The Scottish post-folk duo Arab Strap were formed in mid-1995 by vocalist Aidan Moffat and multi-instrumentalist Malcolm Middleton, longtime friends who after years of exchanging cassettes of their respective bands decided to finally begin collaborating together. Upon signing to the hip Chemikal Underground label, they issued their debut single, the stark and downcast "The First Big Weekend"; the song was a major critical hit, with Britain's Radio One declaring it the best record of the decade. In late 1996, Arab Strap issued their full-length debut, The Week Never Starts Round Here, followed a year later by the EP The Girls of Summer. In 1998, after scoring a hit with their remix of David Holmes' "Don't Die Just Yet," Arab Strap issued their second LP, Philophobia. Elephant Shoe (2000), The Red Thread (2001), Monday at the Hug and Pint (2003), and The Last Romance (2005) followed. The band felt it had "run its course" by fall 2006, as an official announcement was made of its disbandment. Arab Strap issued the farewell quasi-greatest-hits compilation Ten Years of Tears that November and embarked on a final U.K. tour before calling it a day. Four years later, Chemikal Underground put together Scenes of a Sexual Nature, a lavish box set containing five pieces of vinyl, three CDs, a cassette, a certificate, and a poster. ~ Jason Ankeny
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