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The Saints

Roaring out of Brisbane, Australia, in 1977 with the punk-era classic "(I'm) Stranded," the Saints, despite going through numerous incarnations, were a part of rock & roll for more than 20 years, thanks mainly to their indefatigable leader (and founder), Chris Bailey. Although they didn't play anything that passes for punk rock after about 1978, and despite extended dormant periods, the Saints never officially broke up, and Bailey always seemed to have another version of the band and record ready to release. Saints' fans generally fall into two distinct camps: the punk-era fans (up to about 1980) and the mature pop fans, which for American audiences begins with the release of All Fools Day in 1987. After co-founder Ed Kuepper left in 1979 and the band became Bailey's show, the twists and turns he took them through (horns, folk/blues arrangements, as well his numerous solo excursions) produced some good music, but it was mostly scattershot and lacked focus, though Bailey did record two fine records with the late-'80s incarnation of the band.

Punk-era Saints were exactly what you'd expect: buzzsaw guitars, Bailey's pissed-off, nasal vocals, and locomotive rhythms supplied by bassist Kym Bradshaw and drummer Ivor Hay. After the LP (I'm) Stranded became a modest hit in England, the follow-up record, Eternally Yours, showed some changes (more varied tempos, acoustic guitars) that would set the stage for their third record, Prehistoric Sounds, which combined horn arrangements into a punk-ish sort of R&B. It was at this point that the Saints were beginning to change enough to not resemble the band they were just a scant two years earlier. Kuepper left to form the arty Laughing Clowns and eventually made a number of records as a solo act. Bailey, however, got to keep the name the Saints and soldiered on, taking time here and there to record his own solo records.

To most Americans, the Saints were a dead issue, if they were still an issue at all. (I'm) Stranded caught on with punk aficionados, but hardly anyone else; Eternally Yours came and went without a trace, and Prehistoric Sounds was never domestically released (neither were any of the post-Kuepper Saints records of the early '80s). So, by the time All Fools Day was released in 1987, there were many who thought the Saints were a brand new band, and they were right. Gone were the rapid-fire guitar sound and bellowing vocals, replaced by sophisticated pop arrangements and more technically accomplished singing. The music was strong, intelligent pop that was better than much of the late-'80s "new wave." The next LP, Prodigal Son, wasn't as good, but did nothing to hurt the reputation of the "new" Saints. Oddly enough, Kuepper got together with Celibate Rifles guitarists Kent Steedman and Dave Morris and performed under the name the Aints. Gigging in Sydney, they generally played a set of (I'm) Stranded-era material and even recorded a couple of lo-fi live discs, all done for laughs.

It took almost a decade, however, for the next Saints (meaning Bailey plus others) album, 1997's Howling, to come out. The record portrayed a louder, edgier band than what had been seen on Prodigal Son, and was followed soon after by Everybody Knows the Monkey. In 2002, Spit the Blues Out was released and three years later, with the Church's guitarist Marty Willson-Piper on board, the Saints issued the rocking Nothing Is Straight in My House, followed by Imperious Delerium (without Willson-Piper) in 2006. The original members of the group were reunited in 2007 for some shows, presumably to boost sales of a box set titled The Greatest Cowboy Movie Never Made, otherwise, the Saints remained relatively quiet for the remainder of the decade. ~ John Dougan, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Will say their cover of Wipeout ain't half bad...and I was around for the original...s o I done be got da chops to make the comparison.. .
Hooked on the Saints back in the early/mid 80s, always brings back good memories when I hear them on Sirius Radio's Underground Garage station.
Kurt Cobain has a release by The Saints in his top 50 records of all time. I think he meant Eternally Yours (a classic) but wrote "Know your product"... the greatest punk song of all time IMO.
This is kinda sexy!
@Evil Larry: I got directed here the same way and was confused...
could probably be a fan of the punk phase these guys went through.
lauren.santo r e
Classic
Never even heard of these guys, wish I had though
How come I never heard of these guys until now? Punk era Saints kicks much a**!!
Strangely, a Joe Meek produced Shadows-type band of I'm guessing the same name popped up. Not the first time Pandora mixed up bands with the same name.
sjchaplinsj
Eternally Yours, I'm Stranded and Prehistoric Sounds (love that brass) are undeniable classic releases of easy punk listening, at least we opin in 40 years of filling bins of punk vinyl. Ease the kids in with this stuff....
love their punk
There's "The Saints" on 'Sigh, Cry, Die' which are different! Please distinguish!
bromide01
Booze.
Snoooze
While their records are uneven, Eternally Yours and All Fools Day are both classic albums I have never tired of. Ed Kuepper's solo work is, as a rule, terrific, but very hard to find. He sells his albums on his website, but they're very, very expensive, particularly with the way the dollar is going and the shipping costs from Australia. Still, keep an eye out in used CD bins; I've found a couple that way.
who doesn't?
cdeuhs
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