3 Colours Red
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|3 Colours Red|
3 Colours Red, 1997. L-R: Chris McCormack, Pete Vuckovic, Keith Baxter and Ben Harding.
|Years active||1995–1999 / 2002–2005|
Mighty Atom Records
Epic Records (US)
|Website||Official 'myspace' page|
3 Colours Red were a rock band from the United Kingdom. They achieved their biggest chart success at the end of the 1990s, along with other Britrock bands such as Ash and Feeder. The band was named by sticking a pin in a London listings magazine, Time Out. It landed randomly on an advertisement for the concluding part of the Polish film director Krzysztof Kieślowski's, Three Colors, trilogy. They went on to record two UK Top 20 albums, and six Top 40 singles. Fox Soccer Channel currently feature their 1997 hit "Copper Girl" as background music when announcing scores and goal summaries at half time and full-time.
In 1995, it was suggested by a mutual friend that guitarist Chris McCormack (ex-Forgodsake/Gunslinger) should contact the Birmingham based singer/bassist Pete Vuckovic (ex-Diamond Head) to start a band. Both had recently left their previous bands and were looking for something new. McCormack made the call and they decided to work on some songs together. Due to location they spent the following months trading four track recordings and developing song ideas via post, until they had enough material to record a demo. They soon moved to London and began putting a band together.
They were guided by producer/manager Terry Thomas and Gina Walters (Warner Chappell Music). Walters introduced the band to Thomas, he managed them as well as produced the demos that secured their early recording contracts.
McCormack is the younger brother of Danny McCormack, ex-bassist in The Wildhearts, another British rock band who had already achieved commercial success, and with whom 3 Colours Red would play some of their first concerts. Ben Harding had been a founder member of Senseless Things, whilst Vučković's stint with Diamond Head had galvanised his songwriting, and Keith Baxter's drumming with Skyclad provided the band with backbone.
Fierce Panda Records released their first single, "This Is My Hollywood" published by Warner Chappell Music. The band signed to Creation Records, after Alan McGee, Creation's founder and discoverer of Oasis, said that 3CR were the "most exciting band since the Sex Pistols".
Creation Records period
While with Creation, the band recorded two albums. The first, Pure (1997) was produced by Terry Thomas. There was controversy over the resulting single "Sixty Mile Smile", the lyrical content of which referred to frontman Vučković's overnight hospitalisation after taking the drug ecstasy. Thomas was eventually fired by the band prior to the recording of the second album.
Revolt (1999) was produced by Dave Eringa. At the peak of their success, following the band's biggest hit, "Beautiful Day", they embarked upon US tours with Marilyn Manson, Aerosmith and Silverchair. However, the group disbanded after the Reading and Leeds Festivals in 1999, citing musical and personal differences.
Vučković was signed to Sony Records and Sanctuary Management and spent two years writing an album for his new project Elevation, which was never released and he was dropped by the label. McCormack joined Rich Battersby and EMF producer Ralph Jezzard for a stint in Grand Theft Audio, who spent considerable time touring America before also being dropped.
Vučković and McCormack reconciled their differences and reformed the band with original drummer Keith Baxter. Ben Harding had by this time, forged a career in public relations and was replaced by Paul Grant (ex-Pornstar).
The new line-up signed to Mighty Atom Records and Sanctuary Management and recorded The Union of Souls album with producer Joe Gibb (Funeral for a Friend/ Million Dead) in 2004 to critical acclaim but little commercial success. "Repeat To Fade" and "The World is Yours", taken from the album, were released as singles and the band toured Europe and Japan with German bands Die Toten Hosen and The Donots as well as a handful of UK tours and festival slots including the first Download festival.
In mid 2005, a double album, If You Ain't Got a Weapon..., made up of the band's singles and b-sides from the Creation period was released by Sanctuary Records, with accompanying sleeve notes penned by Vučković. A live DVD recorded at the Islington Academy in 2004 was also released, followed by a live album, Nuclear Holiday from the same show. The band split again in September 2005 after a UK farewell tour with The Yo-Yos, having been dropped by Sanctuary and disappointing sales of the third album, and continuing personal differences between Vučković and McCormack.
- Pete Vučković (lead vocals, bass)
- Chris McCormack (guitar, vocals)
- Ben Harding (guitar, vocals, 1996–1999)
- Paul Grant (guitar, vocals, 2002–2005)
- Keith Baxter (drums)
As a youngster, Vučković was a keen hard rock/heavy metal fan and played in bands with his older brother throughout his teens in his hometown of Tiverton in Devon. His first notable success came in 1993 after leaving his own band, Blackout, and moving to Birmingham to join reformed N.W.O.B.H.M/Heavy metal band Diamond Head as their bassist. He recorded on the 'Death and Progress' and 'Evil Live' albums but they split again soon after.
McCormack's first success was as a member of Newcastle upon Tyne heavy metal outfit Forgodsake, who released an album on Bleeding Heart Records before McCormack eventually left. He originally moved to London to join Honeycrack with C.J. from The Wildhearts but ended up forming 3 Colours Red with Vuckovic instead. Afterwards, he joined electro rockers Grand Theft Audio with Rich Battersby from The Wildhearts, and spent several months touring the U.S. with them before they were eventually dropped by the record label, forcing them to return home. He also tours as the guitarist in Gary Numan's live band and co-wrote several songs with Adam Ant for Ant's 2013 album Adam Ant Is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner's Daughter.
Harding embarked upon a career in public and media relations following the first split of 3 Colours Red in 1999.
As a teenager, Baxter became a founder member of folk metal pioneers Skyclad, recording five seminal albums with them before leaving in 1995 to move to London and join 3 Colours Red. Following the split of the band in 1999 he formed the band Elevation with former bandmate from 3 Colours Red, Vuckovic. The pair signed with Sony but were dropped a year later. He moved back to his hometown of Lancaster and briefly played with the Northern Irish band, Therapy? in 2002.
Baxter went on to play with the Lancaster based band Baby Judas, but died on 4 January 2008 at the age of 36, from a gastrointestinal haemorage.
- Pure (Creation 1997) - UK No. 15
- Revolt (Creation 1999) - UK No. 17
- The Union of Souls (Mighty Atom 2004) - UK No. 188
- If You Ain't Got a Weapon... (Sanctuary 2005)
- Nuclear Holiday (Snapper 2005)
Singles and EPs
- "This Is My Hollywood" (Fierce Panda 1996) - UK No. 162
- "Nuclear Holiday" (Creation 1997) - UK No. 22
- "Sixty Mile Smile" (Creation 1997) - UK No. 20
- "Pure" (Creation 1997) - UK No. 28
- "Copper Girl" (Creation 1997) - UK No. 30
- "This Is My Hollywood" (Re-Released) (Creation 1997) - UK No. 48
- Paralyse EP (Creation 1998): Non-eligible for UK chart
- "Beautiful Day" (Creation 1999) - UK No. 11
- "This Is My Time" (Creation 1999) - UK No. 36
- "Repeat To Fade" (Mighty Atom 2003)- UK No. 86
- "The World Is Yours" (Mighty Atom 2004)
- Live at the Islington Academy (Secret 2005)
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 558. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
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- "Gary Numan". Rockstarjournalism.com. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
- This Charming Man - Adam Ant cover-feature interview by John Robb, Vive Le Rock magazine issue 2 pages 46-51
- "Independent Record Label:: Vinyl Junkie Recordings » CJ & THE SATELLITES". Vinyl-junkie.com. 16 July 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
- "UK Chartlog - 1994–2010 !!! – 99th Floor Elevators". zobbel.de. Retrieved 8 June 2012.