The Rezillos

The Rezillos were a Scottish New Wave band that released the 1978 Sire album Can’t Stand The Rezillos, surrounded by the singles “I Can’t Stand My Baby,” “(My Baby Does) Good Sculptures,” “Destination Venus,” and the UK Top 20 hit “Top of the Pops.”

After their collapse, singer Fay Fife and multi-instrumentalist Eugene Reynolds formed The Revillos, which released multiple singles and two albums: Rev Up (1980, DinDisc/Virgin) and Attack! (1982, Superville).

Rezillos guitarist Jo Callis became a keyboardist in the Dare/Hysteria lineup of The Human League, co-writing the hits “Don’t You Want Me,” “Mirror Man,” and “(Keep Feeling) Fascination.”

Rezillos Members:
Fay Fife [aka Sheila Hynde] (vocals), Eugene Reynolds [aka Alan Forbes] (vocals, guitar), Luke Warm [aka Jo Callis] (guitar), Hi-Fi Harris [aka Mark Harris] (guitar, 1976-77), Dr. D.K. Smythe [aka Dave Smythe] (bass, 1976-77), William Mysterious [aka Ali Donaldson] (saxophone, bass, 1976-78), Angel Paterson (drums), Gale Warning (backing vocals, 1976-77), Simon Templar (bass, 1978)

Revillos Members:
Eugene Reynolds (vocals, saxophone, keyboards), Fay Fife (vocals, keyboards), Rocky Rhythm [Nicky Forbes] (drums), Hi-Fi Harris (guitar), Kid Krupa [Jon McLoughlin] (guitar), Max Atom [Trevor Sewell] (guitar), Fabian Wonderful (guitar), George (guitar), D.K. Smythe (bass), Felix (bass), William Mysterious (bass), Vince Santini [Dennis Schiavon] (bass), Buck Moon (bass), Mekon (bass), Hymo (keyboards)


Formation

The Rezillos sprung from the Knutsford Dominators, a ’50s–’60s covers band that included Edinburgh College of Art students Alan Forbes (drums, vocals) and Jo Callis (guitar, vocals). The pair hired architecture major Mark Harris (guitar, vocals) and townie Dave Smythe (bass). In March 1976, they renamed their act The Rezillos, cultivated from Revilos, a fictional club in issue #1 (November 1973) of the DC Comics title The Shadow.

Forbes became their vocalist under the stage name Eugene Reynolds, taken from an acquaintance from his summer gig. The Rezillos hired fellow Edinburgh art student Alasdair Paterson (drums) and Heriot-Watt University architecture major Alastair Donaldson (saxophone). Donaldson  played in a pre-record lineup of Scottish folksters Silly Wizard. Reynolds invited two fashion students, Sheilagh Hynd and Gail Jamieson, as backing vocalists.

Each member adopted a pseudonym: Jo Callis (Luke Warm), Mark Harris (“Hi-Fi” Harris), Dave Smythe (Dr D.K. Smythe), Alasdair Paterson (Angel), Alastair Donaldson (William Mysterious), Sheilagh Hynd (Fay Fife, derived from her birth place), and Gail Jamieson (Gail Warning).

The Rezillos played their first show on November 5, 1976, at Teviot Row House at the University of Edinburgh. Their set comprised of ’60s rock covers, including songs by Gerry & The Pacemakers (“I Like It”), The Rolling Stones (“I Wanna Be Your Man”), and Fleetwood Mac (“Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked in Tonite”).


1977

In early 1977, Faye became The Rezillos’ co-lead singer and Gail left the band. In June, they cut their first single inside the Barclays Tower kitchen studio of painter–producer Tony Pilley.


“I Can’t Stand My Baby””

On August 19, 1977, The Rezillos released their debut single: “I Can’t Stand My Baby,” a punk song credited to Luke Warm (Callis) and backed with the Rolling Stones cover “I Wanna Be Your Man.”

A. “I Can’t Stand My Baby”
B. “I Wanna Be Your Man” is a 1963 Lennon–McCartney composition, written especially for the Stones, who released it as their second single (UK No. 12). The Beatles version appears on their second album With The Beatles.

“I Can’t Stand My Baby” appeared on the short-lived Island subsidiary Sensible Records. The single impressed Sire Records, which added The Rezillos to its growing new wave roster (Talking Heads, Richard Hell & The Voidoids). Faced with professional demands, Smythe and Harris re-focused on their fields of study. The Rezillos trimmed to five members with Mysterious shifted to the bass slot.

Sensible first issued “I Can’t Stand My Baby” in a lime green sleeve and reissued the single in a red sleeve for its second anniversary. This is Sensible’s only title aside from the 1978 maxi-single “Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere” by Neon, a punk–metal band from County Durham.

Peel was a big supporter of the band, declaring their debut 45, “I Can’t Stand My Baby,” his favourite single of the year so far when he played it on 29 August 1977 and later making it #4 in his self-chosen 1977 Festive Fifty. Perhaps surprisingly, the track was also included in the Peelenium for the following year, 1978, when it appeared on the band’s debut LP. Peel played six songs from the album on his 14 July 1978 show, as well as the b-side of their latest single. 


