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Buggles

Buggles Shadows
Buggles TV
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Biography: 

As the answer to the trivia question "What was the first act ever played on MTV?," the Buggles assured their place in pop music history.

Vocalist and bassist Trevor Horn and keyboardist Geoff Downes formed the electro-pop duo in England in 1979 after meeting two years prior as session musicians. Their first single, "Video Killed the Radio Star" hit number one in the U.K. in late 1979; when MTV went on the air in 1981, the prophetically-titled record's video was the first ever broadcast on the fledgling cable network.

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Although the Buggles enjoyed three more British hits  "The Plastic Age," "Clean Clean" and "Elstree" -- both Horn and Downes were more interested in production than performing; in 1980, they helmed Yes' Drama, and later joined the group as replacements for Rick Wakeman and Jon Anderson. After Yes' break-up, Downes signed on with Asia, while Horn formed ZTT Records and produced hits for the likes of Frankie Goes to Hollywood and ABC.  

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Why Not Check Out:

Yes

Frankie Goes To Hollywood

King Crimson

Emerson, Lake & Palmer

King Crimson By Roger Gibbens

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R.E.M.

REM white background
REM black and white
REM stairs
REM trio
REM checkered
Biography: 

R.E.M. mark the point when post-punk turned into alternative rock. When their first single, "Radio Free Europe," was released in 1981, it sparked a back-to-the-garage movement in the American underground. While there were a number of hardcore and punk bands in the U.S. during the early '80s, R.E.M. brought guitar pop back into the underground lexicon. Combining ringing guitar hooks with mumbled, cryptic lyrics and a D.I.Y. aesthetic borrowed from post-punk, the band simultaneously sounded traditional and modern. Though there were no overt innovations in their music, R.E.M. had an identity and sense of purpose that transformed the American underground.

Throughout the '80s, they worked relentlessly, releasing records every year and touring constantly, playing both theaters and backwoods dives. Along the way, they inspired countless bands, from the legions of jangle pop groups in the mid-'80s to scores of alternative pop groups in the '90s, who admired their slow climb to stardom. It did take R.E.M. several years to break into the top of the charts, but they had a cult following from the release of their debut EP, Chronic Town, in 1982. Chronic Town established the haunting folk and garage rock that became the band's signature sound, and over the next five years, they continued to expand their music with a series of critically acclaimed albums. By the late '80s, the group's fan base had grown large enough to guarantee strong sales, but the Top Ten success in 1987 of Document and "The One I Love" was unexpected, especially since R.E.M. had only altered their sound slightly. Following Document, R.E.M. slowly became one of the world's most popular bands. After an exhaustive international tour supporting 1988's Green, the band retired from touring for six years and retreated into the studio to produce their most popular records, Out of Time (1991) and Automatic for the People (1992). By the time they returned to performing with the Monster tour in 1995, the band had been acknowledged by critics and musicians as one of the forefathers of the thriving alternative rock movement, and they were rewarded with the most lucrative tour of their career. Toward the late '90s, R.E.M. was an institution, as its influence was felt in new generations of bands. 

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Though R.E.M. formed in Athens, GA, in 1980, Mike Mills (born December 17, 1958) and Bill Berry (born July 31, 1958) were the only Southerners in the group. Both had attended high school together in Macon, playing in a number of bands during their teens. Michael Stipe (born January 4, 1960) was a military brat, moving throughout the country during his childhood. By his teens, he had discovered punk rock through Patti Smith, Television, and Wire, and began playing in cover bands in St. Louis. By 1978, he had begun studying art at the University of Georgia in Athens, where he began frequenting the Wuxtry record store. Peter Buck (born December 6, 1956), a native of California, was a clerk at Wuxtry. Buck had been a fanatical record collector, consuming everything from classic rock to punk and free jazz, and was just beginning to learn how to play guitar. Discovering they had similar tastes, Buck and Stipe began working together, eventually meeting Berry and Mills through a mutual friend. In April of 1980, the band formed to play a party for their friend, rehearsing a number of garage, psychedelic bubblegum, and punk covers in an converted Episcopalian church. At the time, the group was played under the name the Twisted Kites. By the summer, the band had settled on the name R.E.M. after flipping randomly through the dictionary, and had met Jefferson Holt, who became their manager after witnessing the group's first out-of-state concert in North Carolina. 

