Julian Miles "Jools" Holland, OBE, DL is an English pianist, singer and television presenter. He was an original member of the band Squeeze and his work has involved him with many artists including Sting, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, George Harrison, David Gilmour, The The and Bono. Since 1992, he has hosted Later... with Jools Holland, a music-based show aired on BBC2, on which his annual show Hootenanny is based. Holland is a published author and appears on television shows besides his own and contributes to radio shows. In 2004, he collaborated with Tom Jones on an album of traditional R&B music. Holland regularly hosts the weekly programme Jools Holland on BBC Radio 2, a mix of live and recorded music and general chat and features studio guests, along with members of his orchestra. Holland was educated at Shooters Hill Grammar School, a former state grammar school on Red Lion Lane in Shooter's Hill, in the Royal Borough of Greenwich in southeast London, from which he was expelled for damaging a teacher's Triumph Herald.
Holland played as a session musician before finding fame, his first studio session was with Wayne County & the Electric Chairs in 1976 on their track "Fuck Off". Holland was a founding member of the British pop band Squeeze, formed in March 1974, in which he played keyboards until 1981 and helped the band to achieve millions of record sales, before pursuing his solo career. Holland began issuing solo records in 1978, his first EP being Boogie Woogie'78, he continued his solo career through the early 1980s, releasing an album and several singles between 1981 and 1984. He branched out into TV. Holland achieved notoriety by inadvertently using the phrase, "be there, or be an ungroovey fucker" in an early evening TV trailer, live across two channels, for the show, causing him to be suspended from the show for six weeks, he referred to this in his sitcom The Groovy Fellers with Rowland Rivron. Holland appeared as a guest host on MTV. In 1983 Holland played an extended piano solo on The The's re-recording of "Uncertain Smile" for the album Soul Mining.
In 1985, Squeeze unexpectedly regrouped including Holland as their keyboard player. Holland remained in the band until 1990, at which point he again departed Squeeze to resume his solo career as a musician and a TV host. In 1987, Holland formed the Jools Holland Big Band, which consisted of himself and Gilson Lavis from Squeeze; this became the 18-piece Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. Between 1988 and 1990 he performed and co-hosted along with David Sanborn during the two seasons of the music performance programme Sunday Night on NBC late-night television. Since 1992 he has presented the music programme Later... with Jools Holland, plus an annual New Year's Eve Hootenanny. In 1996, Holland signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records, his records are now marketed through Rhino Records. On 29 November 2002, Holland was in the ensemble of musicians who performed at the Concert for George, which celebrated the music of the late George Harrison. In January 2005 Holland and his band performed with Eric Clapton as the headline act of the Tsunami Relief Cardiff.
The Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, includes singers Louise Marshall and Ruby Turner and his younger brother, singer-songwriter and keyboard player, Christopher Holland. On 4 June 2012, Holland performed at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert outside Buckingham Palace in London. In June 2012, he presented a programme about the popular songs of London on BBC Two, he presents a weekly programme on BBC Radio 2, combining guests and chat, with recorded and live music. On 24 June 2017 Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra played a set on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival which included a special appearance from Chris Difford, a current member of his previous band Squeeze. In November 2017 Holland released a new album As You See Me Now, working alongside Jose Feliciano and embarked on a sell-out tour of 33 UK dates. In many interviews Jools described Feliciano as his true hero, saying: "When I heard his music, it had the same effect on me as Ray Charles, The Beatles and Motown. Hearing José sing and play was like an arrow straight to my heart."
On 29 August 2005, Holland married Christabel McEwen, his girlfriend of 15 years and daughter of artist Rory McEwen. Holland lives in the Westcombe Park area of Blackheath in southeast London, where he had his studio, Helicon Mountain, built to his design and inspired by Portmeirion, the setting for the 1960s TV series The Prisoner, he owns a manor house near medieval Cooling Castle in Kent. He appeared on the cover of Railway Modeller magazine in January 2019. In the attic of his house, Holland has spent ten years building a 100-foot model railway, it is full of miniature landscapes that stretch from Berlin to London. He started with paintings from early 1960s London. "In the evenings, he builds some trains and buildings before switching on some music, pouring a glass of wine and switching on the trains to watch them move around the room."He received an OBE in 2003 in the Queen's Birthday Honours list, for services to the British music industry as a television presenter and musician. In September 2006, Holland was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Kent.
