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CHELSEA BIOGRAPHY

Chelsea was one of the original punk bands to form out of the mid-70s punk frenzy that marked a generation. Fronted by ex-porno star Gene October, Chelsea has gone through almost as many personnel changes as The Fall! The subject matter most often sung about was the plight of the working class and youth gone wild.

The original line-up consisted of October (vocals), guitarist William Broad (better known later as Billy Idol), bassist Tony James (later of Sigue Sigue Sputnik) and drummer John Towe. After only a few gigs (and no recordings) the trio of musicians abandoned Gene and formed a band known as Generation X (which soon dissolved resulting in solo mega-star and 1980's MTV staple Billy Idol, curled lip and all). Gene briefly recruited other musicians, Chelsea varying constantly from a trio to a quintet.

By 1979 Chelsea arrived at the "classic" line-up of October (vocals), James Stevenson (lead guitar), Dave Martin (rhythm guitar), Geoff Myles (bass) and Chris Bashford (drums). This line up lasted a full two years, the longest any Chelsea line up has lasted! This was followed by several more line up changes until a temporary line-up consisting of October (vocals as usual), Nic Austin and Steve Corfield (guitars), Tim Griffin (bass) and Chris Bashford (continuing drumming duties) briefly toured the US, to be captured on film in URGH! A MUSIC WAR (but their song was one of many not included on the soundtrack LP).

Several more changes resulted in the line-up that delivered EVACUATE to our ears. EVACUATE, while certainly a commercial failure, was a critical success (at last), but Gene finally gave in and disbanded Chelsea in early 1984 and released a solo recording LIFE AND STRUGGLE continuing his theme of singing the working class' lament...

In 1999, Gene October reunited the "classic" line-up for punk event the "Social Chaos Tour." What lies ahead? We'll just have to sit back, wait and see!


CHELSEA I.R.S. DISCOGRAPHY

This discography will cover only CHELSEA's recordings for I.R.S. Records. Recordings for other labels, other recordings, solo recordings and guest appearances, may be mentioned in the biography or discography, but details can be found by visiting some of the cool links for CHELSEA, below...

Albums & EPs

SP70010 NO ESCAPE
IRS SP70010 (Released 17 Sep 1980)

Vinyl Only.

Produced by Bazza (except * produced by Kit Lambert, + produced by Wally Brill and ¶ produced by Miles Copeland & Mark Perry)


Front Photo by Harry Murlowski
Back Photo by Tony MacLean


Musicians:
Gene October Lead Vocals
James Stephenson Lead Guitar
Dave Martin Rhythm Guitar
Geoff Myles Bass
Chris Bashford Drums

Track Listing:

  1. No Escape (Saxon/Lawrence/Reeder) 2:20
  2. Urban Kids (October/Martin/Perry/Ferguson) 2:55 *
  3. No Flowers (October/Martin) 2:49 *
  4. Trouble Is The Day (Martin) 3:53 +
  5. Right To Work (October) 3:06 ¶
  6. Look At The Outside (Bashford) 3:28
  7. What Would You Do? (Martin) 1:57
  8. No One's Coming Outside(Martin) 3:20
  9. The Loner (October) 2:59 ¶
  10. Don't Get Me Wrong (Bashford) 2:38
  11. Decide (October) 3:03 +
  12. Come On (October/Martin/Bashford) 2:15

Known as ALTERNATIVE HITS in the UK, NO ESCAPE was Chelsea's debut American LP. By the time of this release, Chelsea had already struggled through several line-up changes. However, this line-up is considered the "classic" Chelsea.


SP70603 EVACUATE
IRS SP 70603 (Released 18 May 1982)

Vinyl and Cassette.

Produced by Harry T Murlowski
Assisted & Engineered by Jess Sutcliffe
Recorded at Matrix Studios, London, January 1982
Photos by Harry T Murlowski
Artwork by Barbara
Special Thanks: Steve Tannett, Doreen Boyd, Paul Boswell, Vermilion Sands and Sol Mintz

Musicians:
Gene October Lead Vocals
Paul Lincoln Guitar
Tim Griffin Bass
Sol Mintz Drums

Track Listing:

  1. Evacuate (Austin) 3:53
  2. How Do You Know (October/Corfield) 3:27
  3. Cover Up (Austin) 3:08
  4. Looks Right (Austin) 3:19
  5. Tribal Song (October) 5:52
  6. War Across The Nation (Austin) 3:20
  7. Forty People(Austin/October) 3:05
  8. Running Free (Lincoln) 3:00
  9. Last Drink (Austin) 2:56
  10. Only Thinking (Austin/October) 5:03

EVACUATE was much more well-received than Chelsea's previous releases. You may notice that drummer Sol Mintz is in the "thank you" credits. This is because he is the drummer on the recording, but, as he left Chelsea prior to this LP's release, drummer Geoff Sewell is pictured on the cover...


Singles

9004 Sleeve "I'm On Fire"/"Decide"
IRS IR9004 (Released 12 Oct 1979)





Musicians:
Gene October Lead Vocals
James Stephenson Lead Guitar
Dave Martin Rhythm Guitar
Geoff Myles Bass
Steve J Jones Drums

Review Coming Soon!


Compilations & Soundtracks

IRS GREATEST HITS VOL 1 (SP 70950): features "No Escape"
IRS GREATEST HITS VOLS 2 & 3 (SP 70800): features "Urban Kids"
KILL YOUR RADIO (IRS29696): features "Right To Work"


CHELSEA LINKS AND OTHER COOL STUFF

While there is NOT an overabundance of websites pertaining to CHELSEA, Mr Bill did manage to find these... Enjoy!"
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This Page Last Updated 18 September 2002

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