Over the next year and a half, R.E.M. toured throughout the South, playing a variety of garage rock covers and folk-rock originals. At the time, the band was still learning how to play, as Buck began to develop his distinctive, arpeggiated jangle and Stipe ironed out his cryptic lyrics. During the summer of 1981, R.E.M. recorded their first single, "Radio Free Europe," at Mitch Easter's Drive-In Studios. Released on the local indie label Hib-Tone, "Radio Free Europe" was pressed in a run of only 1,000 copies, but most of the those singles fell into the right hands. Due to strong word of mouth, the single became a hit on college radio and topped the Village Voice's year-end poll of Best Independent Singles. The single also earned the attention of larger independent labels, and by the beginning of 1982, the band had signed to I.R.S. Records, releasing the EP Chronic Town in the spring. Like the single, Chronic Town was well received, paving the way for the group's full-length debut album, 1983's Murmur

With its subdued, haunting atmosphere and understated production, Murmur was noticeably different than Chronic Town and was welcomed with enthusiastic reviews upon its spring release; Rolling Stone named it the best album of 1983, beating out Michael Jackson's Thriller and The Police's Synchronicity. Murmur also expanded the group's cult significantly, breaking into the American Top 40. R.E.M. returned to a rougher-edged sound on 1984's Reckoning, which featured the college hit "So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)." By the time the band hit the road to support Reckoning, they had become well known in the American underground for their constant touring, aversion to videos, support of college radio, Stipe's mumbled vocals and detatched stage presence, Buck's ringing guitar, and their purposely enigmatic artwork. Bands that imitated these very things ran rampant throughout the American underground, and R.E.M. threw their support toward these bands, having them open at shows and mentioning them in interviews. By 1985, the American underground was awash with R.E.M. sound-alikes and bands like Game Theory and the Rain Parade, which shared similar aesthetics and sounds. 

Just as the signature R.E.M. sound dominated the underground, the band entered darker territory with its third album, 1985's Fables of the Reconstruction. Recorded in London with producer Joe Boyd (Richard Thompson, Fairport Convention, Nick Drake), Fables of the Reconstruction was made at a difficult period in R.E.M.'s history, as the band was fraught with tension produced by endless touring. The album reflected the group's dark moods, as well as its obsession with the rural South, and both of these fascinations popped up on the supporting tour. Stipe, whose on-stage behavior was always slightly strange, entered his most bizarre phase, as he put on weight, dyed his hair bleached blonde, and wore countless layers of clothing. None of the new quirks in R.E.M.'s persona prevented Fables of the Reconstruction from becoming their most successful album to date, selling nearly 300,000 copies in the U.S. R.E.M. decided to record their next album with Don Gehman, who had previously worked with John Mellencamp. Gehman had the band clean up its sound and Stipe enunciate his vocals, making Lifes Rich Pageant their most accessible record to date. Upon its late summer release in 1986, Lifes Rich Pageant was greeted with the positive reviews that had become customary with each new R.E.M. album, and it outstripped the sales of its predecessor. Several months after Lifes Rich Pageant, the group released the B-sides and rarities collection Dead Letter Office in the spring of 1987. 

R.E.M. had laid the groundwork for mainstream success, but they had never explicitly courted widespread success. Nevertheless, their audience had grown quite large, and it wasn't that surprising that the group's fifth album, Document, became a hit shortly after its fall 1987 release. Produced by Scott Litt -- who would produce all of their records over the course of the next decade -- Document climbed into the U.S. Top Ten and went platinum on the strength of the single "The One I Love," which also went into the Top Ten; it also became their biggest U.K. hit to date, reaching the British Top 40. The following year, the band left I.R.S. Records, signing with Warner Bros. for a reported six million dollars. The first album under the new contract was Green, which was released on election day 1988. Green continued the success of Document, going double platinum and generating the Top Ten single "Stand." R.E.M. supported Green with an exhaustive international tour, in which they played their first stadium dates in the U.S. Though they had graduated to stadiums in America, the group continued to play clubs throughout Europe.

