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Deaf School

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The Liverpool, England art rock band Deaf School turned to the Tin Pan Alley sound, not punk, as an alternative to the commercial music of the ‘70s. Formed in 1976 by Steve Allen (vocals), Bette Bright (vocals), Clive Langer (guitar, piano), Max Ripple (keyboards, accordion), Steve Lindsey (bass, piano, vocals), Timothy Whittaker (drums), Ian Ritchie (sax), Eric Shark (vocals), and Paul Pilnick (guitar, accordion, bass, banjo). Deaf School made their debut with a double album, 2nd Honeymoon. Influenced by Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart, and Kurt Weill, 2nd Honeymoon was an ambitious exception to the late ‘70s U.K. pop scene caught in a wave of punk. Deaf School recorded two more LPs of damn-the-mainstream eclecticism – 1977's Don't Stop the World and 1978's English Boys/Working Girls – and then broke up. Allen, who was calling himself Enrico Cadillac with Deaf School, formed Original Mirrors with Ian Broudie of Care and the Lightning Seeds; Langer, backed by the Boxes, went solo; Bright released an album with the Illuminations (also featuring Langer and Broudie; and Lindsey created the Planets. Langer became more well known as a producer with his partner Alan Winstanley, working on records by Madness, Elvis Costello, China Crisis, Tim Finn, and Morrissey. ~ Michael Sutton

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