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Blue Aeroplanes were an art rock group from Bristol, active during the 1980s and 1990s. They are often compared to the Velvet Underground on a lot of music websites, but to my mind this is a lazy comparison based on the jangliness of their guitars and the semi-spoken style of their lead singer. Anyway, recent output has included a lot of compilations, so maybe it's time to ask, "whatever happened to...?"

With regard to personnel, it sometimes seems that anyone who was anyone in the Bristol music scene of the time was either a member or in some way collaborated. One of the few constants was group leader/vocalist Gerard Langley. The original core of the band included Langley's brother John on drums, Nick Jacobs on guitar, and multi-instrumentalist Dave Chapman. At their peak (around "Swagger" and "Beatsongs"), the Aeroplanes' lineup also included guitarist Angelo Bruschini, guitarist Rodney Allen, bassist Andy McCreeth, drummer Paul Mulreany, and guitarist/keyboard player Alex Lee... but it didn't stop there, with another eight musicians listed in the credits for "Beatsongs", for example. My favourite Blue Aeroplanes-related artiste is Caroline Trettine, who I saw live in 1990 - her album "Be A Devil" is amazing (and features guitar contributions from other Aeroplanes members).

For a short while (1989 - 1991, roughly), the Blue Aeroplanes almost became quite big. "Swagger" was their highpoint, an awesome album featuring contributions from Michael Stipe and Peter Buck of R.E.M. and spawning two singles that charted in the UK ("Jacket Hangs" and "...And Stones"). This was followed up by "Beatsongs" and their most commercial offering in the singles market, an inspired cover of Paul Simon's "Boy In The Bubble".

Always impressive live, the Aeroplanes' on-stage presence was much augmented by the presence of Wojtek Dmochowski, their Polish dancer. When I saw the band in the mid-90s, he danced frenetically non-stop for the entire gig. Kind of puts Bez shuffling about with some maracas in perspective...

One other thing... having formed in 1983, the Aeroplanes have since been through their fair share of record labels: Abstract (1984), Fire (1985), Restless (U.S.), Ensign (a division of Chrysalis Records), Beggars Banquet, Nectar...

If anyone can help me fill in the gaps (particularly in the discography) please contact me.

Click on the Top anywhere to return here.

