- Their classic debut originally released in 1980
- A post-punk masterpiece that holds up well more than 30 years later
- First U.S. release ever
Formed in 1979 and fronted by the mercurial and troubled Adrian Borland (he would commit suicide in 1999 after years of battling depression), The Sound are perhaps the most unjustly neglected band of the 80’s. They may not be as well-known as their contemporaries Echo & the Bunnymen or Joy Division, but their unique and influential contributions to the first wave of English post-punk are equally valid.
Fed up with its simplistic structure and rote posturing, Borland was motivated to cut ties to the punk movement. Not unlike Magazine’s Howard Devoto’s similar inclinations that led to his leaving the Buzzcocks, Borland wanted to create a sound that relied more on atmospheres, tensions, and instrumental interplay while harnessing the urgency of punk’s spirit. With the release of Jeopardy, The Sound would turn this inspiration into a nearly perfect debut.
Featuring rough edged production fitting its £800 recording budget, the album is a caustic rush, full of songs with hooks and emotional impact that never resorted to histrionics. The album’s opener starts off minimally, until the nervy guitars of the chorus rip through the song. It’s an auspicious beginning that only hints at what’s to come. Every song that follows builds on the momentum of a complex pop masterpiece. Borland’s lyrics also prove him to be one of the few post-punk songwriters whose words were worth poring over and analyzing.
The album received extremely positive reviews with NME, Sounds, and Melody Maker all bestowing their highest ratings and influential British DJ John Peel welcomed the band into the studio to record a session. All of the critical praise heaped on the band makes it hard to explain why The Sound were never able to rise to the prominence of the two bands to whom they received the most comparisons, but one only need to listen to Jeopardy to hear the Sound’s perfect combination of Joy Division’s dark, tortured angst and Echo & the Bunnymen’s accessible glam/art-rock fusion.
1. I Can't Escape Myself
3. Hour Of Need
4. Words Fail Me
8. Night Versus Day
10. Unwritten Law
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