Teenage Fanclub is a Scottish alternative rock band formed in Bellshill near Glasgow in 1989. The band was founded by Norman Blake (vocals, guitar), Raymond McGinley (vocals, lead guitar) and Gerard Love (vocals, bass), all of whom shared lead vocals and songwriting duties until Love's departure in 2018. As of 2019, the band's lineup consists of Blake, McGinley, Francis MacDonald (drums, vocals), Dave McGowan (bass, vocals) and Euros Childs (keyboards, vocals).
Teenage Fanclub live in 2010 (Summer Sundae festival, Leicester)
|Genres||Alternative rock, indie pop, power pop|
|Labels||Paperhouse, Creation, Columbia, PeMa, Matador, DGC|
|Associated acts||The Pastels, BMX Bandits, Eugenius, The Boy Hairdressers, The Clouds|
|Past members||Brendan O'Hare|
In concert, the band usually alternate among its songwriters, giving equal playing time to each one's songs. Although often pegged as alternative rock, the group have incorporated a wide variety of elements from various music styles in their songs.
Teenage Fanclub have had a succession of drummers, including Francis MacDonald, Brendan O’Hare and Paul Quinn, who left the band after recording the album Howdy!. Quinn was replaced by the returning Francis MacDonald. Keyboardist Finlay MacDonald (no relation) has also been a member. As of September 2016, the band have released ten studio albums and two compilation albums.
Teenage Fanclub emerged from the Glasgow C86 scene. Their sound is reminiscent of Californian bands like the Beach Boys and the Byrds, and their seventies counterparts Big Star. Originally a noisy and chaotic band, their first album A Catholic Education, released in 1990 on Paperhouse, is largely atypical of their later sound, with the possible exception of "Everything Flows". The King, their next album, received critical reviews; it consisted of a number of self-confessed shambolic guitar thrashes and a cover of Madonna's "Like a Virgin".
Their next album, Bandwagonesque, released on Creation Records in the UK and Geffen in the US, brought Teenage Fanclub a measure of commercial success. Bandwagonesque was more deliberately constructed, the hooks became stronger, the guitar riffs were brought under control, and the harmony vocals took shape. Bandwagonesque topped Spin magazine's 1991 end-of-year poll for best album, beating Nirvana's Nevermind, their Creation stablemates My Bloody Valentine's album Loveless, and R.E.M.'s Out of Time.
The subsequent, Thirteen, received mixed reviews on release. Brendan O'Hare left Teenage Fanclub during this period because of "musical differences", to be replaced by Paul Quinn (formerly of the Soup Dragons).
Grand Prix, Teenage Fanclub's fifth album, was both a critical and commercial success in the UK, becoming their first top ten album. In the United States however the band failed to regain the ground that Thirteen had lost them. Around this time Liam Gallagher of labelmates Oasis called the band "the second best band in the world" — second only to Oasis.
Songs from Northern Britain followed Grand Prix and built on the former's success. It became their highest charting release in the UK and contained their biggest hit single to date, "Ain't That Enough".
The follow-up album, Howdy!, released on Columbia Records in the UK after the demise of Creation, continued the sound of Songs from Northern Britain. Francis MacDonald rejoined as the drummer in place of Quinn, who left the band after recording his parts for Howdy! and before its release in order to focus on his family. Quinn went on to form The Primary 5.
Their final release on a Sony label, Four Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty-Six Seconds – A Short Cut to Teenage Fanclub, collected the Fanclub's best songs along with three new songs (one from each member).
In 2006, the band held two special concerts (in London and Glasgow) playing their 1991 album Bandwagonesque in its entirety.
The band began work on their ninth album in August 2008, booking an initial three weeks at Leeders Farm recording studio in Norfolk. The album was called Shadows, the first to involve keyboardist Dave McGowan as a full-time member, and was released on the band's own PeMa label. It became available in Europe, Australasia and Japan on 31 May 2010, and was released by Merge Records in North America on 8 June 2010.
Teenage Fanclub are influenced by Big Star and Orange Juice. They performed a cover of Orange Juice's "Rip It Up" with Edwyn Collins. In December 2010, at the ATP Bowlie 2 music festival, they performed as the backing band for Edwyn Collins. Teenage Fanclub were regularly name-checked in interviews by Kurt Cobain, who described them as "the best band in the world".
Their tenth album, Here, was released on 9 September 2016.
The story of Teenage Fanclub's early days features in the 2017 documentary Teenage Superstars.
On 25 April 2018, the band announced the 10 August release of vinyl and digital reissues of their five Creation Records era albums which had been remastered at Abbey Road Studios. To celebrate the reissues, the band also announced Songs from Teenage Fanclub: The Creation Records Years, a four-city U.K. tour during late October to mid-November in which they would play three nights each in Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and London, with each night's setlist covering different periods of the Creation-era discography.
On 20 August 2018, the band announced that Gerard Love would be leaving the band following a performance at the Electric Ballroom in London in November, which was the last show of the band's Creation Records Years tour. In a statement, the band said that Love was to separate from the band because of differences in opinion on their future touring plans. In the same press release, the band also announced that former members Brendan O'Hare and Paul Quinn would be participating in the Creation Records Years tour, in which both drummers would respectively perform the albums and b-sides they had originally recorded.
In a statement on his personal Facebook account, Love cited his unwillingness to fly for the band's February 2019 tour dates in Hong Kong, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, and his reluctance to fly frequently around the world in general, as the catalyst behind his and the band's decision to part ways.