Holland was appointed an honorary fellow of Canterbury Christ Church University at a ceremony held at Canterbury Cathedral on 30 January 2009. On 1 February 2011 he was appointed honorary colonel of 101 Engineer Regiment. In June 2006 Holland performed in Southend for HIV/AIDS charity Mildmay, in early 2007 he performed at Wells and Rochester Cathedrals to ra
Madness are an English ska band from Camden Town, north London, who formed in 1976. One of the most prominent bands of the late-1970s and early-1980s two-tone ska revival, they continue to perform with six of the seven members of their classic line-up. Madness achieved most of their success in the early to mid-1980s. Both Madness and UB40 spent 214 weeks on the UK singles charts over the course of the decade, holding the record for most weeks spent by a group in the 1980s UK singles charts. However, Madness did so in a shorter time period. Madness have had 15 singles reach the UK top ten, which include "One Step Beyond", "Baggy Trousers" and "It Must Be Love", one UK number one single and two number ones in Ireland, "House of Fun" and "Wings of a Dove". "Our House" was their biggest. In 2000 the band received the Ivor Novello Award from the British Academy of Songwriters and Authors for Outstanding Song Collection; the core of the band formed as The North London Invaders in 1976, included Mike Barson on keyboards and vocals, Chris Foreman on guitar and Lee Thompson on saxophone and vocals.
They recruited John Hasler on drums and Cathal Smyth on bass guitar. In the year, they were joined by lead vocalist Dikron Tulane; this six-piece line-up lasted until part way through 1977, when Graham McPherson took over the lead vocals after seeing the band perform in a friend's garden. Tulane went on to be an actor under the name Dikran Tulaine. Smyth, who left after an argument with Barson, was replaced by Gavin Rodgers, Barson's girlfriend's brother. McPherson was kicked out of the band for too choosing to watch Chelsea instead of rehearsing. Thompson left the band. By 1978, the band had allowed McPherson to return, after filling in temporarily for Hasler. Thompson returned after patching things up with Barson. Drummer Dan Woodgate and bass player Mark Bedford joined the band, replacing Garry Dovey and Rodgers, respectively. After changing their name to Morris and the Minors, the band renamed itself as Madness in 1979, paying homage to one of their favourite songs by ska/reggae artist Prince Buster.
The band remained a sextet until late 1979, when Chas Smash rejoined and became the seventh member of Madness as a backing vocalist and dancer. During 1979, the band began to attract a live following in London, being regulars at the Dublin Castle in Camden Town; the band's first commercial recording was the Lee Thompson composition "The Prince". The song, like the band's name, paid homage to Prince Buster; the song was released through the label of The Specials founder Jerry Dammers. The song was a surprise hit, peaking in the UK music charts at number 16. A performance of "The Prince" on popular UK music show Top of the Pops helped Madness gain public recognition. Madness toured with fellow 2 Tone bands The Specials and The Selecter, before recording their debut album; that debut album, One Step Beyond... was released by Stiff Records. The album included a re-recording of "The Prince" and its B-side "Madness", the band's second and third singles: "One Step Beyond" and "My Girl"; the title song was a cover of the B-side of the 1960s Prince Buster hit "Al Capone".
One Step Beyond... stayed in the British charts for 78 weeks, peaking at number 2. After the release of "My Girl", the band felt that they had exhausted the material from One Step Beyond... and did not want to release any more singles from the album. However, Dave Robinson, head of Stiff Records, disagreed. A compromise was made, the band decided to release an EP featuring one album track and three new tracks; the result was the Work Rest and Play EP, headlined by the song "Night Boat to Cairo", from the One Step Beyond album. The EP reached number 6 in the UK singles chart. Live recordings of Madness performances as well as those by other 2 Tone bands were used in the documentary film and soundtrack album Dance Craze. In 1980, the band's second album, Absolutely reached number 2 in the UK album charts. Spawned some of the band's biggest hits, most notably "Baggy Trousers", which peaked at number 3 in the UK singles chart. "Embarrassment" reached number 4 in the charts, the instrumental song "The Return of the Los Palmas 7" climbed to number 7.
