.
Not in my usual genre wheelhouse, but I enjoyed it. Big fan of the vocals and the way the songs build up. Only song I don’t like is The Twilight Hour. Would give it a 4.5 if cowardly half stars were allowed.
Nice, listened two it twice in a row.
Great album. 4.5/5 Fav tracks: This is the day, uncertain smile, soul mining
Sí me gustó. Una vibra pop muy de su época. Gran inicio con Stolen Car, y la otra que me gustó fue Stars all seem to weep. Mood: los 90 ya olian a 2000
Deferring liking this for another 10 years but will keep it closer maybe
Tämä oli ihan tunnelmallista kasarisynailua. Pikkuisen Leijonakuningas-meininkiä mukana siellä täällä, varsinkin vikassa biisissä. The Sinking Feeling oli paras biisi parin kuuntelukierroksen perusteella.
Great new wave all throughout, and you can definitely hear the experimental aspects. Being a huge synth pop/ new wave fan, I can't believe I have never heard of The The...maybe I am not as big of a fan as I thought I was
Dobrze raz od czasu trafic cos co potrafi calkowicie zaskoczyc, bo Soul Mining na pierwszy rzut oka zapowiadal sie jak X wyspiarskich synthowych popowych materialow, ktore juz sie przewinely przez liste, a tymaczasem mialem okazje uslyszec cos zupelnie swiezego od pana Matta Johnsona, bo banda The The, to jedynie przykrywka dla jego wlasnej tworczosci, w sensie, ze zespol nie mial stalych czlonkow tylko byli oni zmieniani w zaleznosci od potrzeb artystycznych, taka wolnosc tworcza i wyjatkowo talent do kamuflowania przemyslanej liryki na synthowych brzmienaich i przemycaniu kawalkow ktore zostawiaja cie z przemysleniami w piosenakch przy ktorych ludzie powinni tanczyc, to wlasnie majstersztyk tego materialu, plyta jest pierwszym studyjnym wydaniem w dyskografii The The, orginalna wersja ma 41 minuty na 7 trakach, gdzie najdluzszym zamykajacym kawalkiem jest giant, ktory jest ostatnim krzykiem juz prawie doomerskim plyty, how can anyone know me when I dont even know myself? takim pytaniem i odpowiedzia yeah, yeah, yeah konczy sie caly album, nie wiem jak ludzie w komentarzach pod this is the day czy i've been waitin for tomorrow uwazaja, ze jest to pocieszna muzyka z pozytywnym przeslaniem lirycznym, jak caly soul mining jest doslownie kopaniem rozpaczy, byc moze takie kopanie potrafi podniesc na duchu, ale z pewnoscia zmusza do przemyslen wywolujacych poczucie smutku i bezradnosci, w skali bloomerowo doomerowej, album to solidny kawalek rozsadnego gloomera starajacego sie przejsc na strone bloomerska, jak na traczki the sinking feeling, gdzie podmiot liryczny oswiadcza, ze jego stan jest wynikiem moralnego zepsucia jakie toczy sie przez jego kraj, czy czasy, ale jednak nie rzuca sie w otchlan doomerstwa i opiera sie latwemu rozwiazaniu, a zostaje dla jutra, bo jak mozna inaczej, ciekawe sa takze przewijajace sie watki tego co jest po zyciu, a wiec pojawia sie strach zarowno przed bogiem jak i pieklem, niezdecydowanie w tej kwestii pojawia sie kilkukrotnie, tak samo motyw bycia zaleznym od drugiej osoby, to znaczy wiazanie swojego szczescia z druga osoba chyba nigdy nie jest zdrowe, bo nawet jesli chwilowo taka wiez, to jednak nic nie moze wiecznie trwac, to motyw przewodni tytulowego kawalka oraz the twilight hour, a co do brzmienia tego post punkowo synthowego albumiku, to nie spodziewalem sie, ze tak dobrze mozna zgrac synthowe brzmienie z zywymi instrumentami, zwlaszcza jak na solowy material, pan Matt byl rowniez producentem albumiku, na liscie muzykow bioracych udzial w nagraniach widnieje 18 nazwisk, wiec ciezko stwierdzic kto na czym gral, ale z pewnoscia sluchac dosc ciekawe wykorzystanie niecodziennych instrumentow, jak akordeonu i skrzypiec na this is the day lub klawesow na giantcie, czy wiolonczeli w the twilight hour, ale calosc materialu jest spojna kompozycja, co najbardziej w budowie trakow mnie urzeklo, to to jak kazdy kawalek z osobna ma wlasny opening i rozwija sie w przeciagu trwania utworu, wykorzystanie synthezatorowych wokali na chorusach daje wrazenie, ze jeszcze ktos tu spiewa poza czlowiekiem orkiestra, a to jednak one man show, dziwne jest ze nie czuc zeby album byl z 83, gdybym mial obstawiac to strzelalbym w pozne lata 90, a tu jednak poczatek 80, co moze najbardziej zdradza pewna maniera wokalna, ale samo brzmienie instrumentali jest tak jakosciowo zmiksowane, ze nie brzmi to jak debiutancki material wlasnej produkcji, ale jak cos z mainstreamu madchestera, co do plejkowych traczkow, to dodam najpopularniejszy kawalek z albumu czyli tak niezrozumiany this is the day i the sinking feeling, a caly album laduje na poleczce spotifajowej piczkow o wyjatkowej jakosci
