Gene Loves Jezebel
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|Gene Loves Jezebel|
Gene Loves Jezebel (1988)
|Genres||Gothic rock, pop rock, post-punk, alternative, new wave|
|Labels||Blessmomma Records/Track. Plastichead/Westworld Recordings|
|Associated acts||All About Eve|
|Members||Jay Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel
Michael Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel
Chad Mac Donald
Troy Patrick Farrell
|Past members||James Chater
Gene Loves Jezebel (GLJ) are a British rock band formed in the early 1980s by identical twin brothers Jay Aston (born John Aston) and Michael. Gene Loves Jezebel's best-known songs include "Heartache", "Desire (Come and Get It)" (1986), "The Motion of Love" (1987), and "Jealous" (1990), as well as their broody dark alternative club hits "Bruises" (1983), "Influenza (Relapse)" (1984), and "The Cow" (1985). "Desire" (1985) was GLJ's most successful single in the UK.
Early years: 1980–1989
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 Wales, and moved to London in 1981. With a new home, and shortly afterwards, the new name, the trio with bassist Julianne Regan (later of All About Eve) and drummer James Chater (fired in 1982/3 and was replaced by John Murphy (The Associates and Richard Hawkins), played several live shows and were signed by Situation Two. Gene Loves Jezebel underwent numerous line-up changes between 1981–1985. In May 1982, the label released Gene Loves Jezebel's demo and single, "Shaving My Neck". The band then added bassist Julianne Regan followed, very briefly, by a 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 being the guitar player until Stephen Marshall joined. This line-up went on to perform some 100 gigs and recorded the first album Promise, along with their first John Peel session and the B-side "Stephen". As well as recording with John Cale (Velvet Underground) in New York in 1984.
The band released two more singles "Screaming for Emmalene" in 1983 before Promise peaked at number 8 in the UK Indie Chart. In 1984, the group recorded a John Peel radio session for the BBC and toured U.K. with fellow Welsh artist John Cale. Their second album, Immigrant, was released in mid-1985. However, at the start of a long yet inspiring American tour for Immigrant, founding member Ian Hudson left the band and was replaced by former Chelsea and Gen X guitarist James Stevenson (who later also played rhythm guitar on tour with The Cult).
During 1986, the group moved its contract to Situation Two's parent company, Beggar's Banquet Records and distribution rights in the U.S. to Geffen Records. The subsequent promotion increased pop-chart success for the group. The single "Sweetest Thing" briefly hit the Top 75 in UK and the album Discover reached number 32 in the UK Albums Chart. At this time, the group also found heavy rotation on college and countercultural radio stations across America. The band had slowly turned their attention to dance music. The singles "Desire" and "Heartache" reached to #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.
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", which grazed the U.S. pop charts. "Motion of Love" was the band's biggest UK hit single, reaching number 56. The third single from The House of Dolls, "Suspicion", was their first appearance on the US Billboard Hot 100.
Split and brief reunion: 1990–1997
While Michael Aston went solo, the rest of the band continued as Gene Loves Jezebel and recorded two albums, Kiss of Life in 1989, followed by Heavenly Bodies. 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's Hot 100 and #1 on its Modern Rock chart. Three years later, Jay Aston and company released Heavenly Bodies, which did well in Portugal. Unfortunately, due to the band's American label Savage Records' collapse Jay said he felt the band were "forced into hiatus". In 1993 Michael and Jay reformed GLJ, signed a contract with Carl Leighton Pope management and assembled a new line-up. Francois Perez replacing James Stevenson and Robert Adam being retained on drums.
While Jay performed occasional acoustic shows under his own name, Michael 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. Michael and Jay began working together again that same year and recorded two songs with Stevenson, Bell, and Rizzo for a Best-Of compilation, released in September 1995. Jay 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. They initially used Michael's band from the Why Me album era to back them up. In 1997, a tour was organized for the brothers' new era; the tour was named "The Pre-Raphaelite Brothers", the idea being to perform Gene Loves Jezebel material and material from each of the brothers' solo careers
The album VII was recorded and a brief US tour undertaken to support it.
Two Gene Loves Jezebels: 1997–present
Jay and Michael fell out during the 1997 reunion tour and the final dates of the tour were completed without Michael. Michael launched his own band called Gene Loves Jezebel with the musicians from the Pre-Raphaelite Tour. In October 1997, Jay, Rizzo, and Stevenson sued Michael over rights to the name "Gene Loves Jezebel" and, after a protracted court battle, Jay eventually dropped the lawsuit.
Michael 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). 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. 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 has been posted on Michael's Gene Loves Jezebel website.
Jay Aston, alongside Julianne Regan, contributed vocals on the cover of The Rolling Stones' "Midnight Mile" on the 2010 album Small Distortions, by the Belgian music project La Femme Verte, assembled by ex-Kid Montana member Jean-Marc Lederman.
On 16 November 2011, Jay Aston and James Stevenson appeared on stage at the Brixton Academy London with the Smashing Pumpkins to perform the song "Stephen", from the Immigrant album. Alternative indie folk rock band the Mountain Goats reference this 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 they are recording a new album via a Pledge Music campaign. The album was completed in April 2017 and due for release in late June 2017 via Westworld Recordings/Plastichead. It has been produced by Peter Walsh and will be called Dance Underwater.
|Year||Title||UK Indie Chart Position||UK Albums Chart|
|October||1987||The House Of Dolls||#81|
|July||1990||Kiss Of Life²|
|November||1995||In the Afterglow (live)|
|1999||Love Lies Bleeding¹|
|2001||Giving Up The Ghost¹|
|2003||The Thornfield Sessions²|
|Year||Title||UK Indie||UK||US||US Alt. Rock|
|May||1982||"Shaving My Neck"|
|May||1983||"Screaming for Emmalene"||#18|
|June||1984||"Shame (Whole Heart Howl)"||#14|
|October||1986||"Desire (Come and Get It)"||#95|
|August||1987||"The Motion Of Love"||#56|
|January||1988||"Every Door" (withdrawn)|
|January||1988||"The Motion of Love"||#87|
|December||1990||"Tangled Up In You"²|
|1999||Survive This EP (promo only)¹|
- ¹ Michael Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel
- ² Jay Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel
- Strong, Martin C. (1999). The Great Alternative & Indie Discography. Canongate. ISBN 0-86241-913-1.
- 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.
- Owen, Daniel (2005) "Over The Rooftops", Zero Magazine, November 2005.
- "Jay Aston biography". BBC Wales. BBC. Archived from the original on 3 October 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2008.
- "Michael Aston V Jay Aston et al.". Retrieved 3 July 2010.
- "Settlement Agreement and Mutual Release". Michael Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel website. Retrieved 3 July 2010.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 224. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980-1999. Cherry Red Books. ISBN 0-9517206-9-4.
- Gene Loves Jezebel. "Gene Loves Jezebel - Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-12-27.
- (Jay Aston's) Gene Loves Jezebel Site
- (Michael Aston's) Gene Loves Jezebel Official Site
- Jay Aston Official Site
- Gene Loves Jezebel New Official Myspace Page
- James Stevenson official site
- Interview with Michael Aston @ Legends
- Gene Loves Jezebel at Allmusic
- Gene Loves Jezebel discography at MusicBrainz
- Gene Loves Jezebel discography at Discogs