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The Teardrop Explodes

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Liverpool, United Kingdom (1978 – 1982)

The Teardrop Explodes was a British Post-punk/Neo-Psychedelic band formed in Liverpool in 1978. The band was formed by Julian Cope who had previously been in the short-lived yet locally-renowned band Crucial Three along with Pete Wylie (who went on to form Wah!) and Ian McCulloch later of Echo And The Bunnymen.

The band’s initial line-up consisted of singer/bassist Julian Cope, Mick Finkler on guitar, Gary Dwyer on drums and Paul Simpson on keyboards. They were managed by Bill Drummond and signed to his Zoo label. An early version of the band, which included Ian McCulloch on vocals, was known as A Shallow Madness.

The band released their first single, Sleeping Gas in February of 1979. Soon after, Simpson left the band and was replaced by Zoo label co-owner, David Balfe. Their next single Bouncing Babies inspired a tribute song of its own: I Can’t Get Bouncing Babies By The Teardrop Explodes - an ode to the difficulty of obtaining a copy of the song.

Finkler was fired by Cope during the recording of their debut album Kilimanjaro and was replaced by Dalek I Love You guitarist Alan Gill. The LP was a moderate success; it reached number 24 on the British pop charts.

In 1981, the group was at the height of its popularity. In January, they hit # 6 on the British charts with the Reward single and in April they broke the top 20 with Treason. During this period, there were numerous line up changes: Alfie Agius was brought in on bass, Jeff Hammer replaced Balfe on keyboards and Troy Tate replaced Gill on guitar.

Expectations were high for the band’s second album, Wilder. The first single Passionate Friend performed reasonably well (#25 UK), but the album itself was unsuccessful, limping to 29 on the charts, disappearing shortly afterwards.

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