The Green tour proved to be draining for the group, and they took an extended rest upon its completion in 1989. During the break, each member pursued side projects, and Hindu Love Gods, an album Buck, Berry, and Mills recorded with Warren Zevon in 1986, was released. R.E.M. reconvened during 1990 to record their seventh album, Out of Time, which was released in the spring of 1991. Entering the U.S. and U.K. charts at number one, Out of Time was a lush pop and folk album, boasting a wider array of sounds than the group's previous efforts; its lead single, "Losing My Religion," became the group's biggest single, reaching number four in the U.S. Since the band was exhausted from the Green tour, they chose to stay off the road. Nevertheless, Out of Time became their biggest album, selling over four million copies in the U.S. and spending two weeks at the top of the charts. R.E.M. released the dark, meditative Automatic for the People in the fall of 1992. Though the group had promised a rock album after the softer textures of Out of Time, Automatic for the People was slow, quiet, and reflective, with many songs being graced by string arrangements by Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones. Like its predecessor, Automatic for the People was a quadruple platinum success, generating the Top 40 hit singles "Drive," "Man on the Moon," and "Everybody Hurts." 

 

After piecing together two albums in the studio, R.E.M. decided to return to being a rock band with 1994's Monster. Though the record was conceived as a back-to-basics album, the recording of Monster was difficult and plagued with tension. Nevertheless, the album was a huge hit upon its fall release, entering the U.S. and U.K. charts at number one; furthermore, the album won praise from a number of old-school critics who had been reluctant to praise the band, since they didn't "rock" in conventional terms. Experiencing some of the strongest sales and reviews of their career, R.E.M. began their first tour since Green early in 1995. Two months into the tour, Bill Berry suffered a brain aneurysm while performing; he had surgery immediately and had fully recovered within a month. R.E.M. resumed their tour two months after Berry's aneurysm, but his illness was only the beginning of a series of problems that plagued the Monster tour. Mills had to undergo abdominal surgery to remove an intestinal tumor in July; a month later, Stipe had to have an emergency surgery to remove a hernia. Despite all the problems, the tour was an enormous financial success, and the group recorded the bulk of a new album. Before the record was released in the fall of 1996, R.E.M. parted ways with their long-time manager Jefferson Holt, allegedly due to sexual harassment charges levied against Holt; the group's lawyer, Bertis Downs, assumed managerial duties. 

New Adventures in Hi-Fi was released in September 1996, just before it was announced that the band had re-signed with Warner Bros., reportedly for a record-breaking sum of 80 million dollars. In light of such a huge figure, the commercial failure of New Adventures in Hi-Fi was ironic. Though it received strong reviews and debuted at number two in the U.S. and number one in the U.K., the album failed to generate a hit single, and it only went platinum where its three predecessors went quadruple platinum. By early 1997, the album had already begun its descent down the charts. However, the members of R.E.M. were already pursuing new projects, as Stipe worked with his film company, Single Cell Pictures, and Buck co-wrote songs with Mark Eitzel and worked with a free jazz group, Tuatara

In October of 1997, R.E.M. shocked fans and the media with the announcement that Berry was amicably exiting the group to retire to life on his farm; the remaining members continued on as a three-piece, soon convening in Hawaii to begin preliminary work on their next LP. Replacing Berry with a drum machine, the sessions resulted in 1998's Up, widely touted as R.E.M.'s most experimental recording in years. It was only a brief change of direction, since the band's next album, 2001's Reveal, marked a return to their classic sound. Around the Sun followed in 2004. A worldwide tour followed in 2005, which included an appearance at the London branch of Live 8. In 2007, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That same year, they began work on Accelerate, which was released in 2008.