Although the album reviews were less enthusiastic than those of One Step Beyond... they were positive. Robert Christgau gave the album a favourable B- grade, but Rolling Stone awarded the album just one out of five stars. Rolling Stone was scathing of the ska revival in general, stating that "The Specials wasn't good" and Madness were "the Blues Brothers with English accents". A drama-documentary film entitled Take It or Leave It was released in 1981, featuring the band members playing themselves in a re-creation of their early days to the then-current period. In 1981, the band's third studio album, 7, reached number 5 in the UK album charts and contained three hit singles: "Grey Day", "Shut Up", "Cardiac Arrest". In an article in 1979, Chris Foreman explained that the band's music would move with the times, change styles as time goes on; this was shown to be the case, as unlike the two ska-filled, fast-paced albums that preceded it, 7 was something of a change in direction. Suggs' vocal performance changed and his strong accent from the previous albums had been watered down.
The album strayed from the ska-influenced sound of One Step Beyond... and Absolutely, moved towards a pop sound.
William Michael Albert Broad, known professionally as Billy Idol, is an English musician, singer and actor. He first achieved fame in the 1970s emerging from the London punk rock scene as a member of Generation X. Subsequently, he embarked on a solo career which led to international recognition and made Idol a lead artist during the MTV-driven "Second British Invasion" in the United States; the name "Billy Idol" was inspired by a schoolteacher's description of him as "idle". Idol began his music career in late 1976 as a guitarist in the punk rock band Chelsea. However, he soon left the group. With his former bandmate Tony James, Idol formed the band Generation X. With Idol as lead singer, the band achieved success in the United Kingdom and released three albums on Chrysalis Records before disbanding. In 1981, Idol moved to New York City to pursue his solo career in collaboration with guitarist Steve Stevens, his debut studio album, Billy Idol, was a commercial success. With music videos for singles "Dancing with Myself" and "White Wedding" Idol soon became a staple of then-newly established MTV.
Idol's second studio album, Rebel Yell, was a major commercial success, featuring hit singles "Rebel Yell" and "Eyes Without a Face". The album was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipment of two million copies in the US. In 1986, he released Whiplash Smile. Having accumulated three UK top 10 singles Idol released a 1988 greatest hits album entitled Idol Songs: 11 of the Best. Idol released two studio albums, Charmed Life and the concept album Cyberpunk. Idol spent the second half of the 1990s out of the public eye focusing on his personal life, he made a musical comeback with the release of Devil's Playground and again with Kings & Queens of the Underground. Idol became a US citizen on 14 November 2018. Billy Idol was born William Michael Albert Broad in Stanmore, Middlesex on 30 November 1955. In 1958, when Idol was two years old, his parents moved to New York; the family returned to England four years with Idol and his younger sister, settling in Dorking, Surrey.
In 1971, the family moved to Bromley, southeast London, where Idol attended Ravensbourne School for Boys. Idol attended Worthing High School for Boys in Worthing, West Sussex. In October 1975, Idol attended the University of Sussex to pursue an English degree and lived on campus but left after year one in 1976, he went on to join the Bromley Contingent of Sex Pistols fans, a loose gang that travelled into town when the band played. Idol's parents attended church regularly; the name "Billy Idol" was coined due to a schoolteacher's description of Idol as "idle". In an interview on 21 November 1983, Idol said the name "Billy Idol" "was a bit of a goof, but part of the old English school of rock. Billy Fury and all that, it was a'double thing' not just a poke at the superstar-like people... It was fun, you know?" In another interview for BBC Breakfast in October 2014, he said that he wanted to use the name "Billy Idle", but thought the name would be unavailable due to its similarity to the name of Monty Python star Eric Idle and chose "Billy Idol" instead.
