Jump to content

The Bluetones

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Bluetones
The Bluetones in Bangkok, Thailand in 1996
The Bluetones in Bangkok, Thailand in 1996
Background information
OriginHounslow, London, England
GenresBritpop, indie rock, indie pop
Years active1993–2011; 2015–present
LabelsA&M, Superior Quality, Cooking Vinyl
MembersMark Morriss
Adam Devlin
Scott Morriss
Eds Chesters
Past membersRichard Payne

The Bluetones are an English indie rock band, formed in Hounslow, Greater London, in 1993.[1] The band's members are Mark Morriss on vocals, Adam Devlin on guitar, Mark's brother Scott Morriss on bass guitar, and Eds Chesters on drums. A fifth member, Richard Payne, came on board between 1998 and 2002. The band was originally named "The Bottlegarden".[2]

The band has scored thirteen Top 40 singles and three Top 10 albums in the UK charts. Although their commercial success waned in the post-Britpop era, they continued to tour and release new records. Their most recent album A New Athens was released in May 2010.


After the release of two singles on Fierce Panda Records, the band signed to A&M Records and released Expecting to Fly on their own sublabel Superior Quality Recordings.[3] The album entered the UK Albums Chart at number one, and featured the singles "Bluetonic" and "Slight Return", with the latter climbing to #2 on the UK charts. Following the touring and promotional duties for Expecting to Fly, the band released stand-alone single "Marblehead Johnson" to bridge the gap between albums.[3]

The second Bluetones album, Return to the Last Chance Saloon, was released in 1998. While failing to repeat the commercial success of their debut, it reached the top 10 in the UK album charts and spawned the hit singles "Solomon Bites the Worm" and "If...".

In 2000 the Bluetones released their third album, Science & Nature, which again reached the Top 10 and featured the hit singles "Keep the Home Fires Burning" and "Autophilia".

After a best-of album in 2002, the band released their fourth studio album Luxembourg to mixed reviews in 2003.

A three-album deal was signed in late 2005 with the Cooking Vinyl record label, promptly followed by the limited release of E.P. Serenity Now and a full UK tour.

In early 2006, Universal issued a comprehensive box set of all the Bluetones singles and B-sides released between 1995 and 2003, A Rough Outline.

A single, entitled "My Neighbour's House", was released in the UK on 18 September 2006. The single was taken from their self-titled album, which was released on 9 October that year. It failed to chart in the UK Albums Chart after its first week on sale. The album was also released in the United States, the first such occurrence since their debut. Although no reason was cited, on 1 October 2006, it was announced that a planned nine-date tour of North America and Australia had been scrapped.[4] However, on 1 November 2006, the band began a month-long tour of Europe in support of their new release, including two sold-out nights at Glasgow's King Tuts.

In February 2007, the band released BBC Radio Sessions containing tracks recorded for the BBC between 1994 and 2000. This was followed in June with their first full live album, Once Upon a Time in West Twelve, recorded at the Shepherd's Bush Empire on 18 November 2005, and was followed on 29 October 2007, by a live DVD of the same concert under the title Beat about the Bush. 2007 also saw the release of a compilation album of early demo recordings, entitled The Early Garage Years. They also released a DVD under the title Blue Movies, which includes all of their 15 music videos.

In January 2008, the band began a mini-tour of Scotland, playing five cities (Stirling, Dunfermline, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh) in as many nights.[4] In May 2008 a ten-date tour covered Cambridge, Whitehaven, Sheffield, Newcastle upon Tyne, Birmingham, London, Bristol, Manchester and Darwen, including one of the last few concerts at the Astoria. They also played a gig with Dodgy on 17 May 2009, at a secret London venue, to benefit the homelessness charity Crisis, as part of the charity's 'Hidden Gigs' campaign against hidden homelessness.[5]

In December 2008, the band embarked on a five-date tour, taking in Lincoln, Manchester, Sheffield and Birmingham. The tour saw them playing their debut album, Expecting to Fly, in full. Some further dates were subsequently announced for February and March 2009.

On 31 May 2010, the band released a new album entitled A New Athens. Despite moderate praise the album failed to chart in the UK Albums Chart.

On 28 March 2011, the band announced they would split after a farewell tour in the autumn. On 13 April 2015, the band announced that they would reform for a new UK tour.

In Summer 2017 they co-headlined the Star Shaped Festival tour run by the popular Britpop club of the same name alongside the newly reformed Sleeper. This took place in Birmingham, London, Manchester & Glasgow in July and August 2017.


The Bluetones discography
Studio albums6
Live albums1
Compilation albums6
Video albums4

The discography of the Bluetones, an English indie rock band, consists of six studio albums, six compilation albums, one live album, three extended plays (EPs), twenty singles and four video releases.

