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Rebellion Punk Festival, Blackpool, August 2008
|Genres||Punk rock, new wave|
|Past members||Bob Kingston
Tenpole Tudor are an English punk band fronted by Edward Tudor-Pole. The band first came to prominence when Tudor-Pole appeared in the Sex Pistols' film The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle and on three of the singles released from the soundtrack. The band then went on to have hits in their own right with songs like "Swords of a Thousand Men" and "Wünderbar". The band has been active intermittently since 1977.
Tenpole Tudor formed in 1977 when Tudor-Pole (vocals/saxophone) met guitarist Bob Kingston, bassist Dick Crippen, and drummer Gary Long. They played regularly for several years until Tudor-Pole himself (under the moniker of Eddie Tenpole) came to prominence by appearing in the 1978 film, The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle. He was originally billed as a replacement for Sex Pistols singer Johnny Rotten — performing the songs "Who Killed Bambi?", "The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle" and a cover version of "Rock Around The Clock" for the film and subsequent soundtrack — however, manager Malcolm McLaren and the remaining Sex Pistols instead decided to abandon the group and go their own ways.
Tenpole Tudor recorded a single on WEA Records with the A-side being "Real Fun" and the B-side "What's In A Word". "Real Fun" is available in live form on two different CDs, but the single was never released on CD. Tenpole Tudor returned in 1980 and signed a recording contract with Stiff Records, with whom they released the single "3 Bells in a Row" (which is a slightly different version of the one later found on the album Eddie, Old Bob, Dick, and Gary).
The band released their début album, Eddie, Old Bob, Dick and Gary, in 1981. It sold well, and in addition to the popular "3 Bells in a Row", launched two additional hit singles "Wünderbar" and "Swords of a Thousand Men". In the same year, the group released their second album, Let the Four Winds Blow, which also performed well. They further distinguished themselves with their oddball live performances, which had band members often dressing in medieval garb, and Tudor-Pole himself in a full suit of chain mail armour. They also added Munch Universe, as he was named, to their line-up.
Stiff Canada released a Canada only album entitled Swords of a Thousand Men in 1981. This album was pressed by Attic Records in Toronto. This was a compilation of their other two albums, and included Eddie Tudorpole, Gary Long, Bob Kingston, Dick Crippen and Munch Universe. The album cover was of high quality, showing a photo taken by Kim Aldis of the band in suits of armour, standing in front of the relics of a castle. The videos for "Swords of a Thousand Men" and "Wünderbar" received regular airplay on Canadian TV.
In 1982, the original Tenpole Tudor broke up. While Tudor-Pole led a cajun-inspired version of Tenpole Tudor, the rest of the band released a single under the name The Tudors, minus Munch Universe. After the non-original incarnation of Tenpole Tudor failed, Tudor-Pole left Stiff Records and began performing in jazz and swing bands, eventually returning to acting. Tudor-Pole formed a new line-up of the band in 1985 featuring Mick (guitar), Matt (bass), Sean (saxophone/guitar), and Paul (drums).
Today, Tudor-Pole concentrates partly on acting, but focuses mainly upon his new one-man-show, performing live shows described as a 'One Man Stadium Show'. He has re-formed Tenpole Tudor from time to time, notably in 2001, with Darrell Bath on guitar, Donagh O'Leary on bass and Ben Standage on drums. He currently performs his one-man live show throughout Britain and, in 2009, released a Tenpole Tudor album titled Made It This Far.
- "Who Killed Bambi?" - (1979, Virgin VS 256) - billed as Ten Pole Tudor - UK No. 6 - the listed b-side of "Who Killed Bambi" was "Silly Thing" by Sex Pistols
- "Rock Around The Clock" - (1979, Virgin VS 290) - UK No. 21 - the listed b-side of "Rock Around The Clock" was "The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle" by Sex Pistols
- "Real Fun" / "What's in a Word" - (1980, Korova - KOW4)
- "3 Bells in a Row" / "Fashion" (Live at The Marquee) / "Rock and Roll Music" (Live at The Marquee) - (1980, Stiff Records, BUY98)
- "Swords of a Thousand Men" / "Love and Food" - (1981, Stiff Records, BUY109) UK No. 6
- "Wünderbar" / "Tenpole 45" - (1981, Stiff Records, BUY120) - UK No. 16
- "Throwing My Baby Out With The Bath Water" / "Conga Tribe" - (1981, Stiff Records, BUY129) - UK No. 49
- "Let The Four Winds Blow" / "Sea of Thunder" - (1981, Stiff Records, BUY137)
- "Swords of a Thousand Men (as featured in The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists (film)" - (2012, Stiff Records, BUY285)
- Eddie, Old Bob, Dick and Gary - (1981, Stiff Records, SEEZ 31) UK No. 44
- Swords of a Thousand Men - (1981, Stiff Records Canada, RIP-2010)
- Let the Four Winds Blow - (1982, Stiff Records, SEEZ 42)
- Made It This Far - (2009, Angel Air)
- "Tied Up With Lou Cool" / "Cry Baby Cry" - (1983, Stiff Records, BUY172)
Eddie Tenpole Tudor
- "The Hayrick Song" / "Take You to the Dance" - (1983, Stiff Records, BUY177(7") SBUY177(12"))
- Eddie, Old Bob, Dick and Gary - (1991, Repertoire Records, REP 4220-WY) - the original album plus six bonus tracks.
- Eddie, Old Bob, Dick and Gary - (1993, Stiff Records, STIFFCD 06) - the original album plus three bonus tracks.
- Let the Four Winds Blow - (1993, Stiff Records, STIFFCD 12) - the original album plus five bonus tracks.
- Swords of a Thousand Men - (1997, Recall Records) - 2CD version of the 1993 reissues with different artwork.
- The Best of Tenpole Tudor: Swords Of A Thousand Men - (2001, Metro, METRCD049) - compilation of singles, b-sides and selected album tracks.
- Wünderbar: The Stiff Records Singles Collection - (2002, Anagram Records, CD PUNK 128) - compilation of all the singles and b-sides.
- Eddie, Old Bob, Dick and Gary / Let The Four Winds Blow: The Stiff Anthology - (2007, Stiff Records, CDSEEZ 31) - Slipcased digitally remastered 2CD reissue of the original albums, with the single versions, b-sides and exclusive live tracks.
- Thomas, Stephen (2009-08-11). "Tenpole Tudor - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-05-04.
- "Pole Vaults", Sounds, 14 December 1985, p. 4
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 553. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.