Gene Loves Jezebel

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Gene Loves Jezebel
Gene Loves Jezebel (1988) (cropped).jpg
Gene Loves Jezebel (1988)
Background information
OriginUnited Kingdom
GenresGothic rock, pop rock, post-punk, alternative rock, new wave
Years active1980–present
LabelsBlessmomma Records/Track. Plastichead/Westworld Recordings
Associated actsAll About Eve
MembersJay Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel
Jay Aston
James Stevenson
Peter Rizzo
Robert Adam
Chris Bell
Michael Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel
Michael Aston
Michael Ciravolo
Pando
Switch
Laurent Sanchiz
Gabe Treiyer
Marcus Gilvear
Chad Mac Donald
Chris Declercq
Troy Patrick Farrell
Dirk Doucette
Past membersJames Chater
Steve Radmall
Richard Hawkins
John Murphy
Joel Patterson
Francois Perez
Ian Hudson
Julianne Regan
Albi DeLuca
Jean-Marc Lederman
Stephen Marshall

Gene Loves Jezebel (GLJ) are a British rock band formed in the early 1980s by identical twin brothers Jay (born John) and Michael Aston. Gene Loves Jezebel's best-known songs include "Heartache", "Desire (Come and Get It)" (1986), "The Motion of Love" (1987), "Jealous" (1990) and "Break The Chain" (1993), as well as alternative club hits "Bruises" (1983), "Influenza (Relapse)" (1984) and "The Cow" (1985). "The Motion Of Love" was the band's most successful UK single.

The name of the band is a reference to rock musician Gene Vincent and his song "Jezebel".

As the result of a rift between the Aston brothers in 1997 and ongoing legal issues, there are currently two incarnations of the band.[1]

Early years: 1980–1989[edit]

Originally called Slav Aryan, Gene Loves Jezebel was formed in 1980 with the Aston brothers, guitarist Ian Hudson, bassist Stephen Davis and drummer Snowy White. The Astons grew up in Cornelly, and later Porthcawl, in Wales, and moved to London in 1981. With a new home, and shortly afterwards, the new name, the trio, with bassist Julianne Regan and drummer James Chater (later replaced by John Murphy (the Associates and Richard Hawkins), played several live shows and were signed by Situation Two. Gene Loves Jezebel underwent numerous lineup changes between 1981 and 1985. In May 1982, Situation Two released Gene Loves Jezebel's demo and single, "Shaving My Neck". The band then added keyboardist Jean-Marc Lederman. Regan left the band within a year to form All About Eve, leaving Ian Hudson briefly playing bass and Albie DeLuca as the guitar player until Stephen Marshall joined.

In 1983, the band released two more singles, "Screaming (For Emmalene)" and "Bruises", and then their first album, Promise , which peaked at number 8 in the UK Indie Chart.[2] In 1984, the band recorded a John Peel radio session for the BBC and toured the U.K. with fellow Welsh artist John Cale.

The band's second album, Immigrant, was released in mid-1985. However, at the start of a long American tour for Immigrant, founding member Ian Hudson left the band and was replaced by former Chelsea and Generation X guitarist James Stevenson (who later also played rhythm guitar on tour with the Cult).[3]

During 1986, the group moved to Situation Two's parent company, Beggar's Banquet Records, and distribution rights in the U.S. were given to Geffen Records. The subsequent promotion increased pop-chart success for the group. The single "Sweetest Thing" briefly hit the top 75 in the U.K., and the album Discover reached number 32 in the UK Albums Chart.[3] At this time, the group also found heavy rotation on college and counterculture radio stations across America. The band had slowly turned their attention to dance music. The singles "Desire" and "Heartache" reached #6 and #72, respectively, on Los Angeles' new wave station, KROQ-FM. Later that year, former Spear of Destiny and Thompson Twins member Chris Bell became the band's fifth drummer.[3]

