Born: Tim Smith, 5th April 1956, Havering, England


TV Smith formed TV Smith's Explorers in late 1979, immediately after The Adverts split up. His partner in the new venture was Tim Cross, a keyboard player who had played on the second Adverts LP but who also played with the rather more well known Mike Oldfield. The rest of the band was filled out by bassist Colin Stoner (ex-Doctors Of Madness), guitarist Erik Russell and good old John Towe, although Cross left the band after its first gig, which was at the Marquee in March 1980, and Towe followed him three gigs later. Smith recruited keyboard player Mel Wesson (ex-London Zoo) and Dave Sinclair (ex-London Zoo) and recorded the magnificent Tomahawk Cruise 7", which came out on Big Beat that November before being reissued in January 1981 on Chiswick.

Despite 'Tomahawk Cruise' stalling just outside the Top 100, the group signed with Kaleidoscope Records (a subsidiary of Epic) and released The Servant and then Have Fun as singles, both of which went nowhere, the latter's sales presumably not helped by not being issued in a picture sleeve. The debut album The Last Words Of The Great Explorer hit the shelves in June 1981 and fared no better than the previous releases, and The Perfect Life (from the LP but featuring a new vocal track) came out just as the group split, in October 1981.

With an early 1982 solo single scuppered when Epic closed the bank book on Kaleidoscope, Smith signed with Rondelet for a single, 'Burning Rain'/'The Suit', but that fell through the cracks as well. It was therefore well over a year before Smith re-surfaced on vinyl with the spunky War Fever 7", on which he was re-united with Tim Cross and joined by Tim Renwick, another Mike Oldfield cohort. Channel 5 came out in June 1983 on Expulsion (which had also issued 'War Fever'), but Expulsion went bust in August and the vinyl was so badly pressed that it is apparently good for only two or three spins before the sound begins disintegrating! Another disaster!

Smith's next venture was the Coming Round single, recorded with the same lineup which had played on 'Channel 5' but credited for no apparent reason to Production House. This joined all of Smith's previous releases in that it failed miserably, and is now pretty much impossible to find.

In late 1986 Smith formed a new group, TV Smith's Cheap, with guitarist Mik Heslin (ex-Chaotic Dischord), drummer Simon Budd and bassist Andy Benny, the latter of which had actually played with Smith in his first band, Sleaze, way back in 1975. Unfortunately, Cheap were another Smith misadventure, despite being a good band. In 1987 they contributed 'Lies' to the Mindless Slaughter compilation album, and 'Third Term' appeared on A Pox Upon The Poll Tax, but its only other release was a 7"/12" single in 1990, Third Term, before that venture fell, like all the others, by the wayside. (On a happier note, more Cheap material was made available on two posthumous comps, RIP... Everything Must Go and Anthology.)

Since then, Smith has continued to play live and make records, and good on him.



Subsequent studio albums: March Of The Giants (1992), Everything Must Go! (by TV Smith's Cheap, 1993), Immortal Rich (1995), Generation Y (1999), Not A Bad Day (2003), Misinformation Overload (2006), In The Arms Of My Enemy (2008), Coming In To Land (2011), I Delete (2014), Land Of The Overdose (2018)

Singles & Albums

T.V. Smith's Explorers - Tomahawk CruiseTomahawk Cruise (7", as T.V. Smith's Explorers, 1980)

T.V. Smith's Explorers - The ServantThe Servant (7", as T.V. Smith's Explorers, 1981)

T.V. Smith's Explorers - Have FunHave Fun (7", as T.V. Smith's Explorers, 1981)

T.V. Smith's Explorers - The Last Words Of The Great ExplorerThe Last Words Of The Great Explorer (LP+7", as T.V. Smith's Explorers, 1981)

T.V. Smith's Explorers - The Perfect Life The Perfect Life (7", as T.V. Smith's Explorers, 1981)

T.V. Smith - War FeverWar Fever (7", 1983)

T.V. Smith - Channel FiveChannel 5 (LP, 1983)

Production House - Coming RoundComing Round (7", as Production House, 1985)

Extraneous Releases

T.V. Smith - Sparkle In The Mud (Unreleased Songs And Demos Volume One: 1979-1983)Sparkle In The Mud (Unreleased Songs And Demos Volume One: 1979-1983) (CD, 2010)

T.V. Smith - Lucky Us (Unreleased Songs And Demos Volume Two: 1983-1986) Lucky Us (Unreleased Songs And Demos Volume Two: 1983-1986) (CD, 2012)

TV Smith's Explorers - AnthologyAnthology (CD, as TV Smith's Explorers, 2012)

Various Artists

Revenge Of Permanent Wave US LP 1983 (Epic): The Servant

The Chiswick Story UK 2xCD 1992 (Chiswick): Tomahawk Cruise



TV Smith Homepage



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