It’s Immaterial Prehistory In Need Of Compiling…Can It Be Done?

John Campbell [top] and Jarvis Whitehead formed the core of It's Immaterial

John Campbell [top] and Jarvis Whitehead formed the core of It’s Immaterial

Yesterday we looked at the much-needed compilation of the first album period on Circa/Virgin by It’s Immaterial, but by that time, the band had a four year history that had gone all over the indie label map. Of course, the likelihood of any reissue label licensing the numerous songs that can be culled form this fertile, early period would be close to nil. To say nothing of tracking down the master tapes! At that point nil becomes infinitely nil. Heck, it would be daunting enough just to track down all of the vinyl releases to master from those, but as you may know, it’s one of our primary motivations here at PPM. I already have the band’s first 7″ but what would making a really definitive compilation of Pre-Circa tracks entail?

The Hit Machine | UK | 7" | 1980 | HIT 001a

The Hit Machine | UK | 7″ | 1980 | HIT 001a

It’s Immaterial: Young Man [Seeks Interesting Job] UK 7″ [1980]

  • Young Man Seeks Interesting Job
  • Doosha [A Success Story]

I have this primordial single in the Record Cell. More here.

Inevitable | UK | 7" | 1981 | INEV 009

Inevitable | UK | 7″ | 1981 | INEV 009

It’s Immaterial: A Giant Raft In The Phillipines UK 7″ [1981]

  • A Gigantic Raft In The Phillipines
  • No Place For A Prompter

This single was released on Liverpool indie Inevitable in 1982, only to be re-issued the next year on The Wonderful World Of, a more obscure Liverpudlian label.

IHM | UK | 7" | 1982 | IHM 002

IHM | UK | 7″ | 1982 | IHM 002

It’s Immaterial: Imitate The Worm UK 7″ [1981]

  • Imitate The Worm
  • The Worm Turns

By this time, they release the next single on a Liverpool Indie label that I have never heard of.

SFX Publishing | UK | Cassette | 1982 | SFX04

SFX Publishing | UK | Cassette | 1982 | SFX04

SFX #4 UK CASS [1982]

  • Washing The Air [early version]

I have this cassette, but it really needs to be baked for remastering; it’s a cacophony of binder squeal. The song here was the first time I’d heard It’s Immaterial, and the track may be the “Washing The Air [demo ver.]” included on the new DLX RM. Time will tell.

Eternal | UK | 12" | 1983 | JF2T

Eternal | UK | 12″ | 1983 | JF2T

It’s Immaterial: Imitate The Worm UK 7″ [1981]

  • White Man’s Hut
  • The Worm Turns
  • Solid Piles Of Food

In 1983, they signed to WEA subsidiary Eternal for their first 12″ single. “The Worm Turns” on this disc is marked as a self-production, so It’s probably the same version on the earlier “Imitate The Worm” single. Colin Fairley produced the A-side here.

Eternal | UK | 12" | 1984 | JF 4T

Eternal | UK | 12″ | 1984 | JF 4T

It’s Immaterial: A Gigantic Raft UK 12″ [1984]

  • A Gigantic Raft [In The Phillipines] [Tempest mix]
  • A Gigantic Raft [In The Phillipines]
  • The Mermaid

The next single from 1984 was a new version [engineered by David Bascombe!] of the “Gigantic Raft” song, with a new B-side.

Situation Two } UK | 12" | 1984 | Dove 3

Situation Two } UK | 12″ | 1985 | Dove 3

It’s Immaterial: Fish Waltz UK 12″ [1985]

  • The Better Idea [Push The Boat Out]
  • Several Brothers
  • Lullaby
  • Fish Waltz

This last EP was issued by Situation Two probably to clean out finished early recordings in their locker after the band were signed to Circa.

Viper | UK | CD | 2001 | CD 006

Viper | UK | CD | 2001 | CD 006

Various Artists: Unearthed – Liverpool Cult Classics Vol. 1 UK CD [2001]

  • It’s Immaterial – New Moon

This compilation album surfaced in 2001 sporting a “new” It’s Immaterial track, “New Moon.” Odds are that this is an unused early track rather than something dating from their Post-Circa era.

liverpool Acoustic Experiment UK CD 2002

Viper | UK | CD | 1982 | CD010

Various Artists: The Great Liverpool Acoustic Experiment UK CD [2002]

  • It’s Immaterial – Just Drive

The next year, Viper released this CD of Liverpool bands playing acoustic material, so five’ll get you ten that this is an acoustic version of “Driving Away From Home.” Perhaps dating from the year of issue. That’s a healthy amount of tracks, and at the very least a solid CD of “It’s Immaterial: The Early Years Of Bitter Struggle®, If we don’t take matters into our own hands, chances are it will never get done.

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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7 Responses to It’s Immaterial Prehistory In Need Of Compiling…Can It Be Done?

  1. SimonH says:

    This takes me back to the days when bands slipped out a single here, an ep there, sometimes over the span of a fair few years…your only way of finding out they existed was forensic reading of the music press, or more likely scouring the racks of the local indie record store and being surprised that the band your thought had only one single to their name had a history. My brother was a IM fan back then and was always on the look out for these singles, they weren’t that easy to find even in the mid 80s.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      SimonH – Don’t you know it! Pre-Internet there were a plethora of paradigm-shaking surprises awaiting you in those bins! Even today, the book gets re-written every few years as new data gets added to sources like One year you have a complete Blow Monkeys collection. A few years later, not so much!


  2. Jonathan Allen says:

    Are you aware that It’s Immaterial are currently trying to crowdfund the release of their lost third album, House For Sale? I’ve pledged, but I’m not confident that the word is getting out. I’ve been wanting to hear this record for decades…


  3. Peter Jolly says:

    Stumbled on your blog while researching exactly the album that you are talking about here. I’ve compiled two albums of singles and rarities from the band, the first one is here and the second will follow at the end of the week. Hope it’s what you were looking for.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Peter Jolly – Welcome to the comments! Yes, it does seem like we are cut from similar cloth. There’s nothing I like better than making the CDs and boxed sets of god® that no label in their right mind would actually issue! Now I only need two more It’s Immaterial singles before I can get to work on the mooted set. Possibly a 2xCD set. Well, those, and some money for archival CD-R blanks. And the biggest factor of all… TIME.


  4. Peter Jolly says:

    The second volume is now up so feel free to download and rip to CD if you like. It will at least save you having to seek out those last two singles (‘Driving Away From Home’ and ‘Ed’s Funky Diner’ i’m guessing?)


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