The The Giant

British indie-rock band, The The, broke up in 2000 after a sparse career that spanned 17 years and a mere six albums; and although they enjoyed a couple of top ten albums, I don’t think they ever received the recognition and success they deserved.

The The went through various incarnations, with ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr becoming a full-time member for a few albums in the late eighties and early nineties, but they were always led by singer / songwriter Matt Johnson.

Johnson, in my opinion, is one of rock’s most underrated song writers. In the same way Morrissey channelled the wit of Oscar Wilde and the Northern sardonicism of Philip Larkin, Johnson often borrowed from Samuel Beckett’s bleak absurdist imagery, combined it with T.S. Eliot’s sense of urban longing and despair, and produced songs that spoke directly to the heart of the disenfranchised, the lonely, and the passionate striving to make sense of all the fear and yearning.

Giant from their sublime 1983 album, Soul Mining.


The sun is high and I’m surrounded by sand
For as far as my eyes can see
I’m strapped into a rocking chair
With a blanket all over my knees

I am a stranger to myself
And nobody knows I’m here
When I looked into my face
It wasn’t myself I’d seen
But who I’ve tried to be

I’m thinking of things I’d hoped to forget
I’m choking to death in a sun that never sets
I clogged up my mind with perpetual greed
And turned all of my friends into enemies
And now the past has returned to haunt me

I’m scared of God
And scared of hell
And I’m caving in upon myself
I’m scared of God
And scared of hell
And I’m caving in upon myself

How can anyone know me
When I don’t even know myself?

Lyrics by Matt Johnson

The The – A Short Videography

Soul Mining (1983)

This is the Day (1983)

Infected (1986)

Heartland (1986)

 The Beat(en) Generation (1989)

Kingdom of Rain (1989)

Dogs of Lust (1993)

Love Is Stronger than Death (1993)




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