Personnel  Timeline  Discography  Links

The band's classic 1990/1 line-up centred around:
  • Gerard Langley vocals
  • Angelo Bruschini guitars
  • Rodney Allen guitars
  • Alex Lee guitars/keyboards
  • Andy McCreeth bass
  • Paul Mulreany drums
The band
Langley apart, there were many changes in personnel over the years... and I'm sorry, these changes are too numerous to chronicle in the timeline!
  • 1983: band form in Bristol, England.
  • April 1984: signed to Abstract Records, first commercial release is the album "Bop Art".
  • October 1986: having moved to Fire Records, second album "Tolerance" is released..
  • Mid (?) 1987: "Spitting Out Miracles" is the band's first release in the USA.
  • Mid (?) 1988: testament to the band's growing fan-base, the first (of many) compilations, "Friendloverplane" is released as a double-album.
  • February 1990: commercial success beckons as "Swagger" not only features guest-spots by half of R.E.M. but also gives rise to two charting singles.
  • Autumn 1991: "The Boy In The Bubble" and accompanying album "Beatsongs" are the last time the Aeroplanes trouble the charts significantly.
  • Spring 1995: a brief flurry to remind us of past glories, with album "Rough Music" and the "Sugared Almond" (gig-only) EP seeing the light of day.
  • June 1996: live compilation "Fruit: The Best of the Blue Aeroplanes Live in Concert 1983-1994" is released.
  • Late (?) 1997: another compilation: " Huh!: The Best, 1987-1992"
  • Mid (?) 2002: yet another compilation: "The Best of the Blue Aeroplanes".
  • April 2006: blimey! An album of new material! "Altitude" is released.
Cover art Bop Art
??? 1984
Format(s): LP
Catalog #: ? (Abstract)
UK chart: did not chart (DNC)
?
Cover art Tolerance
??? 1984
Format(s): 7"
Catalog #: BLAZE12 (Fire)
UK chart: DNC
Tolerance
?
No pic yet Action Painting and Other Original Works EP
Feb 1985
Format(s): 12"
Catalog #: FIRE2 (Fire)
UK chart: DNC
Action Painting
?
Cover art Tolerance
Jun 1986
Format(s): LP, CD
Catalog #: FIRE3 (Fire)
UK chart: DNC
Buy it here now you still can!
Arriving
Journal Of An Airman
Rare Flowers
Warhol's Fifteen
30 - Love
Lover & Confidante
Tolerance
Ups
When the Wave Comes
Soul
No pic yet Lover and Confidante & Other Stories of Travel, Religion
??? 1986
Format(s): ?
Catalog #: ? (Fire)
UK chart: DNC
Lover And Confidante
?
Cover art Spitting out Miracles
??? 1987
Format(s): LP, CD
Catalog #: FIRE10 (Fire)
UK chart: DNC
Buy it here now you still can!
Coats
Cowardice and Caprice
Julie
Spitting Out Miracles
Ceiling Roses
In the Mystery
Season Ticket To A Bad Place
Days Of 49
Teaching English Through Sex And Death
Winter Sun
What Do You Mean (What I Said)
Do the Dead Know What Time It Is?
No pic yet Bury Your Love Like Treasure
Oct 1987
Format(s): 12"
Catalog #: BLAZE23T (Fire)
UK chart: DNC
Bury Your Love Like Treasure
?
Cover art Veils Of Colour
May 1988
Format(s): 12"
Catalog #: BLAZE24T (Fire)
UK chart: DNC
Veils Of Colour
?
Cover art Friendloverplane
??? 1988
Format(s): 2xLP
Catalog #: FIRE15 (Fire)
UK chart: DNC
Buy it here now you still can!
Veils Of Colour
Complete Blessing
Weird Heart
Le Petit Cadeau De Don Juan
Severn Beach
Police (38 Divinity)
Action Painting
Who Built This Station In The Midwest
Old Men Sleeping On The Bowery
88 Out
Ashtrays From Mt Etna
Gunning The Works
King Of The Soap Box
Tolerance
Etiquette
Continually Torn Apart
Days Of '49
I Wanna Be Your Lover
Warhol's Fifteen
Shame
Couple In The Next Room
Stripped
No pic yet World View Blue EP
??? 1990
Format(s): 7", 12", cassette-single, CD
Catalog #: ENY??? (Ensign)
UK chart: DNC
World View Blue
?
Cover art Swagger
Feb 1990
Format(s): LP, cassette, CD
Catalog #: CCD1752 (Ensign)
UK chart: ?
Jacket Hangs
World View Blue
Weightless
...And Stones
Love Come Round
Your Ages
Applicant
What It Is
Anti-Pretty
Careful Boy
Picture Framed
Cat-Scan Hist'ry
Cover art Jacket Hangs
Feb 1990
Format(s): 7", 12", CD-single
Catalog #: ENY628 (Ensign)
UK chart: 72
Jacket Hangs
Razor Walk
Different Now (12", CD only)
Big Sky (12", CD only)
Cover art ...And Stones
May 1990
Format(s): 7", 12", cassette-single, CD-single
Catalog #: ENYCD632 (Ensign)
UK chart: 63
...And Stones
?
Cover art Loved EP
Oct 1990
Format(s): 10", 12", CD-single
Catalog #: ENY636 (Ensign)
UK chart: DNC
You (Are Loved)
You're Going To Need Somebody
Sweet Jane
World View Blue (acoustic version)
Cover art Yr Own World
Jul 1991
Format(s): 7", CD-single
Catalog #: ENY647 (Ensign)
UK chart: DNC
Yr Own World
Pony Boy
Mis-Firing (CD only)
Autumn Journal XXIV (CD only)
Cover art Beatsongs
Aug 1991
Format(s): LP, cassette, CD
Catalog #: CCD1856 (Ensign)
UK chart: ?
Huh!
Yr Own World
Angelwords
Fun
Cardboard Box
My Hurricane
Aeroplane Blues
Jack Leaves & Back Spring
Colour Me
Streamers
The Boy In The Bubble
Sixth Continent
Cover art The Boy in the Bubble
Oct 1991
Format(s): cassette-single, CD-single
Catalog #: ENY649 (Ensign)
UK chart: ?
The Boy in the Bubble
Talkin' On The Other Phone (edit)
?
Cover art Friendloverplane 2
Nov 1992 (re-released 2002)
Format(s): CD, ?
Catalog #: 094632196125 (Ensign)
UK chart: ?
You (Are Loved)
Pony Boy
Different Now
World View Blue (acoustic version)
...And Stones (Lovers All Around mix)
Razor Walk
Growing Up, Growing Down
Autumn Journal XV
Here It Comes
For Tim Collins
Talkin' On The Other Phone
You're Going To Need Somebody
Missy Lane
Stranger
Trouble, Tell Me I'm Alive
Big Sky
Mis-Firing
Disney Head
Cover art Broken and Mended
Jan 1994
Format(s): CD, ?
Catalog #: BBQ26 (Beggars Banquet)
UK chart: ?
Broken And Mended
?
Cover art Life Model
Mar 1994
Format(s): CD,?
Catalog #: BBP143 (Beggars Banquet)
UK chart: 59
Buy it now while you still can!
Broken And Mended
(I'm A) Smart Drug
Ghost-Nets
Frightened At Night
Daughter Movie
Open
Honey I
Vade Mecum Gunslinger
Mercury (Hold/Protect/Love)
Fragile
Cover art Detective Song EP
Nov 10 1994
Format(s): ?
Catalog #: BBQ39 (Beggars Banquet)
UK chart: DNC
Buy it now while you still can!
Detective Song
A Map Below
Youíre Mine And Always Will Be
 a. Jack Of All Hearts
 b. Jealous Town
 c. Itís Alright
Top Of The Pops
No pic yet Up In A Down World
??? 1994
Format(s): ?
Catalog #: ? (?)
UK chart: DNC
?
Cover art Rough Music
Jan 1995
Format(s): cassette, ?
Catalog #: BBQ167 (Beggars Banquet)
UK chart: DNC
Detective Song
Sugared Almond
Scared
Worry Beads
Contact High!
A Map Below
James
Whatever Happened To Our Golden Birds?
Wond'ring Wild
Saint Me And The Devil
Dark
Secret Destination
Dear, Though The Night Is Over
Cover art Sugared Almond EP
Mar 22 1995
Format(s): CD-single
Catalog #: BBQ53 (Beggars Banquet)
UK chart: DNC
Sugared Almond (new version)
Scared (Scared mix)
Bad Moon Rising
Broken And Mended (acoustic version)
Cover art Fruit: The Best of the Blue Aeroplanes
Live in Concert 1983-1994

