Wrong Place… Wrong Time: The Dylans

the dylans

In the fickle world that is pop music, sometimes timing, not talent, has proven the difference between success and being an also ran. Much like their early 80s English predecessors the Soft Boys and The Teardrop Explodes the neo-psychedelic group, The Dylans, made music distinctly out of step with their times.

Formed in Sheffield, England in 1989 the band shared nothing in common with “that other Dylan” except for perhaps an “undefined spirit of the ’60s.”

A quintet, The Dylans were formed by former 1,000 Violins guitarist, songwriter, and occasional singer Colin Gregory and guitarists Jim Rodger and Andy Curtis. Rounding out the group were keyboardist Quentin Jennings and drummer Garry Jones.

In the summer of 1990,  and without ever playing live,  the group was signed by Beggars Banquet Records’ “indie” subsidiary Situation Two , who released the group’s debut, the four song Godlike EP in January 1991.

With its

swirl of Moody Blues harmonies and Byrdsy guitars

Godlike resonated with English record buyers, eventually reaching the top 10 on the UK Indie Chart.

Before releasing the follow-up singles “Lemon Afternoon” and “Planet Love”, Andy Curtis was replaced with Andy Cook.

The Dylan’s eponymous full length debut was released in October 1991 . With it’s defiantly 60s feel… the 

Rickenbacker jangle that colors all the songs, song titles like "Mary Quant in Blue", harmonies (that) sparkle like psychedelic Stones

and songs like the opening "She Drops Bombs" and "Planet Love" with its

seamless, echoed vocals and an unfolding hook

the album “ was simply not in step with the times,” having the misfortune to be released amidst the first full flowering of grunge.

Following a grueling tour in support of the album the group released the single “Mary Quant in Blue” in 1992, but in a round of musical chairs, Jones was fired; Cook switched to drums; Craig Scott was recruited for guitar; while Jennings, who had taken a leave of absence to care for his ailing wife, was replaced by keyboardist Ike Glover.

Produced by Pascal Gabriel, 1994s Spirit Finger, with its

fuzzy guitars, stinging choruses and effects-laden vocals… recalls the Soft Boys, Dukes of Stratosphear, The Teardrop Explodes — even early Pink Floyd.

but once again the band’s timing couldn’t have been worse. By 1993–94 the American music scene was increasingly dominated by grunge, while in the U.K the music scene, in reaction to grunge, had begun to look inward and embrace Britpop, with its references to

British guitar music of the past and writing about uniquely British topics and concerns.

Even with strong songs, like the American alternarock flavored“Smarter Than You", the druggy power pop "Hell No" and "Two Tomorrows" double

psychedelic dosage of vintage John Lennon

Spirit Finger sold poorly, and the Dylans now suddenly seemed dated. Shortly afterwards the group disbanded.

 

DISCOGRAPHY

Albums:

The Dylans (CD, LP) Situation Two UK 1991
The Dylans (Cass, CD) RCA US 1991
The Dylans (CD) Beggars Banquet Canada 1991
The Dylans (CD, LP) Situation Two Germany 1991
The Dylans (CD) Situation Two Virgin France S.A. 1991 Spirit Finger (CD) Beggars Banquet Canada 1994
Spirit Finger (Cass, CD, MP3) Atlantic US 1994
Spirit Finger (CD) Beggars Banquet UK 1994
Spirit Finger (CD) Beggars Banquet, SPV GmbH Germany 1994

EPs:
 
