James isn’t like most major rock bands. Its members don’t sell fashion, and they don’t go searching for popularity.
For more than a decade, James has been a cult band content to do its own thing – marry new wave to folk rock in weird but wonderful ways.
The fashion and popularity just happened to follow.
”Laid,” the title track and first single off their new album (which was produced by Brian Eno), peaked at No. 3 on Billboard’s Modern Rock chart.
”Say Something” is the second single off the album to hit the alternative radio airwaves.
James formed in Manchester, England, in 1983 when bassist Jim Glennie spotted singer Tim Booth dancing in his unique, whirling style (think Grateful Dead) in a college bar. Early on, James was welcomed by English teenagers, and the members quickly found themselves on every music magazine cover in England. Morrissey punctuated their fame when he invited them to tour with the Smiths.
With the loss of some members and the addition of others over the years, James’ sound changed, expanded and grew more colorful. Those colors especially shone through on the band’s 1992 album, ”Seven,” which solidified James’ place as a major international rock band.
That same year, James joined Neil Young on an acoustic tour, and the experience put them in the mood to make their mellow new album, ”Laid.” The title is rumored to be a joke (Did you get ”Laid” yet?).