|Origin||Dunedin, New Zealand|
|Associated acts||The Chills
Paul Winders and The Goodness
|Past members||Craig Easton
The Verlaines are a rock band from Dunedin, New Zealand. Formed in 1981 by Graeme Downes, Craig Easton, Anita Pillai, Phillip Higham and Greg Kerr, the band went through multiple line-ups before going on an extended hiatus after their 1997 album Over The Moon. In 2003 a career retrospective, You're Just Too Obscure for Me, was released.
The Verlaines were noted for their angular, "difficult" song structures, wordy and downbeat lyrics, unusual subject matter all contained in often frantic up-tempo playing. The Verlaines were led by songwriter and vocalist/guitarist Graeme Downes although many other New Zealand musicians played guitar, bass, drums and brass instruments during the different stages of the band.
In 1993, the band contributed the track "Heavy 33" to the AIDS-Benefit Album No Alternative, and in 1995, the song "Some Fantasy" (a Doublehappys cover) to the AIDS benefit album Red Hot + Bothered, both produced by the Red Hot Organization.
Their signature songs included "Death and the Maiden", "C.D. Jimmy Jazz & Me", "Bird-dog" and "Ballad of Harry Noryb".
The band's recorded debut was on the seminal Dunedin Double EP, which was released by Flying Nun Records and was the debut of several bands who would go on to be central to the mythology of the Dunedin Sound.
Downes is an academic at the University of Otago, where he is head of the Department of Music. He teaches contemporary music and has research interests in Mahler and Shostakovich. He has released one solo album, Hammers and Anvils, which came out on Matador Records in 2001.
The Verlaines' fansite reported on 11 February 2007 that a new album was being produced. On 10 December 2007, this new album Pot Boiler was released on Flying Nun.
In 2009, the Verlaines released another new album, Corporate Moronic, through Dunedin Music.
The Verlaines contributed the soundtrack to the film Eden, collaborating with actor Adetokunbo Adu, and screenwriter Rebecca Tansley. A song from Eden, What Sound is This? appeared on their album Untimely Meditations in 2012.
|Date of Release||Title||Label||Charted||Certification||Catalog Number|
|1985||Hallelujah All The Way Home||Flying Nun/Homestead||-||-||FN040 / HMS138|
|1987||Bird Dog||Flying Nun/Homestead||-||-||FN077 / HMS095|
|1987||Juvenilia||Flying Nun||-||-||FN COMP 02|
|1989||Some Disenchanted Evening||Flying Nun/Homestead||-||-||FN129 / HMS162|
|1991||Ready To Fly||Slash||-||-||C30718|
|1993||Way Out Where||Slash||-||-||D31032|
|1996||Over the Moon||Columbia||-||-||486880.2|
|2003||You're Just Too Obscure for Me||Flying Nun||-||-||FNCD476|
|2007||Pot Boiler||Flying Nun||-||-||FNCD501|
|2012||Untimely Meditations||Flying Nun||-||-||FNCD524|
|1981||Dunedin Double EP||Flying Nun||-||-||FN DUN1|
|1983||10 O'Clock In The Afternoon||Flying Nun||23||-||FN022|
The group have appeared on several compilations over the years in New Zealand and overseas. The following is a list of these albums that have featured tracks by The Verlaines.
- (1987) – Tuatara: A Flying Nun Compilation (Flying Nun Records) – "Death And The Maiden"
- (1988) – In Love With These Times (Flying Nun Records) – "Slow Sad Love Song"
- (1991) – Getting Older 1981-1991 (Flying Nun Records) – "Pyromaniac"
- (1991) – Pink Flying Saucers Over The Southern Alps (Flying Nun Records) – "The Funniest Thing"
- (1993) – No Alternative (Arista) – "Heavy 33", "Joed Out" (performed by Barbara Manning)
- (1995) – Red Hot + Bothered (Red Hot Organization) – "Some Fantasy" (with Shayne Carter)
- (1999) – Scarfies OST (Flying Nun Records) – "Death And The Maiden"
|Year||Single||Album||NZ Singles Chart||Certification|
|1983||"Death And The Maiden"||-||-|
|1990||"The Funniest Thing"||Some Disenchanted Evening||-||-|