Chain | Artist
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Chain are an Australian contemporary blues band formed 1968 in Melbourne by guitarist and vocalist Phil Manning and lead vocalist Wendy Saddington, along with Warren Morgan (piano, organ, vocals), Murray Wilkins (bass) and Ace Follington (drums). Saddington left in May 1969 and in September 1970 Matt Taylor joined on lead vocals and harmonica. Manning and Taylor have remained the backbone of the band to the present day, plus they have separate solo careers. Those who heard Chain performing early in 1969 said that Saddington was by far the best female rhythm and blues singer in the country, she left the band to write for the music newspaper Go-Set and joined the band Copperwine on lead vocals. Chain's first single, "Show Me Home", which was written by Manning, was released in October 1969 on Festival Records. Australian musicologist Ian McFarlane dubbed it one of the first and best progressive blues records ever issued in Australia. In September 1970, Manning asked Matt Taylor to become their full-time front man. Taylor had moved to Melbourne from Brisbane with his band the Bay City Union, which had briefly included Manning. They soon released the classic singles "Black and Blue" and "Judgement" followed by their excellent debut album Towards the Blues, in late 1971. The band went on to release nine studio albums plus an excellent live album. Standout releases include Towards the Blues, Australian Rhythm & Blues, Live, and the superb 1974 compilation The History of Chain. The band performed sporadically over the following decades, often at blues festivals alongside Mushroom Records stable-mates Blackfeather and Rose Tattoo. Phil Manning and Matt Taylor both have released several solo albums. Original singer Wendy Saddington, one of Australia's greatest female blues vocalists, died in June 2013 from throat cancer.
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