Idol first joined Chelsea in 1976 as a guitarist. He and Chelsea bandmate Tony James soon left that group and co-founded Generation X, with Idol switching from guitarist to lead singer. Generation X was one of the first punk bands to appear on the BBC Television music programme Top of the Pops. Although a punk rock band, they were inspired by mid-1960s British pop, in sharp contrast to their more militant peers, with Idol stating, they were singing ` No Elvis, Beatles or the Rolling Stones'. The truth was, we were all building our music on the Beatles and the Stones". Generation X signed with Chrysalis Records and released three albums and performed in the 1980 film, D. O. A. before disbanding. Idol moved to New York City in 1981 and became a solo artist, working with former Kiss manager Bill Aucoin. Idol's punk-like image worked well with the glam rock style of his new partner on guitar, Steve Stevens. Together they worked with drummer Gregg Gerson. Idol's solo career began with the Chrysalis Records EP titled Don't Stop in 1981, which included the Generation X song "Dancing with Myself" recorded for their last album Kiss Me Deadly, a cover of Tommy James & the Shondells' song "Mony Mony".
Idol's debut solo album, Billy Idol, was released in July 1982. Part of the MTV-driven "Second British Invasion" of the US, in 1982 Idol became an MTV staple with "White Wedding" and "Dancing with Myself"; the music video for "White Wedding" was filmed by the British director David Mallet, played on MTV. In 1983, Idol's label released "Dancing with Myself" in the US in conjunction with a music video directed by Tobe Hooper, which played on MTV for six months. Idol's second LP, Rebel Yell was a major success and established Idol in the United States with hits such as "Rebel Yell," "Eyes Without a Face," and "Flesh for Fantasy". "Eyes Without a Face" peaked at number four on the US Billboard Hot 100, "Rebel Yell" reached number six in the UK Singles Chart. This album and its singles saw Idol become popular in other countries such as Germany, Italy and New Zealand. Idol released Whiplash Smile in 1986; the album included the hits "To Be a Lover", "Don't Need a Gun" and "Sweet Sixteen". Idol filmed a video featuring "Sweet Sixteen" in Florida's Coral Castle.
In 1986, Ste
Blondie is an American rock band founded by singer Debbie Harry and guitarist Chris Stein. The band were punk scenes of the mid-late 1970s, its first two albums contained strong elements of these genres, although successful in the United Kingdom and Australia, Blondie was regarded as an underground band in the United States until the release of Parallel Lines in 1978. Over the next three years, the band achieved several hit singles including "Heart of Glass", "Call Me", "Rapture" and "The Tide Is High" and became noted for its eclectic mix of musical styles incorporating elements of disco, pop and early rap music. Blondie disbanded after the release of its sixth studio album The Hunter in 1982. Debbie Harry continued to pursue a solo career with varied results after taking a few years off to care for partner Chris Stein, diagnosed with pemphigus, a rare autoimmune disease of the skin; the band re-formed in 1997, achieving renewed success and a number one single in the United Kingdom with "Maria" in 1999 20 years after their first UK No.1 single.
The group toured and performed throughout the world during the following years, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. Blondie is still active; the band's tenth studio album, Ghosts of Download, was released in 2014 and their eleventh studio album, was released on May 5, 2017. Inspired by the burgeoning new music scene at the Mercer Arts Center, Chris Stein sought to join a similar band, he joined the Stilettoes in 1973 as their guitarist and formed a romantic relationship with one of the band's vocalists, Debbie Harry, a former waitress and Playboy Bunny. Harry had been a member of the Wind in the Willows, in the late 1960s. In July 1974, Stein and Harry parted ways with the Stilettoes and Elda Gentile, the band's originator, forming a new band with ex-Stilettoes bandmates Billy O'Connor and Fred Smith. Billed as Angel and the Snake for two shows in August 1974, they renamed themselves "Blondie" by October 1974; the name derived from comments made by truck drivers who catcalled "Hey, Blondie" to Harry as they drove past.
