Wire (band)  

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I am the fly, the fly in the ointment.”

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Wire are an English band formed in London in October 1976, (and intermittently active to the present) by Graham Lewis (bass, vocals), Bruce Gilbert (guitar), Colin Newman (vocals, guitar) and Robert Gotobed ( Grey) (drums). They were originally associated with the punk rock scene, appearing on the Live at the Roxy album - a key early document of the scene - but with hindsight their work, particularly their first three albums, was central to the development of post-punk.


Like The Velvet Underground, Wire are a band whose influence has outshone their comparatively modest record sales. In the 1980s and 1990s, The Urinals, Manic Street Preachers, The Minutemen, R.E.M. (who covered "Strange" on their Document album) and Robert Smith of The Cure expressed a fondness for the group. Guided By Voices's Robert Pollard claimed that Wire was his favorite band, and that the fact that GBV's albums had so many songs was directly influenced by Wire's albums. One of My Bloody Valentine's last renditions was a cover "Map Ref 41°N 93°W" for a Wire tribute entitled Whore. The song was selected as a favorite cover at Flak Magazine.

More recently, Fischerspooner (who covered "The 15th" on their #1 album), britpop bands like Elastica and Menswe@r and post-punk revival bands like Bloc Party, Futureheads and Franz Ferdinand owe a debt to Wire. Blur's work, along with many more minor Britpop bands, has been particularly redolent of 1970s Wire at various points.

Wire were influential on hardcore punk. Fans included Ian MacKaye of the hardcore punk band Minor Threat and Henry Rollins, formerly of Black Flag. Minor Threat covered "1 2 X U" for the Dischord Records compilation Flex Your Head and Henry Rollins, as Henrietta Collins & The Wife-Beating Childhaters, covered "Ex-Lion Tamer" on the E.P. Drive by Shooting. The German pop-punk band Die Aerzte covered "1 2 X U" calling the song "Lest die Prawda!" and changing the lyrics. Michael Azerrad reports, in Our Band Could Be Your Life, that at Minor Threat's second gig, each of the seven bands on the roster performed their version of a Wire song. Big Black covered Wire's "Heartbeat" twice, once as a studio version which was released as a single (also included on The Rich Man's Eight Track Tape compilation), and also as a live version featuring Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis that was included on the VHS version of their live album Pigpile. Massachusetts punks Ampere recorded a cover of "Mr. Suit" from the album Pink Flag for their 2006 split with New York/Netherlands power-violence/punk act Das Oath.

A plagiarism case between Wire's music publisher and Elastica, over the similarity between Wire's 1977 song "Three Girl Rhumba" and Elastica's 1995 hit "Connection", resulted in an out-of-court settlement.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Wire (band)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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