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Pere Ubu

Avant-garde rock group Pere Ubu were formed in Cleveland, Ohio in the 1970s and became a critically acclaimed, proto-punk band that has carried on working in various forms, albeit with some breaks, to the present day. The name comes from Ubu Roi[?], a play by Alfred Jarry. David Thomas[?], Peter Laughner[?], Tom Herman[?], Tim Wright[?], Scott Krauss[?] and Allen Ravenstine[?] formed in 1975 after the demise of Rocket From the Tombs[?], a local band featuring Thomas. The debut single was "30 Seconds Over Tokyo", followed by "Final Solution" in 1976.

Laughner left the group that year, and died soon afterwards after a long struggle with drug addiction. Tony Maimone[?] signed on as bassist after Tim Wright left to join DNA[?]. After "Street Waves", their third single, Per Ubu signed to Blank Records[?], an imprint of Mercury Records[?] created just for the band. The debut album was The Modern Dance[?] (1978) and sold poorly, though well among strategic groups. Musicians of all types, including prog rock, punk rock and New Wave were influenced by the dark, abstract record. Dub Housing[?] and New Picnic Time[?] followed, with much the same reaction. The group disbanded in 1979, but reformed soon afterwards with Herman replaced by Mayo Thompson[?] (of Red Krayola[?]).

The Art of Walking[?] (1980) showed a movement towards a pop audience. For the next original album, Song of the Bailing Man[?] (1982), Krauss was replaced by Anton Fier[?]. The group disbanded again soon afterwards; Krauss and Maimone formed Home & Garden[?], while Thomas worked on a solo career, occasionally working with former members of Pere Ubu. The band was reformed again in 1988, with Jim Jones and Chris Cutler[?] joining for the release of The Tenement Year[?] (1988), a far more pop-oriented album than ever before. The following year, "Waiting for Mary" (off Cloudland[?]) appeared on MTV briefly. Eric Drew Feldman[?] joined in time for Worlds in Collision[?] but left afterwards, joining Frank Black. Story of my Life[?] (1993) was released on Imago[?]; Maimone left once again, and Michele Temple[?] and Garo Yellin[?] joined for the 1995 album, Raygun Suitcase[?]. After a 1996 box set, Thomas reunited with Tom Herman to record Pennsylvania[?] (1998) and St. Arkansas[?] in 2002.

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