Sunday, May 29, 2011

The 100 Greatest Bands of all time - #100 Gene Loves Jezebel

Gene Loves Jezebel was formed by Welsh twins Jay and Michael Aston in the early 80s and went from an intense goth rock to a somewhat more mainstream new wave over the course of the decade. In my high school years from 1986 to 1990 they were my second favorite musical act and I was lucky enough to see them play live twice during that period. I caught the Montreal show of their 1987 tour with New Order and Echo & the Bunnymen and I saw them when they came through Birmingham in 1988 with Flesh for Lulu.

The band’s sound was defined by the vocal interplay between the two brothers and by the time of the Discover album you could also add the amazing guitar work of Generation X alum James Stevenson. I highly recommend their first three albums; Promise, Immigrant, and Discover. These capture the band at their finest, although the following two albums; The House of Dolls and Kiss of Life, contain most of the songs that hit MTV and flirted with the US charts.

The brothers had a falling out in the early 90s and now there are two bands called Gene Loves Jezebel. Jay holds the trademark in the UK and Michael has it in the US. So, if Jay tours the States, he has to call the band Jay Aston’s Gene Loves Jezebel and if Michael tours in Britain, he has to call his band Michael Aston’s Gene Loves Jezebel. Personally, I prefer Jay’s version as his band still has Stevenson on guitar and Pete Rizzo on bass. Although Michael is putting out some nice songs too and I still love his voice.  

Great track from their first album.

One of the top tracks from Discover. IMO, their finest album.

Desire is my favorite GLJ song and probably their most well-known.

One more from Discover.

From the House of Dolls album. This one skirted the charts, got some MTV airplay and was almost a hit. It was hard for alternative bands to make the charts in the days before Nirvana broke it open.

Another great video from the House of Dolls album.

We conclude our look at Gene Loves Jezebel with Jealous from the Kiss of Life album. Great guitar work from Stevenson on this one. Also, no Michael. He had left the band by this point.

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