Sources: artistdirect.com; Brenna Sanchez

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TRAVELLING WILLBURYS

Travelling Wilburys
Travelling Wilburys promo
Travelling Wilburys with guitars
Travelling Wilburys together
Biography: 

The Traveling Wilburys was not a carefully planned band, not formed from deep premeditation. Rather, the band was created in a casual blending of genuine friends one ordinary afternoon, which turned out to be anything but ordinary.

George Harrison needed a B-side song to accompany a European single release from his widely regarded Cloud Nine album. While in Los Angeles, George approached Jeff Lynne for help with the B-side, since he had co-produced the album. It happened that Jeff was working with Roy Orbison on the upcoming Mystery Girl album. Roy readily agreed to lend a hand in the musical effort. As fate would luckily dictate, George's guitar was at Tom Petty's house, and he too offered to join in and make some music. When the group showed up to record, Dylan also lent a hand to help complete the half-finished song George had written. George has often been quoted as saying, "And so everybody was there and I thought, I'm not gonna just sing it myself, I've got Roy Orbison standing there. I'm gonna write a bit for Roy to sing. And then, as it progressed, then I started doing the vocals and I just thought I might as well push it a bit and get Tom and Bob to sing the bridge." The final result was a song called "Handle With Care." George later said, "I liked the song and the way that it turned out with all these people on it so much that I just carried it around in my pocket for ages thinking, Well what can I do with this thing? And the only thing to do I could think of was do another nine. Make an album."

The album they created was called the Traveling Wilburys Volume 1 -- a playful nod to the reality that subsequent volumes were unlikely. Volume 1 was released in October 1988 preceded by the single "Handle With Care." The album achieved wide critical acclaim, and most critics agreed that the music was so extraordinary because of the modest ambitions of the band, which translated to a fresh and relaxing sound. Rolling Stone Magazine instantly called it one of the Top 100 Albums of all time. The album also saw commercial success; it reached #3 on the Album charts, garnered double-platinum status and earned the group a Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group.

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In 1990, following the unexpected death of Roy Orbison in December 1988, the remaining members reconvened to record Traveling Wilburys Volume 3, dedicating the album to Lefty (Roy) Wilbury. With Harrison and Lynne producing again, both "She's My Baby" and "Wilbury Twist" became radio hits as the album reached #11 in the U.S. and achieved Platinum success.

Albums:

 

Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1, Wilbury Records, 1988.
 
Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3, Wilbury Records, 1990.
 

 

Source: artistdirect.com

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Steppenwolf

Biography: 

Led by John Kay (born Joachim Krauledat, April 12, 1944), Steppenwolf's blazing biker anthem "Born to Be Wild" roared out of speakers everywhere in the fiery summer of 1968, John Kay's threatening rasp sounding a mesmerizing call to arms to the counterculture movement rapidly sprouting up nationwide.

German immigrant Kay got his professional start in a bluesy Toronto band called Sparrow, recording for Columbia in 1966. After Sparrow disbanded, Kay relocated to the West Coast and formed Steppenwolf, named after the Herman Hesse novel. "Born to Be Wild," their third single on ABC-Dunhill, was immortalized on the soundtrack of Dennis Hopper's underground film classic Easy Rider. The song's reference to "heavy metal thunder" finally gave an assignable name to an emerging genre.

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Steppenwolf's second monster hit that year, the psychedelic "Magic Carpet Ride," and the follow-ups "Rock Me," "Move Over," and "Hey Lawdy Mama" further established the band's credibility on the hard-rock circuit. By the early '70s, Steppenwolf ran out of steam and disbanded. Kay continued to record solo, as other members put together ersatz versions of the band for touring purposes. During the mid 80s Kay re-formed his own version of Steppenwolf, grinding out his hits (and some new songs) at oldies shows. Nevertheless, they'll be remembered for generations to come for creating one of the ultimate gas'n'go rock anthems of all time.

