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Music / The The

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The The are an English New Wave group that was popular among the college crowd mainly during The '80s. Singer/songwriter Matt Johnson is the only consistent member.


  • Burning Blue Soul, 1981
  • Soul Mining, 1983
  • Infected, 1986
  • Mind Bomb, 1989
  • Dusk, 1993
  • Hanky Panky, 1995
  • NakedSelf, 2000

Tropes associated with The The:

  • Airplane of Love: "This Is The Day" mentions this in the chorus:
    You pull back the curtains, and the sun burns into your eyes
    You watch a plane flying across a clear blue sky
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  • Apocalypse How: For "Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)", a Class 2.
  • Concept Album: Infected is one about the US and UK politics of the time, and western greed.
    • Mind Bomb is also one about politics, although more global than its predecessor, and contrasts the political with the personal too.
    • Dusk is one centred around the themes of love, lust and grief, and is heavily influenced by the death of Matt's brother.
  • Cover Album: Hanky Panky, a collection of Hank Williams covers.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Matt.
  • Darker and Edgier: Infected. Hoo boy.
    • Dusk, in its own way, being much more melancholic, introspective and personally dark as opposed to its more political predecessors.
    • NakedSelf, while not darker lyrically, is much darker musically, with an Industrial Rock influenced sound.
  • Eagleland: A strong Type 2 in pretty much every song that refers to America.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Prior to the recording of Soul Mining, Matt released an experimental, largely instrumental solo album for 4AD entitled Burning Blue Soul. It has since been accepted as canon and re-issued under the The The moniker.
    • Earlier still, the group's debut single from 1979 "Controversial Subject" has a much more blatant Post-Punk sound than the Genre-Busting of later efforts.
  • Epic Rocking: Much of Mind Bomb is this trope.
    • A lot of Soul Mining is too.
  • Grief Song: Much of Dusk was influenced by the death of Matt's brother Eugene in 1989.
  • I Am the Band: From 1982 to 1987, Matt didn't have a set lineup for The The, choosing to use various musicians for recording and touring.
  • Let's Duet: "Kingdom of Rain" from Mind Bomb is a duet with Sinéad O'Connor, and "Slow Train To Dawn" from Infected is one with Neneh Cherry.
  • New Sound Album:
    • Mind Bomb brought in a more textured 'full band' and guitar-heavy sound, as opposed to the Synth-Pop and dance influenced sound of the two previous albums due to The The now having a set lineup, and also featuring Johnny Marr.
    • Dusk delves even further into this, featuring a much more acoustic-heavy sound.
    • NakedSelf is probably the biggest example of this in their discography, bordering on Industrial Rock.
  • Mohs Scale of Lyrical Hardness: Matt's lyrics usually average at a 5-8
    • Soul Mining ranges from a 5-7
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    • Infected is a 6-8
    • Mind Bomb ranges from 5-8
    • Dusk is generally a 6-7
    • NakedSelf is around a 5-7
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: The The, despite having some bleak lyrics, usually average at around a 3-4 musically.
    • Soul Mining is a 3-4
    • Infected is a 4
    • Mind Bomb ranges from 2-5
    • Dusk has the biggest range musically, averaging at 1-5
    • NakedSelf is heavier than the rest of their albums, bordering on Industrial Rock, and is a 4-6
  • Protest Song: A good portion of their discography is this. Infected and Mind Bomb are essentially Protest Albums.
  • Punny Name: "The Beat(en) Generation"
  • Revolving Door Band: From 1982 to 1987, and again since 1995.
  • Shout-Out: The opening of "Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)" parodies the opening of the Sweet's "Ballroom Blitz".
  • Spell My Name with a "The": Two of 'em, in fact.


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