Belgian post-punk band the Names were originally called the Passengers, electing to change their name just prior to the release of their first single in 1978. The group first came together in late 1977, with drummer Mike S. Christophe den Tandt, guitarists Marc Deprez and Robert Franckson, vocalist Isabelle Hanrez, and bassist Michel Sordinia eventually filling out the lineup. Franckson and Hanrez would leave by the beginning of 1978, with Sordinia taking over on vocals. After several gigs supporting the like-minded Magazine and Simple Minds, WEA Belgium became interested in the band and released the band's first single as a one-off. In a seemingly backward sequence of events, the band shopped their major-label single to a couple of their favorite independents, hoping to gain a deal with either Factory or Fiction. Before hearing back from Fiction, the band struck a deal with Factory, home of Joy Division and Durutti Column. 1981's excellent Nightshift single led to the band joining with the Factory-related Crepuscule, a label based in Belgium. However, the one single with Factory proper had both good and bad effects -- good because the label drew immediate attention, and bad because they would forever be unfairly compared to Joy Division. Their linking with Joy Division producer Martin Hannett, although entirely fitting, would also prove to be a double-edged sword. Their debut LP, Swimming, was produced by Hannett and released in 1982 through Crepuscule. Finished within a week, the album fell through the cracks both critically and commercially. New drummer Luc Capelle sustained a major injury on his motorcycle soon after its release. Temporarily replaced by Michel Silverstein, the band limped through the recording of a final single. The band called it quits before releasing it. Four members of the band reunited with a new member in 1994; they recorded a full album as Jazz for the Pazz label. Swimming has since been reissued on CD, in addition to the release of the Spectators of Life compilation. ~ Andy KellmanPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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