The Jags

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The Jags
The Jags.jpg
Background information
OriginScarborough, England
GenresPower pop,[1] new wave[2]
Years active1978–1982
Past membersNick Watkinson
John Alder
Steve Prudence
Alex Baird
Michael Cotton
Patrick O'Toole
Neil Whittaker
Richard Mazda
Barry Graham

The Jags were a British rock band formed in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England, in 1978, composed of Nick Watkinson (vocals), John Alder (guitar/backing vocals), Steve Prudence (bass), firstly Neil Whittaker and then Alex Baird (drums), Michael Cotton (bass/backing vocals) and Patrick O'Toole (piano/keyboard).[3]

A Scarborough-Guildford-Glasgow combo, The Jags marked their signing to Island Records in 1979 with a four-track debut 12” EP ("Back of My Hand" / "Double Visions" / "Single Visions" / "What Can I Do?").[3] "Back of My Hand" was described as "simply one of the best records Elvis Costello never made".[by whom?] The song was included on the band's debut album Evening Standards, which was released the following year.[3]

Starting out in 1978 playing London pubs and college gigs, by 1979 The Jags' sound had moved to jangly power-pop.[3]


They signed to Island Records in July 1978 and initially released a four-track EP.[3]

On 8 September 1979, the power pop single "Back of My Hand", written by Watkinson and guitarist Alder, entered the UK Singles Chart.[3] It had a chart life of 10 weeks and peaked at number 17.[4] "Back of My Hand" was included on their debut album Evening Standards, which was released the following year.[3] Their follow-up single "Woman's World" entered the UK chart on 2 February 1980 at number 75 - dropping out the next week.[4]

1981 saw the release of their second, and what proved to be, final album, No Tie Like a Present.[3] The Jags disbanded in 1982.



  • Evening Standards (1980) (US No. 205)
  • No Tie Like a Present (1981)[3]


  • "Back of My Hand" (1979) - UK No. 17, US No.  84
  • "Woman's World" (1980) - UK No. 75
  • "Party Games" (1980)
  • "I Never Was A Beachboy" (1980)[4]
  • "Here Comes My Baby" (1981)
  • "The Sound Of G-O-O-D-B-Y-E" (1981)

Only "Back Of My Hand" and "Here Comes My Baby" were released in the US.


  1. ^ Chris Woodstra. "Jags - Biography - AllMusic". AllMusic.
  2. ^ "The Jags: Power Goes Pop".
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 1257. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  4. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 277. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

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