Big Audio Dynamite (later known as Big Audio Dynamite II and Big Audio, and often abbreviated BAD) were a British musical group formed in 1984 by the ex-guitarist and singer of The Clash, Mick Jones. The group were noted for their effective mixture of varied musical styles, incorporating elements of punk rock, dance music, hip-hop, reggae, and funk. BAD's one constant throughout frequent shifts in membership and musical direction was the vocals provided by Mick Jones.
The group's initial incarnation, founded by Jones and film director Letts (maker of The Punk Rock Movie, various Clash music videos, and later the Clash documentary Westway to the World), debuted with the 1985 release This Is Big Audio Dynamite. The album's cover shows the group as a four-piece (minus Donovan); the full group is pictured on the back cover.
1986's No. 10, Upping St. reunited Jones for one album with former Clash band-mate Joe Strummer, who was a co-producer of the album and co-writer of a number of its songs. BAD supported U2 on their 1987 world tour, then released 1988's Tighten Up, Vol. '88 and 1989's Megatop Phoenix. Tighten Up, Vol. '88 contained "Just Play Music!", which was the second #1 single on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks.
In 1990, the original lineup wrote and recorded the song "Free" for the soundtrack to the movie Flashback. This would be the final song written with the original lineup, as the band would dissolve shortly after. Later in 1990, Mick Jones would debut Big Audio Dynamite II and release the UK only album 'Kool-Aid'. Dan Donovan would remain in BAD II for one song, a re-working of the final BAD track "Free" renamed "Kickin' In".
For 1991's The Globe, only Jones remained from BAD, and the band was now called Big Audio Dynamite II. This new line-up, featuring two guitarists, was more "Clash-like" and, possibly as a result, often played more alternative rock-influenced music. The Globe featured the band's most commercially successful single, "Rush" which hit #1 on the US modern rock charts. "Innocent Child" and "The Globe" were also released as singles. BAD supported U2 on their ZooTV tour and released the live ep "On The Road Live '92".
The band later recruited keyboardist Andre Shapps (co-producer of The Globe) and Michael "DJ Zonka" Custance as DJ and vocalist. Both appeared on the band's 1994 album Higher Power, which was released under the shortened name "Big Audio,". The album wasn't as well-received as The Globe or previous BAD albums.
After signing with Gary Kurfirst's Radioactive Records in 1995, the band released their least successful album, F-Punk to date, which (despite the same personnel as Higher Power) was credited to Big Audio Dynamite.
Radioactive Records refused to release the next proposed BAD album, Entering a New Ride. The line-up contained vocalist Ranking Roger (The Beat, General Public). In 1998, the band launched a new web site, primarily as a means to distribute songs from the Entering a New Ride album.
In early 2007, a BAD II live dvd was released.
|1985||This is Big Audio Dynamite||27||103||as "Big Audio Dynamite"|
|1986||No. 10, Upping St.||11||135||as "Big Audio Dynamite"|
|1988||Tighten Up, Vol. 88||33||102||as "Big Audio Dynamite"|
|1989||Megatop Phoenix||26||85||as "Big Audio Dynamite"|
|1990||Kool-Aid||55||-||as "Big Audio Dynamite II", Limited Release|
|1991||The Globe||61||76||as "Big Audio Dynamite II", Gold Certified|
|1994||Higher Power||-||-||as "Big Audio"|
|1995||F-Punk||-||-||as "Big Audio Dynamite"|
|1997||Entering a New Ride||-||-||released on the Internet|
|1990||Flashback soundtrack||98||86||as "Big Audio Dynamite"|
|1991||Ally Pally Paradiso||-||-||The "Live Official Bootleg", as "Big Audio Dynamite II"|
|1992||On The Road Live '92||-||-||A live 5-track EP released during their 1992 US tour.|
|1993||The Lost Treasures of Big Audio Dynamite I & II||-||-||double album compilation of rare 12" cuts and b-sides|
|1995||Planet B.A.D.||-||-||general "best of" compilation for all B.A.D. variants|
|1999||Super Hits||-||-||general "best of" compilation for all B.A.D. variants|
|Year||Song||UK||U.S.||U.S. rock||U.S. dance||Album|
|1986||"The Bottom Line"||97||-||-||33||This Is Big Audio Dynamite|
|"C'Mon Every Beatbox"||51||-||-||19||No 10, Upping Street|
|1988||"Just Play Music!"||51||-||1||45||Tighten Up, Vol. 88|
|1989||"James Brown"||-||-||2||19||Megatop Phoenix|
|1994||"Looking For a Song"||68||-||24||-||Higher Power|