Deceit is the second studio album by English experimental rock band This Heat. It was released in 1981 through record label Rough Trade.

Deceit is regarded as a classic of the post-punk era, and was ranked at number 20 on Pitchfork Media's list of the greatest albums of the 1980s.[1]


 [hide*1 Background


In a 1991 interview, Charles Hayward explained that the threat of nuclear warfare motivated the band and provided the album with an underlying theme: "The whole speak, 'Little Boy', 'Big Boy' [sic], calling missiles cute little names. The whole period was mad! We had a firm belief that we were going to die and the record was made on those terms.… The whole thing was designed to express this sort of fear, angst, which the group was all about, really."[2] The album's subject matter also deals with war and imperialism.[3] The cover art reflects these concerns, and includes a photomontage of images such as mushroom cloudsthematic maps depicting nuclear arsenals and photographs of Ronald ReaganLeonid Brezhnev and Nikita Khrushchev.

As with other This Heat recordings, much of the album was recorded at Cold Storage, a disused refrigerated storeroom at a former meat pie factory in Acre LaneBrixton, England.[4] The music included new improvisations along with songs the band had been playing during live performances (portions of these songs were culled from actual concert recordings).[2][4] As Hayward describes, "some of the album was really plush sounding, some dim and pokey. Sometimes it would sound like the machinery was breaking up. We deliberately would make it sound as though the record player was exploding."[2][a]

Track listing[edit]Edit

All songs written and composed by This Heat (Charles HaywardGareth Williams, Charles Bullen). 

No. Title Length
1. "Sleep"   2:13
2. "Paper Hats"   5:57
3. "Triumph"   2:55
4. "S. P. Q. R."   3:26
5. "Cenotaph"   4:35
6. "Shrink Wrap"   1:40
7. "Radio Prague"   2:21
8. "Makeshift Swahili"   4:04
9. "Independence"   3:39
10. "A New Kind of Water"   4:57
11. "Hi Baku Shyo (Suffer Bomb Disease)"   4:03


During the 1990s, intermittent availability made Deceit a rarity and a collector's item among fans. In 2006, This Is, a Recommended Records imprint, released a remastered version of Deceitas part of the 6-CD Out of Cold Storage box set. This Is also released the album as a separately available CD.

Critical reception[edit]Edit

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic [5]
Pitchfork 9.0/10[6]
Piero Scaruffi 7/10[7]
Tiny Mix Tapes very favourable[8]

Deceit has been well-received by critics.

AllMusic wrote of the album: "Out of all the boundary breaking that occurred during the fertile era of post-punk, This Heat's Deceit is one of the most expansive, imaginative and remarkably wild records to have been produced during the time—and very possibly the last three decades."[5] The Trouser Press Record Guide described the album as "austere, brilliant and indescribable."[9] Tiny Mix Tapes called it a "radiation-soaked masterpiece".[8]


This Heat
  • Charles Hayward – vocals, bass guitar, keyboards, drums, tape music
  • Gareth Williams – vocals, bass guitar, keyboards, tape music
  • Charles Bullen – vocals, clarinet, guitar, drums, tape music
  • David Cunningham – production
  • Martin Frederick – mixing
  • Laurie-Rae Chamberlain – colour xerography
  • Nicholas Goodall – sleeve photography direction
  • Studio 54 – sleeve design
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