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Balaam and the Angel

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The gothic pop band Balaam & the Angel were formed in Birmingham, England in 1984 by the Scottish-born Morris brothers -- vocalist/bassist Mark, drummer Des, and guitarist Jim. The siblings started their career while still children, playing men's clubs as a cabaret-styled act; as adults, they began as a more pop-oriented unit, but found themselves affiliated with the goth rock movement after a series of opening dates for the Cult. After founding their own label, Chapter 22 Records, Balaam & the Angel released their debut EP, Love Me, in 1985; the subsequent Day and Night brought the group to the attention of Virgin, which issued the full-length The Greatest Story Ever Told in 1987. After touring in support of Iggy Pop and Kiss, the group resurfaced with second guitarist Ian McKean in 1988 with the harder-edged Live Free or Die. Like its predecessor, the LP failed to make a dent in the charts, but Balaam & the Angel soldiered on, traveling to San Francisco to record 1989's Days of Madness; when it also failed commercially, Virgin opted to cut their losses and dropped the band from their contract. Under the abbreviated name Balaam, they issued the 1991 heavy metal EP No More Innocence; Prime Time followed in 1993. ~ Jason Ankeny

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