Profilo:
Billy MacKenzie and Alan Rankine formed The Associates in Dundee, Scotland, in 1976. They released a self-funded 7" of Boys Keep Swinging mere weeks after David Bowie had released his original. This scam got them a publishing deal with Bowie's publishers and a proper record deal.

By 1980 they were touring with The Cure and signed to Fiction Records, for whom they recorded The Affectionate Punch. At the turn of the year they relocated to Situation Two and put out a string of singles, later compiled on the album Fourth Drawer Down, recorded using money from major labels who were expecting demos to be produced with their cash. In tandem with their increasing consumption of cocaine and speed, the group's music became increasingly deranged and experimental. John Murphy and Michael Dempsey (ex-The Cure) became official members.

The Associates signed with WEA in 1982. Martha Ladly joined as back-up singer. Billy and Alan immediately scored a string of UK top 20 chart hits. The album Sulk made the UK top 10, winning album of the year awards in the UK music press. The group’s drug use was at a peak - Billy and Alan’s behaviour was becoming somewhat erratic. On the eve of their biggest ever UK tour MacKenzie pulled out. A US deal with Island was consequentially lost. Deciding that he couldn't continue, Alan Rankine left the group. From this moment on, the Associates were to be just that: Billy MacKenzie solo, with different associates for each release.

MacKenzie started recording a follow-up album. 1984s Perhaps cost WEA £250,000. It took three years and four production teams to record - twice (dissatisfied with the original production Billy "lost" the first versions' master tapes, forcing a re-recording). The album had some chart success, but WEA were dissatisfied, and started pressuring MacKenzie to follow a more straightforward pop-soul direction. Frustrated by WEA's lack of support, MacKenzie focussed on collaborations, most notably with Yello (featuring on One Second, Flag, Baby and writing The Rhythm Divine).

1988's comeback single, a cover of Blondie's Heart Of Glass, failed to chart. WEA refused to release its parent album, The Glamour Chase, and with MacKenzie over a million pounds in debt to the label The Associates were dropped.

Circa quickly signed MacKenzie and in 1990 released Wild And Lonely, the last album of original music under the The Associates name. 1992's album, the Thomas Fehlmann / Boris Blank-produced Outernational was issued under the artist name Billy MacKenzie. Even though the album had good reviews in the press and Baby was single of the week in Melody Maker, the album stiffed - partially due to Circa winding down operations.

Aside from an aborted Associates reunion with Alan Rankine in the mid-90s, MacKenzie remained a solo artist, collaborating in the 90s with Peach, Barry Adamson, Paul Haig and Apollo Four Forty amongst others. At the end of 1996, after four years without a deal, he signed with Nude Records.

