|Also known as||Wir|
|Years active||1976–1980, 1985–1992, 1999–present|
|Members|| Colin Newman |
|Past members|| Bruce Gilbert |
Margaret Fiedler McGinnis
Wire are an English rock band, formed in London in October 1976by Colin Newman (vocals, guitar), Graham Lewis (bass, vocals), Bruce Gilbert (guitar) and Robert Grey (drums). They were originally associated with the punk rock scene, appearing on The Roxy London WC2 album, and were later central to the development of post-punk, while their debut album Pink Flag was influential for hardcore punk.
Wire are considered a definitive art punk and post-punk band, due to their richly detailed and atmospheric sound and obscure lyrical themes. They steadily developed from an early noise rock style to a more complex, structured sound involving increased use of guitar effects and synthesizers (1978's Chairs Missing and 1979's 154 ). The band gained a reputation for experimenting with song arrangements throughout its career.
Wire's debut album Pink Flag (1977) – "perhaps the most original debut album to come out of the first wave of British punk", according to AllMusic– contains songs that are diverse in mood and style, but most use a minimalist punk approach combined with unorthodox structures. "Field Day for the Sundays", for example, is only 28 seconds long.
Their second album, Chairs Missing (1978) marked a retreat from the stark minimalism of Pink Flag, with longer, more atmospheric songs and synthesizer parts added by producer Mike Thorne."Outdoor Miner" was a minor hit, peaking at number 51 in the UK singles chart. The experimentation was even more prominent on 154 (1979).
Creative differences split the band in 1979, leading to the Document and Eyewitness LP (1981), a recording of a live performance that featured, almost exclusively, new material, which was described as "disjointed","unrecognizable as rock music" and "almost unlistenable". The LP came packaged with an EP of a different performance of more new material. Some of these songs, along with others performed but not included on the album, were included on Newman's post-Wire solo albums (5/10, We Meet Under Tables), while others were released by Gilbert's and Lewis' primary post-Wire outlet Dome (And Then..., Ritual View).
Between 1981 and 1985, Wire ceased recording and performing in favour of solo and collaborative projects such as Dome, Cupol, Duet Emmo and several Colin Newman solo efforts. In 1985, the group re-formed as a "beat combo" (a joking reference to early 1960s beat music), with greater use of electronic musical instruments. Wire announced that they would perform none of their older material, hiring The Ex-Lion Tamers (a Wire cover band named after a song title from Pink Flag) as their opening act. The Ex-Lion Tamers played Wire's older songs, and Wire played their new material.
In June 1988, Wire were part of a lineup that included Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and Thomas Dolby supporting Depeche Mode at the Pasadena Rose Bowl where they played to over 60,000 people.In 1989, Wire released IBTABA , a "live" album of mostly reworked versions of songs from The Ideal Copy and A Bell Is a Cup , heavily rearranged, edited, and remixed. A new song from the album, "Eardrum Buzz", was released as a single and peaked at number 68 in the UK singles chart.
Gotobed left the band in 1990, after the release of the album Manscape . After his departure, the band dropped one letter from its name, becoming "Wir" (still pronounced "wire"), and released The First Letter in 1991. There followed a further period of solo recordings, during which Newman founded the swim ~ label, and later Githead with his wife (ex-Minimal Compact bassist Malka Spigel), while Wire remained an occasional collaboration. It was not until 1999 that Wire again became a full-time entity.
With Gotobed back in the line-up (now using his birth name, Robert Grey), the group initially reworked much of their back catalogue for a performance at Royal Festival Hall in 2000. Wire's reception during a short tour in early May of the US, and a number of UK gigs, convinced the band to continue. Two EPs and an album, Send (2003), followed, as well as collaborations with stage designer Es Devlin and artists Jake and Dinos Chapman.In 2006, Wire's 1970s albums were remastered and re-released with the original vinyl track listings. A third Read & Burn EP was released in November 2007.
A full-length album of new material entitled Object 47 was released in July 2008. Bruce Gilbert was not involved in this recording, although, according to Newman, he did feature in a minimal capacity on the third Read and Burn EP.
In January 2011, Wire released Red Barked Tree , which according to the band's press release "rekindles a lyricism sometimes absent from Wire's previous work and reconnects with the live energy of performance, harnessed and channelled from extensive touring over the past few years".The album was written and recorded by Newman, Lewis and Grey, but speaking to Marc Riley on the day of the release, Newman introduced as "a new boy" guitarist Matt Simms (from It Hugs Back), who had been a touring member with the band since April 2010.
