The Obvious Identity

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The Obvious Identity
Studio album by Cardiac Arrest
Released June 1980
Recorded June 1980
Genre Rock, New Wave, art punk
Label Private release
Producer Tim Smith
Cardiac Arrest chronology
The Obvious Identity
Toy World
as Cardiacs
(1981)Toy World1981

The Obvious Identity is the debut album by English rock group Cardiacs (although it was released under the group's earlier name of 'Cardiac Arrest'). It was released solely on cassette and was only sold at concerts. The album title came from a name which the band used for a short time prior to taking on the "Cardiac Arrest" name. This was the only Cardiacs album to feature the band's original lead singer, Michael Pugh, who appeared on two tracks (Pugh's only other appearance with the band on record was on the "A Bus for a Bus on the Bus" single).

The album was produced by Cardiacs leader Tim Smith at Crow Studios in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, UK. Recorded with the punk/DIY ethic in mind and - as Smith had little cash to invest in the project - the master tapes were duplicated onto as many old cassette tapes as Smith could find. An anonymous member of the band has been quoted as commenting that "the recordings were so shit it wouldn’t matter if they were copied onto washing up sponges."[1] Eventually, 1000 cassettes were recorded, but only sold at concerts to save on expenditure.

Reissues and alternate versions of album tracks[edit]

The Obvious Identity has never been reissued, and is consequently one of the rarest Cardiac Arrest/Cardiacs releases. However, many of the pieces from it have either been reissued on other Cardiacs releases or have had live versions appearing on other albums.

  • "Bite 3/a" is the only track from The Obvious Identity that has never been reissued in any form.
  • "To Go Off and Things" was re-recorded for the 1984 album The Seaside. As a live favorite, versions of it have appeared on most of the Cardiacs live albums.
  • "The Obvious Identity", "Rock Around The Clock" and "A Game For Berties Party" were all included on the 1989 Archive Cardiacs compilation.
  • A live version of "Cameras" appeared on the 1988 live album Cardiacs Live.
  • A shorter live version of "Visiting Hours" (retitled as "Visiting") appeared on the live album "All That Glitters Is a Mares Nest".
  • Live versions of "Pip As Uncle Dick But Peter Spoilt It", "Rock Around The Clock", "Let Alone My Plastic Doll," "Leaf Scrapings," and "A Balloon For Berties Party" appeared on the 2005 live album The Special Garage Concerts Vol I.
  • Live versions of "The Obvious Identity", "Visiting Hours", "A Game For Berties Party" and "Pilf" appeared on the 2005 live album The Special Garage Concerts Vol II.

Track List[edit]

All tracks written by Tim Smith except where indicated.

Side 1 is on it is
1."The Obvious Identity"  
2."Visiting Hours"  
3."Pip As Uncle Dick But Peter Spoilt It"  
4."To Go Off And Things"  
5."Rock Around The Clock"Tim Smith, Colvin Mayers 
6."Leaf Scrapings"Tim Smith, Cardiac Arrest 
Side two
1."A Game For Berties Party"Smith, Cawthra 
2."Cameras"Cawthra (arr. Smith) 
3."Bite 3/a"  
5."Let Alone My Plastic Doll"  
6."A Balloon For Berties Party"  


  • Peter "Zip" Boker (Michael Pugh) - Vocals (Tracks 1 and 7)
  • Philip Pilf (Tim Smith) - Guitar and Synth (Vocals on remaining tracks)
  • Patty Pilf (Jim Smith) - Bass
  • Duncan Doilet (Colvin Mayers) - Vocals and Synth
  • Little Bobby Shattocks (Mark Cawthra) - Drums


  1. ^ "Band biography at Cardiacs homepage". Retrieved 2008-12-09.