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Teenage Fanclub Biography

Home > Music > T > Teenage Fanclub > Biography

Birth Place: Bellshill, Scotland
Years Active: 1989–Present
Genres: Alternative Rock, Jangle Pop, Power Pop, Baroque Pop, Shoegaze

Teenage Fanclub are an alternative rock band that formed in Bellshill, Scotland in 1989. The band consists of Norman Blake on vocals and guitar; Raymond McGinley on lead guitar and vocals; Gerard Love on bass and vocals; and Francis MacDonald on drums. The songwriting duties, as well as the vocal duties are equally shared among Blake, McGinley and Love. While the band's sound is predominately guitar driven, earning them an “alternative rock” label, the band incorporates harmonies and classic pop song lyrics into their sound. To date the band has released ten studio albums and two compilation albums.

Teenage Fanclub emerged from Glasgow's late 1980s music scene, heavily influenced by 70s bands such as, Big Star. As the grunge movement was about to dominate the music world, Teenage Fanclub continued fly the flag for power pop lyrics driven by melodic guitar rhythms. 1990 saw the band's debut emerge, “A Catholic Education,” on Paperhouse Records. However, it was the band's third album, “Bandwagonesque” (1991) on Creation Records in the U.K., and Geffen in the U.S. that brought the band significant commercial success. With a fast-growing fan base, the band quickly followed up with 1993's “Thirteen,” which was met with harsh criticism from the music press. By the time “Grand Prix” arrived in 1995, Teenage Fanclub finally earned the critical and commercial acclaim they had been striving for since formation. “Songs from Northern Britain” (1997) arrived on the heels of “Grand Prix's” success.

As the 1990s faded and the 2000s emerged, Teenage Fanclub collaborated with the cult icon and spoken word artist, Jad Fair, which resulted in “Words of Wisdom and Hope” (2002). In 2005 the band launched their own record label, Pema Records, and released their ninth album, “Man-Made.” The next few years saw the band busy writing new music and embarking on small tours of the U.K. playing select dates. 2010 saw the arrival of “Shadows” - the band's tenth studio album, followed by a performance at the ATP Bowlie 2 music festival as the backing band for Edwyn Collins. One of teenage fanclub's biggest fans, the late Kurt Cobain, described the band as “the best band in the world.”