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Elastica

From Academic Kids

Elastica were a Britpop band who were popular in the 1990s, formed by Justine Frischmann after leaving Suede in 1991. Frischmann recruited Justin Welch (formally of garage rock band Spitfire - drums), Annie Holland (bass) and Donna Matthews (guitar).

History

Their first single was 1993's "Stutter", which was a word-of-mouth hit. In spite of a period of relative quiet, Elastica's fame grew throughout 1994 as Frischmann's relationship with Blur's Damon Albarn made tabloid headlines. Elastica's first LP, Elastica, entered the charts at #1. A glorious debut album the album is seen by many as one of the defining moments of Britpop. Many britpop bands were influenced by Elastica's sound and had success of their own, however few captured the charisma and humour of Elastica's debut album.

Further UK chart hit singles followed: Connection and Waking Up. In 1995 there was a lawsuit from Wire claiming that many of the band's melodies were taken from Wire compositions. Notably Wire's I Am the Fly has a chorus similar to Elastica's Line Up, and the intro of Connection is nearly identical to Wire's Three Girl Rhumba. Indeed the band had originally intended to sample the intro of the song directly. The Stranglers also passed comment that Elastica's Waking Up bore a maked resemblence to their song No More Heros. The band did not deny these accusations and were not ashamed by these similarities stating that all pop bands have borrowed ideas and all music was eventually recycled.

Elastica were able to garner better American sales than other Britpop bands, replacing Sinéad O'Connor on Lollapalooza in 1995. Among their extensive tour schedule the band played a glorious Glastonbury performance in 1995 where their set was interrupted by a streaker George Best lookalike, who would briefly join the band as keyboard player in 1997.

The after extensive touring the band began to experience personal problems. In 1997 bassist Annie Holland left the band citing repetetive strain injury following excessive touring as her reason for depature. In 1999 Donna Matthews left the band. There were several line up changes and keyboard players. Various supporting musicans came and went. Their second album was much delayed after several years of recording. There were worrying rumours of entire albums being scrapped and band tensions due to the perfectionism of Frishmann. The "lost years" of the band were often compared to the Stone Roses recording their "Second Coming" album.

A quickly recorded self-titled EP was released in 1999 and the follow-up LP, The Menace, was finally released in 2000 to moderate sales. A less focused effort than their debut, the album nonetheless contained some interesting moments and more electronic songs than before. One of the highy points was How He Wrote Elastica Man featuring Mark E Smith on vocals. A new line up was revealed with two keyboard players replacing Matthews for tour dates.

After more touring the band then released a final single "The Bitch Don't Work" and announced their break-up in September 2001.

As a postscript in 2002 the band confessed in John Harris's Britpop memoir "The Last Party" that most members had had servere problems with heroin addiction during most of the lifetime of the band. This was said to be the main cause of the slow work rate and personal difficulties within the latter years. This was also the reason for the depature of Holland, although she later returned to tour the final album. This was not revealed at the time, although some fans suspected this to be the case.

Their song "Connection" was used in May 2004 in Garnier television commercials. Frischmann herself was no stranger to television jingles; her uncle wrote the theme song to Benny Hill.

Band Members

Core members:

  • Justine Frishmann Vocals and Guitar 1991 - 2001
  • Donna Matthews Guitar and Vocals 1991 - 1999
  • Annie Holland Bass Guitar 1991 - 1996 and 1999 - 2001
  • Justin Welch Drums 1991 - 2001
  • Dave Bush Keyboards 1997 - 2001
  • Paul Jones Guitar 1998 - 2001
  • Mew Keyboards and Vocals 1999 - 2001

Other members:

  • Sheila Chipperfield Bass 1996 - 1998
  • Abby Travis Bass 1997
  • Anthony Genn Keyboards 1996


Discography

Singles

  • Stutter - 1993
  • Line Up - 1994
  • Connection - 1994
  • Waking Up - 1995
  • 6 track EP - 1999
  • Mad Dog - 2000
  • The Bitch Don't Work - 2001

Albums

  • Elastica - 1995
  • The Menace - 1999
  • Radio 1 Sessions Live - 2001de:Elastica

fr:Elastica no:Elastica

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