The Pop Group

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The Pop Group_table_infobox_0

The Pop GroupThe Pop Group_header_cell_0_0_0
Background informationThe Pop Group_header_cell_0_1_0
OriginThe Pop Group_header_cell_0_2_0 Bristol, England, UKThe Pop Group_cell_0_2_1
GenresThe Pop Group_header_cell_0_3_0 The Pop Group_cell_0_3_1
Years activeThe Pop Group_header_cell_0_4_0 1977–1981, 2010–presentThe Pop Group_cell_0_4_1
LabelsThe Pop Group_header_cell_0_5_0 Rough Trade, Radar RecordsThe Pop Group_cell_0_5_1
Associated actsThe Pop Group_header_cell_0_6_0 The Slits, Dennis Bovell, New Age Steppers, Maximum Joy, Rip Rig + Panic, Pigbag, Mark Stewart + the MaffiaThe Pop Group_cell_0_6_1
WebsiteThe Pop Group_header_cell_0_7_0 The Pop Group_cell_0_7_1
MembersThe Pop Group_header_cell_0_9_0 Dan Catsis

Gareth Sager Bruce Smith Mark StewartThe Pop Group_cell_0_9_1

Past membersThe Pop Group_header_cell_0_11_0 Simon Underwood

John WaddingtonThe Pop Group_cell_0_11_1

The Pop Group are an English band formed in Bristol in 1977 by vocalist Mark Stewart, guitarist John Waddington, bassist Simon Underwood, guitarist/saxophonist Gareth Sager, and drummer Bruce Smith. The Pop Group_sentence_0

Their work in the late 1970s crossed diverse musical influences including dub, funk, and free jazz with radical politics, helping to pioneer post-punk music. The Pop Group_sentence_1

The group released two albums, Y (1979) and For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder? The Pop Group_sentence_2

(1980), and the singles "She Is Beyond Good and Evil" (1979) and "We Are All Prostitutes" (1979), then split in 1981. The Pop Group_sentence_3

Its members worked on a variety of subsequent projects, including New Age Steppers and Rip Rig + Panic. The Pop Group_sentence_4

In 2010, the band reunited, touring and releasing new material. The Pop Group_sentence_5

History The Pop Group_section_0

Original run (1977–1981) The Pop Group_section_1

The Pop Group was formed in 1977 in Bristol when teenager Mark Stewart set out to start a funk group with schoolmates John Waddington and Simon Underwood. The Pop Group_sentence_6

Inspired by the energy of punk rock but feeling the style to be too conservative, the group drew influence from the avant-garde, black music styles such as free jazz and dub, and radical political traditions. The Pop Group_sentence_7

Guitarist Gareth Sager and drummer Bruce Smith were eventually added to the group. The Pop Group_sentence_8

Soon after forming, they began to gain notoriety for their live performances and were signed to Radar Records. The Pop Group_sentence_9

They appeared on the cover of the NME. The Pop Group_sentence_10

The band donated the proceeds from their first high-profile tour to Amnesty International. The Pop Group_sentence_11

They issued their debut single "She Is Beyond Good and Evil" in March 1979 and their debut album Y in April of that year, both to acclaim but relatively low sales figures. The Pop Group_sentence_12

Regardless, their moderate success was sufficient to convince Rough Trade to sign the band. The Pop Group_sentence_13

During this period, Dan Catsis replaced Underwood on bass. The Pop Group_sentence_14

The band's career with Rough Trade began with the release of the single "We Are All Prostitutes." The Pop Group_sentence_15

This was followed by the release of their second album For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder? The Pop Group_sentence_16

(1980). The Pop Group_sentence_17

Shortly afterwards the Pop Group released a split single, "Where There's a Will...", with the Slits, a band with whom they shared a drummer (Bruce Smith) and manager Dick O'Dell. The Pop Group_sentence_18

The band's last live performance was in 1980 to a crowd of 500,000 people at Trafalgar Square as part of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament protest. The Pop Group_sentence_19

They split in 1981 after legal wranglings and internal disagreements. The Pop Group_sentence_20

Members of the group collaborated and joined bands such as Pigbag, Maximum Joy, Head, the Slits and Rip Rig + Panic, the latter notable for the involvement of Neneh Cherry. The Pop Group_sentence_21

Stewart collaborated with the On-U Sound posse, issuing records backed by the Maffia, then as a solo artist. The Pop Group_sentence_22