By the spring of 1975, after some personnel turnover and Harry were joined by drummer Clem Burke and bass player Gary Valentine. Blondie became regular performers at Max's Kansas City and CBGB. In June 1975, the band's first recording came in the way of a demo produced by Alan Betrock. To fill out their sound, they recruited keyboard player Jimmy Destri in November 1975; the band signed with Private Stock Records and their debut album, was issued in December 1976 but was not a commercial success. In September 1977, the band bought back its contract with Private Stock and signed with British label Chrysalis Records; the first album was re-released on the new label in October 1977. Rolling Stone's review of the debut album observed the eclectic nature of the group's music, comparing it to Phil Spector and the Who, commented that the album's two strengths were Richard Gottehrer's production and the persona of Debbie Harry; the publication said she performed with "utter aplomb and involvement throughout: when she's portraying a character consummately obnoxious and spaced-out, there is a wink of awareness, comforting and amusing yet never condescending."
It noted that Harry was the "possessor of a bombshell zombie's voice that can sound dreamily seductive and woodenly Mansonite within the same song". The band's first commercial success occurred in Australia in 1977, when the music television program Countdown mistakenly played their video "In the Flesh", the B-side of their current single "X-Offender". Jimmy Destri credited the show's Molly Meldrum for their initial success, commenting that "we still thank him to this day" for playing the wrong song. In a 1998 interview, drummer Clem Burke recalled seeing the episode in which the wrong song was played, but he and Chris Stein suggested that it may have been a deliberate subterfuge on the part of Meldrum. Stein asserted that "X-Offender" was "too crazy and aggressive ", while "In the Flesh" was "not representative of any punk sensibility. Over the years, I've thought they played both things but liked one better. That's all." In retrospect, Burke described "In the Flesh" as "a forerunner to the power ballad".
The single reached number 2 in Australia, while the album reached the Australian top twenty in November 1977, a subsequent double-A release of "X-Offender" and "Rip Her to Shreds" reached number 81. A successful Australian tour followed in December, though it was marred by an incident in Brisbane when disappointed fans rioted after Harry cancelled a performance due to illness. In February 1978, Blondie released Plastic Letters; the album was recorded as a four-piece as Gary Valentine had left the band in mid 1977. Plastic Letters was promoted extensively throughout Asia by Chrysalis Records; the album's first single, "Denis", was the Rainbows' 1963 hit. It reached number two on the British singles charts, while both the album and its second single, " Presence, Dear", reached the British top ten. Chart success, along with a successful 1978 UK tour, including a gig at London's Roundhouse, made Blondie one of the first American new wave bands to achieve mainstream success in the United Kingdom. By this time, Gary Valentine had left and been replaced by Frank In
Alice Cooper is an American singer and actor whose career spans over fifty years. With his distinctive raspy voice and a stage show that features guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, deadly snakes, baby dolls, dueling swords, Cooper is considered by music journalists and peers alike to be "The Godfather of Shock Rock", he has drawn from horror films and garage rock to pioneer a macabre and theatrical brand of rock designed to shock people. Originating in Phoenix, Arizona, in the late 1960s after he moved to Detroit, Michigan, "Alice Cooper" was a band consisting of Furnier on vocals and harmonica, Glen Buxton on lead guitar, Michael Bruce on rhythm guitar, Dennis Dunaway on bass guitar, Neal Smith on drums; the original Alice Cooper band released its first album in 1969. They broke into the international music mainstream with the 1971 hit song "I'm Eighteen" from their third studio album Love It to Death; the band reached their commercial peak in 1973 with their sixth studio album Billion Dollar Babies.
In 2011, the original Alice Cooper band was inducted into the Roll Hall of Fame. Furnier adopted the band's name as his own name in the 1970s and began a solo career with the 1975 concept album Welcome to My Nightmare. Expanding from his Detroit rock roots, Cooper has experimented with a number of musical styles, including art rock, hard rock, heavy metal, new wave, glam metal, industrial rock. Cooper is known for his sociable and witty personality offstage, with The Rolling Stone Album Guide calling him the world's most "beloved heavy metal entertainer", he is credited with helping to shape the sound and look of heavy metal, has been described as the artist who "first introduced horror imagery to rock'n'roll, whose stagecraft and showmanship have permanently transformed the genre". Away from music, Cooper is a film actor, a golfing celebrity, a restaurateur, since 2004, a popular radio DJ with his classic rock show Nights with Alice Cooper. Cooper was born in Detroit, the son of Ether Moroni Furnier and his wife Ella Mae, née McCart.
