The Contortions

The Contortions were one of the most important -- and accessible -- bands in New York's short-lived No Wave movement, playing a noisy, clattering avant-funk that drew from punk and free jazz. The group was formed in 1977 by the flamboyantly dressed vocalist/saxophonist James Chance (born James Siegfried), also featuring guitarists Pat Place and Jody Harris, organist Adele Bertei, bassist George Scott, and drummer Don Christensen. The Contortions' live shows embodied the nihilistic ethos of No Wave, as Chance actively picked fights with the audience. The group contributed four tracks to the seminal Brian Eno-produced No Wave compilation No New York in 1978; the following year, Buy the Contortions marked their official album debut, by which time Chance was being billed ahead of the group name. Aside from a few live recordings, the original Contortions lineup didn't release much more material. Chance used most of the group for his funk/disco project James White & The Blacks (with the album Off White also appearing in 1979), and although he continued to lead versions of the Contortions through the early '80s, the original lineup split up in 1980. Place went on to join the acclaimed Bush Tetras, while Harris, Scott, and Christensen formed The Raybeats. [Steve Huey, All Music Guide]


ILS-81356 The Contortions - Buy album art Contortions* Buy (Album) ZE Records ILS-81356 Japan 1979 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

ZEA12-001 The Contortions - Designed To Kill / Throw Me Away album art The Contortions Designed To Kill / Throw Me Away (Single) ZE Records, Buddah Records ZEA12-001 US 1979 Sell This Version
none The Contortions - Flip Your Face / I Can't Stand Myself album art Contortions* Flip Your Face / I Can't Stand Myself(Acetate, 7") Not On Label none US Unknown Sell This Version


PVC 7918 The Contortions - Second Chance album art James White (2) And The Contortions James White (2) And The Contortions - Second Chance (Comp) PVC Records, ZE Records PVC 7918 US 1980 Sell This Version
MR 230 The Contortions - Buy / Off White album art The Contortions / James White & The Blacks The Contortions / James White & The Blacks - Buy / Off White (Comp) Munster Records MR 230 Spain 2003 Sell This Version