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TRANSVISION VAMP

Transvision Vamp
Wendy James
Wendy James topless
Transvision Vamp promo
Biography: 

Transvision Vamp was a British alternative rock group popular in the late 80s. The line up consisted of Nick Christian Slayer, Wendy James, Dave Parsons (went on to join Bush), Tex Axile (formally of X-Ray Spex) and Pol Burton. Wendy James is the most recognisable member with her distinctively raspy vocals, blonde bombshell sexuality and seductive performances.

The band had low charting success until the release of I Want Your Love which hit #5 on the UK singles chart in 1988. The band later released the album Pop Art which stayed on the charts for a total of 32 weeks. 

In 1989, Transvision Vamp released Velveteen which featured their best hit, Baby I Don’t Care

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In the 90s, record label disputes about the next slated release Little Magnets Versus the Bubble of Babble and rumblings of a potential break up within the band pretty much put an end to the group. They officially called it quits in 1992.  

Wendy James is still active in the music industry as an independent, unsigned artist.

Albums:

Pop Art, MCA Records, 1988.
 
Velveteen, MCA, 1989.
 
Little Magnets Versus the Bubble of Babble, MCA, 1991.
 

Source: Juanita Appleby

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THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND

Allman Brothers
Allman Brothers Sitting
Allman Bros
Allman Brothers Sitting
Biography: 

The southern American mega-group, The Allman Brothers boast over 40 years in the music industry and are considered a classic rock staple with a mix of blues, rock and a unique approach to jamming.

The founding members were Gregg Allman and Duane Allman with original supporting members in the form of Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks and Jai Johanny Johanson. The band has been awarded eleven gold and 5 platinum albums between the years of 1971 and 2005.

The band’s first self-titled album was a critical success but with the southern rock genre being such an underground phenomenon, it didn’t reach mainstream attention. The opposite was true for its second album Idlewild South in 1970 which produced an Allman Brother’s classic, Midnight Rider which was more radio-friendly and remains so to this day.

In 1971, the band released the recording of its performance at the Fillmore East. It highlighted the bands’ finesse at improvisation and Gregg’s coarse vocals on songs like the 23 minute version of Whipping Post and 13 minute In the Memory of Elizabeth Reed. It was a massive success.

Tragedy struck the band when Duane was killed in a motorcycle accident shortly after this legendary Fillmore performance. The group decided to carry on and Betts filled Duane’s role while recording their third album, Eat a Peach

Ironically, another member, Oakley, died due to injuries sustained in a motorcycle injury. This happened shortly before the band finished its fourth album, Brothers and Sisters. This became another one of must-have Allman Brothers albums with tracks, Ramblin’ Man and Jessica.

By 1973, The Allman Brothers could claim to be one of the best loved festival and concert acts. Their success led to other southern acts, like Lynyrd Skynrd, rising through the charts.

Like many successful rock acts, drug use, personal conflicts and differing musical directions produced cracks in the group. 1975’s album, Win, Lose or Draw didn’t feature all the members of the band.

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By 1979, The Allman Brothers were all but non-existent in the charts but still had a committed following. The band officially broke up in 1982 when Gregg formed the uniquely titled Gregg Allman Band. Other dominant member, Betts joined forces with Trucks and other latter Allman additions David Goldflies and Chuck Leavell to form the short-lived and equally novel band named, Betts, Hall, Leavell and Trucks. Both fledging bands toured small venues. 

During the next few years, Gregg and Betts moved in a parallel fashion, releasing solo material and performing one-off reunions. Gregg’s solo success prompted an official reunion with Betts, Jaimoe and Trucks. They added Warren Haynes, Johnny Neel and Allen Woody to the line up.

The band was signed to Epic Records and released three new albums. In 1995, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. At the cusp of the new century, more line up transformations ensued including the addition of the young but insanely talented guitar player, Derek Trucks (the nephew of Butch Trucks). Betts was painfully forced out of the band for “personal and professional reasons”. This was indicative of the tenuous relationship that Betts and Gregg experienced in the past. The Allman Brothers continue to perform live. 

