The Teardrop Explodes : Sleeping Gas
In February of 1979 the Liverpool band Teardrop Explodes released "Sleeping Gas", their debut single on their hometown's Zoo Records label. Some in the rock press would call it the Single of the Week, according to Julian Cope's website.
The band came together years after after bassist/vocalist Julian Cope has been a short-lived trio called The Crucial Three with future Echo and the Bunnymen founder Ian McCulloch and future Wah! leader Pete Wylie. A few more short-lived bands later, Cope has formed a new post-punk group with a penchant for 60's psychedelia. Just before they agree to call themselves A Shallow Madness, organ player Paul Simpson shows them a Daredevil comic he's reading.
In his memoir Head On, Cope writes
Also far out: the psychedelic lyrics of "Sleeping Gas" with its repeated refrain "You can watch Rafferty turn into a serial/You can watch rafferty turn into a serial /You can watch rafferty turn into a serial/ Just like a cartoon by AAP/ Oh it's just like a cartoon by AAP.
Rafferty was a Patrick "The Prisoner " McGoohan's televison thriller while AAP has the distribution rights to Mr Magoo, Popeye and Merrie Melodies cartoons.
Above : the third Teardrop Explodes performance and the very first television appearance. They're playing one of the B sides to "Sleeping Gas"on Tony Wilson's Granada Television programme 'What's On', transmitted from Manchester. By this time Bill Drummond and David Balfe are managing both Teardrop and Echo, whose first single would come out in May.