A little over a year after The Beatles broke up, Paul McCartney and his wife Linda formed Wings, a group created very much to be a touring as well as recording unit. Paul had missed the touring element most when The Beatles locked themselves in a studio. The formation of Wings came as no real surprise, as Paul had(...)


Unashamedly middle-class, and older than most of their contemporaries, Colin Newman, Graham Lewis, Bruce Gilbert and Robert Gotobed (born Mark Field) – who weren't mates – were introduced via mutual friends, formed their group in October 1976, then learned to play. Apart from Gotobed, Wire all came with an art-school pedigree. Bassist Graham Lewis was a fashion(...)

Wishbone Ash

Wishbone Ash formed in London in 1969 and released their self-titled debut album in 1970. By 1971 they were Melody Maker's brightest hopes for the coming year; a bluesy, twin-guitar outfit whose second album, Pilgrimage, would tip the hat to Pentangle and Fairport Convention. It was on 1973's Argus, though, that the band achieved a form that would never be(...)


Steve Bridges Vocals Montalo Guitar Andro Coulton Bass Pete Surgery Bass Gra Scoresby Drums


Wizzard was the epitome of Roy Wood's notion of magic and entertainment, formed in 1972 after Roy split from ELO (which then fell under the leadership of Jeff Lynne). The mainstay of The Move in its heyday, Wood formed Wizzard as a rock 'n' roll revival vehicle for his Phil Spector-ish production numbers and made brilliantly catchy hit records,(...)

Wonder Stuff, The

Formed in Stourbridge, West Midlands, in 1986, The Wonder Stuff amassed a sizeable local following and released an EP, It's A Wonderful Day, in 1987. Along with other Midlands hopefuls Pop Will Eat Itself, Crazyhead and Gaye Bykers On Acid, The Wonder Stuff were lumped in under the banner of 'grebo rock' by the music press. But(...)

Woodentops, The

Taking punk's DIY ideal and applying it to stripped-down acoustic pop, South London five-piece The Woodentops achieved a great deal of critical success in the short time they were together. Formed in 1983 in Northhampton, England - and named after the vintage family of Watch With Mother TV puppets - the band released their debut single Plenty(...)


It remains the defining assembly of rock music - an unprecedented gathering of at least 300,000 young, long-haired, raggedy clad Americans "going up the country" in New York's Catskill Mountains, searching for answers, hoping for transcendence . . . and finding, what exactly? The posters promised "3 Days of Peace & Music", and this was(...)

Woody Guthrie

Woody Guthrie was born in Okemah, Oklahoma - an uproarious oil town - on 14 July 1912. His father Charley was a Democrat politico and a Ku Klux Klan supporter. His father's sour property deals impoverished them, and when Woody was seven his beloved elder sister Clara died in a fire. By then, his mother(...)

World Party

World Party was basically a one-man project from singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Karl Wallinger. Formerly of the popular British band The Waterboys, Wallinger's albums were always fascinating, unapologetic exercises in pop self-referentialism. His 1987 debut Private Revolution scored a Top 40 hit with the infectious single Ship Of Fools. After a long lay-off (during which time Wallinger aided Sinead O'Connor(...)

Wreckless Eric

Eric Goulden grew up in Newhaven, near Brighton. From there he went to Hull Art School in northeastern England until he was drawn to London in 1976 by the then-waning pub rock movement. After a succession of jobs that included cleaning toilets in Greenwich, working as a coffee bar assistant at Butlin's and working as(...)

X (Australia)


According to popular myth, LA punk was the backward cousin of its Anglophile/East Coast counterparts, rich kids in plastic strapping on some tinsel and cowboy stirrups. Truth was, most were drop-outs, runaways and disaffected kids from the 'burbs - most feeling revolted by the intrinsic vulgarity and stifling opulence of Hollywood. Unlike in NYC though,(...)

X-Ray Spex

One of the great English punk bands of the late '70s, X-Ray Spex was formed in 1976 by school friends Poly Styrene (or Marian Elliott as she was named by her Somali dad and white British mum when she was born in Bromley, Kent, in 1957) and Susan Whitby (a saxophonist who chose the new name Lora(...)

XL Capris

Formed in Sydney (Australia) at the end of 1978, XL Capris soon acquired a healthy following on the punk/alternative circuit when they formed their own Axle Records and released two singles, including Red Bikini Runaway, about 18-year old Lillian Gasinskaya -a young Ukrainian woman who was briefly famous in 1979 when, seeking asylum, she jumped from a Russian(...)

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