Group has included Howard Duane Allman, born November 20,1946, Nashville, TN, died in a motorcycle accident October 29, 1971; Gregg Allman, born December 8, 1947, Nashville; Duane and Gregg's mother's name was Géraldine Allman; Dicky Betts (guitar); Warren Heynes (guitar); Jai Johanny Johanson (drums); Chuck Leavell (piano); Johnny Neel (harmonica and keyboards); Berry Oakley (bass), deceased, 1972; Dan Toller (guitar); Butch Trucks (drums); Lamar Williams (bass); Allen Woody (bass).

Band formed c. 1968.

Addresses: Record company—Epic (Sony Music Distribution), Sony Music Entertainment, P.O. Box 4450, New York, NY 10101.

"Duane was the father of the band," said Gregg in Guitar Player. "He had a lot to do with the spontaneity of the whole thing. He was like the mother ship. Somehow he had this real magic about him that would lock us all in, and we'd take off." Although he is hardly ever mentioned in the same breath as his contemporaries, Duane was as equally inventive and skillful as Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, or Jimmy Page. His work on Clapton's Layla LP prodded the Englishman to new heights and created one of the finest rock albums of all time.

The Allman Brothers band took a devastating blow on October 29,1971 when Duane was killed in a motorcycle crash at the age of 24. A tight-knit family, the Allman Brothers band continued on without replacing Duane and issued Eat a Peach in 1972. One half of the LP consisted of live cuts from their Fillmore dates and the studio side included the hit "Melissa." Betts took control of the band's direction and continued in his instrumental vein with "Jessica" on their next album, Brothers and Sisters. They had their biggest hit, "Ramblin' Man," but were also struck again by tragedy when Berry Oakley died just 13 months after Duane in an eerily similar accident.

Albums:

The Allman Brothers Band, Atco, 1969.

Idlewild South, Atco, 1970.

Live at the Fillmore East, Capricorn, 1971.

Eat a Peach, Capricorn, 1972.

Brothers and Sisters, Capricorn, 1973.

Win, Lose or Draw, Capricorn, 1975.

The Road Goes on Forever, Capricorn, 1975.

Wipe The Windows, Check the Oil, Dollar Gas, Capricorn, 1976.

Enlightened Rogues, Capricorn, 1979.

Reach for the Sky, Arista, 1980.

Brothers of the Road.

Dreams (retrospective box set), Polydor, 1989.

Seven Turns, Epic, 1990.

Live At Ludlow Garage, Polygram, 1990.

Shades of Two Worlds, Epic, 1991.

An Evening with the Allman Brothers Band: First Set, Epic, 1992.

Where It All Begins, Sony, 1994.

An Evening with the Allman Brothers Band: 2nd Set, Epic, 1995.

Peakin' at the Beacon, Epic, 2000.

Hittin' the Note, Sanctuary, 2003.

Sources: Juanita Appleby; Calen D. Stone

HAVE A LOOK AT THIS GREAT THE ALLMAN BROTHERS MERCHANDISE HERE

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THOMAS DOLBY

Thomas Dolby promo
Thomas Dolby
Thomas Dolby album
Thomas Dolby
Thomas Morgan Robertson
Biography: 

The man behind iconic 80s song, She Blinded Me with Science, is Thomas Dolby. This synth-based, catchy song was supported with an appealing video and remains a staple when discussing the early days of MTV. But Dolby’s career in the music industry is denser than a one-hit wonder. As a producer and musician, he has become a well-known and sought after collaborator, technology advocate, and inspiration for fledgling synth-rock maestros globally.

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Dolby’s Grammy-nominated approach and style in music has constantly been in flux – from the synth-driven pop of his first album The Golden Age of Wireless to funky and emotive arrangements in later albums like Aliens Ate My Buick and Astronauts and Heretics.

