Wire are an English rock band, formed in London in October 1976 by Colin Newman (vocals, guitar), Graham Lewis (bass, vocals), Bruce Gilbert (guitar), and Robert Gotobed (drums). They were originally associated with the punk rock scene, appearing on ''The Roxy London WC2'' album – a key early document of the scene – and were later central to the development of post-punk.
Inspired by the burgeoning UK punk scene, Wire are often cited as one of the more important rock groups of the 1970s and 1980s. Critic Stewart Mason wrote, "Over their brilliant first three albums, Wire expanded the sonic boundaries of not just punk, but rock music in general."
Wire are a definitive art punk and post-punk ensemble, mostly due to their richly detailed and atmospheric sound, often obscure lyrical themes, and, to a lesser extent, their Situationist political stance. The group exhibited a steady development from an early raucous punk style (1977's ''Pink Flag'') to a more complex, structured sound involving increased use of guitar effects and synthesizers (1978's ''Chairs Missing'' and 1979's ''154''). The band gained a reputation for experimenting with song arrangements throughout its career.
Wire's debut album, ''Pink Flag'' (1977) – "perhaps the most original debut album to come out of the first wave of British punk", according to AllMusic – contains songs which are diverse in mood and style, but most use a minimalist punk approach combined with unorthodox structures. "Field Day for the Sundays", for example, is only 28 seconds long.
''Chairs Missing'' followed in 1978, and found Wire stepping back from the stark minimalism of ''Pink Flag'', with longer, more atmospheric songs and synthesizer parts added by producer Mike Thorne. "Outdoor Miner" was a minor hit, peaking at number 51 in the UK singles chart.〔(Wire singles ) Official charts〕 The experimentation was even more prominent on ''154'' (1979).〔 In addition, many of the songs featured bassist Graham Lewis on lead vocals instead of Colin Newman.
In 1979, creative differences pulled the band in different directions, leading to the ''Document and Eyewitness'' LP (1981), a recording of a live performance that featured, almost exclusively, new material, which was described as "disjointed",〔 "unrecognizable as rock music" and "almost unlistenable". The LP came packaged with an EP of a different performance of more new material. Some of these songs, along with others performed but not included on the album, were included on Newman's post-Wire solo albums (''5/10'', ''We Meet Under Tables''), while others were released by Gilbert and Lewis' primary post-Wire outlet Dome (''And Then...'', ''Ritual View'').
Between 1981 and 1985, Wire ceased recording and performing in favour of solo and non-Wire collaborative projects such as Dome, Cupol, Duet Emmo, and several Colin Newman solo efforts. In 1985, the group re-formed as a "beat combo" (a joking reference to early 1960s beat music), with greater use of electronic musical instruments. Wire announced that they would perform none of their older material, hiring The Ex-Lion Tamers (a Wire cover band named after a song title from ''Pink Flag'') as their opening act. The Ex-Lion Tamers played Wire's older material; Wire played their new material.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Wire )〕 They released ''IBTABA'' in 1989, a "live" album of mostly reworked versions of songs from ''The Ideal Copy'' and ''A Bell Is a Cup'', heavily rearranged, edited, and remixed. A new song from the album, "Eardrum Buzz", was released as a single and peaked at number 68 in the UK singles chart.〔
Gotobed left the band in 1990, after the release of the album ''Manscape''. After his departure, the band dropped one letter from its name, becoming "Wir" (still pronounced "wire"), and released ''The First Letter'' in 1991. There followed a further period of solo recordings, during which Newman founded the swim ~ label, and later Githead with his wife (ex-Minimal Compact bassist Malka Spigel), while Wire remained an occasional collaboration. It was not until 1999 that Wire again became a full-time entity.
With Gotobed back in the line-up (now using his birth name, Robert Grey), the group initially reworked much of their back catalogue for a performance at Royal Festival Hall on 26 February 2000. Wire's reception during a short tour in early May of the US, and a number of UK gigs, convinced the band to continue. Two EPs and an album, ''Send'' (2003), followed, as well as collaborations with stage designer Es Devlin and artists Jake and Dinos Chapman.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=
In 2006, Wire's 1970s albums were remastered and re-released with original vinyl tracklistings. Rumours abounded of a renewal of activity to mark the 30th anniversary of the band's debut as a four-piece and the re-release of ''Pink Flag''. A third ''Read & Burn'' EP was released in November 2007.
A full-length album of new material entitled ''Object 47'' was released in July 2008. Bruce Gilbert was not involved in this recording, although, according to Newman, he did feature in a minimal capacity on the third ''Read and Burn'' EP.
On 10 January 2011 the band released their twelfth studio album, ''Red Barked Tree'', which (according to a press release and the BBC) "rekindles a lyricism sometimes absent from Wire's previous work and reconnects with the live energy of performance, harnessed and channelled from extensive touring over the past few years". The album was written and recorded by Newman, Lewis and Grey, but speaking to Marc Riley on the day of the release, Newman introduced as "a new boy" guitarist Matt Simms (from It Hugs Back), who has been with the band since April 2010 as a touring member.〔
In March 2013 the band released ''Change Becomes Us'', their 13th studio album, which was very well received. Their fourteenth album, eponymously titled ''Wire'', was released on 13 April 2015 in the UK.
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