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
1996 Expecting to Fly
  • Released: 12 February 1996 (1996-02-12)
  • Labels: Superior Quality Recordings, A&M
1 44
1998 Return to the Last Chance Saloon
  • Released: 9 March 1998 (1998-03-09)
  • Labels: Superior Quality Recordings, A&M
2000 Science & Nature
  • Released: 15 May 2000 (2000-05-15)
  • Labels: Mercury
2003 Luxembourg
  • Released: 12 May 2003 (2003-05-12)
  • Labels: Superior Quality Recordings
2006 The Bluetones 100
2010 A New Athens
  • Released: 31 May 2010 (2010-05-31)
  • Labels: CIA Recordings

Live albums[edit]

  • Once Upon a Time in West Twelve (2007)[10]
  • Bluetonic (2017)

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album details Chart positions
2000 Are You Blind?
  • Released: May 2000 (2000-05) (limited edition promotional CD)
  • Labels: Superior Quality Recordings, A&M Records
2002 The Singles
  • Released: 8 April 2002 (2002-04-08)
  • Labels: Superior Quality Recordings, A&M Records
2006 A Rough Outline: The Singles & B-Sides 95 - 03 156[11]
2007 BBC Radio Sessions 164[11]
The Early Garage Years
  • Released: 30 July 2007 (2007-07-30)
  • Labels: Superior Quality Recordings
2008 Collection
  • Released: 21 April 2008 (2008-04-21)
  • Labels: Superior Quality Recordings

Extended plays[edit]

  • A Bluetones Companion (1995, Japan only)
  • Mudslide (2000)
  • Serenity Now (2005, mail-order-only release)


Year Single Chart positions Album
1995 "Slight Return" / "The Fountainhead" (limited edition 7") Expecting to Fly
"Are You Blue or Are You Blind?" 31
"Bluetonic" 19 Expecting to Fly
1996 "Slight Return" (re-issue) 2 60 15
"Cut Some Rug" 7
"Castle Rock"
"Marblehead Johnson"
1998 "Solomon Bites the Worm" 10 Return to the Last Chance Saloon
"If..." 13
"Sleazy Bed Track" 35
"4-Day Weekend" (mail-order-only release)
2000 "Keep the Home Fires Burning" 13 Science & Nature
"Autophilia (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Car)" 18
2002 "After Hours" 26 The Singles
2003 "Fast Boy"/"Liquid Lips" 25 Luxembourg
"Never Going Nowhere" 40
2006 "My Neighbour's House" 68 The Bluetones
"Head on a Spike" 135
2007 "Surrendered"
2010 "Carry Me Home" A New Athens
"Golden Soul"

Music Videos[edit]

Year Title Director
1995 "Are You Blue or Are You Blind?" Unknown
"Bluetonic" Dom & Nic
1996 "Slight Return" Lindy Heymann
"Cut Some Rug" Unknown
"Marblehead Johnson" Dom & Nic
1998 "Solomon Bites the Worm" John Hardwick
"If..." Tony Hill
"Sleazy Bed Track" Unknown
"4 Day Weekend" Koji Morimoto
2000 "Keep the Home Fires Burning" Edgar Wright
"Mudslide" Unknown
"Autophilia" Jake & Jim
2002 "After Hours" Edgar Wright
2003 "Fast Boy" Maggie Kelly
"Never Going Nowhere"
2006 "Head on a Spike" Mark Morriss
2010 "Carry Me Home"
"Golden Soul"

Video/DVD releases[edit]

  • Mondo Concerto (1997)
  • Blue Movies (2007)
  • Beat about the Bush (2007)
  • Expecting to Fly Live (2009)


  1. ^ "with a little charm...: pictures: collections: mick mercer". Bluetones.org.uk. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  2. ^ "with a little charm...: faq: band history". Bluetones.org.uk. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  3. ^ a b Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. p. 96. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
  4. ^ a b "Bluetones Info". Bluetones.info. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Crisis Hidden Gigs". Crisis.org.uk. Archived from the original on 15 November 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  6. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 67. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  7. ^ a b c "Artist Chart History - The Bluetones". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  8. ^ a b Australian (ARIA) peaks:
    • Top 50 peaks: "Australian-charts.com". Australian-charts.com > The Bluetones in Australian Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
    • Top 100 peaks to December 2010: Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (pdf ed.). Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 35.
    • "Slight Return": "Australian ARIA Top 100 Singles Chart – Week Ending 30 Jun 1996". Imgur.com (original document published by ARIA). Retrieved 12 April 2018. N.B. The HP column displays the highest peak reached.
  9. ^ a b "British certificates: searchable database". Bpi.co.uk. Archived from the original on 6 October 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  10. ^ "Chart Log UK". Zobbel.de. Retrieved 5 July 2010.
  11. ^ a b c "UK Chartlog - 1994–2010 Darren B – David Byrne". Zobbel.de. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  12. ^ "The Irish Charts (search by artist: 'The Bluetones'". IRMA. Retrieved 18 July 2016.

External links[edit]