Gene Loves Jezebel's fourth album, The House of Dolls, was released in 1988 and yielded the singles "20 Killer Hurts" and "The Motion of Love". "The Motion of Love" was the band's biggest UK hit, reaching number 56.[3] The third single from The House of Dolls, "Suspicion", marked the band's first appearance on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Split and brief reunion: 1990–1997[edit]

While Michael Aston went solo, the rest of the band continued as Gene Loves Jezebel[4] and recorded two albums, Kiss of Life (1990) and Heavenly Bodies (1992). The band's highest-charting American single emerged in August 1990 when "Jealous", the major single from Kiss of Life, reached #68 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock chart. Because of the collapse of the band's American label, Savage Records, Jay Aston said he felt the band was "forced into hiatus". But in 1993, the brothers reformed the band with a new lineup; Francois Perez replaced James Stevenson and drummer Robert Adam was retained.

While Jay Aston performed occasional acoustic shows under his own name, Michael Aston played with members of Scenic, then formed a new band called the Immigrants (renamed Edith Grove) and later released a primarily acoustic solo album,Why Me, Why This, Why Now.[5] The brothers began working together again that same year and recorded two songs with Stevenson, Bell and Rizzo for a compilation album, The Best Of, released in September 1995. Jay Aston also recorded a solo album, Unpopular Songs, produced by Stevenson.

The brothers were reconciled in the mid-1990s, wrote some new songs together and shared a house in Los Angeles.[5] They initially used Michael Aston's band from the Why Me album era[4] In 1997, the band embarked on the Pre-Raphaelite Brothers tour, in which Gene Loves Jezebel material and songs from the brothers' solo careers would be performed.

Two Gene Loves Jezebels: 1997–present[edit]

After the Pre-Raphaelite Brothers tour, Jay Aston refused to work with his brother unless Stevenson and Rizzo were brought back. Michael Aston agreed, and the album VII was recorded in England. A reunion tour was undertaken in the U.S. during which a rift developed between the brothers. Michael Aston, who missed the final dates of the tour, launched his own band, also called Gene Loves Jezebel, with musicians from the Pre-Raphaelite tour. His vocals were removed from the VII album, which was released without any contribution from him. Later, the full album with Michael's vocals included was released as The Doghouse Sessions. In October 1997, Jay Aston, Rizzo and Stevenson sued Michael Aston over rights to the name Gene Loves Jezebel and, after a protracted court battle, eventually dropped the lawsuit.

Michael Aston leads the US version of the band and has toured both the US and the UK, supporting releases such as Love Lies Bleeding (1999), Giving Up the Ghost (2001) and Exploding Girls (2003).[6] Jay Aston leads the UK version of the band, also featuring James Stevenson and Pete Rizzo, and has toured both the US and the UK extensively as well to support releases such as Accept No Substitute (2002), The Thornfield Sessions (2003), The Anthology, Vols. 1-2 (2006) and Dance Underwater (2017).

On 15 February 2008, a lawsuit was filed by Michael Aston in California's Central District Court, against "Chris Bell, James Stevenson, Jay Aston, John Aston, Libertalia Entertainment and others" for trademark infringement.[1] In a posting on their Myspace page on 25 September 2009, Jay Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel announced that an agreement had been reached with Michael Aston regarding the use of the name Gene Loves Jezebel: Jay Aston's band is now known as Gene Loves Jezebel in the UK and Jay Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel within the US; Michael Aston's band is now known as Gene Loves Jezebel in the US and Michael Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel in the UK. The settlement agreement was posted on Michael Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel website.[7]

Jay Aston, along with Julianne Regan, contributed vocals on a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Moonlight Mile" that appeared on the 2010 album Small Distortions by the Belgian music project La Femme Verte (assembled by ex-Kid Montana member Jean-Marc Lederman).

