James: A Look at the Iconic Madchester Band

  1. Madchester Bands
  2. Other Notable Madchester Bands
  3. James

The iconic Madchester band, James, is a well-loved and highly respected group of musicians, whose influence continues to be felt in the music industry today. From their debut album 'Stutter' to their most recent release 'Living in Extraordinary Times', James have been a source of inspiration and comfort for generations of fans. Their unique blend of indie rock, folk, and alternative pop has earned them a devoted following around the world, with countless tribute bands, cover songs, and bootleg recordings. James have achieved remarkable success over the years, with numerous awards and nominations including multiple Brit Awards, Ivor Novello Awards, and MOJO Magazine's Lifetime Achievement Award. They have sold over 12 million albums and played hundreds of shows around the world.

Now, in this article, we will take a look at the history of this iconic Madchester band, tracing their journey from their early days to their present status as one of the most beloved acts in British music. James is an iconic British rock band from Manchester, England. Originally formed in 1982, the band has gone through several lineup changes over the years but has maintained a loyal fanbase. With a unique blend of post-punk, folk, and dance-pop influences, they have become one of the most important bands of the Madchester scene. This article will explore the history, music, and legacy of James.

The original members included Jim Glennie, Paul Gilbertson, Larry Gott, and Gavan Whelan. The band quickly rose to fame in the Madchester scene with their first release ‘Jimone’ in 1982. Following their success with this single, they released their debut album ‘Stutter’ in 1984 which became an instant hit. The album reached number 4 in the UK Albums Chart and spawned several successful singles such as ‘Come Home’ and ‘What’s the World’. The band continued to gain popularity with their second album ‘Gold Mother’ in 1990.

This album featured the single ‘Sit Down’ which is considered to be one of their most iconic songs. It reached number 2 on the UK Singles Chart and earned them a Brit Award for Best British Single. Their third album ‘Seven’ was released in 1992 and it was also a success, reaching number 4 in the UK Albums Chart. James has always had a unique sound which blends post-punk, folk, and dance-pop influences.

They were one of the first bands to use synthesizers and drum machines in their music, which gave them a distinct sound that set them apart from other bands in the genre. Some of their most memorable songs include ‘Laid’, ‘She’s a Star’, and ‘Say Something’. These songs continue to be popular among fans today. The legacy of James continues to be felt today.

They have been cited as an influence by many other bands in the genre, such as Oasis and The Verve. They have also enjoyed long-running success in the UK charts with several of their singles reaching the top 10. They have also been nominated for numerous awards including two Brit Awards and two Ivor Novello Awards. They are still popular among fans and their music continues to be relevant in popular culture today. In conclusion, James is an iconic British rock band from Manchester whose influence continues to be felt today.

They have a unique blend of post-punk, folk, and dance-pop influences which has earned them a loyal fanbase. Their numerous awards and nominations are testament to their success and their music remains relevant in popular culture today.


James have been cited as an influential band for many other bands over the years, especially in the Madchester scene. They have had a long-running success in the UK charts, with several top 10 hits throughout their career.

They have remained popular among fans, with their songs often heard in clubs and pubs today. The band has also achieved a number of awards and accolades, including four BRIT awards. Beyond their music, James have also been credited with helping to establish Manchester as a centre of musical innovation. Their blend of post-punk, folk and dance-pop helped to create the iconic Madchester sound that has gone on to influence many other bands and genres. The legacy of James remains strong today. They continue to be cited as an influence by other bands, while their songs remain popular among fans and are still heard in clubs and pubs around the world.

History and Formation

James is an iconic British rock band that has become a cornerstone of the Madchester scene.

They were formed in 1982 by brothers Jim and Andy Glenn, who recruited bassist Gavan Whelan and guitarist Paul Gilbertson to complete the original lineup. The band started off playing a unique blend of post-punk, folk, and dance-pop music, which quickly gained them recognition in the local music scene. Their first EP, 'Jimone', was released in 1983 on Factory Records, and was followed up by their full-length album 'Stutter' in 1986. The album was critically acclaimed and helped to cement James' reputation as a pioneering act in the Madchester scene. Through their live shows and various singles, they developed a loyal fanbase that helped them to gain more mainstream success.

In 1989, the band released the hit single 'Sit Down', which featured a catchy chorus and memorable music video. The single propelled James to greater heights of fame and they followed it up with their next album 'Gold Mother'. The album was a huge commercial success and spawned more hit singles such as 'Come Home' and 'Sound'. James have continued to release music over the years, and while their lineup has changed over time, their sound remains unique and distinct.

They remain an important part of the Madchester scene, and have left an indelible mark on British rock music.


James is known for their unique blend of post-punk, folk, and dance-pop influences. Their sound is characterized by a mix of acoustic and electric instruments, as well as the use of synthesizers and drum machines. They have been described as having a 'warm and inviting sound with a hint of darkness' which has helped them to establish a loyal fanbase. The band's early releases, such as the singles 'Folklore' and 'Sit Down', showcased their post-punk influences.

However, they quickly began to explore other genres such as folk and dance-pop. This experimentation was evident in the singles 'She's A Star' and 'Laid', both of which blended acoustic guitars with electronic elements. The band continued to evolve their sound throughout the 1990s, experimenting with various genres and incorporating elements of trip hop, ambient music, and electronica. This musical exploration culminated in the album Millionaires, which was released in 1998. The album featured the singles 'Destiny Calling' and 'I Know What I'm Here For', both of which showcased the band's unique blend of styles.

James have remained an important part of the Madchester scene since their formation in 1982. Their unique sound and experimentation with various genres has made them one of the most influential bands in the genre. Their music continues to inspire new generations of artists. The legacy of James is one of innovation and influence. They have been credited with paving the way for other Madchester bands such as The Stone Roses and The Happy Mondays, and their unique blend of post-punk, folk, and dance-pop has been hugely influential. James' achievements span decades, from their early success in the UK charts to their numerous awards nominations.

They remain an iconic band in the Madchester scene, and their influence can still be felt today.

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