Planet Love (CD Maxi) Situation Two UK 1991
Planet Love (12") Situation Two UK 1991
Planet Love (Cass) Situation Two UK 1991
Planet Love (7") Situation Two UK 1991
Planet Love (12") RCA US 1991
Planet Love (12" Promo) RCA US 1991
Planet Love (7") Situation Two US 1991
Planet Love (CD Promo) RCA US 1991
My Hands Are Tied (CD Maxi) Virgin France S.A. 1991
My Hands Are Tied / Lemon Afternoon (CD Maxi) Situation Two Germany 1991
My Hands Are Tied / Lemon Afternoon (CD Maxi) Situation Two UK 1991
Godlike (CD Maxi) RCA US 1991
Godlike (12") Situation Two US 1991
Godlike (12") Beggars Banquet US 1991
Godlike (CD Maxi) Virgin France S.A. 1991
Lemon Afternoon (12") Situation Two UK 1991
Mary Quant In Blue (CD Maxi) Alfa Records Japan 1992 Mary Quant In Blue (12") Situation Two UK 1992
Mary Quant In Blue (7" Single) Situation Two UK 1992
Mary Quant In Blue (CD Single) Situation Two UK 1992 Jesus / Who Loves The Sun (Swervedriver/Dylans) (12") Imaginary Records UK 1992
Grudge (CD, 12") Beggars Banquet UK 1993
I’ll Be Back To Haunt You (CD, 12") Beggars Banquet UK 1994

Appearances:

Albums:

"Planet Love" New Music From The RCA Records Label (Cass) RCA US 1991
"Ocean Wide" Live & Unreleased (Cass) Vox Magazine UK 1991
"Planet Love" New Releases Autumn 1991 (CD) SPV Recordings Germany 1991
"Who Loves The Sun" Heaven & Hell – Volume Three (A Tribute To The Velvet Underground) (CD, LP) Imaginary Records 1992
"Smarter Than You" Free At Last 4 (Cass) PolyGram Group Canada Inc. 1994

Compilations:

"Godlike" A Historical Debt (2xLP) Beechwood Music UK 1991
"Godlike" A Historical Debt (Cass, CD) Beechwood Music UK & Ireland 1991
"Lemon Afternoon" Indie Top 20 Volume 12 (CD, 2xLP) Beechwood Music UK 1991
"Godlike" Beggars Banquet The Collection (2xCD) Beggars Banquet, SPV GmbH Germany 1991
"Godlike" Happy Daze – Volume Two (CD, LP) Island Records UK 1991
"Planet Love" This Is Modern Rock: The Experience Continues…  Beggars Banquet Philippines 1991
"Planet Love" Free at Last 2: The Essential HMV Alternative Sampler (CD) PolyGram Group Canada Inc. 1992
"Ocean Wide" The Best Of The Mark Goodier Radio 1 Sessions – Volume 1 – Exclusive & Unreleased Recordings (CD) Nighttracks UK 1992
"Smarter Than You" Deafening Divinities With Aural Affinities – The Beggars Banquet Collection (CD) Atlantic US 1993
"Planet Love" El Rock, ¿Ha Muerto? (Cass) ToCo International Uruguay 1993
"Smarter Than You" Free at Last IV (CD) Polygram Canada 1994
"Planet Love", "Point = Prizes (Non-Album Track) Beggars Banquet: The Singles Collection (2xCD) Rebel Rec. Germany 1994
"(Don’t Cut Me Down) Mary Quant In Blue" The Brit Box: UK Indie, Shoegaze, And Brit-Pop Gems Of The Last Millennium (4xCD) Rhino 2007


The Dylans / The Dylans (1991)

Playing time: 49:21

the dylans /  the dylans

1. She Drops Bombs (3:49)
2. Planet Love (3:58)
3. I Hope the Weather Stays Fine (5:46)
4. Sad Rush on Sunday (3:16)
5. No Coming Down (5:13)
6. Mine (4:09)
7. Particle Ride (2:00)
8. Ocean Wide (4:31)
9. Godlike (4:34)
10. (Don’t Cut Me Down) Mary Quant in Blue (3:18)
11. Love To (3:15)
12. Indian Sun (5:32)

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One response to “Wrong Place… Wrong Time: The Dylans

  1. This sounds interesting…I really feel for those bands with bad timing… through no fault of their own! As much as I was into grunge back then, I think I would’ve been into The Dylans … because that time was just a musical awakening for me in general, with so many new-to-me sounds…. I love a variety of music and don’t really get why people would want to limit themselves to one. Great songwriting is always great and timeless… to those with open minds and less of an obsession with trends, anyway. :P

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