In March 2013 the band released Change Becomes Us , their 13th studio album, which was very well received. : FESTIVAL.Their fourteenth album, eponymously titled Wire , was released in April 2015. The following year, in April 2016, the band's 15th studio album, entitled Nocturnal Koreans, was released on their label Pinkflag. It consisted of eight songs recorded during the sessions for their previous album, but were cut from the track listing. Stereogum named Nocturnal Koreans the Album of the Week. Reviews for the album were mostly positive. In 2017 Wire celebrated 40 years since their debut gig on 1 April 1977 by releasing their 16th studio album Silver/Lead and headlining the Los Angeles edition of their DRILL
In late October 2019, the band announced that they would be releasing an album entitled Mind Hive on 24 January 2020.It will be released on their own Pinkflag label. The band appeared on the front cover of Wire magazine (issue 432) published in January 2020; it featured an interview with the band about the new album and discussed the enduring nature of the group.
In March 2020, the band announced an eight-song album entitled 10:20 that would be released on Record Store Day.The album consists of tracks recorded for Red Barked Tree and Mind Hive but remained unreleased.
Wire's influence has outshone their comparatively modest record sales. In the 1980s and 1990s, Big Black, Minutemen,and Sonic Youth all expressed a fondness for the group. Minutemen bassist Mike Watt described their influence as key saying of Pink Flag "I don't know what we would have sounded like if we didn't hear it."
"And the sound was incredible," he continues. "It was like that NYC band Richard Hell and the Voidoids without the studio gimmickry, but Wire was way more 'econo' with the instrumentation and the radical approach to song structure. And the way Wire wrote words were artistic without being elitist; some of the slang was trippy, too. All the 'old' conventions from all the other 'old' bands went out the window after we heard Wire. They were big-time liberating on us."
Wire were influential on American hardcore punk. Fans included Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat and Henry Rollins,formerly of Black Flag. Minor Threat covered "12XU" for the Flex Your Head compilation, as did Boss Hog on their I Dig You EP. Rollins, as Henrietta Collins & The Wife-Beating Childhaters, covered "Ex Lion Tamer" on the EP Drive by Shooting . Michael Azerrad reported, in the book Our Band Could Be Your Life , that at Minor Threat's second gig, each of the seven bands on the roster performed a version of a Wire song. Big Black covered Wire's "Heartbeat" twice, once as a studio version that was released as a single (also included on The Rich Man's Eight Track Tape compilation) and also as a live version, featuring Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis, included on the VHS version of the live album Pigpile .
R.E.M. covered "Strange" on their album Document. [ when? ] The shoegaze band Lush covered "Outdoor Miner" in the 90s.Robert Smith has described how, after seeing the group live, Wire influenced The Cure's sound after their first album.
A plagiarism case between Wire's music publisher and Elastica over the similarity between Wire's 1977 song "Three Girl Rhumba" and Elastica's 1995 hit "Connection" resulted in an out-of-court settlement.
Guided By Voices' Robert Pollard is a self-proclaimed fan of Wire, stating that the existence of a large number of songs on GBV's albums is a direct Wire influence.One of My Bloody Valentine's last releases prior to reconvening in 2007 was a cover of "Map Ref 41°N 93°W" for a Wire tribute entitled Whore. The song was selected as a favourite cover by Flak Magazine.
Fischerspooner (who covered "The 15th" on their album #1 ), Britpop bands like Elastica and Menswe@r and post-punk revival bands like Bloc Party, Futureheads, Blacklist and Franz Ferdinand have cited Wire as an influence.[ citation needed ] The Smiths' Johnny Marr has confirmed that he is a fan of the band and has acknowledged that seeing Wire live helped give him the confidence to release his first solo album in 2013.
The British electronic band Ladytron included Wire's "The 15th" on the mix compilation Softcore Jukebox . Ladytron member Reuben Wu claimed Wire as a musical influence.
The Feelies, since their 2008 reunion, have covered the "Outdoor Miner".
The slowcore band Low included an early, previously unreleased cover of "Heartbeat" on their career-spanning box set in 2007. Ampere recorded a cover of "Mr. Suit" for their 2006 split with Das Oath. New Bomb Turks also recorded a cover of "Mr. Suit" on the 1993 album !!Destroy-Oh-Boy!! . The chorus of Ministry's "Thieves" was influenced by "Mr. Suit" as well. Helmet guitarist Page Hamilton cites Wire as one of his "top five bands"and as an influence on his music.
Black Flag is an American punk rock band formed in 1976 in Hermosa Beach, California. Initially called Panic, the band was established by Greg Ginn, the guitarist, primary songwriter, and sole continuous member through multiple personnel changes in the band. They are widely considered to be one of the first hardcore punk bands, as well as one of the pioneers of post-hardcore. After breaking up in 1986, Black Flag reunited in 2003 and again in 2013. The second reunion lasted well over a year, during which they released their first studio album in over two decades, What The... (2013). The band announced their third reunion in January 2019. Brandon Pertzborn was replaced by Isaias Gil on drums and Tyler Smith was replaced by Joseph Noval on bass.
