The Sound

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Rock band first formed in 1979 out of the remnants of another band, the Outsiders. The group, a South London-based quartet, which consisted initially of Adrian Borland (vocals, guitar), Graham Bailey (bass), Bi Marshall (keyboards) and Mike Dudley (drums), soon signed to Korova, a post-punk offshoot label of Warner Brothers, and were briefly tipped as potential stadium fillers. It wasn't, however, to be. Two albums, Jeopardy (1980) and From The Lion's Mouth (1981), upon which Bi Marshall was replaced by Colvin 'Max' Mayers), followed, and combined Borland's tense, introspective lyricism with a brassy, anthemic sound. Each were critically acclaimed but, unlike their labelmates at Korova, Echo and the Bunnymen, the Sound failed to attract massive attention from the public at large and remained a cult act. Korova tried to push the Sound into recording something more radio-friendly. They responded by recording All Fall Down (1982), a harsh, discordant and distinctly uncommercial electro album, and were almost immediately dropped.

With their major label days at an end The Sound signed to Statik, a medium-sized independent label, and released a mini-album Shock of Daylight, their fourth album, Heads and Hearts (1985) and fifth, the empassioned In the Hothouse (1986), a double live album recorded over the course of two nights in August 1985 at the London Marquee.

Statik went into liquidation and by the end of 1986 The Sound had lost that deal too. Borland also had fallen victim to mental illness and was diagnosed as suffering from manic depression. The group stayed together long enough to release a sixth album, Thunder Up (1987) on the Belgian label Play It Again Sam. A European tour to promote it in November 1987, however, ended in disaster when Borland had a breakdown at the first date in Vitoria in Spain and all the subsequent dates had to be cancelled. Mike Dudley decided to leave the band shortly afterwards and the group imploded a few weeks later in early 1988.


Adrian Borland began a solo career and recorded five low-key albums but continued to be plagued by mental illness. As he put the finishing touches to his last album Harmony and Destruction Borland began to show symptoms of illness again. He died on the early morning of April 26th 1999 after throwing himself in front of a train at Wimbledon Station.

Mike Dudley has now retired from music.

Graham Bailey moved to America in 1992 and has retired from music.

Colvin Mayers died from an Aids-related illness on Boxing Day 1993.


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