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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Alphabet Beats #089: M is for...The Members

M is for....

Live 4th May 2013
The Georgian Theatre Stockton

Click on the links to hear more Sounds From The Suburbs!

The musical output of The Members began when they were included on the first album release by the Beggars Banquet label (responsible for bands like The Lurkers - the first on the label and the first single release with 'Shadow/Love Story', Tubeway Army, The Doll. The Cult, The Associates, Bahaus, The Go-Betweens, The Icicle Works, The Ramones, Love and Rockets, The Fall, Fields of Nephilim, to name but a few) entitled 'Streets', and it contained a number of bands/artists who were pivotol in the ever expanding Punk Scene like Slaughter and the Dogs, The Art Attacks, John Cooper Clarke, The Drones, The Nosebleeds and the Pork Dukes. The Members track was the second on Side 1 called 'Fear on the Streets'.

May 1978 would see the release of a one-off single for Stiff Records, what is categorically one of their finest songs ever.
B-Side: Rat Up A Drainpipe.

In '78 they also signed a deal with Virgin Records and began work on their debut album in December through January 1979.
John Peel broadcast a debut session by them on 23rd January 1979 and the four songs that made up that session and would all be included on the debut album:
Love In A Lift
Phone-in Show
At Chelsea Nightclub
Sound of the Suburbs

January 1979 also saw the release of their Virgin Records Debut Single and quite possibly the one song that everybody on the planet knows if you asked them to tell you a song by The Members!
UK Chart #12

March 1979 saw the release of their second single backed by an old favourite that had been reworked and now is what I consider to be The Version of the song that matters.
 UK Chart #31

May 1979 finally saw the release of The Members debut album, 'At Chelsea Nightclub'. UK Album Chart #45
 Side A.
"Electricity" (Jean-Marie Carroll)
"Sally" (Gary Baker)
"Soho-A-Go-Go" (Chris Payne, Nicky Tesco)
"Don't Push" (Adrian Lillywhite, Nicky Tesco, Steve Morley)
"Solitary Confinement" (Jean-Marie Carroll, Nicky Tesco) 

Side B.
"Frustrated, Bagshot" (Jean-Marie Carroll, Nicky Tesco)
"Stand Up and Spit" (Jean-Marie Carroll, Nicky Tesco)
"The Sound of the Suburbs" (Jean-Marie Carroll, Nicky Tesco)
"Phone-in Show" (Jean-Marie Carroll, Nicky Tesco)
"Love in a Lift" (Chris Payne, Nicky Tesco)
"Chelsea Nightclub" (Jean-Marie Carroll)

Killing Time backed by G.L.C. followed in September 1979 and on the 24th of the month they would record their second session for John Peel, to be broadcast on 1st October 1979. Once again four songs were recorded for the session, all brand new songs that would end up on their second album.
Muzak Machine.
Killing Time.
Gang War.

Side A
"The Ayatollah Harmony" (Nigel Bennett)
"Goodbye to the Job" (Nick Tesco, Jean-Marie Carroll)
"Physical Love" (Nicky Tesco, Chris Payne)
"Romance" (Jean-Marie Carroll)
"Brian Was" (Jean-Marie Carroll)
"Flying Again" (Chris Payne)

Side B
"Normal People" (Nick Tesco, Jean-Marie Carroll)
"Police Car" (Larry Wallis)
"Clean Men" (Nick Tesco, Jean-Marie Carroll)
"Muzak Machine" (Chris Payne)
"Gang War" (Nick Tesco, Jean-Marie Carroll)

Romance and Flying Again were released as singles from the album and failed to chart and by 1981 the band were no longer on Virgin but Albion Records. A month prior to their next single release produced by Steve Lilywhite (Working Girl) they did a third and final session for John Peel that contained four songs:
Boys Like Us.
Chairman of the Board.
Working Girl.

Their third album 'Up Rhythm Downbeat' was released in 1982 in the USA but not until 1983 here in the UK when it was issued as Going West. A further three singles would be released before the band broke up: Radio/(If You) Can't Stand Up/Radio Dub Version (April 1982), a re-issue of Working Girl produced by Martin Rushant backed by The Family (July 1983) and Going West (Dub Version)/Membership/ Going West (12" version August 1983).

Twenty Six years later, in 2009, The Members had resurfaced and released a newly updated version of Offshore Banking Business entitled International Financial Crisis which was followed in 2011 by a single that was the Joint Single of the Year here on Soundtrack4Life:

2012 saw the release of the first studio album by The Members in 29 years!!

The Members Now
L to R Christ Payne, Nick Cash, JC Carroll and Nigel Bennett.

Solitary Confinement (Original Video).

The Members are currently in the studios recording the follow up to In_Grr_LandJC Carroll has said that they are half way through and it's "Sounding Fantastic".
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