It is taking longer than expected to fetch the next song to play. The music should be playing soon. If you get tired of waiting, you can try reloading your browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.
Your Pandora One subscription will expire shortly.
close
Your Pandora One trial subscription will expire shortly. Upgrade to continue unlimited, ad-free listening.
You've listened to hours of Pandora this month. Consider upgrading to Pandora One.
Close
Hi . Pandora is using Facebook to personalize your experience. Learn MoreNo Thanks
-0:00
0:00
Change Skin

We created Pandora to put the Music Genome Project directly in your hands

It’s a new kind of radio –
stations that play only music you like

 
Create an account for free. Register
Now Playing
Music Feed
My Profile
Create a Station
People who also like this

Wire

Wire emerged out of the British punk explosion but, from the outset, maintained a distance from that scene and resisted easy categorization. While punk rapidly became a caricature of itself, Wire's musical identity -- focused on experimentation and process -- was constantly metamorphosing. Their first three albums alone attest to a startling evolution as the band repeatedly reinvented itself between 1977 and 1979. That capacity for self-reinvention, coupled with a willingness to stop recording indefinitely when ideas weren't forthcoming, has been crucial to Wire's longevity and continued relevance.

By the time of punk, British art schools had long been a hotbed of musical activity, spawning some of the nation's most innovative rock acts from the '60s onward. Like many punk contemporaries, Wire had roots in the art school tradition. At Watford Art College in 1976, guitarists Colin Newman and George Gill formed Overload with audiovisual technician Bruce Gilbert (also on guitar). Subsequently, the three recruited bassist Graham Lewis and drummer Robert Gotobed (aka Robert Grey), and the first Wire lineup was in place.

Wire began playing dates in London and, having ousted Gill, started from scratch, writing new material and taking a more pared-down, experimental approach. A gig at the Roxy in early 1977 proved auspicious. Wire met EMI's Mike Thorne, who was recording groups for a live punk album, The Roxy, London WC2. Thorne included two Wire tracks and was then instrumental in bringing the band to EMI in September. By then, with Newman writing most of the music, they were eager to record before they lost interest in material, abandoned it, and moved on; a pattern that would define the group.

Produced by Thorne, 1977's amphetamine-paced Pink Flag found Wire taking punk to extremes while also keeping an ironic distance from it by introducing elements of tension and abstraction. Pink Flag's 21 highly original tracks (each averaging just over a minute and a half) compressed and twisted rock into often jagged, taut shapes. The album met with critical acclaim and a follow-up was recorded in spring 1978.

Chairs Missing was a radical departure. Although the phrase "early Pink Floyd" was uttered dismissively in some quarters, it was well-received. With Thorne playing keyboards and producing, this was a more complex, multi-dimensional record that supplemented Pink Flag's harsh minimalism with dense, occasionally unsettling atmospherics. Wire albums usually feature one near-perfect pop song and Chairs Missing's "Outdoor Miner" almost became a hit, until it was scuppered by a payola scandal at EMI.

This was an enormously creative phase. Songs were being written and jettisoned at a considerable rate and the band was gigging relentlessly. In summer 1978, Wire played in the U.S. for the first time and, in March 1979, toured Europe with Roxy Music. Although Chairs Missing had been released only months before, live sets included a significant amount of material that would appear on 154. Indeed, Wire often tended to bewilder live audiences by playing new, unrecorded tracks rather than the numbers people expected to hear.

If Chairs Missing saw Wire exploring the possibilities offered by the recording studio, on 154 they took fuller advantage of that environment. With Lewis emerging as a vocalist alongside Newman, the result was an expansive, textured album with a more pronounced melodic orientation. 154 was Wire's most accomplished statement to date and the group seemed poised for success. The opposite happened. Wire's relationship with EMI unraveled and they were soon label-less. In February 1980 at London's Electric Ballroom, the band played an infamously chaotic show (captured on Document and Eyewitness) that was more like performance art than a rock performance. A five-year hiatus ensued.

Following a period of intense activity away from Wire, the members regrouped in 1985, referring to their new incarnation as a "beat combo" -- a no-nonsense, stripped-down unit. The 1986 "comeback" EP, Snakedrill, begat "Drill," a track built on a paradigmatic Wire rhythm, which bridged the gap between the group's past and its present. "Drill" would stand as an evolving metaphor for the band's shifting identity. It mutated through multiple versions, changing from performance to performance. (In 1991, Wire would release The Drill, an album composed entirely of versions of the track.)

