03 Pop Tarantula
04 Screaming For Emmalene
06 Bread From Heaven
08 Shower Me With Brittle Punches
09 Wraps And Arms
10 Psychological Problems
11 So Young (Heave Hard Heave Ho)
12 No Voodoo Dollies
13 Punch Drunk
Gene Loves Jezebel
|Gene Loves Jezebel|
|Genres||Gothic rock |
|Years active||1980 – Present|
|Labels||Blessmomma Records/Track Records|
|Jay Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel: |
Michael Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel:
|James Chater |
Early years: 1980-1989
Originally called Slav Aryan, Gene Loves Jezebel began in 1980 with the Aston brothers, guitarist Ian Hudson and a drum machine. The Astons grew up in Porthcawl, Wales, making the move to London in 1981. With a new home, and shortly thereafter, the new name, the trio played several live shows and were signed by Situation Two. In May 1982, the label released Gene Loves Jezebel's demo single Shaving My Neck. The band then added bassist Julianne Regan followed, briefly, by a keyboardist, Jean-Marc Lederman. Regan left within a year to form All About Eve, leaving Ian Hudson briefly playing bass until Stephen Marshall joined. This line up went on to perform some 100 gigs and recorded the first album Promise, along with their first John Peel Session and the beautifully bizarre B-side Stephen, often considered to be an homage to the man himself. Peter Rizzo joined in 1984. Gene Loves Jezebel underwent a dozen or so line up changes between 1981-1985.
The band released two more singles in 1983 before Promise peaked at number 8 in the UK Indie Chart. In 1984, the group recorded a John Peel radio session for BBC and toured America with fellow Welsh artist John Cale. The second album, Immigrant, was released in mid-1985. However, during an agonizing American tour for Immigrant, founding member Ian Hudson left the band and was replaced by former Generation X and Chelsea guitarist James Stevenson (who later also played rhythm guitar on tour with The Cult).
During 1986, the group moved its contract to Situation Two's parent company, Beggar's Banquet Records and distribution rights in US to Geffen Records. The subsequent promotion increased pop-chart success for the group. The single Sweetest Thing briefly hit the Top 75 in UK and the album Discover reached number 32 in UK Albums Chart. At this time, the group also found heavy rotation on college and countercultural radio stations across America. The band had slowly turned their attention to dance music. The slick and catchy guitar hooks of singles Desire and Heartache leapt to #6 and #72, respectively, on Los Angeles' New Wave station, KROQ. Later that year, former Spear of Destiny member Chris Bell became the band's fifth drummer.
Gene Loves Jezebel's fourth album, The House of Dolls, was released late in 1987 and yielded the singles, 20 Killer Hurts and The Motion of Love, which grazed the U.S. pop charts. Motion of Love was the band's biggest UK hit single, reaching number 56. The third single from The House of Dolls, Suspicion, for the first time surfaced on The Billboard Hot 100. Despite rising mainstream success, the new pop-oriented direction proved to be too polished and commercial for Michael: he left during the recording of the album and only appears on two songs, leaving Jay as the main songwriter of the band's songs. Even though he ended up returning, Michael parted ways with Jay in 1989 and later moved to Los Angeles.
Split and brief reunion: 1990-1997
While Michael went solo, the rest of the band continued as Gene Loves Jezebel, which Michael was not happy about, and recorded two albums, Kiss of Life in 1989, followed by Heavenly Bodies. The band's highest-charting American single emerged in August 1990 when Jealous, the major single from Kiss of Life, reached #68 on Billboard's Hot 100 and #1 on its Modern Rock chart. Three years later, Jay Aston and company released Heavenly Bodies, which did well in Europe and on American college radio. Unfortunately, the group's American label folded one year later, and, after a few more live shows, so did Gene Loves Jezebel.
While Jay performed occasional acoustic shows under his own name, Michael played with members of Scenic, then formed a new band called the Immigrants (re-named Edith Grove) and later released a primarily acoustic solo album, Why Me, Why This, Why Now. Michael and Jay began working together again that same year, and recorded two songs with Stevenson, Bell and Rizzo for a GLJ best-of compilation, released in September 1995.
The brothers were reconciled in the mid-1990s, writing some new songs together, and sharing a house in Los Angeles. They initially used Michael's band from the Why Me album era to back them up. In 1997 Michael organized a tour for the brothers under the name "The Pre-Raphaelite Brothers", the idea being to perform Gene Loves Jezebel material and material from each of the brothers' solo careers, with a new set of musicians, although the financial incentives of touring under the band identity meant that they performed under the Gene Loves Jezebel name. A new Gene Loves Jezebel album was planned, but Jay insisted that the other members of the band from prior to the tour were involved rather than the LA musicians, which Michael agreed to.
The album VII was recorded and a US tour undertaken to support it, but the brothers' reconciliation was short-lived. Towards the end of the tour, a dispute over how the profits from the tour would be shared out (Michael keeping most of the money as he had organized the tour) led to a fight between the two brothers and the tour was finished without Michael.
Two Gene Loves Jezebels: 1997-present day
Although Michael had again left the band, he began performing with the band from the earlier US tour using the Gene Loves Jezebel name. According to Michael, he refused to be pushed out of the band after all of the work he put into the reunion. When Jay and the band returned to the UK, they released VII without the three tracks that Michael had sung on.
In October 1997, Jay sued Michael over rights to the name "Gene Loves Jezebel", and after a protracted court battle, Jay eventually dropped all charges. According to Jay, he dropped the suit after receiving assurances that Michael would not use the name. Jay Aston then continued using the name, and Michael subsequently trademarked the "Gene Loves Jezebel" name in the United States, while Jay owns the UK trademark.
Since the late 90s there have been two versions of Gene Loves Jezebel, causing confusion among fans. Michael leads the US version of the band and has toured both the US and the UK supporting releases such as Love Lies Bleeding (1999), Giving Up the Ghost (2001) and Exploding Girls (2003). Jay Aston leads the UK version of the band, also featuring James Stevenson and Pete Rizzo, and has toured both the US and the UK extensively as well to support releases such as Accept No Substitutes (2002),The Thornfield Sessions (2003) and The Anthology, Vols. 1-2 (2006).
Jay, Stevenson, Rizzo, and Robert Adam had recently been sued for trademark infringement in the U.S. In a posting on their MySpace page on September 25th, Jay Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel announced that an agreement had been reached with Michael regarding the use of the name Gene Loves Jezebel. Jay Aston's band will be known as "Gene Loves Jezebel" outside of the U.S. and "Jay Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel" within the U.S. Michael Aston's band will be known as "Gene Loves Jezebel" in the U.S. and "Michael Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel" outside the U.S.
|Year||Title||UK Indie Chart Position||UK Albums Chart|
|October||1988||The House Of Dolls||#81|
|July||1990||Kiss Of Life|
|November||1995||In the Afterglow (live)|
|1999||Love Lies Bleeding¹|
|2001||Giving Up The Ghost¹|
|2003||The Thornfield Sessions²|
|Year||Title||UK Indie Chart Position||UK Singles Chart|
|May||1982||"Shaving My Neck"|
|May||1983||"Screaming for Emmalene"||#18|
|June||1984||"Shame (Whole Heart Howl)"||#14|
|October||1986||"Desire (Come and Get It)"|
|August||1987||"The Motion Of Love"||#56|
|January||1988||"Every Door" (withdrawn)|
|January||1988||"The Motion of Love"|
|December||1990||"Tangled Up In You"|
|2006||Survive This EP (promo only)¹|
- ¹ Michael Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel
- ² Jay Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel