On October 21st 1983, The The released their debut studio album Soul Mining. The record was the follow up to frontman Matt Johnson’s solo debut Burning Blue Soul, which was released on 4AD in 1981.

Soul Mining was released on the infamous Some Bizarre label, and is a post-punk and synth-pop driven record that takes influence from the early 1980s New York club scene. The album’s lyrics, penned by Johnson himself, explore subjects like doubts and insecurities in relationships, social alienation, all through the lens of imagery received from dreams.

The album’s cover artwork was created by Matt Johnson’s brother Andrew, aka “Andy Dog”, depicting a painting of one of Fela Kuti’s wives smoking a spliff, adapted from a photograph Andy had seen in the British music, fashion, and culture magazine The Face.

Soul Mining included the singles “Uncertain Smile”, “Perfect”, and “This Is the Day”, the latter of which is notably The The’s most recognizable song.


Side One

“I’ve Been Waitin’ for Tomorrow (All of My Life)”
“This Is the Day”
“The Sinking Feeling”
“Uncertain Smile”

Side Two

“The Twilight Hour”
“Soul Mining”

The songs “Perfect” and “Fruit of the Heart” were not included on the original UK Vinyl but were found on the versions issued in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the US. The songs were, however, included in the UK cassette release, along with “Three Orange Kisses from Kazan”, “The Nature of Virtue”, “Mental Healing Process”, and “Waitin’ for the Upturn”.

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