Jah Wobble

Soon after leaving PiL, Wobble formed The Human Condition with guitarist Dave “Animal” Maltby and PiL’s original drummer, Jim Walker. The Human Condition toured the UK, Europe, and US in 1981, and made two cassette-only releases of their live shows (Live at the Collegiate Theatre and Live in Europe). The post-PiL years saw Wobble also collaborating with Can members Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit on Czukay’s solo projects (notably On the Way to the Peak of Normal and Rome Remains Rome) and Full Circle (released in 1984). In 1983, Wardle appeared on the LP Snake Charmer billed as a co-leader alongside guitarist The Edge of U2, Czukay, Liebezeit, and producer François Kevorkian. Jah Wobble’s Invaders of the Heart was formed in 1982. The original line-up was Ollie Marland on keys (who went on to become Tina Turner’s musical director), Annie Whitehead on trombone, Neville Murray on percussion and a musician named only as Cliff, on drums. By 1983 Lee Partis was the drummer. Trumpeter Harry Beckett and pedal steel player B. J. Cole regularly performed with the group. By 1985 Jah Wobble’s heavy drinking and drunken brawls were having an effect on his life. Halfway through the recording of the album Psalms (October 1986), Wobble stopped drinking. From then through to the present day he has remained ‘clean and sober’. He then did a variety of day jobs, whilst continuing to perform and record his music in what spare time he had. These jobs included a long stretch with the London Underground. In an oft-quoted tale, it is related that he once, at Tower Hill Underground Station via the public address system, regaled commuters with the deadpan announcement, “I used to be somebody. I repeat, I used to be somebody.” By 1987, due to the repeated prompting of his friend and former bandmate, percussionist Neville Murray, Wobble reformed The Invaders of the Heart. Armed with a live recording of a concert he had made with a new line-up of musicians during a European tour in 1988, Wobble travelled to New York City’s New Music Seminar in 1989 to get back into the music industry. Wobble was able to secure an eleventh-hour record deal with a small European record label. The live album, Without Judgement, was recorded in the Netherlands and was released in November 1989. Following the relative success of Without Judgement, Wobble has collaborated with many musicians - Brian Eno among them - & his explorations into world music predated much of the genre’s popularity. Wobble hit his commercial peak with 1991’s Rising Above Bedlam. While the album did not chart, it spawned four singles including his first top-40 hit, Visions of You, featuring Sinéad O’Connor. Jah Wobble’s 1994 album Take Me To God was influenced by world music genres and contributions from a variety of artists of diverse cultural backgrounds, including Baaba Maal, Dolores O’Riordan, and Chaka Demus, and was also a critical and commercial success.

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