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The Vaselines

Conventional wisdom dictates that the Vaselines might have been relegated to footnote status were it not for Nirvana's Kurt Cobain, who regularly cited the little-known Scottish quartet's influence in interviews with the music press. Cobain's gospel-spreading no doubt accelerated their rise to cult sainthood, but truth be told, the Vaselines would have gotten there sooner or later on their own accord. Lewd but naïve and abrasive yet tender, the band's shambling, primitivist squall remains a perfect distillation of pop at its most guileless and euphoric.

The Vaselines were formed in Edinburgh in 1987 by singers/guitarists Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee, who were later joined by Kelly's brother Charles on drums and James Seenan on bass. Soon signing to Pastels frontman Stephen Pastel's newly formed 53rd & 3rd label, the Vaselines embarked on their first-ever studio session, which yielded their debut single, 1987's fantastic "Son of a Gun." The follow-up, "Dying for It," appeared a year later, with the inclusion of viola player Sophie Pragnell plainly acknowledging the band's debt to the Velvet Underground. The demise of 53rd & 3rd proved fatal to the Vaselines as well, however, and the group dissolved the same week its lone studio LP, 1989's Dum-Dum, was released via Rough Trade, although the following year the original lineup briefly reunited to open for Nirvana in Edinburgh. Nirvana would go on to cover the Vaselines' "Molly's Lips" and "Son of a Gun" (both later compiled on their Incesticide collection) as well as perform "Jesus Doesn't Want Me for a Sunbeam" on their legendary MTV Unplugged appearance.

Renewed interest in the band resulted in the 1992 Sub Pop release of The Way of the Vaselines, an assemblage of all 19 of their official recordings. Eugene Kelly later went on to front Captain America (subsequently and rather unfortunately renamed Eugenius), while McKee spent the better part of the decade out of sight, resurfaced in Suckle, and released a solo album in 2006. Kelly and McKee eventually re-formed their band and played a series of shows -- including a small U.S. tour -- across 2008 and 2009. They recorded their second proper album, Sex with an X, and released it on Sub Pop in 2010. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Sex With An X (Single)

Comments

Would anyone agree that they sound like early Jefferson airplane?
Sex with an x > Dum Dum
sansgendered m e
don1983, there is no the in Beat Happening. And obvi you have zero taste in music.
This band bites. So did Nirvana.
The Vaselines expressed themselves with simple but funny lyrics and guitars. I always liked them and didn't need KC to tell me about them, but I'm glad he turned them on to so many more people. It takes a very clever person to write a simple song. Simple isn't easy and as a musician I know this. I love music that is stripped down and under produced. But thats me.
Don, are you secretly Axl Rose...? Hmm?
I recorded their whole set on Wednesday night at Webster Hall in NYC... was an amazing experience
Free stream of the new record at the Guardian's official website link is here: http://www.g u a r d i a n . c o . u k / m u s i c / m u s i c b l o g / 2 0 1 0 / s e p / 0 9 / v a s e l i n e s - s e x - x - a l b u m - s t r e a m
Vaselines releasing their first album in 20 years on September 14th! It's titled "Sex with an X".. The title track and a single, "I hate the 80's" are all over YouTube.. I have tickets to see them October 5th-bought the tickets before I heard this news.. what a well timed purchase!
don1983...I would like to invite you to have sex with your own face.

They were actually a really good band. I'm not one of those Nirvana was the 2nd coming sort of people. I like Nirvana....n o t my favorite. I will totally agree with the reviewer in saying that this band would still be on people's radar somehow without Kurt's seal of approval. They were good.
don1983
Yeah the Vaselines, rocked on, Yeah. I'm sure they did. Thank God it was their last show ever, simple non-engaging mediocrity at it's best. Almost as "rocking" as the Beat Happening. Sad really.
don1983
Maybe.
don1983
Is this a Nirvana review or what? Just because Cobain liked them does NOT make this mediocre band anything special, but since he DID, he brought recognition to this otherwise unknown marginally talented band. And brought hordes of Nirvana and Cobain worshipping kids to embrace this band simply on the basis of his opinion. Sheep. Really how many people bought these original albums..?
shore62
If you like this, look for either of the 2 Eugenius cd's that came down the road for this band.

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