Artists – U


In 1976, in response to a postcard on a notice board at Mount Temple High School in Dublin, Paul Hewson, David Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen met and started practicing at Mullen's house, calling themselves Feedback. Originally playing cover versions at local engagements, the band eventually changed their name to The Hype and then(...)


Making their live debut in a pub in Birmingham in 1979, UB40 was made up of reggae fans who had known each other since childhood. Since they were also all jobless they chose as their name the official Department of Health and Social Security (DHSS) coding for unemployment benefit claim forms - UB 40. The(...)


During the 1970s, UFO was one of the most popular heavy metal bands in the world, thanks in no small part to the blistering guitar work of Michael Schenker. After recording several best-selling albums, Schenker quit in 1978 to join The Scorpions. With his departure, UFO lost their personality; working through several line-up changes, they continued to record(...)

Ugly Ducklings, The

Formed in Toronto in 1965 and being big fans of The Rolling Stones, they called themselves The Strolling Bones but soon changed that to The Ugly Ducklings after landing a residency at a hip local night spot. Following the release of their debut single, Nothin’ in 1966, they had a wish come true by opening(...)

UK Decay

UK Decay were a gothic punk band from Luton, Bedfordshire, who had formerly been known as The Resistors. They released several independent singles and EP's - Black 45 (1980), For My Country (1980), Unexpected Guest (1981), The Black Cat (1981), Sexual (1981) and Rising From The Dead (1982) - and two albums - For Madmen Only (1981) and A Night For Celebration (1983). Abbo Vocals, guitar Steve Spon Guitar Marlyn "Segovia" Smith Bass Steve(...)

UK Subs

This London-based rowdy, boozy punk band was formed in 1976 by former R&B singer Charlie Harper, with Nicky Garrett (guitar), Paul Slack (bass) and Pete Davies (drums). Signed to the Gem label in the late 70s, they had several national chart entries. Later, the line-up changed frequently, but the band endured - Harper still leads a working,(...)


No other band in the select coterie of the New Romantics expanded beyond its initial frontiers as radically as the London-based Ultravox, whose early work bore all the hallmarks of the scene thanks to the synth experimentalist and frontman John Foxx (real name Dennis Leigh). Formed way back in 1974, Ultravox originally consisted of Foxx plus bassist(...)

Uncanny X-Men

Uncanny X-Men formed in 1981 in Melbourne (Australia), fronted by charismatic lead singer Brian Mannix. Their 1985 debut album, 'Cos Life Hurts, peaked at #2 on the Australian charts and spawned their highest charting single, 50 Years, which reached #6 on the Aussie singles chart. Their second album, What You Give is What You Get! (1986), peaked at #11 and(...)

Undertakers, The

The Undertakers were one of the hardest-rocking Liverpool groups, although they were handicapped by the lack of songwriting ambition that hampered most Merseybeat outfits. More than any of the other Merseyside bands, they opted for hard R&B and soul material in the Ray Charles/James Brown mould, employing a saxophonist as well as the usual guitar/bass/drums line-up. No notable commercial(...)

Undertones, The

In 1975, five Londonderry friends began playing in local pubs as The Undertones. Remarkably, the line-up of Sharkey, Bradley, Doherty and the O'Neill's would not change throughout the group's subsequent eight-year career. Feargal Sharkey had been a scoutmaster and a regular winner of a traditional Irish singing competition called the Feis when he joined The(...)


One of the most popular intelligent techno acts to emerge during the genre's ascendance during the 1990s, Underworld began life in the late 80s as a funk-rock group including vocalist Karl Hyde and guitarist Rick Smith. The two had formed the new wave band Freur and released Doot-Doot in 1983. Get Us Out of Here followed two years later,(...)

Undisputed Truth, The

The Undisputed Truth came into being after Bobby Taylor brought Billie Rae Calvin and Brenda Joyce to Motown as part of The Delicates. When The Delicates broke up, the pair kept busy doing background vocals for The Four Tops, Diana Ross, and Edwin Starr until Motown producer Norman Whitfield teamed them up with Joe Harris of The Preps as a(...)


If Unicorn had come from California rather than Surrey their entry in the musical history books would have been substantially fatter. Chiefly remembered now through their association with Pink Floyd's David Gilmour - who produced their second and third albums - Unicorn could and should have been as big as The Eagles - or Poco at the very least.(...)

Unit 4 Plus 2

With his wholesome good looks and thick dark hair, Hertfordshire-lad Tommy Moeller had been a rival local attraction to another Cheshunt rock 'n' roller, Harry Webb, who later adopted the stage name Cliff Richard. By 1962, Tommy was singing in a modern folk quartet called Unit 4, in which he also played piano and guitar. Among(...)

United States of America, The

A registered Communist starts a band called The United States of America and lands a major label record deal before playing a single live gig? Only in the Sixties . . . After studying with avant-garde legend John Cage in New York City, composer Joseph Byrd moved to Los Angeles in 1967 and decided to(...)

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