John Wicks is a singer-songwriter and producer working with numerous artists worldwide. Wicks is best known as the co-founder, lead singer-songwriter and guitarist of U.K. power pop/classic rock band The Records.
The band, formed in London in 1978 having risen from the ashes of The Kursaal Flyers during the 1977
punk rock movement, recorded three albums for Virgin Records: “Shades In Bed”/”The Records” (1979), “Crashes” (1980), and “Music On Both Sides” (1982). Their first album, produced by Mutt Lange and
Tim Friese-Greene reached #41 on the Billboard chart in the U.S. spawning the classic hit single, “Starry Eyes”. Unlike many bands, The Records transcended the punk era, on through the new wave scene and beyond, headlining tours and opening for a wide variety of acts, incuding The Cars, Robert Palmer, Elvis Costello, The Jam and Joe Jackson, before finally taking a break in 1982.
Embarking on a solo career in the early 1980s – John wrote a wealth of new material, including “Prisoner of Love” – “Nowhere Left To Run” and “The Way That Love Goes” – the latter being covered by Atlantic Records artist Dominique, produced by the late, great Ahmet Ertegun.
In 1988 British rock enthusiasts petitioned Virgin Records to release the music of The Records on CD. The fans got their wish when Virgin released a best-of collection entitled “Smashes, Crashes and Near Misses” that same year.
In 1990 Line Records in Germany reissued a set of rhythm and blues flavored punk demos, originally released on vinyl, entitled “A Sunny Afternoon In Waterloo” on CD. Inspired by this, The Records reunited to record an updated version of “Darlin’ ” for a Brian Wilson tribute CD. John, impressed by the response to their reunion, vowed to reform the band.
In August of 1994 John moved to the U.S. and a new incarnation of The Records was born.
Rechristened John Wicks and The Records, the new band played shows all across the U.S. – opening
for the likes of Matthew Sweet, Guided By Voices, Lowen & Navarro and Walter Egan, amongst others.
By the middle of 1995 John and the band recorded “Solace In Wonderland” a limited edition album of country-rock tinged songs reminiscent of Wilco, Whiskeytown and Ryan Adams. Around this period, having noted the renewed interest in the band’s timeless music, Blue Plate/Caroline resissued “Smashes, Crashes and Near Misses” in the U.S. Celebrating their new incarnation, in March 1998 John Wicks and The Records toured Spain in support of “Rock ‘ola” a limited edition CD released on the Rock Indiana record label.
In 2001 – working closely with John – Angel Air Records reissued the CD “Paying For The Summer Of Love” – previously released on the Skyclad record label.
2002 saw Virgin Records teaming up with On The Beach Recordings to release a deluxe CD edition of “Shades In Bed”/”The Records” which features 10 bonus tracks, including every cut from the original
“High Heels” bonus EP. Building on the success of the first reissue, On The Beach joined forces with Virgin once again in 2005 to release a deluxe CD edition of “Crashes” with the inclusion of 6 bonus tracks.
Hot on the heels of playing the Purple Weekend Music Festival in Spain in December 2006 – 2007 saw the Kool Kat Musik release of John Wicks and The Records long-awaited brand new CD entitled “Rotate”. An anthology of sorts, “Rotate” contains material recorded over a number of years in various countries, plus a cover version of “We Can Work It Out” which originally appeared as part of a Canadian Beatles tribute CD. Late 2007 On The Beach/Virgin reissued “Music On Both Sides” on CD – which in addition to bonus tracks, also includes several previously unreleased tracks.
Taking a break from their U.S. dates, in October 2008 John Wicks and The Records are due to tour Japan
in support of both the new album “Rotate” and also the March 2008 release of “The Records Play Live In Evanston, 1980”. Recorded live at Pierce Arrow Recorders in Evanston, Illinois, September 7th 1980 – the album was released by Japanese label Airmail Recordings.
The songs of John Wicks have been recorded by 1960s British invasion band The Searchers, (featuring original members John McNally and Mike Pender), Mary Chapin Carpenter, Too Much Joy, Michael Monroe from Hanoi Rocks, and numerous other artists.
John Wicks and The Records continue to record new albums and tour the world. Primary genres are
power pop and classic rock. In 2011, John contracted with The Fuel Label Group to reissue a repackaged, remastered, expanded version of Rotate, featuring 14 tracks, including a re- record of the iconic hit song, Starry Eyes.
In addition to the band shows, John is keeping busy playing acoustic shows, both solo and also alongside Debbi Peterson, best known as the drummer for The Bangles. Together, and backed by a band, kindly on loan to them courtesy of Peter Asher, they’ve recently played several sold out shows in Los Angeles, opening for their good friend Denny Laine.
For further information on John’s activities, new product, news and so forth, please visit the following websites: