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The Phones Live at First Avenue, October 2003 - Photo by John Wagner
FYI: 2019 is the 40th anniversary of The Phones forming.
The Phones have signed a publishing deal with "In the Groove Music" in Minneapolis. www.inthegroovemusic.com
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PHONES HISTORY AND DISCOGRAPHY
Forming in 1979, the Phones released their first single "I'm So neat" b/w "She Said Goodbye in February of 1980 on their own label, Phone-O-Graph Records. A second single, "Suspended Animation" b/w "Kids Today" was released a year later.
In the Spring of 1981 the group recorded their first LP. The album, "Changing Minds" was picked up and released by Twin Tone Records in March of 1982 where it became one of their biggest sellers to date. In 1983 they began work on their second Twin Tone record "Blind Impulse" which was released in early 1984 to rave reviews including one from Robert Palmer of the New York Times who called it, "Sheer Stylistic Originality" and gave it "Top Honors, this is a band to watch."
1986 the Phones released the "Stickman" EP on newly formed Pendulum Records. This fierce collection of songs received a large amount of airplay on FM, and College radio. A change of instuments, and 1 new member led to a name change for the band in 1987 and release of the self titled "Stickman" 12" single featuring "Crawl Walk Run" b/w "She Goes Round". This record too was played extensively by radio stations across the country, and received favorable mention in Billboard Magazine.
1989 the band released their swan song cassette titled "Stickman Live" (the way it should be) A collection of two of their last live performances captured onto 8 tracks, and released on Pendulum Records. This limited edition tape soon sold out, as the band faded from the Minneapolis music scene in the fall of 1989.
A few years later, in 1992 a request from a good friend brought the Phones back together again to help raise money for his sons cancer treatments. Soon the Uptown fire that brought down the corner of Hennepin and Lake, had them gigging again, this time to raise money for the occupants of the upstairs apartments, one of whom was Phones former soundman Mike Youngman, as the fire consumed everything of his, including Mikes extensive recording library of Phones live shows, basement jams, and half baked song ideas.
These shows led to at least 1 benefit, or "just for the hell of it" reunion shows per year for the next few years. Requests for re-issues of the old albums kept pouring in, as did requests for re-mastering the albums to that new fangled format called "Compact Disc"
The band decided to check on the possibility of making the old records available on CD in late 1998. That plan evolved instead into releasing a collection of completely different songs. Songs never recorded before. Pre-production started in January 1999. The Phones went into the studio in June of 1999 and came out at the end of August. The result is 10 previously unreleased songs, and 1 updated recording of "Take your Time". (originally released on the Phones "Stickman EP" 1986) All songs were written by the Phones between 1984-1988, including some co-written by former guitarist Rick Taves (R.T.).