The bandmembers' solo endeavors during the early '80s proved crucial to Wire's new direction: the avant-pop sensibility developed by Newman on his albums and the experimental inclinations of Lewis and Gilbert were channeled into the nascent digital context in which the band was now working. The Ideal Copy (1987), the first full-length example of Wire's new approach to the processes of composition and recording with sequencing technology, found the group's smart, state-of-the-art grooves skirting the dancefloor. While first-generation fans were glad to have Wire back, their new sound drew a new audience in the U.S. and an American tour followed. They continued in an electronically oriented direction with the more homogeneous A Bell Is a Cup...Until It Is Struck(1988), whose combination of hypnotic, melodic patterns and impenetrable yet catchy lyrics made for surreal, brainy pop.

Wire had already made one of rock's more unorthodox live records but they further deconstructed the cliché of the "live album" for 1989's It's Beginning to & Back Again. Performance recordings were stripped down in the studio, sometimes to a drumbeat or a baseline, which was then used as the starting point for rebuilding the track. Wire continued to experiment with ways of letting studio technologies affect their creative process on Manscape (1990), which forayed deeper into computer-based electronics and programming. Drummer Robert Gotobed was less enthusiastic about changing his role in the developing digital version of Wire and left the band just before a 1990 tour. Dropping the "e" from the group's name, Gilbert, Lewis, and Newman carried on as Wir, releasing The First Letter. In 1991, another hiatus began and the three returned to their diverse solo ventures.

In the '80s, American bands like R.E.M. and Big Black had covered Wire songs. By the mid-'90s, Wire's influence started to manifest itself among a younger generation of Britpop artists, most notoriously Elastica, whose appropriation of Pink Flag's "Three Girl Rhumba" resulted in a settlement between the groups' respective music publishing companies. Having briefly resurfaced with Robert Gotobed in 1996 for a performance of "Drill" to celebrate Bruce Gilbert's 50th birthday, Wire remained silent until 1999, when they began rehearsing again. In 2000, the band played live in the U.K. (including an event at London's Royal Festival Hall) and completed a U.S. tour; unpredictable as ever, Wire performed almost exclusively old numbers.

Although reworkings of older tracks taped during 1999 rehearsals appeared on The Third Day (2000), Wire soon initiated their next phase. Completely new material appeared in the form of 2002's Read & Burn 01, the first in a projected series of releases to be developed at Newman's Swim studios. While the fast, loud menace of Read & Burn 01 harked back to Pink Flag, Wire sounded more like they were stomping all over their roots than nostalgically returning to them. A second Read & Burn was out by the end of the year; Send, a full-length containing brand new songs and Read & Burn material, was released in May of 2003. Three years later, a number of Wire's early albums were re-released; in 2007, the group's seminal Pink Flag album hit shelves once again, as well as a third Read & Burn EP. Object 47, an album of new material, was released in 2008 and was the band's first release without Gilbert. Red Barked Tree came in early 2011, tailed by a live recording of songs, primarily from that album, titled Black Session: Paris. Inspired by the energy of those live dates, the band headed back into the studio with former touring guitarist Matt Simms to work on some previously unrecorded songs from 1979 and 1980. The results, Change Becomes Us, arrived in early 2013. ~ Wilson Neate, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Great band that I liked back in the punk rock days....Don' t know why once of my favorite songs was not mentioned... F l y in The Ointment.... c h e c k out the video on youtube....g r e a t stuff!!!!
I sure wish I had known somebody cool enough to turn me on to these guys back in the day. I've only known about them for a few years. I know 1979/1989 me would have dug them.
claricentp91 7
Interested on making some extra cash? go to BLUDOS.COM You can make $300+ a week easily. Its free so no scam here.
shawnnavuz71 1
Interested on making some extra cash? go to BLUDOS.COM You can make $300+ a week easily. Its free so no scam here.
If this is not an exercise, could it be a ... ?
Great group - such diversity. Too bad I didn't discover them until thirty years after they started.
Wire is amazing...wh e t h e r its the 70s, 80s, or 90s and beyond. They are always interesting
I started with 'Pink Flag,' which is legendary. Just got '154,' and it is very different, but may be even better than 'Pink Flag,' which is saying a lot! 'Chairs Missing,' is coming in the mail! Go buy '154,' if you haven't already. 5 star album!
Sex Pistols light but IO am suprisingly unoffended. I like the song!
bromide01
Every band stole from them.
They caught my attention because musically I thought they were U2, vocally I thought they were unique and unlike anything I've heard. Nothing I would rush out to buy, but with more listening I might get to like these guys.
Might just be the most unique band ever.
info86421
Something about the sound of this group, early Love & Rockets (Tones on Tail) and even some Modern English (After the Snow) seems to follow a similar groove to me. A groove I dig. Looks like these guys hit the chord first, however. Yeah, I would say a quite under-rated group. Shame the soul of the musician is pretty much long gone now. Thanks a lot crapitalism.
I'm into "154," I've had that one for a while. Extremely progressive, darker.
jmmason2000
Ahead!! One of my favorite songs from that era!
can you dance?
i dunno - maybe if you put on some wire...
bromide01
Because Pandora has a personal grudge against you and your family.
coschriber
Why is there nothing from the Manscape album here? It's a great album!
A-OK !
money spines paper lung kidney bingos organ fun, b**ches!
wcleighty
I just ate 35 tabs of acid.
Wire is way underrated
these guys are awesome.
bird on a wire.
no?
yes?

