Famous as the unforgettable blonde fronting Transvision Vamp, Wendy James has a new band – RACINE. Now Wendy is taking a fervently independent approach to creating her own music. ‘Racine 2’ is the first release to feature the band.
Transvision Vamp achieved worldwide fame 1988-93 with seven UK top 30 hits including the top 5 smashes ‘I Want Your Love’ & ‘Baby I Don’t Care’ from the Pop Art and the no. 1 Velveteen albums respectively. Sexy in videos and rebellious in interviews, Wendy was everywhere, and rose to iconic status.
After TVV, Elvis Costello wrote a solo album for her, Now Ain’t The Time For Your Tears. Thrilled by this but ultimately unsatisfied, Wendy then took a period out to learn to play and write, immersing herself in both rock’n’roll culture and hip-hop. Racine No. 1 (2004, One Little Indian) was just Wendy alone, performing, playing, producing and composing.
But now, RACINE is a 5-piece rock’n’roll band and ‘RACINE 2’ is an 11-track album – written and composed, produced and mixed by Wendy, played by the band and recorded in New York City where Wendy now resides. The album comes with an 11-track bonus album ‘Racine No. 1 Demos’, as Wendy maintains they were her authentic beginning to Racine. ‘Racine 2’ was released throughout Europe on March 3rd 2008.
In 2007 they toured the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Holland, France, Germany, and Spain and now tour UK & Europe through March and April 2008 to coincide with the release of RACINE 2. In London they are joined by The Plastiscines and in Paris – The Teenagers. For latest gig updates check Wendy's Myspace or Facebook pages.
Disc 1 – ‘RACINE 2’: Way; I'm Freaking Out; Racine; Bobby's Going Electric; You're A Good Man, Sister; There Ain't No Way – I Can't Do No Twenny In This; Oui Ou Non – A Straight Boogaloo; Stoned, Ripped and Twisted; Essex Dog; Those Leg Motherf***ers; Bitter Funny.
Disc 2 – ‘RACINE No. 1 DEMOS’: The Man; Grease Monkey; Princess Patience Blues; Hip Hop 156; W13th; Blonde Mink Mimi; Heavy Metal Dude; That's The Breaks, Junior; Cakewalk; Life Goes On; Deluxe.
WENDY JAMES – biography.
Wendy James was age 15 singing Patti Smith songs in a Brighton after-hours bar when she met musician and songwriter Nick Christian Sayer. At 16, Wendy left home to join him in music full time, knowing they could make it as a Rock n Roll band. And they did; Transvision Vamp.
With seven top thirty singles UK hits, including two top five singles and a number one album, Transvision Vamp’s catchy pop-punk songs and memorable raunchy videos were embedded into worldwide consciousness between 1988-1993.
In 1988, after the debut ‘Revolution Baby’ and Holly & The Italians cover ‘Tell That Girl To Shut Up’, it was their third single, the unabashed ‘I Want Your Love’ that launched them into the top 5. The album ‘Pop Art’ went in the charts at number 4.
The following year they had no ‘second album syndrome’ – ‘Baby I Don’t Care’ went top 5 and the album ‘Velveteen’ went in at number 1. Three more singles charted: ‘The Only One’, ‘Landslide Of Love’ and ‘Born To Be Sold’. By now Transvision Vamp were touring the world, and Wendy James was regularly appearing all over magazines, press and TV and her sexy, punky, rebellious look and attitude caused the press to hang on her every remark. A famous Face magazine cover stopped traffic in London and New York and became the top selling Face of all time. The New York Times affirmed her iconic status by including her with Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot and Debbie Harry as embodying the elusive, untouchable and timeless blonde. But she wouldn’t play the celebrity game, and could still be found in the pub hanging out with friends.
By the time of their third album, ‘Little Magnets versus the Bubble of Babble’, the UK music scene and Transvision Vamp had moved on. ‘I Just Wanna B With U’ made the top 30, ‘If Looks Could Kill’ didn’t, though it remains Wendy’s and many fans favourite song from the entire TVV catalogue. The album was to go on to be their best selling in the US, but having toured the world in support of the record, by the time the UK label scheduled a release, the band had decided to split.
Just as TVV were splitting in 1993, a chance Hollywood meeting with Elvis Costello’s drummer Pete Thomas led Wendy to write a letter to see if Elvis would write her some songs. Elvis responded with a whole album written just for her. Wendy re-signed to Geffen and ‘Now Ain’t The Time For Your Tears’ became Wendy’s first solo outing, using musicians from Van Morrison’s line-up and Pete Thomas himself on drums, with Stones producer Chris Kimsey.
Whilst thrilled at having had the album written for her, Wendy was ultimately musically unsatisfied with it and overall with singing other people’s work so she cut back on world promo for it and took a time-out to write and play herself. Upon finishing the demos for Racine No.1 she then moved to New York City and immersed herself in both rock’n’roll culture and hip-hop. ‘Racine Number 1’ (2005, One Little Indian) was just Wendy alone, performing, playing, production and composition.
Now, ‘RACINE 2’ has been recorded in New York with her new 5-piece rock’n’roll band featuring 11 new Wendy James compositions, produced and mixed by her and mastered by Howie Weinberg. To be released on CD by Jungle, it comes packaged with a bonus album ‘Racine No. 1 Demos’, the beginning of her Racine odyssey. And so on the live circuit, in 2007 the band has toured the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Holland, Germany, France and Spain. A covert video of a 2007 gig has appeared on Youtube – search words: ‘Wendy James Madrid’. Now, to follow on from the CD release, the band are on the eve of the SPRING 08 European tour.
Stock photo. Factory Shrinkwrapped.
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