Tones on Tail's music is psychedelic/surrealist with a heavy English gothic rock vibe. It is textural and introspective and exhibits Ash's characteristically clean production. The band made a point of having each song sound as different as possible. In concert, the band sported all-white as a reaction to Bauhaus's all-black look. They never achieved a large following, though the track "Go!" is a retro dance club staple and a frequent addition to 1980s music compilations. They rarely played live, and only did one short tour of the UK and North America.
The band's tiny back catalog has been subjected to a lot of compilation over the years. Small, independent labels like 4AD and Situation Two would issue limited editions with subtly different track listings from previously released items. Some tracks were only available on rare vinyl records, so collecting the entire Tones on Tail discography was a difficult task. This was the situation until the 1998 release of Everything!, an appropriately named two-CD set of every track, fully remastered, plus a radio interview with Ash and Campling.
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