King Missile is a rather unique band in alternative rock music. They combine rock music with spoken word poetry to form a unique blend.
King Missile originally formed as King Missile (Dog Fly Religion) in 1986, releasing their EP Fluting On The Hump in 1987 on the Shimmy Disc label. This was followed by the full length album, They in 1988. The sound of King Missile (Dog Fly Religion) was more alt-pop than spoken word rock, but the genesis of the idea could be heard on tracks like Take Stuff From Work, and Double Fucked By Two Black Studs. The original lineup of King Missile (Dog Fly Religion) was in flux, but mostly centered around the vocals of John S. Hall and the guitar of Dogbowl (A.K.A. Stephen Tunney), as well as occasional support from Shimmy Disc founder Kramer. After the release of They, Dogbowl left the band to pursue a solo career. The "(Dog Fly Religion)" was dropped from the name, and members Dave Rick, and Chris Xefos joined playing guitars and keyboards.
The first release as just King Missile was titled Mystical Shit, which contained the college radio hit Jesus Was Way Cool. Mystical Shit was split between the alt-pop of early albums, and the spoken word rock that would follow. Thanks to Mystical Shit's success, King Missile was able to sign on to Atlantic Records where they would release their next three albums. In 1991, King Missile released The Way To Salvation, and in 1992, they released Happy Hour.
Happy Hour would prove to be King Missile's biggest success, thanks to the song Detachable Penis. Detachable Penis, with it's bizarre lyrics about the titular organ, and its unique music video became an MTV staple. King Missile, however, could not continue their success on their 1994 self-titled followup album, which sold terribly. In 1995, King Missile (Dog Fly Religion) reunited for a brief tour, then parted ways once again. Also in 1995, John S. Hall released a book of poetry/King Missile song lyrics on Soft Skull press, entitled Jesus Was Way Cool.
King Missile seemed to disappear soon afterward, and John S. Hall released a solo album in 1996 with the John S. Hall Band titled The Body Has A Head. A glance at the credits on the album, however, reveals that the John S. Hall band was actually King Missile renamed. The Body Has A Head was combined with some other songs and live tracks to create The Green Album. Both of these albums, as well as the King Missile album are out of print.
In 1998, John S. Hall restarted King Missile with violinst Sasha Forte, and pencilina player (and inventor) Bradford Reed as King Missile III. They released their first album Failure to minor success. King Missile III went into incubation for a while while John S. Hall got his law degree and co-founded the entertainement law firm of Heraty Hall. In 2002, King Missile III released The Psychopathology Of Everyday Life, and will soon be releasing an album titled Royal Lunch.
1987 - Fluting On The Hump EP
1988 - They
1990 - Mystical Shit
1991 - The Way To Salvation
1992 - Happy Hour
1994 - King Missile
1996 - The Body Has A Head (as John S. Hall)
1997(?) - The Green Album
1998 - Failure
2002 - The Psychopathology Of Everyday Life
2004 - Royal Lunch