His father was an Evangelist in The Church of Jesus Christ headquartered in Monongahela, Pennsylvania. He has English, Huguenot French, Irish and Sioux ancestry, he was named after his uncle, Vincent Collier Furnier, the writer Damon Runyon. His paternal grandfather, Thurman Sylvester Furnier, was an apostle in The Church of Jesus Christ and President from 1963-1965. Cooper was active in his church at the ages of 11 and 12. While growing up in Detroit, Cooper attended Washington Elementary School Nankin Mills Jr. High. Following a series of childhood illnesses, he moved with his family to Phoenix, where he attended Cortez High School. In his high school yearbook, his ambition was to be "A million record seller." In 1964, 16-year-old Furnier was eager to participate in the local annual Cortez High School Letterman's talent show, so he gathered four fellow cross-country teammates to form a group for the show: Glen Buxton, Dennis Dunaway, John Tatum and John Speer. They named themselves the Earwigs.
They dressed up in costumes and wigs to resemble the Beatles, performed several parodies of Beatles songs, with the lyrics modified to refer to the track team: in their rendition of "Please Please Me", for example, the line "Last night I said these words to my girl" was replaced with "Last night I ran four laps for my coach". Of the group, only Buxton knew how to play an instrument—the guitar—so Buxton played guitar while the rest mimed on their instruments; the group won the talent show. As a result of their positive experience, the group decided to try to turn into a real band, they acquired musical instruments from a local pawn shop, proceeded to learn how to play them, with Buxton doing most of the teaching, as well as much of the early songwriting. They soon renamed themselves the Spiders, featuring Furnier on vocals, Buxton on lead guitar, Tatum on rhythm guitar, Dunaway on bass guitar, Speer on drums. Musically, the group was inspired by artists such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Kinks, the Doors, the Yardbirds.
For the next year the band performed around the Phoenix area with a huge black spider's web as their backdrop, the group's first stage prop. In 1965, the Spiders recorded their first single, "Why Don't You Love Me", with Furnier learning the harmonica for the song; the single's B-side track was the Marvin Gaye Tamla Records hit "Hitch Hike". The single was released by local record label Mascot Records, owned by Jack Curtis, a concert promoter who owned the Stage 7 teen club, which became the VIP Club where the Spiders were the house band. In 1966, the Spiders graduated from Cortez High School, after North High School football player Michael Bruce replaced John Tatum on rhythm guitar, the band released their second single, "Don't Blow Your Mind", an original composition which became a local No. 1 hit, backed by "No Price Tag". The single was recorded at Copper State Recording Studio and issued by local micro-imprint Santa Cruz Records. By 1967, the band had begun to make regular road trips to Los Angeles to play shows.
They soon renamed themselves Nazz and released the single "Wonder Who's Lovin' Her Now", backed with future Alice Cooper track "Lay Down and Die, Goodbye". Around this time, drummer John Speer was replaced by Neal Smith. By the end of the year, the band had relocated to Los Angeles. In 1968, the band learned that Todd Rundgren had a band called Nazz, found themselves in need of another stage name. Furnier believed that the group needed a gimmick
UB40 are an English reggae and pop band, formed in December 1978 in Birmingham, England. The band has had more than 50 singles in the UK Singles Chart, has achieved considerable international success, they have been nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album four times, in 1984 were nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Group. UB40 have sold over 70 million records worldwide; the ethnic make-up of the band's original line-up was diverse, with musicians of English, Irish, Jamaican and Yemeni parentage. Their hit singles include their debut "Food for Thought" and two Billboard Hot 100 number ones with "Red Red Wine" and "Can't Help Falling in Love". Both of these topped the UK Singles Chart, as did the band's version of "I Got You Babe", their two most successful albums, Labour of Love and Promises and Lies, reached number one on the UK Albums Chart. UB40 and the English ska band Madness hold the record for most weeks spent by a group in the UK singles chart during the 1980s, with 214 weeks each.
