Ruby (band)

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GenresTrip hop
Years active1994–current
Thirsty Ear
Associated actsPigface
Skinny Puppy
MembersLesley Rankine
Past membersMark Walk, Chris Taplin, Gavin Fawcett, Regina Chellew, Sharon Dougherty

Ruby (sometimes stylised as ruby) is the collaboration of singer Lesley Rankine and Mark Walk. Rankine relocated from London to Seattle to collaborate with the producer in 1994.[1] Their music styles expanded across the genres of electronic, trip hop, noise, industrial, and jazz, among others.[2] Between 1995 and 2015, the band has released three studio albums, three remix albums and various singles and EPs. The name for this group came about because Rankine and Walk both have maternal grandmothers named Ruby.[3]

Ruby members[edit]

Lesley Rankine[edit]

Rankine (born April 11, 1965)[4] began her music career as frontwoman to London garage-psych band The Grizzelders, recording one cassette-only release called "Making It Real Gear", before forming noise band Silverfish, leaving the group after the release of their 1993 LP Organ Fan and then departing for Seattle. There she joined forces with producer Mark Walk to create an electronic album which echoed the downtempo styles, especially trip hop, more than their noise backgrounds. She had previously worked with Walk on material for industrial group Pigface. The result was the album Salt Peter, which was released in 1995, with a remix album, Revenge, the Sweetest Fruit, appearing in 1996. She also appeared on the Toronto-based Monster Voodoo Machine's Suffersystem album recorded in 1994 at Chicago Trax; this album would win a Juno Award. Following the release of Ruby's debut album and the supporting tour that ended in 1996, Rankine with Tom Jones recorded a cover of the song Kung Fu Fighting,[5] and later recorded a one-minute version of Lerner and Loewe's "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" for a Samuel Bayer-directed Mountain Dew commercial in which she also appeared.[6]

Rankine then moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. The stay would be only six months due to events including a rash of car-jackings and hold-ups in the surrounding areas, and culminating with the murder of a woman in the garden across from her. When Rankine learned the killer had deposited the victim's clothing in her garbage as they left the scene, she left New Orleans within five days for Seattle to start recording Ruby's second album with producer Mark Walk.[5]

Most of Short-Staffed at the Gene Pool would be finished by August 1998 and nearly completed by Rankine in her native Scotland throughout 1999. Rankine would spend the year 2000 dealing with the old contracts with labels WORK and Creation, and setting things up with Wichita in the UK, which would release the band's next two albums. For a short time Ruby continued to collaborate with former Creation label members Mark Bowen and Dick Green, but by March 2008 no further recordings had been released. Rankine took a break from recording, returning to her home country.[5]

In December 2012, Rankine announced on her Facebook page that she was working on new music and videos under the Ruby name.[7] In 2013, she subsequently released the Revert to Type EP and Type 2.0 remix EP, together with singles and music videos.

Mark Walk[edit]

Walk had previously worked with Rankine on material for industrial group Pigface. As of March 2008, he resided in Los Angeles, USA, where in addition to collaborating on albums for both of the groups Skinny Puppy and ohGr, he has been writing and producing music for commercials as well as film.


Salt Peter[edit]

Ruby's first album, Salt Peter, was released November 1, 1995.[8] The album would produce three singles, all of which would chart in the UK. It was made almost entirely using computers and without a band.

Salt Peter's first single was "Paraffin", released on November 7, 1995.[9] The compilation New Voices vol. 3 from Rolling Stone had this song as its second track. It was followed up with Ruby's best known song, "Tiny Meat", which was also released in 1995. It would be the only song by the band to chart in the United States, reaching #22 on the Modern Rock Tracks list. This song was also included in the compilation MTV Fresh 2. Another single, "Hoops" came out in early 1996. Later in that year the promotion-only single for the track "Swallow Baby" was put out for radio play. An up-to-then unreleased song called "This Is" was on the soundtrack to the film The Cable Guy in May 1996. The CD single for the song "Paraffin" included a remix called "Harpie Mix" which was also on the soundtrack to the 1997 movie The Beautician and the Beast. All of Salt Peter's singles had music videos made for them.

On April 8, 1996, a remix album called Revenge, the Sweetest Fruit: Salt Peter Remixed was released in the United States,[10] followed by the UK version Stroking the Full Length on October 29, 1996.[11] The third track from Stroking… is "Flippin' tha Bird (Ceasefire Remix)", and this version was also included on the movie soundtrack to the 1997 film Nowhere. The Japan release of Stroking… was out on September 1, 1996, and came with an extra track, "Tiny Meat (Mark Walk Mix)".

