Alan Rankine; Billy MacKenzie; Michael Dempsey; John Murphy.
Discography of Associates, The:
|#||Cover||Release title||Total tracks||Download mp3 album||Release date||Label fo release|
|1||Tell Me Easter's On Friday||2||1981-03-05||Situation Two|
|4||Take Me To The Girl||5||1985|
|5||Heart Of Glass (Auchterhouse Mix)||3||1988-09-00|
|7||Fourth Drawer Down||8||1981-10-00||Situation Two|
|9||Party Fears Two||2||1982-01-28|
|10||18 Carat Love Affair / Love Hangover||3||1982-07-23|
|11||18 Carat Love Affair / Love Hangover||2||1982-07-23|
|12||Fire To Ice||4||1990||Circa|
|15||Just Can't Say Goodbye||2||1991-01-00||Circa|
|16||Take Me To The Girl||2||1985-10-00|
|18||Waiting For The Loveboat||2||1984-08-17|
|19||Party Fears Two||2||1982-01-28|
|20||Wild And Lonely||10||1990-03-00||Charisma|
|23||Q Quarters||2||1981-06-24||Situation Two|
|24||Fire To Ice||8||1990||Charisma|
|25||Sulk (U.S. Version / U.K. Version)||21||1982||WEA|
|27||Popera - The Singles Collection||17||1990|
|29||The Affectionate Punch||10||1982||Fiction Records|
|30||Those First Impressions (Extended Version)||2||1984-05-11|
|31||Take Me To The Girl||4||1985-10-00||WEA|
|32||Fourth Drawer Down||8||1985|
|33||Fourth Drawer Down||8||1982||Beggars Banquet|
|34||Wild And Lonely||12||1990-03-00|
|36||The Peel Sessions||5||1989-10-00||Strange Fruit|
|37||The Radio 1 Sessions||16||1994-08-00||Nighttracks|
|38||The Affectionate Punch||10||1980-08-00|
|39||Fourth Drawer Down||13||2000-08-00|
|40||The Affectionate Punch||10||1997-10-00|
|41||The Glamour Chase & Perhaps||25||2002-05-00|
|42||Popera - The Singles Collection||17||1991-01-00|
|43||White Car In Germany||2||1981-11-00|
|45||Those First Impressions||2||1984||WEA|
|46||The Radio One Sessions Volume One 1981-1983||16||2003-02-00||Strange Fruit|
|47||The Radio One Sessions Volume Two 1984-1985||14||2003-06-00||Strange Fruit|
|48||Party Fears Two||2||1982-02-00||Beggars Banquet|
|49||The Affectionate Punch||16||2005-08-00|
Billy MacKenzie and Alan Rankine formed The Associates in Dundee, Scotland, in 1976. They released a self-funded 7" of Boys Keep Swinging mere weeks after David Bowie had released his original. This scam got them a publishing deal with Bowie's publishers and a proper record deal.
By 1980 they were touring with Cure, The and signed to [l=Fiction Records], for whom they recorded The Affectionate Punch. At the turn of the year they relocated to [l=Situation Two] and put out a string of singles, later compiled on the album Fourth Drawer Down, recorded using money from major labels who were expecting demos to be produced with their cash... In tandem with their increasing consumption of coke and speed, the groups' music became increasingly deranged and experimental. John Murphy and Mike Dempsey (ex-The Cure) became official members.
The Associates signed with WEA in 1982. Martha Ladly joined as back-up singer. Billy and Alan immediately scored a string of UK top 20 chart hits. The album Sulk made the UK top 10, winning album of the year awards in the UK music press. The groups drug use was at a peak - Billy & Alans behaviour was becoming somewhat erratic. On the eve of their biggest ever UK tour MacKenzie pulled out. A US deal with Island was consequentially lost. Deciding that he couldn't continue, Alan Rankine left the group. From this moment on, The Associates were to be just that: Billy MacKenzie solo, with different associates for each release.
MacKenzie started recording a follow up album. 1984s Perhaps cost WEA £250,000. It took 3 years and 4 production teams to record - twice (dissatisfied with the original production Billy "lost" the first versions' master tapes, forcing a re-recording). The album had some chart success, but WEA were dissatisfied, and started pressuring MacKenzie to follow a more straightforward pop-soul direction. Frustrated by WEA's lack of support, MacKenzie focussed on collaborations, most notably with Yello (featuring on One Second, Flag, Baby and writing The Rhythm Divine).
1988's comeback single, a cover of Blondie's Heart Of Glass, failed to chart. WEA refused to release its parent album, The Glamour Chase, and with MacKenzie over a million pounds in debt to the label The Associates were dropped.
Circa quickly signed MacKenzie and in 1990 released Wild And Lonely, the last album of original music under the The Associates name. 1992's album, the Thomas Fehlmann / Boris Blank-produced Outernational was issued under the artist name Billy MacKenzie. Even though the album had good reviews in the press and Baby was single of the week in Melody Maker, the album stiffed - partially due to Circa winding down operations.
Aside from an aborted Associates reunion with Alan Rankine in the mid-90s, MacKenzie remained a solo artist, collaborating in the 90s with Peach, Barry Adamson, Paul Haig and Apollo Four Forty amongst others. At the end of 1996, after four years without a deal, he signed with Nude Records.
Tragically his first release for the label was a post-humous one. The death of his mother in 1996 was likely the trigger of an emotional breakdown that led him deeper and deeper into a depressed state. Billy MacKenzie died aged 39, on 22nd January 1997 from an overdose of prescribed and over-the-counter pills.