On 16 January 2019, Teenage Fanclub announced that Euros Childs had joined the band on keyboards and vocals, with Dave McGowan switching over to bass and vocals. Though McGowan initially joined Teenage Fanclub to play keyboards, his primary instrument is bass – which he also plays in Belle and Sebastian – and so it made sense for him to switch. Meanwhile, Childs had long been a band associate on tour and in the studio, and had previously joined forces with Blake in the group Jonny. Blake also confirmed that prior to tour rehearsals, the band had been recording material in Hamburg for a new album.
Norman Blake formed the two-person band Jonny with Euros Childs. Bassist Dave McGowan, who has also played with Teenage Fanclub, also plays on the 2011 eponymous debut album. As of 2012 Norman Blake has also formed a Canadian-based supergroup with Joe Pernice and Mike Belitsky called The New Mendicants.
Gerard Love released his own solo album Electric Cables in 2012 using the alias Lightships.
Raymond McGinley joined Dave McGowan's folk group Snowgoose, whose debut album Harmony Springs was released in 2012.
Francis MacDonald released an album of minimalist classical music, Music For String Quartet, Piano & Celeste, in 2015. MacDonald played piano and celeste, with strings by members of the Scottish Ensemble.
- Norman Blake – vocals, guitar (1989–present)
- Raymond McGinley – vocals, guitar (1989–present)
- Francis MacDonald – drums, vocals (1989, 2000–present)
- Dave McGowan – keyboards, guitar (2004–2018); bass, vocals (2019–present)
- Euros Childs – keyboards, vocals (2019–present)
- Gerard Love – vocals, bass (1989–2018)
- Brendan O'Hare – drums, vocals (1989–1994, 2018 live shows)
- Paul Quinn – drums (1994–2000, 2018 live shows)
- Finlay MacDonald – keyboards, guitar, vocals, bass, drum programming (1997–2001)
- A Catholic Education (1990)
- The King (1991) No. 53 UK
- Bandwagonesque (1991) No. 22 UK, No. 137 US
- Thirteen (1993) No. 14 UK
- Grand Prix (1995) No. 7 UK, No. 68 Japan; No. 57 Australia
- Songs from Northern Britain (1997) No. 3 UK; No. 70 Australia
- Howdy! (2000) No. 33 UK
- Words of Wisdom and Hope (2002) [with Jad Fair]
- Man-Made (2005) No. 34 UK
- Shadows (2010) No. 30 UK
- Here (2016) No. 10 UK
- Deep Fried Fanclub (1995) (B-Sides compilation)
- Four Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty-Six Seconds – A Short Cut to Teenage Fanclub (2003) [Compilation] No. 47 UK
Singles and EPs
|Title||Release date||Chart positions|
|UK Singles Chart||US Modern Rock|
|"Everything Flows"||June 1990 (UK)/1991 (US)||-||-|
|"Everybody's Fool"||November 1990||-||-|
|"The Ballad of John & Yoko"||October 1990||-||-|
|"God Knows It's True"||November 1990||-||-|
|"Star Sign"||August 1991||44||4|
|"The Concept"||October 1991||51||12|
|"The Peel Sessions"||November 1992||-||-|
|"What You Do to Me"||May 1992||31||19|
|"Free Again"||May 1992||-||-|
|"Norman 3"||September 1993||50||-|
|"Hang On"||February 1994||-||19|
|"Fallin'" (with De La Soul)||March 1994||59||-|
|"Mellow Doubt"||March 1995||34||-|
|"Sparky's Dream"||May 1995||40||-|
|"Neil Jung"||August 1995||62||-|
|"Teenage Fanclub Have Lost It" (EP)||December 1995||53||-|
|"Ain't That Enough"||June 1997||17||-|
|"I Don't Want Control of You"||August 1997||43||-|
|"Start Again"||November 1997||54||-|
|"Long Shot"||June 1998||-||-|
|"I Need Direction"||October 2000||48||-|
|"Dumb Dumb Dumb"||June 2001||-||-|
|"Near to You" (with Jad Fair)||2002||68||-|
|"Did I Say"||2002||-||-|
|"Association" (International Airport / Teenage Fanclub)||August 2004||75||-|
|"Scotland on Sunday"||April 2005||-||-|
|"Fallen Leaves" (Limited to 2,000 copies)||May 2005||78||-|
|"It's All in My Mind"||November 2005||-||-|
|"Baby Lee"||April 2010||-||-|
|"I'm in Love"||June 2016||-||-|
- Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 969–970. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
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- Film, British Council. "British Council Film: Teenage Superstars". film.britishcouncil.org. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
- Murray, Robin (25 April 2018). "Teenage Fanclub Confirm Vinyl Re-Issues". Clash. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
- "Teenage Fanclub Part Ways With Gerard Love | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
- Virtue, Graeme (1 November 2018). "Teenage Fanclub review – classic lineup bids farewell with glorious nostalgia trip". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
- Love, Gerard (21 August 2018). "I thought I should say a few words about the Teenage Fanclub situation". Facebook. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
- Sigler, Gabriel (3 February 2019). "Teenage Fanclub's Norman Blake on the band's revamped lineup, new music, and what they learned on the OK Computer tour". Bad Feeling Magazine. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
- Ham, Robert (31 March 2015). "Belle & Sebastian find ways to keep their music fresh after 20 years". The Oregonian. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
- Belle and Sebastian (3 November 2018). "...and then there were 7! Dave just made it official and joined the band". Facebook. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
- "Music for String Quartet, Piano and Celeste – Francis MacDonald – Songs, Reviews, Credits – AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 551. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "iTunes". Itunes.apple.com. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
- "FMQB Airplay Archive: SubModern Rock". Friday Morning Quarterback Album Report, Incorporated. Retrieved 31 October 2016.