line up: Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons
Ed Simons and Tom Rowlands met whilst studying History at Manchester
Metropolitan University in 1989. Primarily it was for the music
that they came to Manchester and they enjoyed the student lifestyle
at such venues as The
Hacienda, Most Excellent and Spice.
Order fans got together and DJ'd under the name of 'The Dust
Brothers' in 1992, kick-starting an amazing career that has seen
them become one of the most influential acts of the '90's. The Dust
Brothers' groundbreaking first track, "Song To The Siren",
mixed breakbeats, sirens and Madchester
indie vocals. However it was their 1994 "14th Century Sky"
and "My Mercury Mouth" EPs that earned Tom and Ed the reputation
of best remixers in the business. Work came their way from the likes
of The Manic Street Preachers, Primal
Scream, The Prodigy and Saint Etienne whilst their remixes of
Charlatans' "Chemical Risk" and "Patrol" highlighted
their ability to tackle any style of music.
a name change to 'The Chemical Brothers' in 1995, their debut album,
"Exit Planet Dust". sold over a million copies World-wide,
spawning the UK Top 20 singles, "Leave Home" and "Life
Is Sweet" (which included guest vocals from The Charlatans'
1996 they released the "Loops Of Fury" EP which contributed
a track to the Sony Playstation game "Wipeout 2097/WipeOut XL"
(a remix for The Manic Street Preachers also appeared on Playstation's
"Gran Turismo" game).
1996, Tom contributed to The
Charlatans' smash hit single, "One to Another", however
it was the Chemical Brothers' tour supporting Oasis
that led to their next big project...
Chemical Brothers scored their first UK Number 1 single in 1996
with "Setting Sun" which featured guest vocals from Oasis
Gallagher. The track was later included on their second album,
the two million seller "Dig Your Own Hole" (1997), which
also produced a further Number 1 hit single, "Block Rockin' Beats".
Rockin' Beats" was reminiscent of Black
Grape's superb Euro '96 single, "England's Irie", with
the trigger, I felt like this"
rap being replaced by Tom and Ed's "Back
with another one of those block rockin' beats".
"Dig Your Own Hole" also spawned the hit singles, "Elektrobank"
and "The Private Psychedelic Reel" (featuring Mercury Rev).
1998, Ed and Tom released a compilation album of Dust/Chemical Brothers
remixes entitled, "Brothers Gonna Work It Out" before returning
to the studio to complete their best project to date.
"Surrender", the Chemical Brothers' latest chart-topping
album, again continues their close Manchester links: it features
guest vocals from Oasis's
(on the Number 7 hit single "Let Forever Be") whilst the
track "Out Of Control" allowed Tom and Ed to work with their
idol, Bernard Sumner from New
Division fame. The same track also features Primal
Scream's Bobby Gillespie. (It reached Number 10 in the UK singles
charts, November 1999). The first single release from the album,
"Hey Boy, Hey Girl", reached Number 2 in the UK however went
on to top the charts all over the World.
differing influences displayed on "Surrender" are testament
to the musical education Tom and Ed obviously received in Manchester
– a city which, like The Chemical Brothers, continues to push music
to new-found pleasures, recognising no boundaries and capturing
the imagination of millions world-wide!