Tragically his first release for the label was a posthumous one. The death of his mother in 1996 was likely the trigger of an emotional breakdown that led him deeper and deeper into a depressed state. Billy MacKenzie died aged 39, on 22nd January 1997 from an overdose of prescribed and over-the-counter pills.
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Membri:
Varianti:
DHR 1 The Associates - Boys Keep Swinging artwork dell'album The Associates Boys Keep Swinging (Single) Double Hip Records DHR 1 UK 1979 Vendi questa versione
FICS 11, 2059 265 The Associates - The Affectionate Punch artwork dell'album The Associates The Affectionate Punch (Single) Fiction Records, Fiction Records FICS 11, 2059 265 UK 1980 Vendi questa versione
sit 10t The Associates - Message Oblique Speech artwork dell'album Associates* Message Oblique Speech (Single) Situation Two sit 10t UK 1981 Vendi questa versione
SIT 1/12" The Associates - Tell Me Easter's On Friday artwork dell'album The Associates Tell Me Easter's On Friday (Single) Situation Two SIT 1/12" UK 1981 Vendi questa versione
Sit11 The Associates - White Car In Germany artwork dell'album The Associates White Car In Germany (Single) Situation Two Sit11 UK 1981 Vendi questa versione
SIT 4 The Associates - Q Quarters artwork dell'album The Associates Q Quarters (Single) Situation Two SIT 4 UK 1981 Vendi questa versione
FICSX 13 The Associates - A artwork dell'album Associates* A (Single) Fiction Records FICSX 13 UK 1981 Vendi questa versione
SIT7, SIT 7 The Associates - Kitchen Person artwork dell'album Associates* Kitchen Person (Single) Situation Two, Situation Two SIT7, SIT 7 UK 1981 Vendi questa versione
RSO 78 The Associates - Kites / A Girl Named Property artwork dell'album 39 Lyon Street / The Associates 39 Lyon Street / The Associates - Kites / A Girl Named Property (Single) RSO RSO 78 UK 1981 Vendi questa versione
WEA 18.967 The Associates - Party Fears Two artwork dell'album Associates* Party Fears Two (Single) Associates WEA 18.967 Netherlands 1982 Vendi questa versione
FICSX 16, 2141 654 The Associates - A Matter Of Gender artwork dell'album Associates* A Matter Of Gender (Single) Fiction Records, Fiction Records FICSX 16, 2141 654 UK 1982 Vendi questa versione
Flexipop 020 The Associates - Even Dogs In The Wild artwork dell'album Associates* Even Dogs In The Wild (Single) Flexipop Flexipop 020 UK 1982 Vendi questa versione
ASC3, ASC 3 The Associates - 18 Carat Love Affair / Love Hangover artwork dell'album Associates* 18 Carat Love Affair / Love Hangover (Single) Associates, Associates, Beggars Banquet, Beggars Banquet ASC3, ASC 3 UK 1982 Vendi questa versione
asc2 The Associates - Club Country artwork dell'album Associates* Club Country (Single) Associates asc2 UK 1982 Vendi questa versione
7249392 The Associates - Those First Impressions artwork dell'album Associates* Those First Impressions (Single) WEA, WEA 7249392 New Zealand 1984 Vendi questa versione
24 9306 - 0 The Associates - Waiting For The Loveboat artwork dell'album The Associates Waiting For The Loveboat (Single) WEA, WEA 24 9306 - 0 Spain 1984 Vendi questa versione
248 919-0, YZ 47T The Associates - Take Me To The Girl artwork dell'album The Associates Take Me To The Girl (Single) WEA, WEA 248 919-0, YZ 47T Germany 1985 Vendi questa versione
YZ 28, 249 219-7 The Associates - Breakfast artwork dell'album The Associates Breakfast (Single) WEA, WEA YZ 28, 249 219-7 UK 1985 Vendi questa versione
YZ 329, 247 281-7 The Associates - Country Boy artwork dell'album The Associates Country Boy (Single) WEA, WEA YZ 329, 247 281-7 Germany 1988 Vendi questa versione
YZ310, 247 665-7 The Associates - Heart Of Glass artwork dell'album The Associates Heart Of Glass (Single) WEA, WEA YZ310, 247 665-7 UK 1988 Vendi questa versione
SFPS075 The Associates - The Peel Sessions artwork dell'album The Associates The Peel Sessions (EP) Strange Fruit SFPS075 UK 1989 Vendi questa versione
YZ534, 9031-73007-7 The Associates - Poperetta EP artwork dell'album Associates* Poperetta EP (EP) EastWest, EastWest YZ534, 9031-73007-7 UK 1990 Vendi questa versione
YR 49 The Associates - Fire To Ice artwork dell'album The Associates Fire To Ice (Single) Circa YR 49 UK 1990 Vendi questa versione
0-96402 The Associates - Fever artwork dell'album The Associates Fever (Single) Circa 0-96402 US 1990 Vendi questa versione
YRTPR 56 The Associates - Just Can't Say Goodbye artwork dell'album A* Just Can't Say Goodbye (Single) Circa YRTPR 56 UK 1990 Vendi questa versione

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andys80s

andys80s

7 agosto 2021
Martha Ladly, Where are you?

Now I need to add 5 more words!
futureimage

futureimage

27 febbraio 2006
modificato over 16 years ago
Well, if it was any band that should still be alive today, it's the Associates. They took Joy Division's sound, added much higher vocals, and evolved their ideas tenfold.
Recommended Albums: Sulk, Fourth Drawer Down, The Radio 1 Sessions (1981-1983), Singles.
After the loss of Alan Rankine, Billy MacKenzie couldn't replace the unique ideas and sounds that Alan had produced, so after Perhaps, the synth-punk sound was lost amongst the drum machines and digital synths.
Associates definitely have to be one of the most underrated names in synth-punk.

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