You Am I is an Australian rock band formed in Sydney in 1989 by brothers Jaimmes and Tim Rogers, with high school classmate Nick Tischler. They started out playing odd opening gigs for local bands. However, this lineup was short lived. Jaimmes split after a fight with his brother, and Nick left soon after.
With Nick's departure, Mark Tunaley joined in on drums, and Andy Kent joined as bass. The band began to tour around Sydney and Canberra, and soon had a strong local following. After negotiating with several record labels, You Am I signed a deal with rooArt's independent label Ra, and released two EP's IN 1992. Their first EP of 1993, Coprolalia, was produced by Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo. This was the first of many times that Lee and the band would work together in the studio.
The band went to the States with Lee Ranaldo in 1993 to record their first full-length album, Sound As Ever. Trouble soon arose when Mark Tunaley wanted to add a song that he had written, Off the Field, to the final edit. The song was cut from the album, and his insistence created a rift between the band. After finishing the album and returning home, Mark was asked to leave the band. Russell Hopkinson, a fan who used to drink with he band during their Melbourne gigs, replaced him.
You Am I's first tour with the new lineup was as one of many opening acts for the Big Day Out festivals. After the tour was over, Soundgarden (who has also played the festivals that year) invited the band to open for their upcoming US tour. To coincide with the new tour, Ra Records released the single Berlin Chair from Sound as Ever, which shot up the Australian charts (Berlin Chair has since been rated the top Australian song of the 90's by Triple J). The US tour was very successful, and produced a live EP, Someone Else's Crowd, which was recorded at a show in Seattle's Memorial Stadium.
The band quickly went back into the studio to record a follow-up album, Hi-Fi Way. It was recorded in New York, and was once again produced by Lee Ranaldo. The album debuted at number one on the Australian charts in February of 1995, and produced a string of hit singles. The band once again hit the road to support the record, this time adding a fourth man to the tour lineup, Greg Hitchcock. This tour included what the band considers a 'bad' tour of the United States. Hi-Fi Way would go on to win an ARIA award for best alternative release of 1995.
The release of their third album, Hourly, Daily was delayed three months by the Ra Records as a ploy to renegotiate the bands record contract. When it was finally let for sale in May of 1996, it debuted at the top of the Australian charts. The album was then nominated for a nine ARIA awards, which broke all previous records. You Am I was invited to tour on that year's Lollapalooza, followed by a tour at home called, "Onboard the Uptight Express." 1997 saw them once again join the Big Day Out tour, as well as tour Europe and the UK.
In 1998, You Am I released #4 Record to Australian audiences, with it's extremely popular single, Heavy Heart. The album was also planned to release in the United States, but was called off then the band abruptly yanked their distribution deal with Warner Brothers. The decision was Warner Brothers didn't seem to support the album as much as the band wanted. Once again, the record debuted at #1 on Australian charts, and the band took up a huge home tour called the 'Rumblin' Dice Roadshow.' You Am I would then release another live album, Saturday Night, 'round Ten in 1999, which worked it's way up to number seven on the charts.
2001 saw the release of their fifth album, Dress Me Slowly. Their most recent album, Deliverance, was released in September of 2002.
Dress Me Slowly
Saturday Night, 'round Ten
Sound As Ever
CzarKhan says: An interesting side note, Silverchair actually took the latter half of their name because of the You am I song Berlin Chair
LiquidThought says: Came across your node on You Am I as I was doing some research for a new WU on Box The Jesuit. BTJ was the band of Stephen "Goose" Gray, who was Tim Rodgers' best friend and biggest influence. Any node on You Am I is incomplete without at least some mention of this. There is a dedication to Goose on the inside sleeve of Sound As Ever.
As a side note, I'm just a "stupid American" trying to node a foreign band. Anyone with additional information, please don't hesitate to /msg. Thanks to those of you who already have.