The Flying Lizards
|The Flying Lizards|
|Genres||Experimental rock, New Wave|
|Past members||David Toop
Peter Laurence Gordon
Formed by and led by record producer David Cunningham, the group was a loose collective of avant-garde and free improvising musicians, such as David Toop and Steve Beresford as instrumentalists, plus Deborah Evans-Stickland, Patti Palladin and Vivien Goldman as main vocalists. It also included the painter Michael Upton.
Virgin Records extended the band's recording contract after the success of "Money". The group released their début album The Flying Lizards in 1980. The album included two songs – "Her Story" and "The Window" – written and sung by Goldman. Their single issues included their postmodern cover versions of songs such as Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues" and "Money".
The 1981 album Fourth Wall received praise from critics but did not sell well. Top Ten (1984) consisted entirely of covers, done in a deliberately emotionless, harsh and robotic style, including James Brown's "Sex Machine", and Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne". Cunningham switched to being a producer and left the group after Top Ten came out.
Their version of Barrett Strong's "Money" remained popular, and was used in the film soundtracks for The Wedding Singer, Empire Records, Charlie's Angels and Lord of War, as well as in the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning American television medical drama Nip/Tuck and the follow-up to the UK TV drama Life on Mars, called Ashes to Ashes. In 2011, the song was used in a commercial for Taco Bell.
An album of dub instrumentals, The Secret Dub Life of the Flying Lizards, recorded by David Cunningham mostly in 1978, was finally released in 1995. The first two albums, The Flying Lizards and Fourth Wall, were re-released by RPM in 2010, with the catalogue number RETROD883.
With only one single making the UK Top 40, the Flying Lizards join the list of one-hit wonders – a list that includes other UK punk or New Wave acts such as The Banned, John Cooper Clarke, Jilted John, 999, Radio Stars, Rich Kids and The Vibrators.
- David Toop
- Steve Beresford
- Michael Upton
- Julian Marshall
- Michael Nyman
- David Cunningham
- Vivien Goldman
- Robert Fripp
- Bob Black
- Deborah Evans-Stickland
- Patti Palladin
- Peter Laurence Gordon
- The Flying Lizards (Virgin Records, 1980) (UK No. 60, US No. 99)
- Fourth Wall (Virgin, 1981)
- Top Ten (Statik, 1984)
- The Secret Dub Life of the Flying Lizards (Piano Records, 1996)
- The Flying Lizards & Fourth Wall (re-release, RPM Records, 2010)
- The Secret Dub Life of the Flying Lizards (vinyl re-release, Staubgold, 2010)
- "Summertime Blues" (Virgin VS230, 1978)
- "Money" (Virgin VS276, 1979) (UK No. 5 US No. 50)
- "TV" (Virgin VS325, 1979) (UK No. 43)
- "The Laughing Policeman" (under the pseudonym 'The Suspicions', Arista 361, 1980)
- "Move On Up" (Virgin VS381, 1980)
- "Hands 2 Take" with Michael Nyman (Virgin VS392, 1981)
- "Lovers and Other Strangers" (Virgin VS421, 1981)
- "Sex Machine" (Statik tak19, 1984)
- "Dizzy, Miss Lizzy" (Statik tak25, 1984)
- "Money"/"T.V." (Old Gold, 1988)
- "Biography by Mark Deming". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 6 October 2009.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 206. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "Allmusic ((( The Flying Lizards > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles )))".
- Allen, Mark (April 2001). "The Flying Lizards: A Pop Band Arranged According to the Laws of Chance". No. 6 (Sound Collector). Retrieved 2008-11-18.
- Strong, Martin C. (2003) "Flying Lizards", in The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0