As The Smiths ushered in a new era of indie gun slingers, James were billed by many as the pick of the early-1980s hopefuls. Yet, despite a keen live following, they flitted between record companies, enduring years of struggle. It wasn't until Madchester started swaggering under the baggy grooves of Happy Mondays and the Stone Roses that the band really took off, signing with Fontana Records and releasing acclaimed third album Gold Mother (1990). When live favourite Sit Down was re-released as a single, it suddenly became a huge hit, reaching Number 2 in the charts and causing mass sit-downs at gigs and in clubs. Beginning a long relationship with legendary producer Brian Eno on fifth album Laid (1993), James were caught up in the Brit pop era when 1997's Whiplash produced the hits She's A Star and Destiny Calling. The band split in 2001, with front man Tim Booth pursuing a solo career, but they reformed in 2007 to release Hey Ma (2008).
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