Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bush Live on Planet Earth: Bush Bio

Led by guitarist/vocalist Gavin Rossdale, Bush became the first post-Nirvana British band to hit it big in America. Of course, they became a hit by playing by the grunge rules -- they had loud guitars, guttural vocals, stop-start rhythms, and extreme dynamics. Formed in late 1992 by Rossdale, Bush landed an American record deal before they had a British label. Sixteen Stone, their debut album produced by Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley (producers of early-'80s hits by Madness and Elvis Costello, among others), was released in late 1994 by Interscope Records. By the end of December, Bush's "Everything Zen" video had landed in MTV's Buzz Bin and the album began to take off; by spring of 1995, the record had gone gold, despite a stack of bad reviews. By that time, the band was successful enough in the U.S. to land a British record deal, although they weren't able to match their American success in the U.K.

Over the course of 1995, Sixteen Stone became a major hit in the U.S., with "Little Things" reaching number four on the modern rock charts in the spring; later that year "Comedown" and "Glycerine" both reached number one on the modern rock charts, as well as crossing over into the pop Top 40. Despite their success, Bush received scathing reviews from the press and many alternative rock insiders who believed the group was manufactured. To counter such charges, the band asked Steve Albini -- notorious for his abrasive productions for not only Pixies, Nirvana, and PJ Harvey, but also countless indie bands -- to helm its second album. The resulting album, Razorblade Suitcase, was released in time for the Christmas season of 1996. Razorblade Suitcase was greeted with mixed reviews that were nevertheless more positive than those surrounding Sixteen Stone, and the album entered the U.S. charts at number one, as well as made some headway in the U.K. However, by the spring of 1997, the album had stalled somewhat, producing only one major hit in "Swallowed," and reaching only double platinum status. Deconstructed, a collection of electronic remixes, appeared in late 1997, and in the fall of 1999 Bush returned with The Science of Things. In late 2001, they went back to basics with the guitar-driven album Golden State. Although it didn't storm the charts like previous albums, fans still supported Bush. A sold-out tour across North America followed. During this time, Helmet guitarist Chris Traynor was added as a touring member. Shifts within the band, however, took a sharp turn several months later when founding member Nigel Pulsford announced his departure in May. Pulsford, who had started a solo career as well as a new family, left without much drama and disapproval. Traynor stepped in to fill his shoes.

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Bush The Band History

The name Bush came about because they used to live in Shepherd’s Bush, London. In Canada, they were once known as BushX, because the 1970s band Bush, led by Domenic Troiano, owned the Canadian rights to the name. In April 1997, it was announced that Troiano had agreed to let them use the name Bush in Canada without the letter X, in exchange for donating $20,000 each to the Starlight Children’s Foundation and the Canadian Music Therapy Trust Fund.

Frustrated by the disappointing sales of their fifth album, Golden State (2001), and the lack of support the band was receiving from Atlantic, the band decided to split up. Band members went to work on various other musical projects, most notably Gavin Rossdale, who formed a new band, Institute. In recent interviews, Rossdale said he has not ruled out the possibility of Bush getting back together, but says the band is “on ice” at the moment.

In 2005, Bush released The Best of ‘94 - ‘99, a greatest hits compilation, and Zen X Four, a CD and DVD which features the band’s music videos. Zen X Four was released on Kirtland Records and had its own website (no longer active).

The band’s back catalogue was acquired by Kirtland Records following a lucrative deal between the president of Kirtland (former Deep Blue Something bandmember) and the president of Trauma Records. The deal included the rights to Bush’s entire discography, as well as the rights to No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom.


Success, Sixteen Stone

The timing was right for Bush. Grunge music did not at the time have a band whose sales were as big as pop artists, also all the first wave grunge bands came out of America, leaving music fans East of the Atlantic only seeing their favorite bands when they released an album. When Bush came out with the Sixteen Stone, the UK had a grunge band to love, and soon America caught with hit songs in the UK like “Machine Head,” “Glycerine,” “Everything Zen,” and “Comedown,” which caught the band attention in the States.

In 1995 Bush did some serious touring and America caught began to see some new faces in the Seattle grunge scene like Foo Fighters (featuring Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl on guitar and vocals) who have now released 5 platinum albums and Candlebox who hit big with their self titled debut featuring the hit “Far Behind” which is still heard on Alternative radio today. They released two more albums throughout the late 1990s to limited critical and commercial success.

Razorblade Suitcase

In late 1996 Bush released the first single “Swallowed” from their second album entitled Razorblade Suitcase the song spent 7 weeks on top of the Modern Rock Tracks chart. The album hit number 1 in America and placed high in many European countries. Razorblade Suitcase did not match the commercial success of Sixteen Stone by 2:1, and many people now and then compare(d) the album to Nirvana’s 1993 album In Utero, due to the team they hired for artwork, and the producer Steve Albini, were involved in In Utero. Many people knew Bush would soon decline in sales due to Britpop bands like Oasis, and Blur replacing grunge band’s place for popularity in the UK, however Britpop never became huge in America. When Razorblade Suitcase did not feature anymore smash hits Bush released the remix album Deconstructed in 1997, which charted in the top 40 respectively.

The Science of Things

In 1999, Bush released the album The Science of Things, the album was Bush’s first studio album to not reach the top 10 in America (it hit number 11), its sales are meager compared to its predeccessors, Sixteen Stone outsold it 6:1 and Razorblade Suitcase outsold it 3:1. Although it did have the hits “The Chemicals Between Us,” which reached the top of the modern rock tracks chart for several weeks, and “Letting the Cables Sleep” which has seen some airplay since the album’s release. It is generally agreed upon by critics that the band’s experimentation with a more techno sound tended to degrade the quality of The Science of Things.

Break up, Golden State

By 2001, the third wave of post-grunge had arrived and many were coming with bands like Linkin Park, and Lifehouse having major hits and Nickelback on the rise, Bush was poised for failure. Also nu-metal bands such as Limp Bizkit and KoRn had become extremely popular in between Razorblade Suitcase and Golden State. Although Bush had high hopes for the album and are proud of it, they did not have much chance with no hit single akin to “Glycerine,” “Swallowed,” or “The Chemicals Between Us,” and the fact that the band’s new label Atlantic was not supporting the band at all. The album did poorly compared to Bush’s 90s albums, it reached number 22. Soon after the band called it quits, they released their first non-studio release since 1997’s Deconstructed, their Greatest Hits, it did not fare as well as Deconstructed.

Seen by the simplistic cover, especially compared with the complicated and artistic ones preceding it, the album was an attempt to get back to the basics that allowed Sixteen Stone to succeed. However, fans from the 90’s had left, and the next generation did not pick up on Bush’s blend of post-grunge and techno.


* Gavin Rossdale – vocals, guitar
* Dave Parsons – bass (former member of second generation punk band The Partisans, as well as Transvision Vamp)
* Robin Goodridge – drums, percussion
* Sacha Putnam – keyboards (left band)
* Chris Traynor – lead guitar on Golden State tour
* Nigel Pulsford – lead guitar, string arrangements (left the band to spend more time with his family in 2002)

Rossdale is pursuing a solo music career album due out fall of 2007, Nigel also is pursuing a solo music venture and Goodridge is drummer with UK rock band Elyss.

Bush Hits

Bush - Glycerine Lyrics
Bush - Machinehead Lyrics
Bush - Little Things Lyrics
Bush - Swallowed Lyrics
Bush - Chemicals Between Us Lyrics
Bush - Comedown Lyrics
Bush - Hotel California Lyrics
Bush - Everything Zen Lyrics
Bush - Come Down Lyrics
Bush - Mouth Lyrics