"Do you really want to go on like this?"

Another of those Manchester bands. Formed in 1982 when Tim Booth (vocalist) ran into drummer Gavan Whelan, guitarist Paul Gilbertson and bassist Jim Glennie at Manchester University. The four hit the club circuit heavily and were soon "local favorites". They received the blessing of Chief Manchesterian Morrissey and were eventually asked to open for The Smiths. They were soon after signed to Sire Records but due to mediocre sales (they were still mostly a cult favorite, with decent college alternative radio back-up in the U.S.) soon moved on to Rough Trade.

It wasn't until their seventh release, Laid, (released on Mercury) that James really came into their own...and even then you've got to give props to Everything's own Brian Eno who handled production and co-wrote the sister-album Wah Wah. Eno did what he's done countless times before--he found the diamond and coaxed it out into the light. James refracted, James shined, James waited four years to record a follow-up (without Eno) and flopped.

For those of you who were there, those of you who cared...who owned Wah-Wah and hailed it as an electronic Passion, a psychedelic wonderland of guitars, feedback and sampled surreality...for those of us it's been a tragedy. Blur has picked up largely where James left off, especially with their recent masterpiece 13, and that's okay. I miss Tim, though...and I always miss Brian.

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