Saturday, 1 September 2007

It's Immaterial



It's Immaterial were a Liverpool band active between 1980 and 1990, centred around permanent band members John Campbell and Jarvis Whitehead - along with, at differing times, various local musicians including Henry Priestman, later of The Christians.

The band recorded several sessions for John Peel, although this wasn't how I first discovered them: no, had it not been for their one pop 40 hit, the bewitchingly curious Driving Away From Home (a #18 smash in 1986, and officially unlike anything else in the charts at the time - or since!), the chances are the teenage, chart-obsessed me would never even have stumbled across this great combo.

Here's the band performing the song on what I assume must've been their one and only appearance on Top of the Pops.



Even better than the above, for me, was the follow-up single, Ed's Funky Diner (which inexplicably fizzled out at a disappointing #65 in the same year. Swizz!). A much more straightforward, conventional pop song than Driving Away..., Ed's was an upbeat number that had hit (I said hit) written all over it; or should've had, at any rate. But, in a UK singles landscape at the time dominated by such, umm, timeless classics as Chris De Bleurgh's The Lady In Red and Boris Gardiner's I Want To Wake Up With You (ironically one of the most snooze-inducing songs ever), what sort of chance did our brave boys have of competing for the nation's musical affections? None!

It's Immaterial - Ed's Funky Diner mp3 (up for seven days; left click to download)

It's Immaterial - Driving Away From Home (Jim's Tune) mp3 (up for seven days; left click to download)

Not merely satisfied with recording two of the greatest singles of the year, It's Immaterial also came up with one of the best album titles ever - Life's Hard and Then You Die. It contains both the aforementioned tracks - plus eleven others - and is still available to buy on CD (very reasonably priced too) from here

7 comments:

JC said...

You're right.....two absolutely fantastic songs, both of which have space in the Vinyl Villain's cupboard.

Did you know that one of the guys in the band did find some sort of fame and fortune a short while later?? Henry Priestman wrote and played on a number of hits by The Christains - another Liverpool act.

John said...

Hey JC, Yes, I discovered that fact about Henry Priestman while researching* this entry (*researching is rather a grand term for having a quick shufty at their Last FM profile, but there you go!). I'd been unaware of his involvement with It's Immaterial before then though.

steve said...

What a great band. I love both their albums, the easier to get 'Life's hard then you die' and the harder to obtain 'song'. Both albums have a hard to define style - melancholy and a little dark but both capturing a uniquely british style/humour. Not a bad track on either album as far as i'm concerned, great late night listening. Any ideas if these guys are still in the music business???

steve said...

What a great band. I love both their albums, the easier to get 'Life's hard then you die' and the harder to obtain 'song'. Both albums have a hard to define style - melancholy and a little dark but both capturing a uniquely british style/humour. Not a bad track on either album as far as i'm concerned, great late night listening. Any ideas if these guys are still in the music business???

John said...

No idea if they're still in the business or not I'm afraid, steve. (but there's precious little info about them out there if they are.)

Anonymous said...

Hi just to let you know that It's Immaterial's 'Song' album from 1990 is getting a re-release on Cherry Red Records in April 2009. The album will have two extra bonus tracks Faith / River which were originally B sides on the single Heaven Knows.

Regards

BAIABOYISBACK said...

http://baiaboyisback.blogspot.fr/2014/10/its-immaterial-driving-away-from-home.html