the BAD story
The story of BIG AUDIO DYNAMITE goes way back to 1982..............
After the release of "Combat Rock" in 1982, Mick Jones and Joe Strummer had a major confrontation about which direction the band should follow. Joe prefered the more punk-rock- way, while Mick had his votes on the more artistical way including more different kinds of music. Mick left The Clash, and BIG AUDIO DYNAMITE saw its birth.
In 1984 Mick teamed up with the video and film director Don Letts on keyboard, who had worked with The Clash on Sandinista, Leo Williams on bass, Greg Roberts on drums, Dan Donovan on keyboard) and part time member Adam "Flea" Newman on "dynamite".
This was the first of many BIG AUDO DYNAMITE line-ups.
The first gigs, mostly in support of U2, featured dub soundman Tony James from London SS, Sigue Sigue Sputnik and Generation X.
In 1985 BIG AUDIO DYNAMITE released their debut album THIS IS BIG AUDIO DYNAMITE, produced by Mick. BAD became one of the first bands to combine rock with reggae, hip-hop beatbox rhytms and high-tech samplings. Among the singles from "This is.." we find "The Bottom Line", "Medicine Show" and "E=MC2" with lyrics based on the films of Nic Roeg, generally credited as the first rock hit to use a sampling technique.
In 1986 the second album from BIG AUDIO DYNAMITE was released. NO. 10 UPPING STREET. The album was co-produced and co-written by Mick`s former Clash compadre Joe Strummer. "C`mon every Beatbox" was released as a single. The dub-mix of "Bedrock City" became a major dance club hit in US.
During 1987 BIG AUDIO DYNAMITE toured the US, South America, and Europe including stadium gigs with U2. BAD headlined the first Free Nelson Mandela/Anti Apartheid concert at Clapham Common. "V-Thirteen" was released as a single, so was "Sightsee M.C." This video following the song was directed by film guru Jim Jarmusch.
In 1988 TIGHTEN UP VOLUME `88 was released. The third album was produced by Mick. The cover painting was done by another former Clash compadre Paul Simonon. "Just play music!" and "Other 99" was released as singles along with "Lovesensi", a dance mix. Mick Jones nearly died from pneumonia in 1988.
MEGATOP PHOENIX was released in 1989. The album was produced by Mick and Bill Price. The album was very influenced of acid-jazz and ultra-cinematic mixes. "Contact" was released as a single. The band wrote and recorded "Free" for the film "Flashback" starring Dennis Hopper and Kiefer Sutherland. "Free" was released as a single, and on the soundtrack album. "Free" was the final recording by the original BIG AUDIO DYNAMITE line-up. Greg left the band and started SCREAMING TARGET with Don Letts and Leo Williams. Dan Donovan joined later. After not much success Greg teamed up with Tim Bran to form DREADZONE, playing acid-house-dance music... or something like that. They signed with Creation, and Leo and Dan joined them a year later.
In 1990 Mick appeared on AZTEC CAMERA`s STRAY album, where he delivered a powerful duet with Roddy Frame. The song, GOOD MORNING BRITAIN, is a real "rocky" tune, and gave Mick and Roddy a hit single. Later on the same year Mick teamed up with Nick Hawkins on guitar, Gary Stonadge on bass and Chris Kavanagh on drums to form BAD II. Later the same year KOOL-AID, an eight-track album of limited edition, produced by Mick, Olimax and DJ Shapps, was released only in England. BAD II toured Europe. The song "Free" is also included here, under the name "Kickin` In", with some minor modifications, the lyrics are still the same.
In 1991 BAD II`s "debut" album THE GLOBE was released. Mick and DJ André Shapps are listed as producers, with Olimax co-producing on three songs. The first single "Rush" was voted no. 1 rock single by Billboard Magazine. "Rush" is also included on the "Kool-Aid" album, but under the name "Change of Atmosphere". Some of the other songs from the KOOL-AID album is also included here. BAD II toured US with The Farm and Downtown Science. "The Globe" and "Innocent child" was released as singles. A version of THE GLOBE included the official live bootleg ALLEY PALLY PARADISO, which included a version of Prince`s "1999".
In 1992 BAD II toured US and North America with U2 and Public Enemy on the Zoo-TV tour. They also headlined MTV`s 120 Minutes Tour alongside bands as Public Image Ltd, Live and Blind Melon. BAD II perfomed live at Boudokan with Happy Mondays. A five track live cd ON THE ROAD `92 was recorded in New York and Chicago BAD II toured Australia, and the video collection BAD I & II was released. The band also got time to perform at the Reading Festival and to headline NME`s Viva Eight Festival at Town and Country an Kentish Town.
In 1993 BAD II toured the world with U2 on the Zoomerang tour, with touch-downs in Australia, Japan, New Zealand and at Wembley, England. A single and remix collection was released on cd in Australia and Japan under the name LOST TREASURES OF BIG AUDIO DYNAMITE I & II. BAD II wrote and performed the film score for the critical acclaimed film "Amongst Friends", by Rob Weiss.
In 1994 BAD II changed their name to BIG AUDIO and released HIGHER POWER. Both BIG AUDIO co-producer André Shapps (keyboards and electronics) and Michael "DJ Zonka" Custance came on board as full-time permanent members of the band. "Looking for a song" was released as the first single. A major US tour followed. BIG AUDIO wrote and perfomed "Rockin` with the Caveman" for the film "The Flintstones". The track was released as a single and on the soundtrack album. On April 29th BIG AUDIO perfomed live at the Mick Ronson Memorial Benefit Concert at Hammersmith Apollo in London.
In 1995 changed record label, they went from Sony to Radioactive Records. A new album called F-PUNK was released. This album was released under the original band name BIG AUDIO DYNAMITE. The album showes a band on a slight return to Micks` early music influence (read The Clash), especially the frequent guitar show-off from Mick. The first single from the album was "I turned out a punk". The album contains a non-listed track written by David Bowie. Sony released a goodbye GREATEST HITS album spanning the career from "This is..." to the new single "I turned out a Punk".
In 1996 BIG AUDIO DYNAMITE toured the world. The line up changed, out went Gary Stonadge and Chris Kawanagh and in came Ranking Roger, Darryl Fulstow and Bob Wond.
In spring 1997 they went into studio to record their new album, called ENTERING A NEW RIDE. An album that their record company, Radioactive Records, wouldn`t release. After the recording of ENTERING A NEW RIDE, guitarist Nick Hawkins left the band. He moved to Las Vegas, US, to work on his own music. He recorded some demos under the moniker "Dynamo-Jo" and later "Cool Beanz". he is currently recording an album as "Nick Hawkins with Dusk till Dawn".
During 1998 BAD releases a new BAD homepage.
They are currently releasing ENTERING A NEW RIDE, song by song, on this web-page.
In 2000 Sony released two compilations of BAD. The first called SUPERHITS, the second called BIG AUDIO DYNAMITE I & II. Mick played live at the Ian Dury tribute concert.