Formed during the initial onslaught of U.K. punk in 1976, Manchester's Slaughter and the Dogs were the first group to release a single (the overlooked classic "Cranked Up Really High") on trailblazing hometown independent label Rabid Records. The group's lineup consisted of vocalist Wayne Barrett, guitarist Mick Rossi, bassist Howard Bates, and drummer Mad Muffet. Gigs at the noted London punk mecca the Roxy Club led to the band's inclusion in filmmaker Don Letts' documentary of that scene, and they eventually received a contract from Decca Records. Further top-notch singles followed in "Where Have All the Bootboys Gone" and "You're Ready Now," and they recorded their debut album, Do It Dog Style, in 1978. However, disagreements with Decca and the departure of vocalist Barrett, a key to the group's sound, combined to sabotage a promising career. Guitarist Billy Duffy was added, and future Smiths leader Morrissey was briefly considered as a vocalist before the group decided to continue with Rossi singing. This arrangement lasted only briefly, though, and Rossi, Bates, and Duffy re-christened themselves first Slaughter and then the Studio Sweethearts. After this unit's breakup in the summer of 1979, there was a Slaughter reunion late in the year with Barrett making a token appearance before being replaced by former Nosebleeds singer Ed Banger (born Eddie Garrity). This aggregation released the album Bite Back in 1980 to no avail and broke up permanently in 1981. Duffy went on to co-found Theatre of Hate and later found success in the Cult. ~ Steve Huey, RoviPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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