Edward ('Ed') Ball (born 23
November 1959) is a songwriter, singer, guitarist and keyboard player
from London, who has recorded both solo and as a member of the
Television Personalities, 'O' Level, Teenage Filmstars, The Times, and
Conspiracy of Noise. He also served as an executive at Creation Records.
He was born and brought up in Chelsea, London.
In 1977, singer/songwriter Ball and fellow London Oratory school-friend
Dan Treacy formed the Television Personalities. Ball also formed 'O'
Level with John Bennett, Gerard Bennett, and Dick Scully, releasing two
singles in 1978. In 1979, he recorded as the Teenage Filmstars, along
with fellow members of the Television Personalities, releasing three
singles between 1979 and 1980. Ball and Treacy (Foster left the band
prior to the recording of any material under the Television
Personalities name) released And Don't the Kids Just Love It (1980) for
Rough Trade Records. Following a brief parting with Rough Trade, they
launched their own label Whaam! records with Mummy Your Not Watching Me
(1981), They Could Have Been Bigger Than the Beatles (1982) and And
Don't the Kids Just Love It. The Whaam! record label was later renamed
Dreamworld following a legal dispute with George Michael Ball,
meanwhile, had formed a more permanent outlet for his music in 1981 with
The Times, releasing the Pop Goes Art! album in 1982, and leaving the TV
Personalities the same year, although he later returned in 2004,
appearing on the album My Dark Places (Domino Records, 2005) and on
parts of the albums And They All Lived Happily Ever After (Damaged
Goods, 2004) and Are We Nearly There Yet? (Overground, 2007).
On leaving the Television Personalities, Ball concentrated on The Times,
a band with an ever-changing lineup in which he remained the only
constant member. Following Pop Goes Art!, from 1982 to 1986 the band
released four further albums / mini-albums on Ball's own Artpop label.
In 1986 Ball dissolved The Times to become an executive at Creation
Records; however, in 1988 he began to release new material under the
Times name, starting with the album Beat Torture. Three albums were also
released by Ball under the name of the Teenage Filmstars (although the
other members of the original Teenage Filmstars were not involved in any
way), Star (1992), Rocket Charms (1993) and Buy Our Record Support Our
In 2005, Ball reactivated his Artpop! label through Cherry Red,
debuting with Here's To Old England!, a three decade anthology of his
work as The Times, Teenage Filmstars and 'O' Level. This was followed by
comprehensive reissues of This Is London (2006) and I Helped Patrick
McGoohan Escape (2006). The series continues late May 2007 with O' Level
1977 - 1980 compilation, A Day In the Life of Gilbert & George and The
Times' first recorded album, GO! With The Times!.
Ball's first solo release credited as such was the L'Orange Mechanik
album in 1989, featuring music inspired by the poems of Edgar Allan Poe.
As a side-project to The Times, Ball began releasing dance music records
as the Love Corporation in 1990. Between 1990 and 1997, he released four
albums under this name on Creation. He also collaborated with Richard
Green as Sand on the 1991 album The Dynamic Curve, and with Phil Vane of
Extreme Noise Terror as Conspiracy of Noise on the 1993 album Chicks
with Dicks and Splatter Flicks. In 1995 Creation Records issued a
two-disc compilation of Ball's material, Welcome to the Wonderful World
of Ed Ball, covering all his material other than that released with the
Television Personalities. Two albums of solo material were released to
coincide with it, If a Man Ever Loved a Woman (1995) and Catholic Guilt
(1997), followed by Why Do I Need A Gun I'm Chelsea (1999). For the
first time on any of his projects, Ball received proper promotion for
Catholic Guilt, which reaped two UK Top 75 chart singles, "The Mill Hill
Self Hate Club" and "Love Is Blue". Following the collapse of Creation
in 1999 Ball was not signed to any other label and disappeared from the
public gaze, to concentrate on experimental film documentaries about
Simon Fisher Turner and London.. In 2004 Ball rejoined the Television
Personalities, and continues to play occasional shows under the name of
The Times. He also works with singer/songwriter Misty Woods, although
this collaboration has yet to result in any released recordings.