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Graduate members Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith are no doubt best known for the work they did as part of another rock group, Tears for Fears. The band Graduate formed in 1979 in Bath. Early on in its existence, the lineup consisted of guitarist and keyboardist Roland Orzabal, guitarist and singer John Baker, flautist and keyboardist Steve Buck, drummer Andy Marsden, and Curt Smith on the synthesizers and bass. These artists actually picked the name for their group from a film by the same name. It seemed a fitting choice, seeing as how they opened each show with a cover song from the movie. The Graduate members did the normal local club circuit gigs, growing a fan base and improving as they went. Soon the band moved on from the club scene to national touring, opening for other acts. In 1980, only a year after joining forces, the guys recorded a debut album, Acting My Age, under the Precision Records label. There were more tours after the album, giving the band a chance to make new fans in a number of countries, but real success and popularity stayed just out of reach. The members went back to work in the recording studio in 1981. A number of demo tracks were recorded for a sophomore album that was to be titled "Ambition," but the finished product never came to be. Two decades later, the debut album was released again, with the bounce added of those demos, including "Oh U Boys," "I See Through You," "Premature Baby," "Happens So Fast," "Christ Look Upon Us," "Think of Me," and "Only the Best." A short two years after the birth of the Graduate, things came to a sudden end. The guys moved on to other musical endeavors, though. Smith and Orzabal started a new group, the abovementioned Tears for Fears, and landed a contract with Mercury Records. ~ Charlotte Dillon


1979 in Bath, Somerset, England

Years Active:

'80s, '00s