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U-Turn

Hard-rocking Australian band U-Turn formed in Sydney in 1976, comprising vocalist Chris Fitzgibbon (who was clearly influenced in the coiffure department by Rod Stewart), guitarists George Steffe and Shane Pacey, bassist Shane Rogers and drummer...

U2

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 practising at Mullen's house, calling...

UB40

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...

UFO

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...

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...

UK Decay

UK Decay were a gothic punk band from Luton, Bedfordshire, who had formerly been known as The Resistors. Singer/guitarist Steve 'Abbo" Abbott, bassist Martyn 'Segovia' Smith and drummer Steve Harle formed UK Decay in 1979. They recorded their first...

UK Subs

This London-based rowdy, boozy punk band was formed in 1976 by former R&B singer and hairdresser-by-day Charlie Harper, with Nicky Garratt (guitar), Paul Slack (bass) and Pete Davies (drums). They specialised in shambolic, sub-three-minute bursts of...

Ultravox

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...

Uncanny X-Men

Taking their name from the Marvel comic of the same name, Uncanny X-Men was formed in 1981 in Melbourne (Australia), fronted by charismatic lead singer Brian Mannix. The band was signed by Mushroom Records early in...

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...

Undertones, The

In 1975, five Londonderry friends began playing in local pubs as The Undertones. Remarkably, the line-up of Feargal Sharkey, Mickey Bradley, Billy Doherty and the O'Neill's - John and Damian - would not change throughout...

Underworld

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...

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...

Unicorn

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...

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...

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...

Unsane

Formed in the downtown late 80s New York scene which threw up the likes of Pussy Galore, Cop Shoot Cop and Boss Hog, Unsane underwent drug deaths and departures before arriving at the prime lineup...

Untouchables, The

Before California was swamped by a glut of ska-punk, The Untouchables ruled the roost. Emerging from Los Angeles suburb Silver Lake in 1981, they covered tracks by The Specials and gave proof that 2-Tone's values could travel the world. The black...

Ups And Downs

Brisbane band Ups and Downs played a brand of ethereal, well-crafted, jangly guitar pop that called to mind Australian post-punk icons The Church. The bands' influences also extended to overseas groups like Cocteau Twins, REM, Siouxsie and The...

Urge Overkill

Urge Overkill formed in Chicago in 1985 and made their full-length debut four years later with Jesus Urge Superstar, a heavy and riffcentric effort produced by Steve Albini. They followed it in 1991 with The Supersonic Storybook and...

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“5” Royales, The

The "5" Royales began life in the 1940s as a gospel group called The Royal Sons Quintet but rechristened themselves The Royals after going secular and signing to New York's Apollo label in 1952. But Hank...

10,000 Maniacs

10,000 Maniacs (named after the low-budget horror movie Two Thousand Maniacs) was formed in Jamestown, NY, in 1981 by singer Natalie Merchant and guitarist John Lombardo. The group gigged extensively and recorded independently before signing with Elektra and...

101’ers, The

Primarily known as the band Joe Strummer was in before he joined The Clash, The 101'ers were part of the last wave of British pub rock bands of the mid-'70s. The group never released any recordings...

10cc

Vocalist/guitarist Graham Gouldman was a songwriter of pop hits during the 1960s. Amongst his many compositions are some pure classics: For Your Love (The Yardbirds), No Milk Today (Herman's Hermits), Look Through Any Window (The Hollies) - chart pop at its most...

13th Floor Elevators

Featuring the yelping vocals and visionary - occasionally demented - lyrics of Roky Erickson, The 13th Floor Elevators were one of the original acid-rock bands. Formed in Texas in the mid-60s, The Elevators started as a...

1910 Fruitgum Company

The 1910 Fruitgum Company began life as Jeckell and The Hydes in New Jersey in 1965. They signed to Buddah Records in 1967 and released five LPs under their own name (plus a number of singles)...

1927

1927 formed in Melbourne, Australia, in 1987. Guitarist and keyboardist Garry Frost had left Moving Pictures after their second album, Matinée (Frost had co-written Moving Pictures' 1981 #1 hit What About Me? ) and was writing songs for...