EK 40471 Infected
Produced by Warne Livesey, Matt Johnston, Gary Langan, Roli Mosimann
Released on November 1986
UK CHART POSITION #14 . . . US CHART POSITION #89
Find it at GEMM
EK 40471 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

S tarring Matt Johnson as the Tortured Conscience of England, which may be your cup of tea if you thought Karl Wallinger was soft-peddling society’s ills in World Party. As with Soul Mining, bits of Infected were released into the UK mainstream early: “Sweet Bird of Truth” and “Heartland” both attacked the charts in the summer of 86, followed by the album proper in the Fall. Although label Epic likely would have preferred that Johnson follow up Soul Mining sooner with a chirpier album, he instead took his sweet time, opting to release a dark concept album about a Western man who sells his soul to the man-made world. Still unmistakably the work of the artist who went Soul Mining, Infected is a more fussed-over affair, as if the music had been shattered and then painstakingly pieced together. Despite talk of Jesus Christ and the devil, Infected doesn’t appear to be a Christian work. It does correctly paint the devil as an Antagonist who uses temporal temptations (wealth, sex, alcohol) to bind our hearts to this world, but the redemptive work of Christ is not acknowledged. Instead, the central character assumes His role as the Protagonist, inviting the devil to a showdown on “The Mercy Beat.” Infected has more to say on man’s sinful state: war, greed, lust, pride. Johnson plays the role of self-loathing reprobate convincingly, so much so that you have to wonder if self-flagellation isn’t the impetus behind some of these albums. Apparently, the only people who hate themselves more than Matt Johnson are music critics, who heralded Infected as the antidote for 80s greed and power. The dance mix of Pink Floyd’s The Final Cut is more like it. It does effectively move Johnson into the ranks of “serious” artists, but Soul Mining was more hopeful, which is what the world really needs.

EK 40471 back sleeve
EK 40471 back sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. INFECTED    4:48
  2. OUT OF THE BLUE (INTO THE FIRE)    5:12
  3. HEARTLAND    5:05
  4. ANGELS OF DECEPTION    4:37
  5. SWEET BIRD OF TRUTH    5:21
  6. SLOW TRAIN TO DAWN    4:14
  7. TWILIGHT OF A CHAMPION    4:23
  8. THE MERCY BEAT    (music by Matt Johnson/Roli Mossiman, lyrics by Matt Johnston)    7:19

    All songs written by Matt Johnston unless noted. Strings on tracks 2 & 3 written by Matt Johnson/Warne Livesey, arranged by Warne Livesey.

CREDITS

MATT JOHNSTON -- guitars, keyboards, vocals, percussion
DAN BROWN -- electric bass
JEFF CLINE -- acoustic bass
LOUIS JARDINE -- percussion
DAVID PALMER -- drums
Steve Aitken -- trombone
The Atsarti String Orchestra -- orchestra
Guy Barker -- trumpet, flugel horn
Pete Beachill -- trombone
Andy Blake -- baritone sax
Neneh Cherry -- vocals
Dave Clayton -- synth bass
The Croquets -- backing vocals
The Deaf Section -- brass
Dave de Fries -- trumpet
Anna Domino -- backing vocals
Anne Dudley -- brass arrangement
Philip Eastop -- french horn
John Edcott -- trumpet
Steve Hogarth -- piano
Bashiri Johnson -- percussion
Judd Lander -- harmonica
Warne Livesey -- bass, backing vocals, organ, engineer, mixing
Zeke Manyika -- backing vocals
Bob Mintzer -- saxophone
Gary Mobeley -- fairlight operator
Roli Mossiman -- programming, percussion
Tessa Niles -- backing vocals
Andrew Poppy -- brass arrangement and conducting
Ashley Slater -- trombone
Jamie Talbot -- saxophone
John Thirkell -- trumpet
Gavin Wright -- orchestra leader
Gary Langan -- engineer
Mike Johnson -- engineer
Steve Peck -- engineer
Andy Dog -- all artwork

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REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK/NET November 1986 Epic LP/CD/CS EPC/CDEPC/EPC40 26770 lyric sleeve, avail. as
collector's edition w. unique cover
US November 1986 Epic LP/CD/CS BFE/EK/BET 40471 lyric sleeve
ARG 1986 Discos CBS LP 120.850  
BRA 1986 Epic LP 144933 lyric insert
CAN 1986 Epic LP PEC 90746 lyric sleeve
JPN 1986 Epic CD 32.8P-174  
JPN 2002 Epic CD EICP-7060 digital remaster

 

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