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Artist Band Biography: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Pearls Before Swine - Music Artist Band Bio


Formed in Florida, USA, in 1965, Pearls Before Swine originally comprised songwriter Tom Rapp (Born 1947, Bottineau, North Dakota, USA; vocals/guitar), Wayne Harley (autoharp/banjo/mandolin/vibraphone), Lane Lederer (bass/guitar/horns), Roger Crissinger (keyboards), and Warren Smith (drums). The band pursued a recording contract with the avant garde ESP label, opining that the home of the Fugs would welcome their surrealist folk rock. The quartet's debut, One Nation Underground, was an enticing mixture of intimate ballads and Bob Dylan-influenced ire, while Rapp's lisping delivery gave the band its distinctiveness. Balaklava followed a similar path, but enhanced the air of mystery with a succession of sound effects, string arrangements and contributions from jazz musician Joe Farrell.

Although the Pearls' original members were now dropping out of the band, Rapp continued to forge an idiosyncratic path on new label Reprise Records. His second recording for the label, 1970's epic The Use Of Ashes, included "Rocket Man", the artist's interpretation of a Ray Bradbury short story, which inspired the Elton John song of the same title. Rapp's later work, although still inventive, embraced more conventional styles and showed a marked interest in country styles. Such releases bore either his own name or that of Pearls Before Swine at the whim of the relevant record company. Having achieved all he felt possible, Rapp retired from music in 1975 and has since become a successful civil rights lawyer. He was prompted out of musical retirement by loyal follower Bevis Frond to record a solo album in the late 90s.

One Nation Underground (ESP 1967)****, Balaklava (ESP 1968)***, These Things Too (Reprise 1969)**, The Use Of Ashes (Reprise 1970)****, as Thos Rapp/Pearls Before Swine City Of Gold (Reprise 1971)**, as Tom Rapp/Pearls Before Swine ... Beautiful Lies You Could Live (Reprise 1971)**, as Tom Rapp Stardancer (Blue Thumb 1972)**, as Tom Rapp Sunforest (Blue Thumb 1973)**, as Tom Rapp A Journal Of The Plague Year (Woronzow 1999)***.

as Tom Rapp Familiar Songs (Reprise 1972)**, Constructive Melancholy: 30 Years Of Pearls Before Swine (Birdman 1999)***, Jewels Were The Stars 4-CD box set (Water 2003)***.

Source: Encyclopedia of Popular Music

Music Albums


One Nation Underground

Constructive Melancholy: 30 Years Of Pearls...
Birdman Records

Jewels Were The Stars [Box]
Water (City Hall)

These Things Too
Water (City Hall)

The Use of Ashes
Water (City Hall)

City Of Gold
Water (City Hall)

Beautiful Lies You Could Live In
Water (City Hall)

The Wizard Of Is *


One Nation Underground

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