The X-Ray Spex were formed in 1977 by Poly Styrene, a.k.a. Marion Elliot, and Lora Logic, a.k.a. Susan Whitby. Poly sang, if you can call it that, and Lora played saxophone, if you can call it that. The Spex also had some blokes tagging along, namely Paul Dean on bass, Jak Airport (Jack Stafford) on guitar, and B. P. Hurding on drums.

The Spex were different from their contemporaries in the late 1970s British punk scene. Rather than bludgeoning the listener with anger and nihilism, they used wit, kitsch, and clever lyrics to paint an unflattering day-glo picture of commercialism and a sterile, artificial world. Their sound was unique to say the least. Poly's shrieky voice alternated with Lola's off-key sax playing while the boys produced a driving wall of sound behind them.

Virgin Records picked them up in 1977, and shortly thereafter, one of their best-known singles, Oh Bondage, Up Yours, was released. While it never made the charts, it was and still is one of their best received tracks. Lola Logic left the band in 1978 about the time their only album, Germ Free Adolescents, was released. Though the record reached #30 in the British album charts, and though the single Germ Free Adolescents made it to #19, the clock was ticking for the band. In 1979, they disbanded.

Interestingly, Poly Styrene became a Hare Krishna after the band broke up and renounced material things. She even tried to get the 1992 US release of Germ Free Adolescents blocked. That's not a typo. They did not have a US release until 1992.

To everyone's surprise, they released a new album, Conscious Consumer, in 1995, which featured original members Poly Styrene, Lora Logic, and Paul Dean. A planned tour never happened.


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