It’s Immaterial with John Campbell

4Feb

It's Immaterial special with John Campbell in conversation talking about life in music.

It's Immaterial were formed by three former members of Yachts - Mancunian John Campbell vocals, Martin Dempsey guitar, and Henry Priestman keyboards - in addition to Paul Barlow, drums. By 1984, the band had been reduced to a duo - Campbell and Jarvis Whitehead, guitar and keyboards, who joined in 1982.

On 11 November 1981, around the time of the release of the band’s third single, It's Immaterial recorded the first of four sessions for John Peel at BBC Radio 1. The track listing was "A Gigantic Raft (in the Philippines)", "Imitate The Worm", "White Man's Hut", and "Rake". "A Gigantic Raft" was featured on the soundtrack of Jonathan Demme's 2004 remake of The Manchurian Candidate.

In April 1985, the band recorded their fourth and final John Peel session (track listing: "Rope", "Hang On Sleepy Town", "Space", and "Festival Time"). In the same month, the band's Fish Waltz EP reached number 30 in the UK Indie Chart.

Less than a year later the band had a hit single with "Driving Away From Home (Jim's Tune)". ('John Campbell puts his foot down on the pedal – ever so gently – to cruise out along the M62. A Mini-Midwestern road movie transported to Liverpool'. This song was their biggest hit and has since featured widely on television advertisements and on 1980s based compilation albums.[citation needed]

Another minor hit followed, "Ed's Funky Diner (Friday Night, Saturday Morning)", with accompanying video, before the release of the band's debut album, Life's Hard and Then You Die, in September 1986.

In 1990 they released their second album Song. As before, the music was of a subdued, understated nature, with wry wit in the manner of an indie Pet Shop BoysThe album was a commercial flop, despite receiving positive reviews in the music press. The album was produced by Calum Malcolm, best known for his work with The Blue Nile.

In the same year as Song, former It's Immaterial keyboard player, Henry Priestman, had a UK number one album The Christians with the band of the same name.

Since 2010 some unreleased songs from the album have appeared on different internet music channels. (Track listing (in order of their appearing): "Just North of Here", "New Moon", "Is it Alright (Between us)", "House for Sale" and "How Can I Tell You")

A deluxe edition of their album Life's Hard and Then You Die" was released on 1 July 2016. The double CD issue contains the original album remastered plus bonus tracks of single versions, B sides, remixes and one of the group's John Peel sessions.

On 23 September 2016 the group launched the campaign to produce and release their "lost and found" album House For Sale via Pledge Music. The pledge target was reached, although an initial tentative release date of Spring 2017 was later postponed to early 2018.