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Elastica

For the theory relating to large scale deformations of elastic structures, see Elastica Theory.

Elastica were a British alternative rock band, who played punk rock-influenced music. They were best known for their 1995 album Elastica which produced singles that charted in the US and the UK.

History

Elastica was formed in mid-1992 by ex-Suede guitarist Justine Frischmann and ex-Spitfire and Suede drummer Justin Welch. By the autumn of that year, bassist Annie Holland and guitarist Donna Matthews (ex-Darling Buds) were added. After initially rehearsing, recording and gigging under names such as Vaseline and Onk, the band settled on the name Elastica in early 1993 because of legal threats from The Vaselines.

Their first single was 1993's "Stutter", which benefited from the promotional efforts of BBC Radio 1 DJ and Deceptive Records label boss Steve Lamacq who had discovered the band earlier in the year. In 1994 Elastica released two UK top 20 singles, "Line Up" and "Connection," and performed on numerous radio shows. In addition Frischmann's relationship with Blur's Damon Albarn made tabloid headlines, thus creating further buzz about the band.

Elastica's first LP, Elastica, was released in March 1995 and entered the UK charts at #1, becoming one of the fastest selling debut albums in UK history at the time. The album was preceded by their fourth single "Waking Up" which went to #13 on the UK singles chart, their highest placing yet.

The band became subject to controversy when several bands sued them for plagiarism. Specifially, the post-punk band Wire (whom Elastica counted as one of their main influences) claimed that many of the band's melodies were taken from Wire compositions. Notably, Wire's "I Am the Fly" has a chorus similar to Elastica's "Line Up" and the intro synthesiser part in Elastica's "Connection" (later also repeated on guitar) is lifted from the guitar riff in Wire's "Three Girl Rhumba" and transposed a semitone (the judgment resulted in an out-of-court settlement for which Wire received no compensation). The Stranglers also passed comment that Elastica's "Waking Up" bore a marked resemblance to their song "No More Heroes".

In the United States "Connection" and "Stutter" received airplay on modern rock radio and also both charted on the pop charts, as did their self-titled debut (which was later certified gold). After performing at the 1995 Glastonbury Festival, the band joined the Lollapalooza tour continuing an almost solid year of constant gigging. Citing exhaustion, original bassist Annie Holland quit the band in early August of 1995 and was replaced for the remainder of the tour by session bassist Abby Travis. Holland wasn't permanently replaced until the arrival of Sheila Chipperfield in the spring of 1996. Also around this time keyboardist David Bush (ex-The Fall) was added to the lineup.

After playing more shows and demoing new material in the first half of 1996, Elastica entered the studio in the later part of the year to begin work on their second album. By late 1998, guitarist Donna Matthews had left the band. She was replaced by guitarist Paul Jones and keyboardist Sharon Mew. Also around this time Chipperfield was replaced with a returning Annie Holland.

As a tribute to the "lost years" of the band a self-titled six-track EP appeared in August 1999 collecting a variety of recordings from a multitude of aborted sessions. This EP marked the first new material from the band in over four years. After re-recording most of these songs in mid-1999, along with new compositions, the band played their first set of shows in years. Their second proper album, The Menace, was released in April 2000. After the release of a farewell single "The Bitch Don't Work" in 2001, the band announced their amicable breakup.

Members

Official members

Guest/touring members

Discography

Albums/EPs

Singles

Year Song UK US US Mod US Main Album
1993 "Stutter" Elastica
1994 "Line Up" 20
"Connection" 17
1995 "Waking Up" 13
"Connection" (US release) 53 2 40
"Stutter" (US release) 67 10
"Car Song" 33
2000 "Mad Dog God Dam" 44 The Menace
2001 "The Bitch Don't Work" 87 Non-album single

External links

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