Barry Adamson at Primavera Sound Festival
Barcelona, 1 June 2007
11 June 1958 |
Moss Side, Manchester, England
|Labels||Central Control International, Mute|
|Associated acts||Magazine, Buzzcocks, Visage, Pete Shelley, The Birthday Party, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Pan Sonic|
|Rickenbacker bass, Ovation Magnum bass|
He has worked with rock bands such as Magazine, Visage, The Birthday Party, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and the electro musicians Pan sonic. Adamson has also remixed Grinderman, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Depeche Mode. He created the seven-minute opus Useless (Escape From Wherever: Pts. 1 & 2) remix for the latter band in 1997. He has also worked on the soundtrack for David Lynch's Lost Highway, and released numerous solo recordings.
Adamson was born at Moss Side, Manchester, England. He read comic books from an early age. At school he immersed himself in art, music and film and produced his first song - "Brain Pain" - at the age of 10. His diverse musical tastes range from Alice Cooper to Motown to David Bowie.
After leaving school, Adamson drifted into graphic design whilst attending Stockport Art College but quit shortly after, preferring to venture into the exploding punk rock scene of the late 1970s. He joined ex-Buzzcocks singer Howard Devoto's band Magazine to play bass guitar, with whom he scored one chart single, "Shot by Both Sides"; in late-1977, he also joined Buzzcocks, as a temporary replacement for Garth Smith. He played on all of Magazine's albums, and contributed to Devoto's solo album and his next band, Luxuria. He also contributed to the studio-based band Visage, playing on the ensemble's first two albums, Visage and The Anvil.
After Magazine broke up, Adamson worked with another ex-Buzzcock, Pete Shelley, before joining Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, featuring on four of their albums: From Her to Eternity, The Firstborn Is Dead, Kicking Against the Pricks and Your Funeral, My Trial. After his stint with the band, he went solo, releasing an EP, The Man with the Golden Arm in 1988, and his first solo album, Moss Side Story, the following year, the soundtrack to a non-existent film noir. The album incorporated newscasts and sampled sound effects and featured guest musicians Marcia Schofield (of The Fall), Diamanda Galas, and former colleagues from the Bad Seeds. Adamson's second solo album was the soundtrack to a real film this time – Carl Colpaert's Delusion, and he would go on to provide soundtracks for several other films.
In 1996, Adamson contributed to the AIDS-Benefit Album, Offbeat: A Red Hot Soundtrip, produced by the Red Hot Organization. His own album that year, Oedipus Schmoedipus, reached #51 in the UK Albums Chart. It would later be included in the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die list, along with Moss Side Story.
In 2002, Adamson left his long-term label, Mute Records, and started his own production home, Central Control International. In 2006, he released Stranger on the Sofa, first for his Central Control International imprint, to critical acclaim. Back To The Cat, his second album for the label, was released in March 2008.
In 2007 it was announced that Magazine would re-form for concerts in 2008. Adamson took part in the same band line-up that recorded Secondhand Daylight, with the exception of the late John McGeoch, who was replaced by Apollo 440 member Noko. However, Adamson has since withdrawn from the reunion and new recordings.
On 27 August 2010, Adamson released "Rag and Bone", as a digital download and as a 12 inch vinyl record. He then released his latest studio album, I Will Set You Free, on 30 January 2012.
Adamson rejoined the Bad Seeds for the release of their 2013 album, Push the Sky Away.
Adamson's "Refugee Song" was included in Derek Jarman's The Last of England. Adamson also contributed soundtrack material to Gas Food Lodging, David Lynch's Lost Highway and Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers. Back to the Cat's opening track, "The Beaten Side of Town", was featured in the hit video game, Alan Wake.
In the earliest Real Life Magazine videos, Adamson played a Rickenbacker JG, (although possibly a 4001 or 4003 model) and in Secondhand Daylight, a Gibson EB-3. However, his primary bass during Magazine was an Ovation Magnum 2. For the 2008 Magazine concerts, he alternated between the Ovation, a Fender Artist and a Fender Jaguar Bass.
|2012||I Will Set You Free|
|2008||Back To The Cat|
|2006||Stranger on the Sofa|
|2002||King of Nothing Hill|
|1999||The Murky World of Barry Adamson (compilation)|
|1998||As Above, So Below|
|1988||Moss Side Story|
|1998||Can't Get Loose|
|1996||Achieved In The Valley Of The Dolls|
|1995||The Big Bamboozle|
|1993||The Negro Inside Me|
|1992||Cinema Is King|
|1989||Taming of the Shrewd|
|2010||"Rag and Bone" (12" and download)|
|2008||"Straight 'til Sunrise" (download only)|
|2006||"The Long Way Back Again" (CD and 7")|
|2001||"Motorlab #3" (with Pan Sonic)|
|1999||"The Crime Scene"|
|1998||"What it Means"|
|1991||"These Boots Are Made For Walking" (with Anita Lane)|
|1988||"The Man With The Golden Arm"|
|2001||The World Of Interiors|
|1997||To Have And To Hold|
|1994||Natural Born Killers|
|1992||Gas Food Lodging|
|1987||The Last of England|
- "Biography". barryadamson.com.
- Unterberger, Richie "Barry Adamson Biography", Allmusic, Macrovision Corporation
- Bracewell, Michael (1997) "The Mancunian Candidate", Frieze Magazine, Issue 32, Jan–Feb 1997
- Larkin, Colin (ed.) (1998) The Virgin Encyclopedia of Indie & New Wave, Virgin Books, ISBN 0-7535-0231-3
- "Nationwide Mercurys". Nationwidemercurys.com. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 15. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die". 1001 Before You Die. Quintessence Editions. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
- Barry Adamson. "I Will Set You Free: Amazon.co.uk: Music". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
- "It's So Easy (And Other Lies)" Duff McKagan, 2011
- Official website
- Adamson's art-house
- artist information/discography page at němý.cz - the Mute Records digital evidence archive
- Unofficial Magazine Site
- Unofficial Adamson Site
- Barry Adamson at IMDB
- Review of Stranger on the Sofa
- January 2007 interview
- Back To The Cat review