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Gene Loves Jezebel
Gene Loves Jezebel is a gothic rock band from the early 1980s founded by twin brothers, Michael and Jay Aston.

Michael Aston (vocals) was the poetic, goth-leaning side of the twin brothers while Jay Aston’s distinctive banshee-like, wailing vocals supplied Gene Loves Jezebel with one of their many trademark quirks.

History
Originally called Slav Aryan, Gene Loves Jezebel began in 1980 with the Aston brothers, guitarist Ian Hudson, and a drum machine. The Astons grew up in Porthcawl, South Wales, making the move to London in 1981. With a new home, and shortly thereafter, the new name, the trio played several live shows and was signed by Situation Two. In May 1982, the label released Gene Loves Jezebel's demo single "Shaving My Neck." The band then added bassist Julianne Regan followed, briefly, by a keyboardist, Jean-Marc Lederman. Regan left within a year to form All About Eve, leaving Ian Hudson briefly playing bass until Stephen Marshall joined. This line up went on to perform some 100 gigs and recorded the first album "Promise" along with their first John Peel Session and the beautifully bizarre B-Side "Stephen" often considered to be an homage to the man himself. Peter Rizzo joined in 1984. Gene Loves Jezebel underwent a dozen or so line up changes between 1981-1985.

The band released two more singles in 1983 before their debut album Promise peaked at number 8 in the UK's indie charts. In 1984, the group recorded a John Peel radio session for BBC and toured America with fellow Welsh artist John Cale. The second album, Immigrant, was released in mid-1985. However, during an agonizing American tour for Immigrant, founding member Ian Hudson left the band and was replaced by former Generation X guitarist James Stevenson.

During 1986, the group moved contract to Situation Two's parent company, Beggar's Banquet Records and distribution rights in USA to Geffen Records. The subsequent promotion increased pop-chart success for the group. The single "Sweetest Thing" briefly hit the Top 75 in UK and the album, Discover, reached number 32 in UK Albums Chart. At this time, the group also found heavy rotations on college and countercultural radio stations across America. The band had slowly turned their attention to dance music. The slick and catchy guitar hooks of singles "Desire" and "Heartache" leapt to #6 and #72, respectively, on Los Angeles' New Wave station, KROQ. Later that year, Chris Bell became the band's fifth drummer.

Gene Loves Jezebel's fourth album, The House of Dolls, was released late in 1987 and yielded the singles, "20 Killer Hurts" and "The Motion of Love" that grazed the U.S. pop charts. The third single from The House of Dolls, "Suspicion", for the first time, surfaced on The Billboard Hot 100. Despite rising mainstream success, the new pop-oriented direction proved to be too polished and commercial for the poetic and more goth-like brother, Michael. He parted ways with Jay in 1989 and later moved to Los Angeles.

While Michael went solo, Jay kept the Gene Loves Jezebel name and recorded two albums, Kiss of Life in 1989, followed by Heavenly Bodies. The band's highest-charting American single emerged in August 1990 when "Jealous," the major single from Kiss of Life, reached #68 on Billboard's Hot 100. Three years later, Jay Aston and company released Heavenly Bodies, which did well in Europe and on American college radio. Unfortunately, the group's American label folded one year later, and, after a few more live shows, so did Gene Loves Jezebel.

While Jay performed occasional acoustic shows under his own name, Michael played with members of Scenic, then formed a new band called the Immigrants (re-named Edith Grove) and later released a pimarily acoustic solo album, Why Me, Why This, Why Now. Michael and Jay began working together again that same year, and recorded two songs with Stevenson, Bell and Rizzo for a GLJ best-of compilation, released in September 1995.

A reunion tour followed in 1997, but the brothers' reconciliation was short-lived. In October 1997, Jay sued his twin brother over rights to the name "Gene Loves Jezebel" after leaving the band. After a protracted court battle, Jay eventually dropped all charges "with prejudice" meaning Michael can never be challenged for the name again and consequently Michael owns the exclusive rights to the mark. Michael also trademarked "Gene Loves Jezebel" and toured both the U.S. and the UK extensively supporting Gene Loves Jezebel releases: Love Lies Bleeding (1999) - Live in Nottingham (1999) - Giving Up the Ghost (2001) – and Exploding Girls (2003)

Trivia
James Stevenson is a friend of Billy Duffy's (The Cult), and, at one point, played rhythm guitar for The Cult on tour.
Former member of The Cult, Scott Garrett, joined Mission UK (aka The Mission), in 1999. Shortly thereafter, Mission UK toured with Gene Loves Jezebel across the USA.
Also in 1999, Mission UK (as The Mission) toured the United Kingdom with All About Eve, featuring one-time Gene Loves Jezebel member, Julianne Regan.
All About Eve's Julianne Regan is said to be working on a cover album project with her former GLJ bandmate Jean-Marc Lederman.

Discography
Albums

  • Oct 1983 Promise
  • 1985 Immigrant
  • Jul 1986 Discover
  • 1988 The House Of Dolls
  • 1990 Kiss Of Life
  • 1993 Heavenly Bodies
  • 1999 VII
  • 1999 Love Lies Bleeding
  • 2001 Giving Up The Ghost
  • 2003 Exploding Girls

Singles

  • May 1983 "Screaming"
  • Sep 1983 "Bruises"
  • Apr 1984 "Influenza (relapse)"
  • Jun 1984 "Shame (Whole Heart Howl)"
  • Jun 1985 "Cow"
  • Dec 1985 "Desire"
  • Mar 1986 "Sweetest Thing"
  • Jun 1986 "Heartache"
  • Oct 1986 "Desire (Come and Get It)"
  • Aug 1987 "The Motion Of Love"
  • Dec 1987 "Gorgeous"
  • 1990 "Jealous"
  • 2006 "All the Young Dudes (cover)"


     

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