Belle And Sebastian Biography
Belle And Sebastian were formed in January 1996 in an all-night café in Glasgow, SCOTLAND, when lead singer + guitarist & songwriter Stuart Murdoch decided to form an ambitious seven-piece Pop-Rock band with Stuart David on bass, Stevie Jackson on guitar, Chris Geddes on keyboards, Sarah Martin on violin, Isobel Campbell on cello and Richard Colburn on drums.
The group recorded in three days their debut album, "Tigermilk", which was only pressed on vinyl and was issued in May 1996 on the college label Electric Honey Records; despite only a thousand copies being made available, it became an unexpected success and the LP quickly disappeared from shops.
Belle And Sebastian then signed to Jeepster and the critically acclaimed sophomore album, "If You're Feeling Sinister", was released in November of the same year.
During 1997 the group managed to release 3 EPs, "Dog On Wheels", "Lazy Line Painter Jane" and "3.. 6.. 9.. Seconds Of Light", the latter of which, despite the lack of radio play, became the band's first top 40 hit, debuting at #32 on the U.K. Singles chart.
September 1998 saw the release of "The Boy With The Arab Strap", which soared to #12 on the Official U.K. Albums chart and hit #15 on the American Billboard Top Heatseekers list; this was the first album Mick Cooke played trumpet on.
Their next full-length disc, "Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant", crawled up to #10 on the British Albums chart upon its June 2000 release, the record also entered the top 80 of The Billboard 200; the accompanying single, "Legal Man", was a top 15 hit in Britain and found great success in Canada where hit #4 on the Pop Singles Sales chart.
The ever-expanding Belle And Sebastian line-up had a bit of a blow when
Stuart David departed to concentrate on his own recording project and
The Scottish collective reconvened in January 2001 to record some new songs, the first of these, "Jonathan David", was released as a single in June, becoming a minor hit in Britain but peaked at #9 on the Canadian Singles chart.
Large chunks of 2002 were spent recording "Storytelling", the soundtrack album to Todd Solenz's film of the same name, the record hit the top 30 of the U.K. Albums chart and reached the #150 position on The Billboard Top 200 Albums list; the rest of the year was spent on the road, performing shows all over Europe and North America; sadly there was another casualty along the way, Isobel Campbell was the next to falter, returning home midway through the U.S. tour; they finally left both Jeepster and Matador Records and joined Rough Trade Records.
In 2003, Belle And Sebastian completed their sixth studio album; recorded in palatial splendor in Sussex and London with the legendary music producer Trevor Horn, "Dear Catastrophe Waitress" was the first album to feature bassist + guitarist Bobby Kildea. Released in October, it peaked at #84 in the U.S. and quickly rose to #21 on the British Pop chart, just a month later the band decided to unleash their first ever single from an album in the form of "Step Into My Office, Baby", the song entered the National Top 40 chart and the release of "I'm A Cuckoo" in February 2004 saw the group enjoying unprecedented radio play as well as their biggest U.K. hit to date with a #14 smash. "Wrapped Up In Books" was released as a AA-side with new track, "Your Cover's Blown", as the final album single in June, netting the group their third top 20 hit.
2004 ended with the band back in Glasgow, ensconced in the studio, writing
the next album, which was recorded during the summer of 2005 in California.
Before then however, a double-CD, triple-LP compilation of all the Jeepster EPs and singles called "Push Barman To Open Old Wounds" was released in May 2005; the set climbed into the top 40 of the U.K. Albums chart.
In February 2006, Belle And Sebastian released "The Life Pursuit", it became the band's most popular studio album around the globe with a #8 debut in the U.K. as well as a top 40 entry in several European countries; in U.S. the disc peaked at #3 on Top Independent Albums chart and inched into The Billboard 200 reaching #65. The lead single, "Funny Little Frog", rose to #13 on the Official U.K. chart.
"Write About Love", the eighth studio album from the Glaswegian seven-piece ensemble was recorded in Los Angeles and sees the band deliver another collection of classic indie-Pop songs whilst also being joined on two tracks by Norah Jones and actress Carey Mulligan. The disc includes the single "I Want The World To Stop".