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Belle and Sebastian Biography

Home > Music > B > Belle and Sebastian > Biography

Birth Place: Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Years Active: 1996–present
Genres: Indie Pop, Twee Pop, Baroque Pop

Belle and Sebastian are an indie pop band formed in Glasgow in January 1996 by Stuart Murdoch and Stuart David.

“Tigermilk,” their 1996 debut album, was originally given a limited release (1,000 copies) by Electric Honey, the album was subsequently re-released in 1999 by Jeepster Records.

After the success of the debut album, Belle and Sebastian were signed to Jeepster Records in August 1996 and “If You're Feeling Sinister,” their second album, was released on 18 November.

The band released their third LP, “The Boy with the Arab Strap” in 1998, and it reached #12 in the UK charts. “Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant, was released June 6, 2000 and became the band's first top 10 album in the UK. A stand-alone single, "Legal Man", reached #15 and gave them their first appearance on Top of the Pops.

The band left Jeepster in 2002, signing a four album deal with Rough Trade Records. Their first album for Rough Trade, “Dear Catastrophe Waitress,” was released in 2003, and was produced by Trevor Horn. The Thin Lizzy-inspired "I'm a Cuckoo" was the second single from the album. It achieved their highest chart position yet, reaching #14 in the UK.

In April 2005, members of the band visited Israel and the Palestinian territories with the UK charity War on Want; the group subsequently recorded a song inspired by the trip titled "The Eighth Station of the Cross Kebab House", which would later be released as a B-side on 2006's "Funny Little Frog" single.

“Push Barman to Open Old Wounds,” a compilation of the Jeepster singles and EPs, was released in May 2005 while the band were recording their seventh album in California. The result of the sessions was “The Life Pursuit,” produced by Tony Hoffer.

The album, originally intended to be a double album, became their band's highest charting release to date upon its release in February 2006, peaking at #8 in the UK and #65 on the US Billboard 200. "Funny Little Frog", which preceded it, also proved to be their highest charting single, debuting at #13.

They released “Belle and Sebastian Write About Love” on October 11, 2010. It entered the UK albums chart in its first week of release, peaking at #8 as of October 19, 2010. This marks their highest chart placement yet, tied with their previous studio album “The Life Pursuit.” The album has also risen to #21 in Ireland, becoming their highest charting album in that country. It has also topped the UK independent album chart. Additionally, the opening track “I Didn't See It Coming” entered the UK independent singles chart at #38.

In the United States the album peaked at #15, their highest chart placement there.