Jun 1996
Format(s): CD
Catalog #: FIRECD57 (Fire)
UK chart: DNC
Buy it now while you still can!
Aeroplane Blues
Jacket Hangs
Police (38 Divinity)
Boy in the Bubble
Daughter Movie
Hand on Heart
Weightless
...And Stones
Broken and Mended
True Heart
Warhol's Fifteen
Detective Song
Worry Beads
Pony Boy
Surf Classic
New Caucasian Maps
Cover art Huh!: The Best, 1987-1992
??? 1997 (re-released Dec 2003)
Format(s): CD
Catalog #: BBQ26 (Beggars Banquet)
UK chart: ?
Buy it now while you still can!
Jacket Hangs
Huh
Colour Me
Razor Walk
Growing Up Growing Down
Fun
Weightless
...And Stones
You (Are Loved)
Jack Leaves And Back Spring
Anti Pretty
Disney Head
Your Own World
What Is It
Lovething/Higherthing
Sixth Continent
Cover art Warhol's 15: Best Of 1985-1988
Feb 1997
Format(s): CD
Catalog #: NTMCD530 (Nectar)
UK chart: ?
Lover & Confidante
Veils Of Colour
Cowardice And Caprice
Action Painting
Ups
Warhol's 15
Ceiling Roses
King Of The Soap Box
Weird Heart
Julie
Bury Your Love Like Treasure
Arriving
Severn Beach
Season Ticket To A Bad Place
Tolerance
Journal Of An Airman
When The Wave Comes
Spitting Out Miracles
Breaking In My Heart
Soul
Cover art Cavaliers/Roundheads
Feb 28 2000
Format(s): CD
Catalog #: SF038 (Swarf Finger)
UK chart: ?
Buy it now while you still can!
Cavaliers Parts 1-12
Jazz Baby
Get Out!
Top Of The Pops
Star-Cross'd
Ghosts
Here Comes The Queen
Smiler With The Knyf
Roundheads
Cover art Weird Shit
??? 2000
Format(s): CD, ?
Catalog #: SF041 (Swarf Finger)
UK chart: ?
Buy it now while you still can!
Showing Off to Impress the Girls
Mau-Mau
Ticket Time
Popsicle Pete
On the Trail of Persephone's Shoes
Through the Smoke Hole
Pre-Fab Buildings
Jacket Hangs
Love Come Round
Vade Mecum Gunslinger No. One
Mean Time
Blood Red Roses
Streets of Laredo
Roundheads (On Every Corner)
Camus in the Pocket
No pic yet The Best of the Blue Aeroplanes
??? 2002
Format(s): ?
Catalog #: ? (?)
UK chart: ?
?
Cover art Altitude
Apr 03 2006
Format(s): CD, ?
Catalog #: CDCHSP4132 (EMI)
UK chart: ?
Buy it here now!
Bristol Byzantine/Raise The Roof High
Tree Full Of Starlings
Surreal Thing
Hexanal
Star Below
Up In A Down World
Adulthood
Bright Star Catalogue
Multinational
Beautiful Is (As Beautiful Does)
Bristol Byzantine
Harvester
May 21 2007
Format(s): CD
Catalog #: ? (?)
UK chart: ?
Buy it here now!
Fireball
Hotel Room
Stagger Lee
Taking Some Time On
Outdoor Miner
Stop This Train (Again Doing It)
It Didn't Work Out
Free Four
I'm Stranded
Maisie
Chinese Brilliance Automotive
Oct 18 2010
Format(s): 7"
Catalog #: ? (Albino Two)
UK chart: ?
Buy it here now!
Chinese Brilliance Automotive
My Good Self

Page updated 25-Jan-2010 12:10:50 GMT

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