Ladytron are an English electronic-music band from Liverpool. Formed in 1999, the group consists of Helen Marnie, Mira Aroyo, Daniel Hunt and Reuben Wu (synthesizers). They have released six studio albums: 604 (2001), Light & Magic (2002), Witching Hour (2005), Velocifero (2008), Gravity the Seducer (2011) and Ladytron (2019). They also issued the live album Live at London Astoria 16.07.08 in 2009 and the compilation album Best of 00–10 in 2011. They have produced remixes for artists such as David Gahan, Erasure, Goldfrapp, Apoptygma Berzerk, Placebo, Blondie, Gang of Four, Christina Aguilera, Nine Inch Nails, Bloc Party, Kings of Convenience, Soulwax and Róisín Murphy.
Pink Flag is the debut studio album by English rock band Wire. It was released in November 1977 by Harvest Records. Though the album failed to chart on its initial release, it has been widely considered to have been highly influential on many other musicians.
Unwound was an American post-hardcore band based in Tumwater/Olympia, Washington. The group was strongly associated with the label Kill Rock Stars throughout the 1990s, until their dissolution in 2002. Unwound was sharply dissonant and angular, often resorting to unusual guitar tones, and was associated with post-hardcore and noise rock. The band toured frequently, preferring "all ages" clubs and are noted for their strong DIY ethic. The group spawned numerous side projects.
154 is the third album by the English post-punk band Wire, released in 1979 on EMI imprint Harvest Records in the UK and Europe and Warner Bros. Records in America. Branching out even further from the minimalist punk rock style of their earlier work, 154 is considered a progression of the sounds displayed on Wire's previous album Chairs Missing, with the group experimenting with slower tempos, fuller song structures and a more prominent use of guitar effects, synthesizers and electronics.
Elastica were a British rock band formed in London in 1992 that were influenced by punk rock, post-punk and new wave music. Their 1995 album Elastica produced singles that charted in the United Kingdom and United States, including its highest-charting US Hot 100 hit, "Connection." The band broke up in 2001, about a year after releasing their second LP. The band's members changed several times; Justine Frischmann and Justin Welch were the only members who remained from beginning to end.
Colin Newman is an English musician, record producer and record label owner. He is best known as the primary vocalist and songwriter for the post-punk band Wire.
Chairs Missing is the second studio album by English rock band Wire. It was released in August 1978. The album peaked at number 48 in the UK Albums Chart.
Post-punk revival, also known as garage rock revival, new wave revival, and new rock revolution is a genre of indie rock that developed in the late 1990s and early 2000s, inspired by the original sounds and aesthetics of garage rock of the 1960s and new wave and post-punk of the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Bruce Clifford Gilbert is an English musician. One of the founding members of the influential and experimental art punk band Wire, he branched out into electronic music, performance art, music production, and DJing during the band's extended periods of inactivity. He left Wire in 2004, and has since been focusing on solo work and collaborations with visual artists and fellow experimental musicians.
Object 47 is the eleventh studio album by the English post punk band Wire, named so because it is the 47th item in the Wire discography – a methodology harking back to the name of their 1979 album, 154, which was named after the number of concerts they had played to that point. It is the first Wire album without the participation of guitarist Bruce Gilbert. It was released on 7 July 2008 in the UK and on 15 July in the US.
A–Z is the debut studio album by Colin Newman, lead singer of post-punk band Wire. It was released in October 1980, through record label Beggars Banquet.
Red Barked Tree is the twelfth studio album by the English post-punk band Wire--digitally released on 20 December 2010, and as a CD on 10 January 2011. Featuring eleven tracks covering a diverse range of musical styles the record was well received by critics who found the record: "representing the essence of their best work" covering: "virtually all aspects of Wire's varied history to create a stylistic best-of new material".
Wire is the self-titled fourteenth studio album by British post-punk band Wire. It was released on 13 April 2015.
Nocturnal Koreans is the fifteenth studio album by British post-punk band Wire. It was released on 22 April 2016.
Silver/Lead is the sixteenth studio album by British post-punk band Wire. It was released on 31 March 2017.
Mind Hive is the seventeenth studio album from English art punk band Wire, released on 24 January 2020. The release was preceded by a music video for "Cactused" made up of clips from the forthcoming documentary People in a Film and streaming audio for "Primed and Ready". They also announced a brief tour of North America to promote the recording.
Provisionally Entitled the Singing Fish is the second studio album by Colin Newman, lead singer of post-punk band Wire. It was released in 1981, through record labels Beggars Banquet and 4AD.
It Seems is the fifth studio album by Colin Newman, lead singer of post-punk band Wire. It was released in 1988 by Crammed Discs.
Bastard is the sixth studio album by Colin Newman, lead singer of post-punk band Wire. It was released in 1997 on Newman's label Swim ~.
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