We're sorry, but a browser plugin or firewall may be preventing Pandora from loading.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser.

Please check our Help page for more information.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser
or install a newer version of Flash (v.10 or later).

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please install Adobe Flash (v.10 or later).

[65, 95, 108, 92, 92, 118, 101, 90, 88, 67, 85, 107, 80, 81, 86, 98, 101, 80, 80, 73, 85, 114, 98, 90, 118, 87, 122, 116, 86, 76, 71, 104, 109, 70, 78, 84, 99, 72, 112, 94, 106, 83, 92, 73, 88, 117, 122, 94, 84, 97, 103, 90, 88, 70, 100, 115, 75, 104, 105, 115, 119, 72, 69, 102, 77, 74, 88, 119, 103, 94, 119, 70, 108, 122, 99, 98, 89, 81, 118, 100, 109, 89, 88, 67, 76, 98, 75, 73, 100, 125, 88, 108, 124, 117, 87, 110, 103, 93, 73, 93, 121, 104, 112, 90, 101, 65, 100, 80, 80, 126, 100, 100, 88, 70, 112, 64, 92, 76, 126, 82, 88, 106, 99, 96, 65, 84, 106, 84, 93, 80, 115, 119, 100, 95, 65, 94, 80, 69, 73, 93, 87, 84, 123, 93, 74, 66, 127, 94, 64, 82, 107, 98, 114, 89, 104, 76, 114, 64, 69, 94, 96, 83, 124, 99, 82, 77, 101, 107, 104, 118, 112, 102, 101, 91, 98, 113, 126, 90, 87, 86, 69, 112, 87, 92, 117, 79, 83, 82, 95, 91, 78, 108, 127, 119, 89, 75, 76, 120, 99, 100, 93, 126, 64, 107, 122, 81, 110, 70, 103, 75, 75, 86, 87, 117, 76, 91, 75, 91, 121, 94, 71, 89, 67, 118, 121, 66, 99, 115, 69, 100, 78, 111, 83, 105, 87, 124, 84, 95, 88, 79, 106, 96, 102, 64, 84, 65, 103, 94, 87, 94, 102, 123, 71, 80, 72, 73, 112, 67, 103, 80, 78, 126, 90, 74, 75, 112, 127, 86, 86, 118, 110, 95, 76, 95, 90, 67, 90, 78, 74, 119, 126, 67, 124, 102, 121, 120, 107, 86, 89, 69, 80, 86, 125, 95, 115, 111, 78, 71, 64, 85, 121, 82, 116, 101, 113, 101, 108, 124, 100, 74, 93, 123, 64, 74, 73, 73, 122, 104, 126, 67, 79, 117, 76, 72, 79, 116, 122, 68, 71, 83, 123, 98, 99, 95, 65, 112, 76, 71, 89, 101, 102, 127, 127, 110, 85, 76, 103, 123, 107, 68, 108, 79, 99, 105, 73, 121, 120, 124, 110, 97, 96, 91, 99, 109, 86, 81, 77, 94, 87, 100, 117, 82, 109, 75, 71, 123, 87, 75, 89, 100, 69, 107, 94, 111, 83, 99, 109, 97, 106, 119, 71, 107, 76, 97, 122, 98, 126, 85, 119, 84, 74, 123, 70, 125, 66, 103, 113, 97, 114, 121, 109, 104, 118, 79, 91, 72, 122, 106, 107, 83, 84, 89, 65, 113, 87, 66, 109, 115, 91, 121, 74, 94, 82, 118, 85, 89, 87, 64, 87, 108, 89, 80, 95, 119, 83, 87, 119, 97, 98, 98, 79, 77, 74, 123, 80, 115, 89, 113, 119, 85, 71, 106, 97, 89, 71, 119, 68, 122, 112, 86, 92, 103, 72, 99, 66, 97, 70, 97, 69, 109, 89, 65, 102, 105, 112, 83, 71, 93, 126, 123, 98, 83, 80, 105, 96, 71, 103, 87, 73, 70, 91, 120, 104, 83, 80, 120, 97, 81, 89, 82, 79, 78]