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Crime & The City Solution

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(1977 – 1991, 2011 – present)

Crime & the City Solution is a rock group headed by Australian singer/songwriter Simon Bonney and first active between the years of 1977-1991, and then again from 2011. Despite roots dating back as far as 1978, Crime & the City Solution did not truly emerge until 1984, coming to life in the wake of the dissolution of the seminal Birthday Party. Crime & the City Solution had many members over the years, which can be divided into four distinct line-ups: Sydney in 1977-78, Melbourne in 1979, and two groupings in Berlin. The only common member in all four line-ups was Bonney. For a complete list of the different line-ups see below.

In 1985, the quartet debuted on record for the first time with The Dangling Man E.P., a self-produced EP quickly establishing the band’s moody, atmospheric blues-based aesthetic. Former Swell Maps drummer Epic Soundtracks joined Crime after the EP’s release, freeing Harvey to alternate among a variety of instruments for the haunting follow-up, Just South of Heaven. Their full-length bow Room of Lights appeared in 1986 and featured the remarkable “Six Bells Chime”, which so impressed acclaimed filmmaker Wim Wenders that he invited the band to perform the song live in his 1988 masterpiece Wings of Desire.

By the time the film appeared, however, the incarnation of Crime & the City Solution presented onscreen was no more; after Room of Lights, the Howard brothers and Soundtracks exited to form These Immortal Souls, leaving Bonney, Harvey and violinist Bronwyn Adams (also Bonney’s wife and songwriting partner) to relocate to Berlin, where they recruited a number of local musicians, including Einstürzende Neubauten guitarist Alexander Hacke, to cut 1988’s ornate, intoxicating Shine.

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