Revert to Type[edit]

On 1 February 2013, Rankine released a new single and music video, "Waiting for Light".[12] This was followed by a six track EP, Revert to Type on 23 July 2013, produced by Scott Firth & Lesley Rankine, and included remixes by Scott Firth, Pumajaw & Engine7.[13]

A remix EP, Type 2.0 was released on 18 November 2013, with remixes by Rozio, Geek Boy, John Davis and Michael Travis/The Difference Engine.[14]

Further music videos from the Revert To Type EP, for "Last Life" and "Lush", were released in 2013.


1996 tour[edit]

Of the duo only Rankine went on the road; Walk did not participate in performing the live shows.[15] With Rankine on vocals the touring band consisted of Chris Taplin on bass/guitar, Gavin Fawcett on drums, Sharon Dougherty on keyboard/guitar (replaced by Regina Chellew mid tour). Ruby performed at the Pukkelpop music festival, the Reading Festival, and Lollapalooza during 1996, in support of the album Salt Peter.

2001 tour[edit]

Ruby's North American tour supporting Short-Staffed at the Gene Pool started off with a hitch: lost effects equipment for a group that uses only effects to perform their music live.[16]

2016 tour[edit]

Ruby's North American tour supporting new EP Type-Cast.[17]

Chart performance[edit]


Date Name Chart Country Peak Position
September 16, 1995 "Paraffin" UK Singles United Kingdom 81[18]
September 16, 1995 "Paraffin" UK Singles (with exclusions below the top 75) United Kingdom 78[19]
1995 "Paraffin" ARIA Singles Chart Australia 179[20]
February 24, 1996 "Tiny Meat" UK Singles United Kingdom 96[18]
February 24, 1996 "Tiny Meat" UK Singles (with exclusions below the top 75) United Kingdom 86[19]
May, 1996 "Tiny Meat" Billboard Modern Rock Tracks USA 22[21]
June 8, 1996 "Hoops" UK Singles United Kingdom 102[18]
June 8, 1996 "Hoops" UK Singles (with exclusions below the top 75) United Kingdom 90[19]


Date Name Chart Country Peak Position
May 11, 1996 Salt Peter Billboard Heatseekers Albums USA 14[22]
April 20, 1996 Salt Peter UK Artist Albums United Kingdom 96[23]
1996 Salt Peter ARIA Albums Chart Australia 240[24]


  1. ^ "Allmusic Ruby Overview". Retrieved 2008-03-24.
  2. ^ "Salt Peter by Ruby (Rock) - Epinions". Retrieved 2008-03-30.
  3. ^ "Ruby". Retrieved 2008-03-18.
  4. ^ "Lesley Rankine Overview". Retrieved 2008-04-07.
  5. ^ a b c "Ruby Biography". Retrieved 2008-03-29.
  6. ^ "Thank Heaven for Little Girls!". Retrieved 2009-02-26.
  7. ^ "Ruby Facebook Page". Retrieved 2013-11-19.
  8. ^ "Salt Peter/Album Track Listing/MTV". Retrieved 2008-03-24.
  9. ^ "Paraffin/Album Track Listing/MTV". Retrieved 2008-03-24.
  10. ^ "Salt Peter Remixed EP/Album Track Listing/MTV". Retrieved 2008-03-24.
  11. ^ "Stroking the Full Length/Album Track Listing/MTV". Retrieved 2008-03-24.
  12. ^ "Waiting For Light". Retrieved 2013-11-19.
  13. ^ "Revert To Type". Retrieved 2013-11-19.
  14. ^ "Type 2.0". Retrieved 2013-11-19.
  15. ^ ""Section 3 - Ruby "Stroking the Full Length"". "". Retrieved 2008-03-30.
  16. ^ "Music News section called Ruby's Blues". Archived from the original on 2005-01-23. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
  17. ^ ""type-cast ep"". "". Retrieved 2016-11-23. External link in |publisher= (help)
  18. ^ a b c "UK singles chart history - Ruby". Retrieved 2008-04-26. External link in |publisher= (help)
  19. ^ a b c "Official Charts > Ruby". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2015-11-04. N.B. the chart peaks below #75 displayed on the Official Charts Company site are compressed chart peaks, with exclusions applied below #75 for singles falling out of the top 75 recording a sales decline above a certain threshold.
  20. ^ "Response from ARIA re: chart inquiry, received 15 July 2015". Archived from the original on 2015-07-16. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
  21. ^ "Artist Chart History - Ruby - Singles". Retrieved 2008-03-24.
  22. ^ "Artist Chart History - Ruby - Albums". Archived from the original on 2009-07-07. Retrieved 2008-03-24.
  23. ^ "UK artist album chart history - Ruby". Retrieved 2008-04-26.
  24. ^ "Response from ARIA re: chart inquiry, received 13 September 2016". Retrieved 2016-09-22.

External links[edit]