The band originally consisted of Eugene Reynolds (born Alan Forbes) vocals; Fay Fife (born Sheila Hynde) vocals; Jo Callis guitar; the enigmatically-named William Mysterious (born Alastair Donaldson), saxophone; Angel Patterson (born Alan Patterson), drums; Hi-Fi Harris guitar; and Dr D.K. Smythe bass guitar. Some of The Rezillos’ bizarre early live repertoire, contained material from the likes of The Sweet, Screaming Lord Sutch, Fleetwood Mac (in the guise of Earl Vince and the Valiants) and the Dave Clark Five. Bootleg recordings exist of this stage of the band’s history.
This line-up released their first single “Can’t Stand my Baby” on the indie record label, Sensible Records. This led to a major recording contract with Sire Records. The band also underwent a transformation, shedding both Hi-Fi Harris, Dr. D.K. Smythe, and two backing singers. William Mysterious then shifted to bassist for the band’s debut album Can’t Stand the Rezillos, widely regarded as a classic of both Punk Rock and New Wave. A second single “Flying Saucer Attack” / “My Baby Does Good Sculptures” grazed the lower reaches of the UK Singles Chart, and contained different versions of the songs found on the album release.
However, the quintet reached the Top 20 of the UK chart with their third single, “Top Of The Pops” in 1978. By this time, William Mysterious had left the band to be replaced by another bass player Simon Templar. The single version of “Top of the Pops” features him, whilst the album version was recorded by William Mysterious.
After releasing the album Can’t Stand The Rezillos, Reynolds and Fife left the original band. The live LP Mission Accomplished But The Beat Goes On remains as a testament to the original line-up. A final single, “Destination Venus” made the lower reaches of the UK chart, and earned them a final appearance on the actual Top of the Pops.
Reynolds and Fife renamed themselves The Revillos for contractual reasons, recruiting new members, including original Rezillo Hi-Fi Harris, and released an album Rev Up in 1980 under the new name. The Revillos had a longer career than The Rezillos, and toured and released music continually during the 1980s. The band had an ever changing line-up, but the focus and nucleus always remained Reynolds and Fife. The band later also released a compendium of their music. The remaining three Rezillos plus Troy Tate, ex-Teardrop Explodes, renamed themselves Shake, and released a 10” EP and a single (“Invasion of the Gamma Men”) before disbanding. A side project named S.W.A.L.K was also short lived. Jo Callis went on to perform with The Human League.
Some of The Revillos reformed in 1994, playing a series of concerts in Japan, and recording the Live And On Fire In Japan album. In 1996, they issued a rarities compilation album, From the Freezer, and played some live dates in Britain.
In 2001, the band reformed with the classic line-up sans Simon Templar, his bass duties being taking by Johnny Terminator. They continue to play live and record to the present day.
Edited by IRONICtypo on 20 Dec 2008, 21:05
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