Tones on Tail

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Tones on Tail
Background information
Origin Northampton, England
Genres Post-punk, gothic rock
Years active1982–1984
Labels 4AD, Situation 2, Beggars Banquet Records
Associated acts Bauhaus, Love and Rockets, The Bubblemen, Poptone
Past members Daniel Ash
Glenn Campling
Kevin Haskins

Tones on Tail was a British post-punk band formed in 1982, originally as a musical side project of Daniel Ash of the gothic rock group Bauhaus. Their music was described by one critic as "doom-and-dance-pop." [1]



While still a member of Bauhaus, Ash formed Tones on Tail early in 1982, originally as a duo with art school friend, flatmate and Bauhaus roadie Glenn Campling. The band's name was a reference to the way calibration tones were recorded on the "tail" of reel-to-reel tape.

The pair issued their debut eponymous EP on 4AD in March 1982, followed by the single "There's Only One!", released by Beggars Banquet Records on 24 September.

After the break-up of Bauhaus in 1983, they were joined by drummer Kevin Haskins, and became a full-time concern for all three members. Their first release as a trio was the Burning Skies EP, issued by Situation Two on 6 May 1983.

Their sole studio album, Pop , was released by Beggars Banquet on 6 April 1984 in the UK; featuring the singles "Performance" (released 9 March) and "Lions" (released 11 May). The album was also issued in North America in altered form as The Album Pop. "Go!", the popular B-side of "Lions", was issued on its own as a single in Canada, licensed by Vertigo Records.

During October 1984, the group embarked on a short 12-date tour of the US; in concert, the band sported all white outfits. [2] [3]

The final Tones on Tail single, "Christian Says", was issued on 9 November 1984.

The band disbanded in late 1984, and Ash and Haskins quickly formed Love and Rockets with former Bauhaus bassist David J. [4] [5]

The 1998 compilation Everything! compiled every Tones on Tail track in remastered form, plus a radio interview with Ash and Haskins.


Writing for AllMusic, critic Ned Raggett said: "With their former band's generally gloomier shadows left behind, what Ash and Haskins draw from their time with Bauhaus is that group's melange of styles—their most underappreciated strength". [6] Richard Williams of The Michigan Daily said "Tones on Tail carries on with the traditional Bauhaus taste for the macabre, but charts new courses of twisting the pop thing." [7] James Muretich of The Calgary Herald wrote "From the ashes of Bauhaus has arisen a British trio that is turning into one of the most impressive and macabre dance bands around." [8]

"Go!" was used during a rave scene in the 1991 Beverly Hills, 90210 episode "U4EA"; in the 1991 movie Career Opportunities it is used as montage music as Jennifer Connelly, Dermot Mulroney and Kieran Mulroney steal merchandise from the Target store; and during a class reunion disco scene in the 1997 film Grosse Point Blank , during a party scene in the 2003 film Party Monster , for a 2008 Ford Motor Company commercial for the Mercury Mariner, in a 2015 trailer for the second season of the Adult Swim show Rick and Morty and during a basketball game in the "Chapter Three: The Pollywog" 2017 episode of the second season of Stranger Things . [9] The vocal of "Go!" was sampled prominently for Go by Moby in 1991.


Studio albums
Compilation albums

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  1. Gettelman, Parry (1 March 1991). "Daniel Ash". Orlando Sentinel . Orlando, FL. p. 21. Retrieved 12 April 2011. There also are hints of Tones on Tail, his doom-and-dance-pop side project.
  2. "For Fans of Dark '80s Music, Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins' Poptone Is a Dream Project". 15 May 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  3. "Tones On Tail - 1984 - US tour". Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  4. Molitor, Mike (14 January 1991). "Tones on Tail". The Michigan Daily . Ann Arbor, Michigan. p. 8. Retrieved 24 May 2015. Somewhere around 1982 things began to go wrong with (Bauhaus), and before one could say "gothic," or even "goth," guitarist Daniel Ash and drummer Kevin Haskins were out on their own with Tones on Tail. This new band lasted until 1985, when Bauhaus bassist David J came back into the fold and the group was "reunited" as the famed Love and Rockets.
  5. Steve Huey. "Tones on Tail". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  6. Ned Raggett. "Pop – Tones on Tail". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  7. Williams, Richard (21 October 1984). "Tones on Tail: a subtle reminder of British skill". The Michigan Daily . p. 5. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  8. Muretich, James (23 March 1985). "Tones on Tail: Twist/Go!". The Calgary Herald . Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  9. Boyd, Helen (4 September 2008). "Go!". en|Gender. Retrieved 10 October 2011.