Thursday, 4 June 2015

Generation X

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Generation X (band)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Generation X
Generation X 1977.jpg
Generation X, 1977. L-R: Billy Idol, Tony James, Bob Andrews, and Mark Laff.
Background information
Also known asGen X
OriginChelsea, LondonUnited Kingdom
GenresPunk rockdance-punk,[1] pop punk[2][3][4]
Years active1976–1981, 1993
LabelsChrysalis
Associated actsLondon SSChelseaSubway SectThe Clash, Paradox,Sigue Sigue Sputnik,Cowboys International, Empire, Twenty Flight RockersCarbon/Silicon
Past membersBilly Idol
Tony James
John Towe
Bob Andrews
Mark Laff
Terry Chimes
James Stevenson
Generation X (also known as Gen X) were an English punk rock band, formed on 21 November 1976 by Billy IdolTony Jamesand John Towe.[1]

Contents

  [show

Career[edit]

Three members of Generation X were previously in Chelsea, along with lead singer Gene October. They soon broke away from October and selected the name Generation X (after Jane Deverson's 1965 sociology book, a copy of which was owned by Idol'smother).[1] Idol switched from guitar to vocal duties, and Bob "Derwood" Andrews joined as lead guitarist after leaving the Fulham band Paradox. Generation X played their first concert on 14 December 1976 at The Roxy (becoming the first band to play at the venue).[1][5]
Towe was later replaced on drums by Mark Laff (ex-Subway Sect), to complete the 'official' line-up, before the band signed toChrysalis Records and released their first single, "Your Generation" in September, 1977.[6] They played this song on Marc Bolan's afternoon variety show, Marc, that same month. This line-up of the band would remain through their first two albums, the self-titled, Generation X (1978), followed by Valley of the Dolls (1979).[6]

Rise to stardom[edit]

Generation X were one of the first punk bands to appear on the BBC Television music programme Top of the Pops.[7] Unlike other punk bands, Generation X ignored some of the 'rules' and 'ideals' adopted by UK punk rock bands, taking inspiration from Britishpop of the 1960s.[8] In 1977, they covered John Lennon's "Gimme Some Truth", and in 1979 they teamed up with Ian Hunter whoproduced their second album, Valley of the Dolls.[7]
There were differences in the group's musical direction that they struggled to resolve.[7] They wanted to remain true to their punk roots while pursuing a heavier rock sound.[7] Internal disagreements came to a head in late 1979 during the recording of what was to have been the third Generation X album. This was released decades later as part of the Anthology boxed set under the titleSweet Revenge.

Personnel changes and break-up[edit]

In 1980, Andrews and Laff left the band (subsequently forming the post-punk band, Empire), to be replaced in Generation X byThe Clash and Cowboys International's former drummer Terry Chimes, and former Chelsea guitarist James Stevenson.[6]
Generation X made a last stand, re-recording some of the Sweet Revenge material, as well as several new songs. With this final release, Kiss Me Deadly (1981), the band abbreviated its name to Gen X.[6] Kiss Me Deadly included a version of "Dancing with Myself", first recorded as part of Sweet Revenge with Andrews and Laff, and which Idol would later include on his first EP as a solo artist to kick-start his own career with a hit.
Idol went on to pursue a solo career in New York, where he became a substantial pop star.[9] James later formed Sigue Sigue Sputnik[7] and performed with bands includingThe Sisters of Mercy and, much later on, Carbon/Silicon. Stevenson later joined Gene Loves JezebelThe Cult and, more latterly, The Alarm and The International Swingers.[6]Chimes rejoined The Clash.[6]
On 20 September 1993, during Billy Idol's No Religion Tour, Generation X had a one-time reunion performance at the Astoria Theatre in London.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Compilation albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

  • 1999 – Live at the Paris Theatre '78 & '81 (Reissued (and edited) in 2002 as One Hundred Punks - BBC Live In Concert.)
  • 2003 – Live at Sheffield
  • 2005 – Live

7" singles[edit]

  • 1977 – "Your Generation" b/w "Day by Day" UK No. 36
  • 1977 – "Wild Youth" b/w "Wild Dub" UK
  • 1978 – "Ready Steady Go" b/w "No No No" UK No. 47
  • 1978 – "King Rocker" b/w "Gimme Some Truth" UK No. 11 (released in five various album covers.)
  • 1979 – "Valley of the Dolls" b/w "Shakin' All Over" UK No. 23
  • 1979 – "Friday's Angels" b/w "Trying for Kicks" / "This Heat" UK No. 62
  • 1980 – "Dancing with Myself" b/w "Ugly Rash" (As "Gen X.") UK No. 62

12" singles/EPs[edit]

  • 1980 – "Dancing with Myself" b/w "Loopy Dub" / "What Do You Want" (As "Gen X.") UK
  • 1981 – 4 EP (As "Gen X.") UK No. 60
    • "Dancing with Myself" (12" versions have an extended cut.)
    • "Untouchables"
    • "Rock On"
    • "King Rocker"
  • 1981 – "Dancing with Myself" b/w "Hubble, Bubble, Toil and Dubble" (As "Billy Idol and Gen X.") US

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