Let's Active

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Let's Active
Origin Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
Genres New wave, post-punk, jangle pop, alternative rock
Years active 1981-1990
Labels I.R.S. Records
Associated acts R.E.M., The dB's, Grover
Past members Mitch Easter
Faye Hunter
Sara Romweber
Angie Carlson
Eric Marshall
Rob Ladd
Jon Heames

Let's Active was an American rock group formed in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 1981.[1]

History[edit]

The principal songwriter—and sole continuous member—of the band through most of the 1980s was Mitch Easter. The band's musical style is sometimes referred to as jangle pop.[1] Although critically praised, Let's Active had limited commercial success and are mostly known because of Easter's production work with R.E.M., The Bongos, and Pylon.[2] The name of the group is taken from a T-shirt sold in Japan bearing the inadvertently nonsensical English phrase (a popular fashion at the time).

Let's Active formed in 1981 and soon signed with I.R.S. Records. The original trio, comprising Easter (vocals/guitar), Faye Hunter (bass), and Sara Romweber (drums), played their first performance with their friends R.E.M.[3] They released the mini-album Afoot in 1983 and the full-length Cypress the following year.

Romweber quit the band during a U.K. tour in 1984, and Hunter and Easter (a couple) split up shortly thereafter. However, the band name was kept alive by Easter, who played as Let's Active with Hunter and members of The Windbreakers until a new permanent lineup was established.

The band's second full-length album, Big Plans For Everybody (1986), was largely a solo recording by Easter, who played most of the instruments himself and handled the mixing and production. On board for a few tracks, however, were bassist/vocalist Hunter, drummers Eric Marshall and Rob Ladd, and multi-instrumentalist Angie Carlson (who would later marry Easter).

By the time of Let's Active's third and final album, Every Dog Has His Day (1988), the band's sound had evolved into harder-edged power pop. The album was produced by John Leckie and Easter, and listed a lineup of Easter, Carlson, Marshall and a new member, bassist Jon Heames (credited as "John Heames"). Despite the credits, though, the album was largely played by Easter and Marshall, with significant contributions by Carlson. The subsequent tour featured a cohesive lineup of Easter, Carlson, Marshall and Heames.

The band has been inactive since a final performance in early 1990 — around the same time Easter and Carlson broke up. Carlson went on to form the band Grover, who released one album with Easter producing some of the tracks. Easter, meanwhile, concentrated on his production career, and rarely performed or recorded his own music throughout the 1990s, although he did join Velvet Crush as a touring guitarist for a time in the mid-1990s. In 2000, he re-teamed with Marshall and Easter's then-girlfriend (now former wife), vocalist Shalini Chatterjee, to form the trio Shalini. The three briefly played under the name The Fiendish Minstrels, which featured Easter's lead vocals as well as a selection of Let's Active tunes in their repertoire. Easter currently records and performs under his own name. His first solo album, Dynamico, was released in 2007.

Faye Hunter committed suicide on July 21, 2013, in Advance, North Carolina, at the age of 59.[4][5]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Cypress (1984, I.R.S.)
  • Big Plans for Everybody (1986, I.R.S.)
  • Every Dog Has His Day (1988, I.R.S.)

EPs[edit]

Singles[edit]

Year Title Chart positions Album
US Hot 100 US Modern Rock US Mainstream Rock UK
1988 "Every Dog Has His Day" - 17 - - Every Dog Has His Day

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Strong, Martin Charles (2003). The Great Indie Discography. Edinburgh UK: Canongate. ISBN 1-84195-335-0. Retrieved 2014-05-20. 
  2. ^ "Producer Easter Gets Active As Performer". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media) 96 (38). 6 October 1984. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 2014-05-20. 
  3. ^ Sullivan, Denise (1998). R.E.M.: Talk About the Passion : An Oral History. Da Capo Press. p. 80. ISBN 0-306-80857-9. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  4. ^ Menconi, David. "Faye Hunter, Rest In Peace". July 21, 2013. The News & Observer. Retrieved 2014-05-20. 
  5. ^ "Hayworth-Miller". Hayworth-Miller. Retrieved 2014-05-20. 

External links[edit]