In 2011, Michael Aston contributed vocals to a new version of "Desire", titled "Desire (Come and Get It)", by guitarist and producer Gabe Treiyer's electronic music project Electronic Fair.[8]

On 16 November 2011, Jay Aston and James Stevenson appeared on stage at the Brixton Academy in London with the Smashing Pumpkins to perform the song "Stephen" from the Immigrant album. Alternative indie folk rock band the Mountain Goats reference the performance, and this Wikipedia page, in the song "Abandoned Flesh" from their 2017 album Goths.

In December 2016, Jay Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel announced that they were recording a new album via a Pledge Music campaign. The album, entitled Dance Underwater, was completed in April 2017 and was released on 30 June 2017[9] via Westworld Recordings/Plastichead.

In September 2018, Jay Aston, James Stevenson and Peter Rizzo were named as defendants in a lawsuit brought by Michael Aston for infringement of his trademark at the end of Jay Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel's first US tour in ten years. Jay Aston's band argued that they had complied with the agreement with Michael Aston to the best of their ability. At the hearing on 7 January 2019 in Santa Ana, California, the judge found in favour of the defendants on all of the five counts that Michael Aston had brought, and ordered him to pay the defendants' legal fees.[citation needed]

On 25 June 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Gene Loves Jezebel among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.[10]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Title UK Indie Chart Position UK Albums Chart[11]
1983 Promise #8[12]
1985 Immigrant
1986 Discover #32
1987 The House of Dolls #81
1990 Kiss of Life²
1993 Heavenly Bodies²
1995 In the Afterglow (live)
1999 VII²
1999 Love Lies Bleeding¹
2001 Giving Up the Ghost¹
2002 Accept No Substitute (Greatest Hits Live)²
2003 Exploding Girls¹
2003 The Thornfield Sessions²
2004 The Dog House Sessions
2006 Anthology, Vols. 1-2²
2009 Dead Sexy¹
2017 Dance Underwater²

Singles[edit]

Year Title UK Indie[12] UK[11] US[13] US Alt. Rock[13]
1982 "Shaving My Neck"
1983 "Screaming / So Young" 18
1983 "Bruises" 7
1984 "Influenza (relapse)" 11
1984 "Shame (Whole Heart Howl)" 14
1985 "The Cow" 9
1985 "Desire" 4
1986 "Sweetest Thing" 75
1986 "Heartache" 71
1986 "Desire (Come and Get It)" 95
1987 "The Motion of Love" 56
1987 "Gorgeous" 68
1988 "Every Door" (withdrawn)
1988 "The Motion of Love" 87
1990 "Jealous"² 68 1
1990 "Tangled Up in You"²
1993 "Josephina"² 18
1999 Survive This EP (promo only)¹
2017 "Summertime"²
¹ Michael Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel
² Jay Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Michael Aston V Jay Aston et al". Retrieved 3 July 2010.
  2. ^ "Gene Loves Jezebel". Discogs. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d Strong, Martin C. (1999). The Great Alternative & Indie Discography. Canongate. ISBN 0-86241-913-1.
  4. ^ a b Jo-Ann Greene (January 1999). "Gene Loves Jezebel: From Celtic hums and Gothic drones to sibling rivalry, it's a twin thing..." Goldmine. Archived from the original on 17 May 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2008.
  5. ^ a b Owen, Daniel (2005) "Over The Rooftops" Archived 5 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Zero Magazine, November 2005.
  6. ^ "Jay Aston biography". BBC Wales. BBC. Archived from the original on 3 October 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2008.
  7. ^ "Settlement Agreement and Mutual Release". Michael Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel website. Retrieved 3 July 2010. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  8. ^ "Electronic Fair + Gene Loves Jezebel - "Desire (Come & Get it) 2011"". YouTube. 12 September 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  9. ^ "Dance Underwater is Out Now!". Gene Loves Jezebel. 30 June 2017. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  10. ^ Rosen, Jody (25 June 2019). "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  11. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 224. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  12. ^ a b Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980-1999. Cherry Red Books. ISBN 0-9517206-9-4.
  13. ^ a b Gene Loves Jezebel. "Gene Loves Jezebel - Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 December 2012.

External links[edit]