James began recording for Manchester based, Factory records back in 1983. They have had a sixteen year career mixed with equal quantities of hardship and success and throughout all this have managed to hang in there at the top.
Their debut album Stutter in 1986 followed by Strip Mine two years later established the James sound and marked Tim Booth out as a provocative lyricist and emotive singer. Despite this they split from their record company in 1989 which left them virtually penniless. They were living on dole-like wages and it seemed James had disappeared for good. To make money band members took part in medical tests at local hospitals and managed not only to keep the band together but to also release a new live album, One Man Clapping. Even though this album included an early version of Sit Down their distributors let them go for having no commercial appeal.
The band regrouped with new members and released Gold Mother which sold 350,000 copies in Britain alone while a reworked version of Sit Down became one of the most memorable anthems of the 90’s.
The bands’ popularity continued to grow in the UK and they had managed to conquer the US market even playing Woodstock 2. But in 1995 when the band were at the height of their success the whole thing fell apart. Both the guitarist and bassist decided to quit and as if that wasn’t enough they then learned that they owed a huge sum in back tax.
Yet the band re-emerged in 1997 with the addition of a new guitarist and with rejuvenated confidence. James now seem to be facing a stretch of good luck and are going full force into the new millennium.