The Soft Boys
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|The Soft Boys|
|Years active||1976–1980, 1994, 2001–2003|
|Labels||Two Crabs, Armageddon, Matador|
|Associated acts||Katrina and the Waves, Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians|
|Past members||Robyn Hitchcock
The Soft Boys were a proto-punk and power-pop band led by Robyn Hitchcock primarily during the 1970s, whose initially old fashioned music style of psychedelic/folk-rock became part of the neo-psychedelia scene with the release of Underwater Moonlight.
The band formed in 1976 in Cambridge, England as Dennis and the Experts comprising Robyn Hitchcock (guitar), Rob Lamb (half brother of radio host and author Charlie Gillett; guitar), Andy Metcalfe (bass), and Morris Windsor (drums). Alan Davies replaced Lamb after only four gigs late in 1976, and Kimberley Rew eventually replaced Davies. Matthew Seligman replaced Metcalfe in 1979.
The band broke up in 1980 after Underwater Moonlight. Rew formed the more mainstream pop group Katrina and the Waves, while Hitchcock went on to a prolific career with a similar whimsical, surrealistic style.
They briefly re-formed for a UK tour in 1994 and then again in 2001 for the 20th anniversary of Underwater Moonlight and the release of a new album, Nextdoorland (in 2002). They disbanded once again in 2003.
Albums and EPs 
- A Can of Bees (1979)
- Underwater Moonlight (1980)
- Invisible Hits (1983)
- Live at the Portland Arms (cassette, 1983; LP, 1988)
- Where Are The Prawns (cassette, 1994)
- Nextdoorland (2002)
- Side Three (CD EP) (2002)
Compilation albums 
- Two Halves for the Price of One (1981) (Studio rarities and live tracks)
- Wading Through a Ventilator (EP) (1984) (Contains Give It To The Soft Boys EP, plus extra tracks)
- Raw Cuts (EP) (1989) (A retitled version of Wading Through a Ventilator)
- 1976-81 (2 CD) (1993) (Best-of, plus rarities, out-takes and live tracks)
- Underwater Moonlight... And How It Got There (2 CD) (2001) (Contains all of Underwater Moonlight, plus an additional disc of demos, rehearsals, and out-takes)
Singles and EPs 
- Give It To The Soft Boys 7" EP: "Wading Through A Ventilator" b/w "The Face Of Death" and "Hear My Brane" (1977)
- "(I Want to Be an) Anglepoise Lamp" b/w "Fatman's Son" (1978)
- Near the Soft Boys 7" EP: "Kingdom of Love" b/w "Vegetable Man" & "Strange" (1980)
- "I Wanna Destroy You" b/w "Old Pervert" (1980)
- "Only the Stones Remain" b/w "The Asking Tree" (1981)
- "Love Poisoning" (1982)
- "He's a Reptile" b/w "Song No. 4" (1983)
- "The Face of Death" b/w "The Yodelling Hoover" (1989)
An album financed by Radar Records was recorded at Rockfield Studios in 1978, at the same time Rush was recording Hemispheres there. The resultant album was never released although one or two of the tracks have had subsequent release as part of compilations.