The band's line-up was stable for nearly 29 years, from March 1979 until January 2008, when frontman Ali Campbell left the band, followed shortly thereafter by keyboardist Mickey Virtue. Another member, remained with the band until November 2013, when he departed the original band to team up with Campbell and Virtue in a new version of UB40. In 2014, legal advice was sought by the original band who took action against the group containing Campbell and Astro over usage of the band name, due to its being used by both parties; the band members began as friends who knew each other from various schools across Birmingham, England. The name "UB40" was selected in reference to a form issued to people claiming unemployment benefits from the UK government's Department of Employment; the designation UB40 stood for Unemployment Benefit, Form 40. The origins of what would become UB40 began when in mid-1978 guitarist Ali Campbell, together with the rhythm section of drummer Jimmy Brown and bassist Earl Falconer, began rehearsing charting reggae songs in addition to some of their own original compositions.
They were soon joined by several of their friends, firstly percussionists Yomi Babayemi and Norman Hassan, saxophonist Brian Travers and keyboardist Jimmy Lynn. Robin Campbell, although reluctant to commit to forming a band with the others, was invited to join once again by his brother and bought a guitar with which to do so in December of that year. Once Robin had joined the others in their jamming sessions, the eight musicians formed a band, deciding on the name'UB40' after a friend suggested it was an appropriate name given the unemployed status of all of the band members. Prior to this, Travers had work as an electrical apprentice for NG Bailey; this lineup of the band lasted long enough to play their first show at the Hare & Hounds pub in Kings Heath in February 1979 and one other, before the band underwent its first lineup change in the form of Babyemi and Lynn leaving the band and Mickey Virtue joining in place of Lynn. A month UB40's classic lineup was rounded out with the inclusion of percussionist and vocalist Astro.
Astro had been working for Duke Alloy's sound system attending reggae dances in Birmingham. Before some of them could play their instruments, Ali Campbell and Brian Travers travelled around Birmingham promoting the band, putting up UB40 posters, their sound was honed through many long jam sessions at various locations in Birmingham. Their first gig took place on 9 February 1979 at The Hare & Hounds Pub in Kings Heath, Birmingham for a friend's birthday party; this was commemorated in October 2011 by the unveiling of a plaque at the venue, indicating the band receiving the Performing Rights Society's Music Heritage Award. UB40 caught their first break when Chrissie Hynde saw them at a pub and gave them an opportunity as a support act to her band, The Pretenders. UB40's first single, "King"/"Food for Thought" was released on Graduate Records, a local independent label run by David Virr, it reached No. 4 on the UK Singles Chart. The title of their first album, Signing Off, indicates the band was signing off from, or ending, their claim for unemployment benefits.
It was produced by Bob Lamb. Norman Hassan said of the recording: "if you stripped my track down, you could hear the birds in the background." This is. Signing Off was released on 29 August 1980, it entered the UK Albums Chart on 2 October 1980, spent 71 weeks in total on the chart. Signing Off is now a Platinum album; as UB40 grew in popularity, they encouraged and supported local musicians and bands from Birmingham, such as Beshara bringing them on tour. After great success in the UK, UB40's popularity in the US was established when they released Labour of Love, an album of cover songs, in 1983; the album reached No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart and No. 8 on the Billboard 200 in the US. The album featured the song "Red Red Wine", a cover version of a Neil Diamond song. Three years UB40 performed at the Birmingham Heart Beat Charity Concert 1986. In 1987 Ray "Pablo" Falconer, producer of UB40 music, died in a car crash, his brother, Earl Falconer, the band's bassist, was driving with nearly twice the legal limit of alcohol in his blood.
Earl was sentenced to six months imprisonment in June 1988 and banned from driving for
The Darkness (band)
The Darkness are a British rock band formed in 2000. The band consists of Justin Hawkins, his brother Dan Hawkins, Frankie Poullain and Rufus Tiger Taylor; the Darkness came to prominence with the release of their debut album, Permission to Land, in 2003. Backed by the singles "I Believe in a Thing Called Love", "Growing on Me", "Get Your Hands off My Woman", "Love is Only a Feeling", the album was certified quadruple platinum in the United Kingdom, with sales of over 1,300,000. In 2004 the band won three Brit Awards: Best British Group, Best British Rock Act, Best British Album. After extensive touring in support of their debut album, Poullain left the band in 2005, was replaced by former guitar technician Richie Edwards; the band's second studio album, One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back, was released in November 2005. The following year, Justin Hawkins departed from the band after completing a course of rehabilitation from alcohol and cocaine abuse; as a result, the remaining members formed Stone Gods, continued to perform and record without Hawkins, who subsequently fronted his own project, Hot Leg.
