Publication date 24th June 2021.
When Tim Smith died in July of 2020, he left behind a legion of adoring fans and an honorary doctorate in music. Not bad for someone who never had a top ten hit and who's music was so infamous during its heyday, that some magazines not only refused to review his work, but edited out praise from fellow musicians. But who was Tim Smith? He was the composer, guitarist, singer, and lyricist for cult band Cardiacs.
Working in the 70s up to 2008, Smith and his rotating band of musicians created some of the most intricate and original music of all time. They combined punk energy, prog complexity, ska rhythms, heavy metal drama, and much more with an absurd and satirical lyrical stance, while creating a confrontational on-stage image that inspired as many as it appalled. Eric Benac examines each Cardiac album (including the never-repressed, cassette-only albums) and side projects, like the sublime prog-folk of Sea Nymphs, the warped psychedelics of Spartley's Japs, and the twisted Brit Pop of Tim's solo album.
Each song is discussed both musically and lyrically, with a photo section containing original shots from Cardiacs fans.