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McCarthy were a British indie pop band, formed in Barking, East London in 1985 by schoolmates Malcolm Eden, Tim Gane, John Williamson and Gary Baker. They mixed a sweetly melodic style, dominated by Gane's 12-string guitar playing, with Eden's overtly political lyrics, often satirical in tone, which reflected the band's far left leanings.
After a string of singles, including 'Red Sleeping Beauty' and 'Frans Hals', and a track on the NME C86 album, their debut album 'I Am A Wallet' was released in 1987 to much critical acclaim. Two further singles appeared in early 1988, then an EP in February 1989 was followed by a second album, 'The Enraged Will Inherit The Earth', which was considerably less well received. A year later, in 1990, they released a third album 'Banking, Violence and the Inner Life Today', on which they were joined by Gane's girlfriend Lætitia Sadier on vocals. The album suggested a new willingness to experiment musically, and was seen by critics as something of a return to form, but it in fact proved to be their swansong and they split soon afterwards.
Gane and Sadier went on to form Stereolab, while Eden formed Herzfeld while studying Literature.
McCarthy were a major early influence on the Manic Street Preachers who covered 'We Are All Bourgeois Now', which appeared as a hidden track on the CD of their 'Know Your Enemy' album, as well as 'Charles Windsor', which appeared as a b-side on their Life Becoming A Landslide EP. Manics frontman James Dean Bradfield has also covered 'Red Sleeping Beauty'.
Top SongsTotal plays on Last.fm over the last 6 months
- Red Sleeping Beauty - 47,671 plays
- Celestial City - 15,464 plays
- The Well of Loneliness - 22,503 plays
- Antinature - 17,891 plays
- Frans Hals - 16,002 plays
- We Are All Bourgeois Now - 18,316 plays
- The Funeral - 16,183 plays
- An Mp Speaks - 16,723 plays
- Should the Bible Be Banned - 17,079 plays
- Keep an Open Mind or Else - 15,231 plays