The Cardiacs are an English band who were formed by Tim Smith in 1976. They combined the attitudes of early punk music with progressive rock, creating a sound often dubbed as ‘Pronk’. Vocalist and songwriter Smith enlisted his brother Jim to play bass in the band, along with Peter Tagg on drums and Mick Pugh on vocals.
They began their career with the bizarre band name ‘Philip Pilf And The Filth’, which although seems strange, seems fitting towards the bands image and sound. The name was soon switched to Cardiac Arrest, and Colvin Myers joined to play keyboard for the band’s first single ‘A Bus For A Bus On The Bus’, which was released in 1979. An album shortly followed, named ‘The Obvious Identity’. In the same year, Mark Cawthra replaced Tagg, who went on to form the Trudy. His departure was followed by that of Pugh and Myers.
The Cardiacs, as they were now known, strived to go against the conventional recording methods, releasing a string of cassette-only albums, of which they self released throughout the 80’s – including classic ‘Toy World’ in 1981.There were many line-up changes, but as of 1983 this stayed stable for six years, and the musicians created an insane on-stage routine, full of odd-ball performances and theatrical elements.
By 1988, the band began to tackle something they were somewhat alien to, the mainstream. They released the LP A Little Man and a House and the Whole World Window, which proved to be their biggest success, spawning the Top Ten UK hit "Is This a Life."
At the end of 2008, Tim Smith suffered quite ironically, from a cardiac arrest. He is recovering slowly, but it is unclear as to whether The Cardiacs, with their shaken up line-up, will tour again. Here’s hoping!
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