His career started out shortly after he taught himself music and dropped out of school to join an R&B/Jazz band. By the 80s, he was contributing to albums as a session musician for the Thompson Twins, Def Leppard and Foreigner. This financially supported his own solo efforts to record his first album, 1982’s The Golden Age of Wireless. Two years later he released The Flat Earth on Capitol Records.

These two albums by Dolby were well-received by critics and achieved Gold status in the US. Despite, his later un-charting singles in the late-80s and early-90s, Dolby remained active in the music industry and established a technology company that would go on to develop a music file format for internet usage. This venture for Dolby was important as he is a strong advocate for copyright protection and has consistently voiced his opinion over unauthorised sampling and piracy.

Dolby’s musical talents would also benefit him in another business activity in composing hundreds of polyphonic ringtones including the Nokia signature theme. He has also worked as a producer and soundtrack composer for films and video games. In 1998, Yahoo! awarded Dolby with a Lifetime Achievement in Internet Music.

After various, successful one-off gigs in the 2000s, Dolby returned to the music scene and moved back to the UK in 2006. He continues to collaborate, tour and release new and re-mastered material.

Born Thomas Robertson in 1958 in Cairo, Egypt; son of an archaeologist; married Kathleen Beller (an actress), 1988; two daughters, one named Talia Claire.
 
Taught himself to play guitar, c. 1970; dropped out of school to pursue music, 1974; performed with Jamaican R&B band and played jazz in restaurants; played synthesizers for Bruce Wooley and the Camera Club, late 1970s; toured Europe and U.S. with Lene Lovich; played in Paris subways; played synthesizer for Foreigner, Def Leppard, Joan Armatrading, and Malcolm McClaren, early 1980s; released debut single, "Urges," 1981; signed with EMI Records; released first album, The Golden Age of Wireless, Capitol, 1982; co-produced Joni Mitchell's Dog Eat Dog and produced albums by George Clinton and Prefab Sprout, 1985; participated in Live Aid concert; participated in Roger Waters's production of The Wall, West Berlin, 1990. Composer of film scores. Founder of virtual reality company Headspace.
 
 
Awards: Four Grammy Award nominations.
 
Addresses: Record company—Giant Records, 8900 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 200, Beverly Hills, CA 90211-1906.

Albums:

(Contributor) Joan Armatrading, Walk Under Ladders, A&M, 1981.
 
(Contributor) Foreigner, Four, Atlantic, 1981.
 
The Golden Age of Wireless, Capitol, 1982.
 
The Flat Earth, Capitol, 1984.
 
Aliens Ate My Buick, EMI, 1988.
 
Astronauts & Heretics (includes "I Love You Goodbye"), Giant, 1992.
 
As producer
Joni Mitchell, Dog Eat Dog, Geffen, 1985.
 
George Clinton, Some of My Best Jokes Are Friends, Capitol, 1985.
 
Prefab Sprout, Two Wheels Good, Epic, 1985.
 
Prefab Sprout, From Langley Park to Memphis, Epic, 1988.
 
Ofra Haza, Desert Wind, Sire, 1989.
 
Prefab Sprout, Jordan: The Comeback. Epic, 1990.
 
Him scores
Fever Pitch, 1985.
 
(Contributor) Howard the Duck, 1986.
 
Gothic, 1987.
 

Sources: Juanita Appleby; Jeffrey Taylor

This information is provided as a brief overview and not as a definitive guide, there are other sources on the net for that. If however you have a story or information that is not generally known we would love to hear from you. Content@rokpool.com

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THE CHRISTIANS

The Christians black and white
The Christians front man  Garry Christian
The Christians trio
The Christians Paris Festival 2011
Biography: 

The Christians, are a British soul influenced sophisti -pop band from Liverpool, who had several UK and international chart hits, in the late 80s and early 90s

The Christians are known for their politically-conscious, often moral lyrics, and have been labelled as 'socially aware soul'. Musically,comparisons have been drawn to bands such as The Temptations and The Pursuasions.