On 15 March 2011, The Darkness announced reunion shows, with original bassist Frankie Poullain, including Download Festival 2011, the Isle of Wight Festival 2012. Their third album, Hot Cakes, was released on 20 August 2012. Ed Graham has since left the band, feeling the strain of touring was affecting his personal life, in which he had pressing issues. In 2015 a fourth studio album was announced, entitled Last of Our Kind, released on 2 June 2015. A fifth album, Pinewood Smile, was released on 6 October 2017 and one year on 15 June 2018 a live album, Live at Hammersmith, was released; the Darkness were directed by manager Sue Whitehouse, who had managed them since Justin Hawkins' time as a creator of music jingles and their original band days as Empire. The Darkness were renowned for their live show, such was the popularity of the band, they had a Carling Homecoming gig booked for the London Astoria before they had signed a record deal; the band had music industry interest from their days as Empire through connections with Sue Whitehouse, based at Savage & Best in Camden.
Joe Taylor, Aled Jones and Paul Scaife at The Tip Sheet first heard about the band through a post on The Tip Sheet message board, featured Love Is Only A Feeling in January 2002. They started Record of the Day, featured the song again around the time of SXSW in March 2003, they wanted to feature Friday Night too but they were told the band was saving it for an album. According to A&R Nick Raphael in an interview with HitQuarters, there was no initial clamour to sign the band, "There couldn’t have been less of a buzz, only two record labels showed any interest in them." He believes the reason for lack of interest was that "The business as a whole thought they were uncool. In fact, people were saying that they were a joke and that they weren’t real." However, throughout their career critics around the world would label them as a "joke band." As part of Sony Music UK, Raphael had attempted to sign them but the band instead opted to go with Atlantic Records. Their debut album, Permission to Land, went straight up to number two in the UK charts upon its release on July 7 2003, before going to number one and staying there for four weeks going on to sell 1.5 million copies in the UK.
The Darkness took inspiration for some of their work from the local north Suffolk area, including "Black Shuck" which mentions the nearby village of Blythburgh. The success of this album led to heavy touring for the band, including European portions of Metallica's Summer Sanitarium Tour 2003, they went on to headline the Carling Festival in 2004. The band won three BRIT Awards in 2004 in response to the album, Best Group, Best Rock Group and Best Album, they won two Kerrang! Awards in 2004 for Best Live Act and Best British Band; the third single from the album, "I Believe in a Thing Called Love", was a substantial hit in the UK as was their tilt at the Christmas 2003 number 1, "Christmas Time", which only just fell short, both singles reaching number 2 in 2003. In October 2005, a month before the album was to be released, Justin Hawkins won an eBay auction for a copy of One Way Ticket to Hell...and Back for £350 under the username'turbogunhawk'. He claimed he did this so that he could track down whoever sold the digitally-marked advance copy of the album and try to prevent it from happening again."One Way Ticket", the first single from their second album, was released on 14 November 2005, debuting and peaking at number 8 on the UK Singles chart.
The album itself was released on 28 November 2005 to mixed reviews. The album was produced by rock producer Roy Thomas Baker, best known for his work with Queen. Early sales figures in the UK showed the album had not sold as well as its predecessor, Permission to Land; the album debuted at number 11, fell to number 34 in the second week of its release. Although it has since reached platinum status, this contrasts with their debut's five times platinum status; the second single taken from their second album was "Is It Just Me?", released on 20 February 2006. The single gained a preliminary position of No. 6 all that week, but charted at number 8. The album's third single, "Girlfriend", was Released 22 May and charted at number 39; the band followed up their second album with a tour of the UK and Ireland, consisting of 12 dates in the major cities. The tour opened in Dublin's Point Depot on 4 February and closed in the Nottingham Arena on 20 February. Few of the venues sold out, their appeal having become more selective.
Their world tour, which followed, arrived in A