Graduate (band)

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Origin Bath, England, United Kingdom
Genres New wave, mod revival, ska
Years active 1978–1981
Associated acts Tears for Fears
Past members Roland Orzabal
Curt Smith
John Baker
Steve Buck
Andy Marsden

Graduate was an English new wave/mod revival musical group formed in 1978,[1] in Bath, England. They were only very mildly successful, and broke up by 1981. They are today best known as being the initial recording vehicle for future Tears for Fears members Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, who found major international fame in the 1980s and '90s.

Band history[edit]

John Baker and Roland Orzabal were at school together and performed as the "Baker Brothers" in local pubs and clubs from 1977 aged 16. The name Graduate came from the fact that they used to open shows with a cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson", which was featured in the movie The Graduate. In 1979, Graduate signed a publishing deal with Tony Hatch who subsequently offered the group to Pye Records.

In 1979, Graduate visited Cambridge for May week, staying at St. John's College with band member Steve Buck, and playing an open air gig at a birthday party for the self-styled Peter Counsell-Farquhar and William d'Arcy Symonds. "Graduate - they were fantastic" - William Symonds 2014.

In 1980, Graduate released an album, Acting My Age, and a single "Elvis Should Play Ska" (referring to Elvis Costello, not Presley) on Pye's Precision label. The single reached No. 106 in the UK Singles Chart,[2] but performed better in Spain,[3] and in Switzerland; the group also achieved a measure of success in some other European countries such as Germany and Greece.

In 1981, Orzabal and Smith went on to form the acclaimed new wave band Tears for Fears. John Baker later joined The Korgis, a band featuring members of Stackridge.


  • Roland Orzabal - guitar, keyboards, lead vocals
  • Curt Smith - bass, synthesisers, occasional lead vocals
  • John Baker - guitar, occasional lead vocals
  • Steve Buck - keyboards and flute
  • Andy Marsden - drums


Year Album UK Notes
1980 Acting My Age - Debut studio album. Remastered with extra tracks in 2001.
Unreleased Ambitions - Cancelled before completion. All tracks can be found on the 2001 expanded remaster of Acting My Age
1991 Graduate - German-only release featuring many of the tracks from Acting My Age but with two different versions of the song "Shut Up" and the song "I See Through You" from the unfinished "Ambitions" album.


External links[edit]