James formed in Manchester, England back in the early 1980s, and throughout that whole decade struggled to “make it.” The decade also was full of upheaval as the band changed managers, and members, finally settling into the line up that would become known as The Magnificent Seven. With the’90s came success and a string of hit singles like “Sit Down” and “Laid.” The mid-‘90s found the band in a series of critically acclaimed area shows supporting Duran Duran followed by an exhaustive touring schedule of their own. Lead singer Tim Booth took a break in ’01 and though James never announced a break up, the band became inactive.
James produced nine studio albums between 1986 and 2001, as well as a series of EPs, soundtrack appearances—“Laid” was featured in the movie American Pie—two live recordings and several compilation albums. “The Best Of,” a 1998 James compilation hit #1 in the UK. IN 2006, Tim Booth, Jim Glennie and Larry Gott got together for some jam time and inspiration struck. The trio and the remaining four of the seven matched back up for a series of 2007 European Festivals.
With their tenth studio album, “Hey Ma,” and a tour kicking off, James are back. They’ve been around since the early ‘80s, always indie, and always at the forefront of British music. The band has an extensive discography, including Top Ten placers “Gold Mother,” “Seven” and “Millionaires,” and now in 2008 with the new album “Hey Ma.” The album was recorded with producer Lee “Muddy” Baker at Chateau Warsy in France and boasts 11 songs by the seven members most commonly identified as the definitive James lineup.
James has always been a band that was better live—they’re known for their improvisational style and spontaneous jams, an ambience that comes across better on stage. Their early albums feel almost restrained when compared to later releases where the band had more control, and the guys were able to let their unique blend come through.