Teenage Fanclub

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Teenage Fanclub
TeenageFanclub001.jpg
Teenage Fanclub live in 2010 (Summer Sundae festival, Leicester)
Background information
Origin Bellshill, Scotland
Genres Alternative rock, indie pop, jangle pop, power pop, shoegazing
Years active 1989–present[1]
Labels Paperhouse, Creation, Columbia, PeMa, Matador, DGC
Members Norman Blake
Raymond McGinley
Gerard Love
Francis MacDonald
Past members Brendan O'Hare
Paul Quinn
Finlay MacDonald

Teenage Fanclub are a Scottish alternative rock band formed in Bellshill in 1989.[1] The band is composed of Norman Blake (vocals, guitar), Raymond McGinley (vocals, lead guitar), Gerard Love (vocals, bass) and Francis MacDonald (drums), with songwriting duties shared equally among Blake, McGinley and Love. In concert, the band usually alternate among the three songwriters (who all sing lead vocals on their own songs) giving equal playing time to each one's songs.

Although often pegged as alternative rock, the group has incorporated a wide variety of elements from various music styles in its songs.[1]

Teenage Fanclub has had a succession of drummers, including Francis MacDonald, Brendan O’Hare and Paul Quinn, who was later replaced by the returning Francis MacDonald. Keyboardist Finlay MacDonald (no relation) has also been a member.

As of July 2010, the band have released nine studio albums and two compilation albums.

History[edit]

Teenage Fanclub emerged from the Glasgow C86 scene. Their sound is reminiscent of West Coast bands like the Beach Boys and the Byrds, and their seventies counterparts Big Star. Originally a noisy and chaotic band, their first album A Catholic Education, released in 1990 on Paperhouse, is largely atypical of their later sound, with the possible exception of "Everything Flows". The King, their next album, received critical reviews; it consisted of a number of self-confessedly shambolic guitar thrashes and a cover of Madonna's "Like a Virgin".[1]

Their next album, Bandwagonesque, released on Creation Records in the UK, and Geffen in the US, brought Teenage Fanclub a measure of commercial success. Bandwagonesque was more deliberately constructed, the hooks became stronger, the guitar riffs were brought under control, and the harmony vocals took shape.[1] Bandwagonesque won Spin magazine's 1991 end-of-year poll for best album, beating Nirvana's Nevermind, their Creation stablemates My Bloody Valentine's album Loveless, and R.E.M.'s Out of Time.

The subsequent, Thirteen, suffered scathing reviews on release. Brendan O'Hare left Teenage Fanclub during this period because of "musical differences", to be replaced by Paul Quinn (formerly of the Soup Dragons).[1]

Grand Prix, Teenage Fanclub's fifth album, was both a critical and commercial success in the UK, becoming their first top ten album. Released at the height of Britpop it almost certainly benefited from being released on the Creation records label. In the United States however the band failed to regain the ground that Thirteen had lost them. Around this time Liam Gallagher of labelmates Oasis called the band "the second best band in the world" — second only to Oasis.[citation needed]

Songs from Northern Britain followed Grand Prix and built on the former's success. It became their highest charting release in the UK and contained their biggest hit single to date, "Ain't That Enough".[1]

The follow-up album, Howdy!, released on Columbia Records in the UK after the demise of Creation, continued the sound of Songs from Northern Britain. Francis MacDonald rejoined as the drummer for the tour supporting the album after Quinn left the band. Quinn went on to form The Primary 5.

In 2002, they released Words of Wisdom and Hope with cult icon Jad Fair of Half Japanese.

Their final release on a Sony label, Four Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty-Six Seconds – A Short Cut to Teenage Fanclub, collected the Fanclub's best songs along with three new songs (one from each member).

Their next album, Man-Made, was released on 2 May 2005, on the band's own PeMa label. Man-Made was recorded in Chicago in 2004, and produced by John McEntire of Tortoise.

In 2006, the band held two special concerts (in London and Glasgow) playing their 1991 album Bandwagonesque in its entirety.

The band began work on their ninth album in August 2008, booking an initial three weeks at Leeders Farm recording studio in Norfolk.[2] The album is called Shadows and is released on the band's own PeMa label. It became available in Europe, Australasia and Japan on 31 May 2010, and was released by Merge Records in North America on 8 June 2010.[3]


Teenage Fanclub are influenced by Big Star and Orange Juice. They performed a cover of Orange Juice's "Rip It Up" with Edwyn Collins. In December 2010, at the ATP Bowlie 2 music festival, they performed as the backing band for Edwyn Collins. Teenage Fanclub were regularly name-checked by Kurt Cobain in interviews and described by him as "the best band in the world".[4]

Other projects[edit]

Norman Blake formed the two-person band Jonny with Euros Childs. Bassist Dave McGowan, who has also played with Teenage Fanclub, also plays on the 2011 eponymous debut album.

Gerard Love released his own solo album Electric Cables in 2012 using the alias Lightships.

Raymond McGinley joined Dave McGowan's folk group Snowgoose, whose debut album Harmony Springs was released in 2012.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Compilation albums[edit]

EPs[edit]

Singles[edit]

Title Release date Chart positions
UK Singles Chart[5] US Modern Rock
"Everything Flows" 1990 (UK)/1991 (US) - -
"Everybody's Fool" November 1990 - -
"The Ballad of John & Yoko" October 1990 - -
"God Knows It's True" November 1990 - -
"Star Sign" August 1991 44 4
"The Concept" October 1991 51 12
"The Peel Sessions" November 1992 - -
"What You Do To Me" May 1992 31 19
"Radio" June 1993 31 -
"Norman 3" September 1993 50 -
"Hang On" February 1994 - 19
"Fallin'" (with De La Soul) March 1994 59 -
"Mellow Doubt" March 1995 34 -
"Sparky's Dream" May 1995 40 -
"Neil Jung" August 1995 62 -
"Teenage Fanclub Have Lost It" (EP) December 1995 53 -
"Ain't That Enough" June 1997 17 -
"I Don't Want Control of You" August 1997 43 -
"Start Again" November 1997 54 -
"Long Shot" June 1998 - -
"I Need Direction" October 2000 48 -
"Dumb Dumb Dumb" June 2001 - -
"Near to You" (with Jad Fair) 2002 68 -
"Did I Say" 2002 - -
"Association" (International Airport / Teenage Fanclub) August 2004 75 -
"Fallen Leaves" (Limited to 2,000 copies) May 2005 - -
"It's All In My Mind" November 2005 - -
"Baby Lee" April 2010[6] - -

[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 969–970. ISBN 1-84195-017-3. 
  2. ^ "Teenage Fanclub official website. "Work Starts on a New Album!"". Teenagefanclub.com. Retrieved 2011-11-01. 
  3. ^ "Posting on Teenage Fanclub website". Teenagefanclub.com. Retrieved 2011-11-01. 
  4. ^ "Clashmusic.com". Clashmusic.com. 2008-10-29. Retrieved 2011-11-01. 
  5. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 551. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  6. ^ "iTunes". Itunes.apple.com. 2010-04-27. Retrieved 2011-11-01. 

External links[edit]