“(My Baby Does) Good Sculptures”

2 Dec 1977
A. “(My Baby Does) Good Sculptures”
B. “Flying Saucer Attack”

1. Recorded 1977-12-12. First broadcast 30 December 1977. Repeated 18 January 1978, 06 August 1979, 16 February 1981
(My Baby Does) Good Sculptures / No / Fight Amongst Yourselves / Top Of The Pops


1978

Rezillos

In April 1978

A. “Cold Wars (Have Cooled Me Down)”
B. “The William Mysterious Overture (20,000 Rezillos Under The Sea)”

2. Recorded: 1978-05-31. First broadcast 08 June 1978. Repeated 30 June 1978, 21 July 1978.
Cold Wars (Have Cooled Me Down) / Destination Venus / Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Heads Kicked In Tonight / I Can’t Stand My Baby (Soul Version)


Can’t Stand The Rezillos

The Rezillos released their sole studio album, Can’t Stand The Rezillos, on July 21, 1978, on Sire.

by John Callis except where indicated.

1. “Flying Saucer Attack” (2:47)
2. “No” (2:22)
3. “Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked in Tonight” (Jeremy Spencer) (1:53)
4. “Top of the Pops” (2:55)
5. “2000 A.D.” (Callis, Mysterious) (2:58)
6. “It Gets Me” (Mysterious) (2:11)
7. “Can’t Stand My Baby” (2:22)

8. “Glad All Over” (Dave Clark, Mike Smith) (2:07)
9. “(My Baby Does) Good Sculptures” (3:10)
10. “I Like It” (Mitch Murray) (1:46)
11. “Getting Me Down” (2:06)
12. “Cold Wars” (2:54)
13. “Bad Guy Reaction” (2:15)

Recorded February 1978
Studio The Power Station (New York City)
Producer Bob Clearmountain, Tony Bongiovi, Lance Quinn, The Rezillos

Jo Callis – electric guitars
Mysterious (aka William Mysterious) – bass on tracks 1–13
Angel Paterson – drums
Fay Fife – vocals
Eugene Reynolds – vocals


“Top of the Pops”

A. “Top of the Pops”
B. “20,000 Rezillos Under the Sea”


“Destination Venus”

17 Nov 1978
A. “Destination Venus”
B. “Mystery Action”


Breakup

Breakup Mission Accomplished… But The Beat Goes On 12 Apr 1979


The Revillos

The Revillos

7 Sep 1979
A. “Where’s the Boy for Me?”
B. “The Fiend”

Jan 1980
A. “Motorbike Beat”
B. “No Such Luck”

Apr 1980
A. “Scuba Scuba”
B. “Scuba Boy Bop”


Rev Up

The Revillos released their first album, Rev Up, on September 12, 1980, on DinDisc.

1. “Secret of the Shadow” (1:25)
2. “Rev Up!” (2:20)
3. “The Rock-a-Boom” (2:26)
4. “Voodoo” (2:44)
5. “Bobby Come Back to Me” (2:27)
6. “Scuba Boy Bop” (1:44)
7. “Yeah Yeah” (2:14)
8. “Hungry for Love” (1:48)
9. “Juke Box Sound” (1:57)
10. “On the Beach” (3:33)
11. “Cool Jerk” (2:11)
12. “Hippy Hippy Sheik” (1:30)
13. “Motorbike Beat” (2:25)

Recorded At – Barclay Towers

Backing Vocals – The Revettes
Bass – William Mysterious
Drums – Rocky Rhythm
Engineer – Mike Engels* (tracks: A6), Steve Nye (tracks: A1, A7, B2, B5), Toni Tone
Guitar – Kid Krupa
Lacquer Cut By – W*
Producer – Chris Lycett (tracks: A6), Eugene Reynolds (tracks: A2 to A5, B1, B3, B4, B6), Mike Howlett (tracks: A1, A7, B2, B5), The Revillos (tracks: A1, A7, B2, B5), Tony Pilley (tracks: A2 to A5, B1, B3, B4, B6)
Vocals – Eugene Reynolds, Fay Fife

5 Sep 1980
A. “Hungry for Love”
B. “Voodoo 2”


Stop-gap Singles

4 Sep 1981
A. “She’s Fallen In Love With a Monster Man”
B. “Mind Bending Cutie Doll”

29 Jan 1982
A. “Bongo Brain”
B. “Hip City – You Were Meant For Me”


Attack

The Revillos released their second album, Attack, in November 1982 on Superville Records.

A1. “Man Attack” (3:05)
A2. “Sputnick Kiss” (3:07)
A3. “Midnight” (3:53)
A4. “Snatzomobile” (3:50)
A5. “Graveyard Groove” (3:30)
A6. “Man Hunt” (2:45) Written-By – B. Russell
B1. “Tell Him” (3:20) Written-By – B. Russell
B2. “Your Baby’s Gone” (3:50)
B3. “Do the Mutilation” (3:35)
B4. “Mad From Birth to Death” (3:35)
B5. “Love Bug” (4:00)
B6. “Caveman, Raveman” (3:05)

Mixed By – Dave Leaper at Impulse Studios, Newcastle
Producer – Eugene Reynolds

Artwork – Glen Smith, TJB Graphics, Tim Brack
Backing Vocals – Cherie, Drax
Bass – Vince Santini
Drums – Rocky Rhythm
Guitar – Kid Krupa
Lead Vocals – Eugene Reynolds, Fay Fife

A. “Tell Him”
B. “Graveyard Groove”


Final Singles

October 1983
A. “Bitten By a Love Bug”
B. “Trigger Happy Jack”

March 1984
A. “Midnight”
B. “Z-X-7”


Discography:

  • Can’t Stand The Rezillos (1978)
  • Rev Up (The Revillos • 1980)
  • Attack! (The Revillos • 1982)

Sources:

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