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The Explorers

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The arty progressive rock of Roxy Music slid into a decidedly poppier direction when former members Phil Manzanera (guitars, keyboards) and Andy MacKay (sax, oboe, keyboards) collaborated as the Explorers. After Roxy Music's demise in 1983, MacKay moved to Ireland, developing a fondness for traditional Irish music. Wanting a respite from the studio, MacKay formed the Explorers with Manzanera and vocalist James Wraith. The Explorers started recording a year later, debuting with the snappy synth-pop track "Lorelei" in June 1984. On "Lorelei," Manzanera and MacKay peeled away Roxy Music's lush, dreamy arrangements but retained their original band's funky grooves. The Explorers performed for BBC Radio One in December 1984, the group's first concert. In 1985, Virgin Records released the Explorers' self-titled LP; the band also toured the U.K. However, the Explorers couldn't sell records; the group began recording a second album at Gallery Studios in October 1985, but the band's lack of success had it shelved. The Explorers split up in 1986. In 1989, Manzanera's Expression Records issued the Explorers' second LP, Manzanera & MacKay; the album was credited to Manzanera & MacKay as well and not the Explorers. After the breakup of the Explorers, Manzanera and MacKay started solo careers. ~ Michael Sutton