Reformation (2010–present) The Pop Group_section_2

In 2010, the Pop Group reunited with three of the original five members: Mark Stewart, Gareth Sager, and Bruce Smith. The Pop Group_sentence_23

The 1980 LP We Are Time was reissued worldwide on 20 October 2014, and the band released a compilation of rarities titled Cabinet of Curiosities. The Pop Group_sentence_24

In support of the reissues, the band undertook a seven-day tour of the UK, and in February 2015, released Citizen Zombie, their first studio album in 35 years. The Pop Group_sentence_25

They went a worldwide tour with dates in the U.S., Japan, and Australia, followed by an extensive European tour culminating in festival appearances including two live sets at Glastonbury. The Pop Group_sentence_26

In February 2016 For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder? The Pop Group_sentence_27

was rereleased on CD and released digitally for the first time. The Pop Group_sentence_28

This was accompanied by the release of a colour vinyl edition of "We Are All Prostitutes," referred to by The Vinyl Factory. The Pop Group_sentence_29

A previously unseen video for "We Are All Prostitutes", shot at the Electric Ballroom in November 1979 but thought to be lost, was recovered from the attic of video artist Chris Reynolds and unveiled. The Pop Group_sentence_30

In May, the band released a collection of live recordings titledThe Boys Whose Head Exploded. The Pop Group_sentence_31

Throughout 2016, the band worked on new material with producer Dennis Bovell, and in October Honeymoon on Mars was released. The Pop Group_sentence_32

On 6 September, "Zipperface", the first single from the album, was released to streaming services, YouTube, and iTunes. The Pop Group_sentence_33

Style and influence The Pop Group_section_3

The Pop Group have been called pioneers of the late-1970s post-punk movement. The Pop Group_sentence_34

The Guardian wrote that the Pop Group "almost singlehandedly effected the transition from punk to post-punk," noting that they "– ahead of Gang of Four, PiL, A Certain Ratio and the rest – steered punk towards a radical, politicised mash-up of dub, funk, free jazz and the avant-garde." The Pop Group_sentence_35

Louder Than War called them "one of the most wildly innovative and barrier-shattering bands to emerge from the late ’70s post-punk era." The Pop Group_sentence_36

Rolling Stone described the group as "an explosive mutant gene," asserting that "among their rabble-rousing post-punk contemporaries, none boasted as much sheer musical inventiveness and audacity." The Pop Group_sentence_37

Theorist Mark Fisher describes their sound as "both cavernous and propulsive, ultra-abstract yet driven by dance music’s physical imperatives." The Pop Group_sentence_38

The group was inspired by diverse musical sources as diverse as Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman, Captain Beefheart, King Tubby, Miles Davis, Pharoah Sanders, Sun Ra, John Cage, Debussy, Neu! The Pop Group_sentence_39 , Funkadelic, Television, the New York Dolls, Jacques Brel, and Steve Reich in addition to non-musical sources such as French romanticism, Antonin Artaud, Beat poetry, Comte de Lautréamont, Jean Baudrillard, the Situationists, and existential philosophy. The Pop Group_sentence_40

Addressing the group's shift toward an agitprop sensibility on their second album, released during the rise of Thatcherism, Mark Fisher wrote that the group's goal was "emotional engineering, a jolting out of the ideological trance that accepts injustice as inevitable." The Pop Group_sentence_41

Discography The Pop Group_section_4

Main article: The Pop Group discography The Pop Group_sentence_42

Studio albums The Pop Group_section_5

The Pop Group_unordered_list_0

Singles The Pop Group_section_6

The Pop Group_unordered_list_1

  • "She Is Beyond Good and Evil" (1979, Radar)The Pop Group_item_1_4
  • "We Are All Prostitutes" (1979, Rough Trade) / (2016, Freaks R Us)The Pop Group_item_1_5
  • "Where There's a Will There's a Way" (1980, Rough Trade/Y)The Pop Group_item_1_6
  • "Citizen Zombie" (2015, Freaks R Us)The Pop Group_item_1_7
  • "Mad Truth" (2015, Freaks R Us)The Pop Group_item_1_8
  • "S.O.P.H.I.A." (2015, Freaks R Us)The Pop Group_item_1_9
  • "Zipperface" (2016, Freaks R Us)The Pop Group_item_1_10


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The Pop Group.