Local legends touched by the Muses
Throwing Muses have managed to create a strange family of associated artists since their inception. Here is a key to the major non-Hersh players, and how they relate to one another:
PIXIES | There is no formal link between the Muses and the Pixies, though certainly you'd never have heard of the latter without the former. An early show opening for the Muses exposed the nascent Pixies to Fort Apache producer Gary Smith, who went on to produce the "Purple Tape," a demo-ish recording that found its way into the mitts of Ivo Watts-Russell, the head of the Muses' UK label, 4AD. Prior to signing these bands, 4AD was better known as the home of austere acts like the Cocteau Twins and This Mortal Coil. Now, it'll probably always be known as the Pixies' label — well, either that or the the label of . . .
THE BREEDERS | Throwing Muses were no strangers to European shores when in 1988 they dragged the Pixies along as their support act. While on tour, Pixies bassist Kim Deal began discussing a possible side project with Muse Tanya Donelly. The Breeders formed and, after a single show at the Rat and a demo tape passed on to Watts-Russell, were signed to 4AD and began work on their debut, 1989's Pod. That record was a modest success, but both Deal and Donelly returned to their regular gigs — for a while. Then in 1991 the Breeders reconvened to record their Safari EP, and Deal stayed on with the Breeders as the Pixies began to dissolve in early '92. The Breeders would go on to become ubiquitous with 1993's Last Splash and its hugely successful radio hit "Cannonball." By that time, Donelly was long gone, having bailed out of both Throwing Muses and the Breeders in 1991 to form her own group . . .
BELLY | Donelly was with Throwing Muses through the recording of 1991's The Real Ramona, but 1992 saw her poised for a breakout when 4AD released the first EP of Belly. Although Slow Dust was well received, especially in the UK, nothing could have prepared Donelly for the acclaim for Belly's debut full-length, 1993's Star: the album went gold and snagged three Grammy nominations. Belly's success was short-lived, however: the 1995 follow-up, King, failed to match Star's success. Donelly went solo in 1996; in 1997, she released Lovesongs for Underdogs on 4AD.
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