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The Obscure Music Club

Listening to The Sound

  • Category: Sounds
  • By: Alo

The Sound were an English band formed in south London in 1975 and dissolved in 1988. Probably at the same level of the well known Joy Division and Echo and the Bunnymen, The Sound, while never commercialy successful, can be considered a landmark of English post punk scene.

The original lineup of The Sound consisted of Adrian Borland (vocals, guitar and songwriting) and Graham Bailey (bass guitar), both ex-Outsiders, along with Mike Dudley (drums) and Benita "Bi" Marshall (keyboard, saxophone, clarinet). While not a member, ex-Outsider Adrian Janes would contribute ideas and co-write lyrics to The Sound's music. They made their debut with the EP Physical World in 1979. It was favourably received by NME and received airplay from DJ John Peel; one year later they published their first Lp “Jeopardy” for Korova records, then home of Echo and the Bunnymen. Jeopardy was recorded inexpensively and even if not pushed very much from the label it received a good critical acclaim. Their second album “From the Lions Mouth” was released in 1981, to further critical acclaim, though their fanbase hadn't extended beyond a cult following. Korova pressured Borland and his bandmates to come up with a more commercially successful third album, in addition to shifting The Sound from Korova to WEA proper. In an act of rebellion, they responded with “All fall Down” in 1982, an album that took them even further away from the mainstream. After that the band changed their record label and moved to independent label Statik in 1984 and with them they produced the full-length “Heads and Hearts”.

By 1985, Borland had begun to exhibit symptoms of mental illness, perhaps worsened by the frustrations of his career. Never able to conquer his depression and anguished about returning to a psychiatric hospital, Borland, who reportedly suffered from a schizoaffective disorder, committed suicide on 26 April 1999, throwing himself in the path of an express train at Wimbledon station. The same day was planned the relase of “Propaganda” a remastering of several The Sound recordings, created at the very start of their career in 1976/77. A documentary about Adrian Borland will be released soon with the title “Walking in the opposite direction”.

In the meanwhile you can have a taste of some pure ad obscure post punk Sound!