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Jona Lewie

While he wasn't one of the biggest names on Stiff Records, Jona Lewie was one of those irrepressible characters who gave the pioneering British indie label its utterly unique flavor. Born John Lewis, Lewie got his start in the early-'70s pub rock scene, playing keyboards for the Sussex group Brett Marvin & the Thunderbolts. Bizarrely, the group enjoyed its greatest success under the Lewie-helmed alias Terry Dactyl & the Dinosaurs, scoring a U.K. Top Five hit in 1972 with "Seaside Shuffle." However, subsequent releases under the name failed to duplicate that success, and Lewie departed the band. He resurfaced on Stiff in 1978 as a solo artist, singing pub rock and new wave tunes in a dry, deadpan, Ian Dury-ish voice. Most distinctive was his simultaneous taste for musical nostalgia (British music hall, skiffle, etc.), as evidenced on several cuts from his debut album, On the Other Hand There's a Fist. Lewie also participated in the 1978 Be Stiff package tour (the label's second). In 1980, Lewie scored a Top 20 U.K. hit with the self-effacing single "You'll Always Find Me in the Kitchen at Parties," which, according to legend, was backing vocalist Kirsty MacColl's first session for the label. Lewie trumped it several months later with "Stop the Cavalry," a strange blend of anti-war protest, brass band arrangements, and Christmas sentiment. Surprisingly, the single hit the Top Five and became something of a Christmas standard in the U.K., where it was trotted out every holiday season and featured on numerous Christmas compilations. Stiff rushed out another album, 1981's Heart Skips Beat, to capitalize, but lightning would only strike twice, and Lewie issued his last single in 1983. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: On The Other Hand There's A Fist

1. The Baby, She's On The Street

2. Laughing Tonight

3. Bang-A-Lang-A-Boom-Er-Rang-Man

4. The Fairground Ride

5. On The Road

6. Vous Et Moi

7. I'll Get By In Pittsburgh

8. Bureaucrats

9. Hallelujah Europa

10. Police Trap

12. The Last Supper At The Masquerade

14. God Bless Whoever Made You

17. Stop The Cavalry

19. It Never Will Go Wrong

20. Shaggy Raggy

21. Shaggy Raggied

22. Rearranging The Deckchairs On The Titanic

23. I'll Be Here

x

Track List: Heart Skips Beat

2. Cream Jacqueline Stawberry

3. Stop The Cavalry

4. Ab-Ra-Ca-Da-Bra

5. Louise

8. What Have I Done

9. Yo-Go

10. Guessing Games

11. Rearranging The Deckchairs On The Titanic

13. Louise (Single Version)

14. Shaggy Raggy

15. Shaggy Raggied

16. I'll Be Here

17. Love Detonator

18. Love Detonator (Extended Version)

19. Heart Of Steel

20. Give Me Back My Heart

Comments

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It's hilarious that Pandora says he's similar to Jon Anderson!
Report as inappropriate
It does sound like a Circus ride.
Report as inappropriate
there is no one like JoniLewie He is unique a style all his own magnificeint

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