Tom Tom Club Biography
Tom Tom Club was created by bassist Tina Weymouth and drummer Chris Frantz in the early '80s. Graduates from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1974, they moved to New York City, New York USA, where they founded Talking Heads as a trio with David Byrne in 1975.
It was in 1981, after five years of touring internationally and four studio albums they wrote and recorded with Talking Heads, that Weymouth and Frantz were encouraged by the other two Talking Heads members, who had each left the group to make solo albums, to do likewise. So the husband-and-wife team signed with Island Records and in March of that same year they flew down to Compass Point Studios, Bahamas, to record with the help of guitarist Adrian Belew and Weymouth's sisters.
Released in spring 1981, Tom Tom Club's first fresh single "Wordy Rappinghood", an unusually original mix of schoolyard Rap over a Funky groove that went into the top of the charts in seventeen countries.
Never released as a single in North America, the originality of the song was at first deemed a novelty by entrenched older critics of the time. However, like Blondie's song "Rapture" from the same period, "Wordy Rappinghood" turned out to be seminal in bringing mainstream attention to the new spirit of hip-hop; this track became a mammoth dance-floor hit in U.S. like another single, "Genius Of Love", which also reached #24 on The Mainstream Rock chart and #31 on The Billboard Hot 100, its synthetic riffs became among the most recognizable and the most sampled, in Pop music history.
Tom Tom Club's eponymous debut album peaked at #23 on the Top 200 LPs & Tapes chart and generated "Under The Boardwalk", the band's second U.K. top 40 hit and third American Dance Singles top 40 entrant.
Through spring 1983 Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz recorded the band's second LP, "Close To The Bone"; Steve Scales joined them to overdub percussion and Alex Weir, guitar. Wally Badarou, Raymond Jones, Rupert Hine and Tyrone Downie all added keyboards to various songs, Laura and Lani Weymouth once again joined Tina on vocal duties. The disc reached the #73 position on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart and its main single, "The Man With The 4-Way Hips", hit the top 5 of the Disco Action Dance chart.
Nearly five years passed before Weymouth and Frantz went back into the studio to make another Tom Tom Club album, the couple teamed with guitarist Mark Roule and keyboardist Gary Pozner. In September of 1988 the goup's third studio album, "Boom Boom Chi Boom Boom", was released in two versions on two separate labels, Fontana and Sire/Reprise. Both included the single "Suboceana" which peaked at #10 on The Modern Rock chart. The CD didn't rise higher than #114 on The Billboard 200.
"Dark Sneak Love Action" followed in 1991, though the debut's single "Sunshine And Ecstasy" crawled up to #15 on The Modern Rock chart, the band's fourth album missed the charts completely.
Tom Tom Club resurfaced in September 2000 with "The Good The Bad And The Funky", a seamless trip through hip-hop, Dance, Soul, Ska, Funk, Rock and Reggae that the the London Times would call “a record bursting with more invention, wit and dance-savvy eclecticism than seems decent or possible”.
September 2012 saw Tom Tom Club release an EP titled "Downtown Rockers", the first release of new material in more than a decade.