One of the pivotal groups to emerge from the Liverpool neo-psychedelia community during the late '70s, the
, a notoriously eccentric figure whose unfashionable love of Krautrock and hallucinogenic drugs set him distinctly apart from the prevailing punk mentality of the era.
); taking their name from a panel in a Marvel comic book, the premiere lineup of the
Upon signing to Bill Drummond
and David Balfe's fledgling Zoo label, the quartet issued their 1979 debut single, "Sleeping Gas," a surreal electro-pop effort distinguished by its swirling keyboard washes; Simpson
exited the Teardrop Explodes
' ranks in the wake of the record's release, allowing Balfe
to assume keyboard and production duties for the bizarre follow-up "Bouncing Babies." After touring with Echo and the Bunnymen
, the group concentrated on streamlining the more excessive elements of its sound: the result, the buoyant "Treason (It's Just a Story)," nearly reached the pop charts.
was replaced by former Dalek I Love You
guitarist Alan Gill
, the Teardrop Explodes
issued 1980's infectious "When I Dream," which hit the U.K. Top 50 and even garnered some airplay in the U.S. Finally, in October the band's debut LP, Kilimanjaro
, appeared to rave reviews and respectable sales; early in 1981, the single "Reward" hit the Top Ten, and a subsequent reissue of "Treason (It's Just a Story)" surged into the Top 20. Still, the Teardrop Explodes
' roster continued to fluctuate wildly, and soon Gill
exited to make room for guitarist Troy Tate
in time to record 1981's ambitious Wilder
, highlighted by the smash "Passionate Friend."
A tour of the States followed, with disastrous results; Tate
quickly broke ranks to join Fashion
, leaving the remaining trio to begin work on a planned third LP to be dubbed Everybody Wants to Shag the Teardrop Explodes
. In the midst of recording, however, Cope
dissolved the band; only a 1983 EP dubbed You Disappear from View
appeared on schedule, although the unfinished sessions were finally released in full in 1990 under their projected title. In the wake of the Teardrop Explodes
' breakup, Balfe
later re-emerged as the founder of the Food Records label, while Cope
embarked on a successful and occasionally brilliant solo career.