The Saints | Artist

The Saints | Artist

Tags: Era_1970s, Gender_Male, Genre_Pop_Rock, Genre_Punk, Origin_Australia, Type_Artist

The Saints are an Australian rock band formed 1973 in Brisbane, Queensland by Chris Bailey (vocals, guitar, organ), Ivor Hay (drums, bass, keyboard), and Ed Kuepper (guitar). Bassist Kym Bradshaw joined in 1975 then left in 1977 to be replaced by Algy Ward. Chris Bailey was the mainstay of the band as it went through latter day lineup changes, until his death in 2022. Guitarist Ed Kuepper left after the first three classic albums and went on to form The Laughing Clowns and have a successful solo career. Bailey also released several excellent solo albums. Initially starting out under the name Kid Galahad before renaming to the Saints in 1974, their musical inspirations came from 1950s rock'n'rollers such as Little Richard and Elvis Presley, and 1960s proto-punk bands like the Missing Links, the Stooges and MC5. They rehearsed in a shed at the back of Hay's place, opposite the local police HQ. Later, when they were unable to get gigs, the band converted their share house into a venue where they could play. With their debut single "I'm Stranded" released in September 1976, they became the first punk band outside the US to release a record. They pressed 500 copies to vinyl and released it on their own label Fatal Records, months before bands like The Clash or Sex Pistols had committed any of their music to tape. (I'm) Stranded stayed under the radar in Australia, but in the UK, where punk was starting to surface, it well and truly made its mark. It was named "single of this week and every week" by Sounds magazine, and BBC broadcaster John Peel called it "one of the best singles of the year". Over two days in December, the group recorded their first LP, (I'm) Stranded at Windows Studios Brisbane, which included the single, a cover version of the Missing Links' track "Wild About You", plus a bunch of Kuepper/Bailey originals. The album was produced by New Zealander Rod Coe, who had been in several Australian surf bands and bass player in country legend Slim Dusty's band. I'm Stranded was critically hailed and is one of the best early Punk records of the era and still stands as one of the greatest albums of the 1970's. They hit the big stage when they supported AC/DC in late December 1976 and, early in 1977, and moved to Sydney. However as punk was generally ignored in Australia at that time, they soon relocated to the UK upon the release of their second single, "Erotic Neurotic" in May 1977. Their second album Eternally Yours, released in 1978, isn't far behind their debut in terms of quality, having several slower tempo songs but just as much freshness and raw power. Their excellent third album Prehistoric Sounds, also from 1978, was the last to feature the characteristic guitar work of Ed Kuepper. Essentially becoming Chris Bailey's band at that point with constant lineup changes, many of their later albums such as The Monkey Puzzle (1980), A Little Madness to be Free (1984), All Fools Day (1986) and Prodigal Son (1988), are all excellent releases in their own right. There have been many Saints compilations and archival releases issued but Wild About You 1976-1978 (2000) released on Glenn A. Bakers's Raven Records, is possibly the finest. Chris Bailey died on April 9, 2022, aged 65, bringing an end to the original lineup. However in 2024 Ed Kuepper announced plans to reform the Saints, together with ex-Mudhoney vocalist Mark Arm, Sunnyboys bassist Peter Oxley, Birthday Party and Bad Seeds guitarist Mick Harvey, and original Saints drummer Ivor Hay. The Saints were one of the first and most influential punk rock groups. According to Bob Geldof, an old punker himself, "Rock music in the seventies was changed by three bands—the Sex Pistols, the Ramones and the Saints." Another big fan, Nick Cave said of the Saints "They were kind of god-like to me and my colleagues. They were just always so much better than everybody else. It was extraordinary to go and see a band that was so anarchic and violent".

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Featured Albums: The Saints

Related Artists: Ed Kuepper, Chris Bailey, The Church, The Birthday Party, Laughing Clowns

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