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The Jags


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The Jags, a fueled / band, was formed in 1978 by the Yorkshire-based songwriting team of Nick Watkinson (vocals) and John Alder (guitar), with Steve Prudence (bass) and Alex Baird (drums). In July 1978, they signed to Island Records and released a promising four-track EP. Their 1980 debut LP, ‘Evening Standards’, included a highly derivative though memorable single called “Back of My Hand”, which had reached the U.K. Top 40 the previous fall. Breaking through into the mainstream in a big way, the band seemed set for success, even preforming on ‘Top of the Pops’.

However, the follow-up single, “Woman’s World”, barely scraped its way on to the charts. Though ‘Evening Standards’ featured a really solid set of punchy songs, critics focused instead on Watkinson’s heavily Elvis Costello-like delivery, writing the band off as merely mimics. As steam ran out of the Anglo-American power pop craze, the band attempted to change their sound a bit. 1981’s ‘No Tie Like the Present’ featured a slightly new direction, but it was generally overlooked.

By 1982, the Jags had disbanded for good, saddled with the ‘ label. Still, “Back of My Hand” had a revival of sorts in the that has since continued, appearing on several compilations. Besides being cherished by many underground rock fans, it’s also been included in the soundtrack of the American comedy film ‘You, Me And Dupree’.


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  • jonathankent1

    so, so good

    7 Jun 2012 Reply
  • DevilDave59

    Great song in 79, and sounds just as good today.

    11 Feb 2010 Reply
  • Geronimo1Banzai

    Love The Jags. See also: Dirty Looks, another overlooked powerpop goody. :-D

    18 Nov 2008 Reply
  • Graubart

    In DJ'ing parties in college from 81-85, Back of My Hand was near the top of my playlist at every one. It never failed to get people on the dance floor. Great tune.

    19 Dec 2007 Reply
  • Chitose

    Nice outfits.

    14 Jul 2007 Reply

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