There have been numerous rock bands and rock performers that have emanated from the English county of Yorkshire. Within the county there are many large urban working class settlements and they have proved to be the ideal locations for these musicians to grow up in. Robert Palmer was born in Batley in in 1949 and his childhood was divided between living in Batley and Scarborough. Much of Palmers early career was in Jazz and Blues bands, but as he ventured into his solo career he became far more influenced by jazz and rock. As a solo performer he released massive single hits “Addicted to Love”, “Simply Irresistible” and “I Didn’t MeanTo Turn You On”. All were accompanied by videos that contained dancers dressed in a style that resembled women in the art of 1980s artist Patrick Nagel.
The Beautiful South from Hull
Kingston-Upon-Hull is on the furthest most eastern part of the county yet has managed to produce a number of bands. The Beautiful South were formed in 1988 by Paul Heaton and Dave Hemmingway who had just departed another Hull based band, the Housemartins. After the first album the band employed a number of different female vocalists who performed both lead and backing vocals. The band split up in 2007 and in their time together they have sold over 15 million records. The Housemartins were more of an alternative rock band forming in 1983 with much of their music following Marxist principles. The band lasted only until 1988 but in their time together they had a UK number 1 hit with “Caravan of Love”. Despite the split relationships between the band members have remained close with Heaton and Hemmingway achieving success with Beautiful South. Another former Housemartins group member is Norman Cook, who is better known as Fatboy Slim. He has gone on to achieve international success as a DJ, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. He has won 10 MTV Video Music Awards and 2 Brit Awards, and has worked with many other acts during his career.
A meeting together in 1977 at Leeds Polytechnic between Marc Almond and Dave Ball resulted in the creation of the musical duo Sot Cell. The pair produced Synthpop music and played in an alternative rock style which lasted until they went their separate ways in 1984. They produced a number of top ten hits of which their most famous was “Tainted Love” The song reached number 1 in 17 different countries and it remained in the US billboard hot 100 for 43 consecutive weeks, which was then a record. They produced 4 albums and in all they sold over 10 million records around the world.
The Kaiser Chiefs
Also from Leeds are the Kaiser Chiefs who formed in 2003. Starting out as Parva the group was fronted by Ricky Wilson and it wasn’t long that the band started to taste success. In 2004 and 2005 “I Predict a Riot” and “Ruby’ ended up being hit singles for the group. They have followed these early successes up with the release of 6 albums. The best-selling “Employment has been the group’s most successful album selling over 3 million copies. The group has won 3 Brit award including one for being the Best British Group. Sheffield has also produced a number of different rock acts. The Human League were formed in the city in 1977 and started out as an all-male band. Lead singer Phil Oakley decided a change in direction was needed and in 1980 two female vocalists, Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley joined the band. The group has had five albums and eight singles in the UK’s top ten, and have sold over 20 million records around the world. Their biggest hit single was “Don’t You Want Me” which was released in 1981 selling over 1.5 million copies and ended up being the Christmas number one. The band still tours today although the line-up changes other than Oakley and the 2 female singers.
Pulp also come from the “steel city”. Fronted by Jarvis Cocker, the group were formed in 1978 but had to wait until the mid-1990s when they recorded the album “His ‘n’ Hers’”. From the album came to monster single “Common People”. The band has now sold over 10 million records.Yorkshire has been the home to many successful bands and their musicians