Formed in 1983 in Liverpool, The Christians started out as 3- piece acappella act, originally comprising of three brothers: Garry (lead vocals), Russell (keyboards, sax, vocals) and Roger Christian (vocals, instrumentalist). In 1986 they were joined by Henry Priestman (whose middle name coincidentally happened to be Christian!), former Yachts and It's Immaterial frontman. Shortly after, Roger Christian left the band to pursue a solo career. The rest of the band continued without him, and in 1987 scored a minor hit with ‘Forgotten town’.

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In 1987 Christians released a self titled album ‘The Christians’, entering the UK charts at no. 2 and eventually going on to sell over 2 million copies. 1988 saw the release of the Isley Brothers cover: 'Harvest for the World'. The single reached #8 in the UK charts, with all proceeds going to charity. They had further success with a charity single: Ferry Cross the Mersey – a collaborative effort including Paul McCartney, Holly Johnson, Gerry Marsden and Stock Aitken Waterman staying at #1 for 3 weeks.

Christians released their second album ‘Colour’ in 1990, yielding the international hit ‘Words’ and the second single off the album ‘I Found Out’. In 1992 'Happy in Hell' was released, producing the top 40 hit single 'What's in a Word'. The band continued to tour in the early 1990s, however, their popularity began to decline. They released a greatest hits album in 1993 ‘The Best of the Christians’, reaching #22 in the charts.

Russell Christian left the band in 1995 to pursue a solo career. In 1998 Roger Christian passed away from a brain tumour. The band reformed in 1999 as a four-piece unplugged act, with guitarist and songwriter Paul Campbell accompanying them on tour. Christians released a further album in 2003 'Prodigal Sons', supported by a UK tour. The line up changed once again in 2005, when Russel Christian no longer wished to tour with the band. The new band comprised of Garry Christian (vocals), Joey Ankrah (acoustic guitar, backing vocals), Stewart Boyle (electric guitar), Bobby Kewley (bass guitar) and Jay Iving (drums). The band is still active today, having recently released a new record in 2009 'Soul from Liverpool' and continue to tour.

Albums:

The Christians, 1987.

Colour, 1990.

Happy In Hell, 1992.

Prodigal Sons, 2003.

Source: Jenny Grib

This information is provided as a brief overview and not as a definitive guide, there are other sources on the net for that. If however you have a story or information that is not generally known we would love to hear from you. Content@rokpool.com.

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THE HOUSE MARTINS

The Housemartins promo
The Housemartins jeans
The Housemartins black and white
The Housemartins album
The Housemartins sideview
Biography: 

The Housemartins were famous in the 1980's for their unconventional mixture of tuneful pop, Marxism and Christianity.

This English band were formed in 1983 and with a few line-up changes at the start of their career, settled with Paul Heaton (vocals), Stan Cullimore (guitar), Norman Cook (bass) and Hugh Whitaker (drums), later replaced with Dave Hemingway.

Heaton and Cullimore were originally buskers -  the band rose from obscurity thanks to the backing of record label Go! Discs. With tongue firmly in cheek, The Housemartins often described themselves as ''The 4th Best Band In Hull''.

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''Happy Hour'' was their breakthrough single, hitting the heights of No.3 in the U.K Singles Charts. The band did, however, go on to reach the No.1 spot with the acapella version of Isley Jasper Isley's ''Caravan Of Love''.

The Housemartins split in 1988, but remained friends. Heaton, Hemingway and band roadie Sean Welsh formed the highly successful The Beautiful South, while Cook mutated into dance superstar Fatboy Slim.

Albums:

London 0 Hull 4, Go! Discs, 1986.

The People Who Grinned Themselves to Death, Go! Discs, 1987.
 

Source: Wendy Gabriel

This information is provided as a brief overview and not as a definitive guide, there are other sources on the net for that. If however you have a story or information that is not generally known we would love to hear from you. Content@rokpool.com

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