Great album - only knew a couple of the tracks - will definitely listen to again. Good for a hot Saturday morning listen
This is the Day is one of my favorite alternative songs of all time. The album is pretty strong with a unique cool casual vibe. Definitely the peak of The The offerings.
Pop-punk raruno. No está mal.
well, that was...i dunno, fine? i remember back in the late 80s, i had a boss who really liked them, in particular that johnny marr was on whatever album he was listening to. but that wasn't to happen for years yet. anyway, i liked this. it ended up just being kinda a background soundtrack while i worked, but for that it was just fine.
Great album - This is The Day is a standout track, but it's all excellent.
No conocía al grupo, buena música como para poner de fondo mientras se avanza el trabajo (así lo escuche).
groovy 80s mad compressed reverb drums !
I knew very little about The The prior to listening, but this was a very pleasant surprise. Shades of Nu-romantics, very much in keeping with my impression of the early 80s, and some interesting lyrical themes.
In the early 80s when punk was fading and new wave synth pop was ascending, we got this brilliant post-punk debut album by the The. It perfectly captures the zeitgeist of the era: angsty despair, fear and paranoia, but held together by deep danceable percussion and bass beats. Pretty much every song on this album is killer, the singles are well known but my favourite has to be Giant, especially how it ends with its astonishing tribal percussion and chanting. This is one of my absolute favourite albums from this era, right up there with the best material produced by The Cure and that's saying a lot.
I have a soft spot for artists who rebel against the music industry. These guys did it with the band name. They also made some good songs to dance to that weren't dance music. The album kicks off and finishes strong w "I've been waiting . . ." and "Giant" both edgy uptempo songs. "This is the Day '' and "Uncertain Smile", the two most well known songs on this album, are beasts. On "This is the Day" the lyrics don't start until the one minute mark but it works. Doing this with the single again shows their rebellious side. Of the two big songs, I probably like the songwriting better on This is the Day but the 3+ minute piano solo on Uncertain Smile is killer. The singing skills are nothing to write home about but I find they work well with the storytelling nature of the lyrics. I recall having some The The on vinyl but don't remember what I had and didn't feel like basement dwelling to dig it up. It had "Perfect Day" a great song w the words "Oh what a perfect day to think about myself . . . " I can't find that song on Spotify. Too bad. It was another beast.
Amazing new wave album. Incredible voice. 8/10 1. Perfect 2. This is the Day 3. I've Been Waiting for Tomorrow (All of My Life)
Grato descubrimiento. Post-punksynth-pop
Matt Johnsin hit a home run with This is the Day, a perfect slice of 80s alternative pop. It has all the elements; Great dance floor beat, catchy sing along chorus, beautiful melodic synthesizer riff and a huge drum sound. Just a great song that to me still sounds fresh today. Can the rest of the album possibly measure? Well the short answer is no! But.... There are some fine tunes on here; Uncertain Smile, the title Track as well as the closer Giant. Most of the tunes go on too long and I find myself looking to skip ahead to the next one 3/4 of the way through. But I can say that each song has something to offer. Johnson's themes of life and death, heaven and hell and biblical references can get a little heavy handed but the arrangements tend to lighten the mood and help make the whole thing more accessible. 4 🌟
Postpunk/synth pop, Matt Johnson, gribende, flydende