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Isotope

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Biography

The more-jazz-than-rock fusion band Isotope may have not had the longest career, but they played an integral part in the Canterbury Scene with some of its key players spending time in the band. Guitarist Gary Boyle had been playing in Dusty Springfield's band for a couple of years before he caught the prog rock bug. He got it while playing in Brian Auger & the Trinity and afterward decided to go back to school to further his musical studies. After leaving school he played with Keith Tippett and Mike Gibbs, but it was in Stomu Yamash'ta's East West band that he met drummer Nigel Morris. The two formed Isotope in 1973 and soon bassist Jeff Clyne was onboard. The band's self-titled debut appeared in 1974, followed soon after by Clyne's departure. Former Soft Machine bassist Hugh Hopper joined the band in March of 1974, the same year Boyle was to place third in the category of "Best British Guitarists" in Melody Maker's reader poll. Keyboardist Laurence Scott was added to the band for 1975's Illusion and the band gathered more fans on a U.K. tour supporting Gong. Hopper and Scott left the band and were replaced by bassist Dan K. Brown and two keyboardists — Frank Roberts and Zoe Kronberger — for 1976's Deep End. Management and record company struggles caused the band to break up in 1977. The See for Miles label reissued the band's albums in the mid-'90s and Hux unearthed two radio sessions for 2004's Live at the BBC.