Artists – P

Phil Spector

There are only a handful of people from the 1960s who can truly be said to have had a major and lasting effect on the record business; Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Jimi Hendrix, Berry Gordy and Aretha Franklin all immediately come to mind. But to their ranks should be added Phil Spector, whose production skills not only created(…)

Phoebe Snow

Born Phoebe Ann Laub in New York City in 1952, the singer changed her name after seeing ‘Phoebe Snow’, a fictional advertising character for a railroad, on trains that passed through her hometown of Teaneck in New Jersey. Her acclaimed self-titled debut album (1974) reached number four in the chart, spawning the hit Poetry Man (rumoured to(…)

Photos, The

The Photos formed in Worcestershire (UK) when singer Wendy Wu joined band members of punk band Satan’s Rats. They released one self-titled album (Epic, 1980) and were immediately compared to Blondie, a comparison that didn’t sit well with the band. They released several singles in the U.K. including I’m So Attractive which was added to the US album(…)


In one of those occasional spasms of madness that overcome the British record-buying public (and surely the template for League of Gentlemen‘s duffers Crème Broulee), Pickettywitch pipped Elvis Presley AND The Plastic Ono Band to a Top 5 chart position in early 1970 with Same Old Feeling. Two minor hits followed for the group – (It’s Like A) Sad Old Kinda Movie and Baby(…)


This mainly instrumental soul/funk sextet formed in Gloucestershire from the remnants of political funkers The Pop Group. James Johnstone Guitar, keyboards Ollie Moore Saxophone Chris Leigh Trumpet Simon Underwood Bass Chip Carpenter Drums Roger Freeman Percussion

PiL (Public Image Ltd)

After the demise of The Sex Pistols, Johnny Rotten reverted to being plain old John Lydon and became the leader of PiL (Public Image Ltd). He invited his friend John Wardle, an East Ender with piercing blue eyes who had reinvented himself as Jah Wobble, to play bass (despite his being barely acquainted with the instrument),(…)


Singer/bassist David Paton and keyboardist Billy Lyall were both former members of The Bay City Rollers. Once the hit singles started drying up, Pilot seemed to lurch from crisis to crisis. First, keyboard player Billy Lyall left to record his own album, and then drummer Stuart Tosh quit for “domestic” reasons. Tosh stuck around long enough(…)

Pink Fairies, The

Described by John Lydon (Sex Pistols, PiL) as his favourite “old wave rock band”, this Ladbroke Grove union of Pretty Things drummer Twink and ex-members of Mick Farren’s Deviants drew from Jerry Rubin’s Yippie manifesto for a call-to-arms that was impassioned and exasperated. Originally named The Pink Fairies Motorcycle Gang and Drinking Club (from a story by Deviants’(…)

Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd (named after two obscure American bluesmen, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council) formed in Cambridge in 1964 as a six-piece group of Syd Barrett, Nick Mason, Roger Waters, Rick Wright, Bob Klose, and vocalist Chris Dennis. Dennis left early in 1965 and Klose followed him that summer, which left the band as a quartet.(…)

Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours

Formerly The Liberators, Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours hailed from Rugby and took their debut single Mirror Mirror to #9 in 1966. Unfortunately their follow-up disc (Don’t Stop Loving Me Baby) stalled at #50 for one week. Four subsequent singles between 1966 and 1968 did not trouble the charts at all. All their recordings shimmered with the amplified autoharp of(…)

Piranhas, The

Piranhas, The

This tongue-in-cheek band from Brighton whose sound was individualised by use of sax, later developed a penchant for commercial novelty records. Tom Hark (1980) was a revival of the delightful 1958 UK hit by Elias & The Zig Zag Jive Flutes (honestly!). It was actually South African kwela music, not ska.   Bob Grover Vocals, guitar(…)

Pixies, The

Having dropped out of the University of Massachusetts while on a college exchange program, Frank Black (real name Charles Michael Kitteridge Thompson IV) teamed up with guitarist Joey Santiago in 1986 and posted an advertisement to recruit a bassist for their new band. Applicants should be “into Hüsker Dü and Peter, Paul and Mary“. . . It was(…)

PJ Proby

Texan vocalist P.J Proby (born James Marcus Smith in November 1938) became an overnight sensation in Britain when Jack Good brought him and his pudding-bowl haircut over in 1963 to appear on a TV special. His specialties were re-vamped old show tunes like Hold Me and mutilations of screen hits like Somewhere and Maria (both from West Side Story). By the mid-60s, Proby’s stage(…)

Plasmatics, The

New York-based, The Plasmatics established a cult reputation for their outrageous stage presentation, built around Wendy O’Williams’ contortions, distortions and disrobing. The group built up a loyal following among those fans of American avant-garde rock & roll whose other favourite practitioners were people like Lydia Lunch and Suicide. In fact, one critic remarked that the band “take(…)

Plastic Bertrand

Plastic Bertrand was the alias of new wave prankster Roger Allen François Jouret, a native of Belgium who appropriated the sound and style of the new wave movement in order to give it a gently satirical poke in the ribs while scoring several European hits in the process. Jouret began his musical career as a drummer for(…)

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