The Sound

The Sound was an English post-punk band from London that released the 1980/81 albums Jeopardy and From the Lions Mouth on Korova, followed by five albums over the ensuing lustrum on WEA, Statik, and Play It Again Sam. The band evolved from punk trio The Outsiders, headed by guitarist/singer Adrian Borland, who also led the coldwave side-project Second Layer with Sound bassist Graham Bailey.

Members: Adrian Borland (guitar, vocals), Graham Bailey (bass), Mike Dudley (drums), Benita Marshall (keyboards, saxophone, clarinet, 1979-80), Max Myers (keyboards, 1980-88)

The Sound was formed in 1979 London by guitarist/vocalist Adrian Borland (1957–1999). He arrived on the scene two years earlier fronting punk trio The Outsiders, which issued the 1977/78 albums Calling On Youth and Close Up. The second features bassist Graham Bailey, who followed Borland into The Sound with drummer Mike Dudley and keyboardist/reedist Belinda “Bi” Marshall. Though not a member, Outsiders drummer Adrian Janes occasionally co-wrote for the new band.

Physical World

In 1979, The Sound debuted with the EP Physical World, issued on small-press Tortch Records (Tor 003). It features three Borland originals: “Cold Beat,” “Physical World,” and “Unwritten Law.” The sleeve, an abstract perspective collage, is credited to one K. Grey.

Second Layer – Flesh as Property

Just prior to Physical World, Tortch issued the EP Flesh as Property (Tor 001), the first of three releases by the Borland–Bailey side-project Second Layer. It too features three songs: “Courts or Wars,” “Metal Sheet,” and “Germany.” (Between those two release, Tortch issued the EP A Bus for a Bus on the Bus, the lone-release by Cardiacs-precursor Cardiac Arrest, featuring eventual Sound keyboardist Max Myers.)


During May–June 1979, The Sound recorded an album’s worth of songs, produced by Adrian’s father Bob Borland.

Second Layer – State of Emergency

In 1980, Borland and Bailey released State of Emergency, their second three-song EP as Second Layer.


The Sound released their first official album, Jeopardy, on November 1, 1980, on Korova.

Released: September 1980

Second Layer – World of Rubber

In 1981, the post-punk label Cherry Red released the album World of Rubber, the third and final installment of Second Layer.

From the Lions Mouth

The Sound released their second album, From the Lions Mouth, on November 26, 1981, on Korova.

“Sense of Purpose (What Are We Going to Do)”
Released: 20 September 1981

“Live Instinct”

In 1981, The Sound released the four-song EP “Live Instinct” on the Dutch branch of WEA.

The Witch Trials

“Hot House”

On May 14, 1982, The Sound released “Hot House,” a non-album single backed with a live version of “New Dark Age.”

All Fall Down

The Sound released their third album, All Fall Down, on October 23, 1982, on WEA.

This Cover Keeps Reality Unreal (EP, 1983 • Kevin Hewick and The Sound)

Shock of Daylight

In April 1984, The Sound released the six-song EP Shock of Daylight on Statik–A&M.

“Counting the Days”
Released: 1984

“Golden Soldiers”
Released: 1984 (Spain only)

Heads and Hearts

The Sound released their fourth album, Heads and Hearts, in February 1985 on Statik.

“One Thousand Reasons”
Released: 1984

“Temperature Drop”
Released: 1985
“Under You”
Released: 1985

In the Hothouse

In late 1985, The Sound released the live double-album In the Hothouse.

Thunder Up

The Sound released their fifth and final studio album, Thunder Up, in December 1987 on the Belgian label Play It Again Sam.

“Heartland” icy, angular organ line cascades over turgid bassline, 4-downstrokes per bar (approximating buzzsaw)… trebly sustained power-chords under the chorus line… two note guitar solo, high and mid-range… urgent vocals…lyrics about futility of existence in an industrial city…or hopes and dreams of the mecca vs reality “Unwritten Law” slow, searing lead guitar sustain over deep bassline moving at double the speed (med-tempo). …Low key vocals on the verses, paced by an octave spanning bassline in A… pronounced, guitar lines on the chorus, only searing note at a time (G/Gb/A/G) over an angular key change (G/D/F/C) amid swelling volume …. Double guitar on middle-eight (lead and chordal/fuzzy)… lyrics about facts of life, laws and mortality, how there’s no escaping it wherever you go. “Missiles” slow, desolate fade in bass…. Joined by nervy, staccato guitar (plucked diads)… shimmery keyboard note fading in and out…. Swelling chorus, declamatory chorus line…echoey, fuzz-laden chordal sustains and harmonic notes flank the staccato figure during the second verse… echoey feedback, swelling volume in the middle-eight (sonic vortex)…rescind for third verse as icy organ reasserts… repeat all… lyrics question why men make missiles, knowing what they can do (quote)


  • Physical World E.P. (EP, 1979)
  • Jeopardy (1980)
  • From the Lions Mouth (1981)
  • All Fall Down (1982)
  • This Cover Keeps Reality Unreal (EP, 1983 • Kevin Hewick and The Sound)
  • Shock of Daylight (EP, 1984)
  • Heads and Hearts (1985)
  • In the Hothouse (2LP live, 1985)
  • Thunder Up (1987)
  • Propaganda (1999, recorded 1979)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *