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Bush: Rocking Across The Atlantic
There's a standard path for most music acts. After forming, they do a few demos, build up a fan base in their local area and then hunt for the nearest record label to sign them. Not many take the route of Bush, which sought greener contractual pastures abroad before making it big back home. The roundabout paid off in the end, though, if their ten-year career is anything to go on.
Gavin Rossdale and Nigel Pulsford – previously of the bands Midnight and King Blank, respectively – met in a London, England pub in 1992. The two hit it off right away with a common interest in American alt rock act the Pixies, which led to their forming a band, Future Primitive, not long after. With Rossdale on vocals and Pulsford on guitars, new recruits Dave Parsons on bass and Robin Goodridge on drums completed the lineup.
Bush: From Pub to Public
By the next year, they had a deal in the works with California-based Hollywood Records, but their debut – originally penciled for an early 1994 release – was shelved with the death of company exec Frank Wells. Interscope Records, meanwhile, decided to pick up the project, and Sixteen Stone was out on the market by December 1994.
The band's debut did well on the charts, and the first Bush album was soon flying off the store shelves; it made six times platinum by 1997, and is their bestselling release. It was followed up by Razorblade Suitcase in 1996 which, despite hitting triple platinum by the next year, was heavily criticized for “sounding too much like Nirvana,” which dominated the grunge scene at the time. In response, the group released Deconstructed, which gave new arrangements to many of the songs from Razorblade Suitcase.
In what many saw as a move to distance themselves from other grunge acts, the group released the electronic-heavy The Science of Things in 1999. The new sound, however, did not fly as well with the fans, which meant that sales only barely reached platinum.
Bush's New Direction
Golden State, the band's last album together, was released in 2001. It did not, however, enjoy any of the commercial success of its predecessors; lacking even gold certification, it is the least popular of the group's albums. Pulsford, who left after the release, was replaced by Chris Traynor for the final tour. The lack of record sales and support from their label, Atlantic Records, led to the dissolution of Bush in 2002.
Two albums came out after the band had disbanded. The Best of: 1994-1999, a greatest hits compilation, was released in 2005; Zen X Four, a live album, followed just a few months later. Rossdale, Goodridge and Traynor have since gone on to join other bands. Despite Rossdale's attempts to contact other former members, a reunion has not yet been announced.
Did you know that...
- ...the band's name comes from Shepherd's Bush? That was the name of the area in London where all the members used to live.
- ...Goodridge wasn't the original drummer? At one gig, he was in the audience and pointed out how the band's then drummer could be better. He took the drummer's seat not long after.