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The Connells

The Raleigh, North Carolina-based jangle pop outfit the Connells formed in the spring of 1984. Fronted by guitarist Mike Connell and his brother, bassist David, the first incarnation of the group also featured vocalist Doug McMillan and drummer John Schultz, who was soon replaced by former Johnny Quest percussionist Peele Wimberley. In late 1984, the quartet recorded a four-song demo. After one of the tracks, "Darker Days," was selected to appear on the North Carolina compilation More Mondo, the Connells' ranks expanded with the addition of singer/guitarist George Huntley, who made his debut on a March 1985 session co-produced by Don Dixon.

With the help of the band's friend Ed Morgan, the resulting demo made its way to the offices of the British label Demon, which agreed to fund the recording of additional tracks to complete a full-length LP. Darker Days was released in Europe by Demon in 1985, and when Morgan returned to the U.S., he formed his own label, Black Park, to issue the album domestically. After the low-budget videos for the tracks "Seven" and "Hats Off" garnered MTV airplay, the Connells won a contract with the TVT label prior to entering producer Mitch Easter's Drive-In Studios to record 1987's brooding, more assured Boylan Heights, which featured the superb single "Scotty's Lament."

The edgier Fun and Games followed in 1989, and a year later, the group resurfaced with One Simple Word, scoring an alternative radio hit with the single "Stone Cold Yesterday." After a three-year tour that saw the Connells add keyboardist Steve Potak to their lineup in 1991, they finally returned to the studio to begin work on 1993's Ring, highlighted by the singles "Slackjawed" and "74-75," a major hit throughout Europe. After another three-year hiatus, the Connells issued 1996's Weird Food & Devastation, released concurrently with Huntley's solo debut, Brain Junk. The group returned in 1998 with Still Life, and after ending their relationship with the TVT label, self-released Old-School Dropouts in 2001 on Black Park Records. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Anyone know if they are working on new stuff?
pjalcorn6
I became a fan when Stone Cold Yesterday came out. LOVE the Connells!!!
sweet band dude probs my faves
First saw them at The BOATHOUSE when I was 16. Been a fan ever since that was 24 years ago.
Saw them in Greenville, NC at Sam Berryhill's Premiums club in 84-85. What a great and under appreciated group. My all time favorite from the moment I saw them perform Darker Days. I was very fortunate to be living there at the time to see them. I own everything they relased.
the tune doin you sounds little like al stewart year of the cat. not a bad thing
Turned on to them in 7th grade 25 years ago. Helped frame my future music genre. -Raleigh local
Was in Charlottesvi l l e , VA for meetings and saw a bar called Boylan Heights. Wow did it bring back great memories of past days. Saw The Connells with Hoodoo Gurus at The Ritz in Atlanta...be s t concert ever!
Saw these guys numerous times in Chapel Hill....this was from a great album
mwyngarden
Wow-what a talented group. There a very few bands (if any others) I can sing along with every song on every album. Guess that's what happens when you play them hundreds of times. Fond memories of these guys in VA and NC back in college days...
david_hester
Very fortunate to be able to see these guys this coming weekend at my HS homecoming in Norfolk. Seeing them for the hot shows at the Boathouse was one of my favorite memories from my late teens and early twenties.
My sister showed me these guys in the 8 th grade! I'm 31 now and still love these guys. True talent that never got proper recognition!
gdegraff1
A blast from the past...great band.
cbone68
20 plus years after college, still my favorite band.
another example of talent not fully discovered
wcwinter
Saw them this past weekend at UVA's reunion weekend. They sounded great. What a treat!
so miss these guys
At 43...this is still the most played group on my iPod. I have seen them more times than I can count and would love to see them again.
You suck in hockey and tennis...Cop y r i g h t .
amazing band .. saw them numerous times in the early 90s when I lived down south.. now love turning folks in Utah on to them
my favorite band through HS/college.. . a l t h o u g h starting to sound just a bit dated, the music holds up well and is still stronger than 99% of the new stuff I'm hearing these days
I used to see them up in Northern Va all the time at colleges, even made some road trips down to hampton syndey to see these guys play. After all these years, they remain in my CD case in my car
duncan269
I love this band!!!
Easily one of the best College Bands of the 80s-90s!!! I must have seen them at least 50 times at WFU, and every time they were incredibile! ! ! FANTASTIC BAND...A SHAME THAT THEY DIDN'T GET BIG LIKE U2....
Yeah these guys are pretty awesome. Lyrics are unmatched. Hearing the old songs definitely remind me of days long ago which seem like yesterday.
leighkcarlso n
Saw them quite often when in college at UNCW in the 90's and they were just awesome! Whenever I hear some of these songs it just brings me back to highschool and college!
Undoubtedly one of the best (and most underappreci a t e d ) bands to ever come out of NC...Wimberl y is now playing with John Crooke (of Jolene-anoth e r fantastic NC band)in a group called "Lamps."
I saw them live in downtown Raleigh last summer. Their live performance is beyond superb compared to their studio releases. I feel guilty it was a free concert, but the memories won't fade soon.
These guys deserve way more credit than they ever got... they're amazing! I am good friends with Doug, he's a great person and very talented musician! :)
Seen them at Carolina on their return home after Boylan heights relase(I think), what a show. I have also seen them at the Boathouse (Norfolk) several times...all in the 80s-early 90s...what an underated band...glad to find some new stuff...In the Midwest now and hardly ever hear them any more....
Oh... the late 80's at Old Dominion University seeing the Connells at many venues in Norfolk and Va Beach. Loved those times, and Boylan Heights was a very underrated compilation.
Saw them at Va Tech twice in the late 80's, early 90's, Once in Roanoke. Clearly one of my top 5 of all time. I would pay $50 just to buy their next album, which will probably never come to fruition. Come back to Va Tech Guys....and bring Huntley..... S o m e o n e stole my autographed cd of Darker's Days, you guys signed at a theta xi party.
one of the greatest rock moments ive ever had the pleasure to witness was while attending auburn university. the connells played at the war eagle supper club, the heat inside was nearly unbearable but it didnt seem to phase them and they played on sweating their asses of for us and we returned it with our enthusiasm and gratitude.
dds3434
These guys have a great sound. Great melodic tunes. R.E.M definitely influenced them.
kevinsheen79
Man, I haven't heard the Connells in forever. Amazingly underrated band.

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