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Goldfrapp

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Biography

As Goldfrapp, singer/composer/keyboardist Alison Goldfrapp and composer Will Gregory craft stylish electronic pop that's as wide-ranging as it is distinctive. Though their most danceable work was often their most successful -- 2005's Supernature and 2010's Head First both debuted in the top 10 in the UK and earned Grammy nominations in the US -- quieter albums like 2000's Felt Mountain and 2013's Tales of Us were just as powerful in their own right. Alison's quicksilver vocals, which could change from angelic to sultry and back again in an instant, and Gregory's lavish arrangements were Goldfrapp's only constants as they transformed influences including folk, cabaret, classical, disco, techno, '80s pop and glam rock into an adventurous body of work. Born in Bath, England, Alison Goldfrapp first performed with Dance Company Catherine Massin and later incorporated music as part of her studies as a fine art painting major at Middlesex University, where she mixed sound, visuals, and performances in her installation pieces. While she was still in college, she appeared on her friend Tricky's 1995 debut, Maxinquaye, which led to appearances on albums by other cutting-edge electronic artists, including Orbital's Snivilisation and Add N to (X)'s Avant Hard. By the late '90s, Goldfrapp began writing her own songs. One of her friends passed some of her demos on to composer Will Gregory; finding much in common in their musical tastes and approaches, the duo took Alison's surname as the name for their collaboration. After signing to Mute in 1999, Goldfrapp sequestered themselves in a countryside bungalow to make their debut album. When Felt Mountain arrived in 2000, it reflected the trip-hop boom of its time, but also reflected more unexpected influences such as folk and cabaret. The album was shortlisted for the 2001 Mercury Prize, and that year's synth-pop heavy Utopia Genetically Enriched EP suggested Goldfrapp's sound was already evolving. Due to the demanding nature of the Felt Mountain tour, which called for as many as 40 supporting musicians, the duo pared back on its next album. Recorded in a studio in Bath, 2003's Black Cherry grew out of extensive jam sessions as well as Gregory and Alison's fondness for disco, glam-rock and techno. The album's sexier approach was exemplified by the single "Strict Machine," a top 20 hit in the UK that earned Goldfrapp an Ivor Novello Award for Best Dance Single in 2004. Capitalizing on Black Cherry's success -- the album went platinum in the UK and reached number four on Billboard's Top Electronic Albums chart in the US -- the duo doubled down on its dance leanings with 2005's Supernature. A set of sardonic and romantic songs set to steady beats, Goldfrapp's third album was a breakthrough that went platinum in the UK, sold over a million copies worldwide and earned a Grammy nomination for Best Electronic/Dance Album in 2007 (the album's glammy single "Ooh La La" snagged a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording). The duo followed it with the 2006 remix compilation We Are Glitter, which included the Flaming Lips' reworking of the track "Satin Chic." Goldfrapp moved in a very different direction with 2008's The Seventh Tree. Inspired by paganism and an acoustic radio performance, the duo's fourth album traded the dancefloor for soothing ambient and folk-tinged songs such as the UK top 10 hit "A&E." In 2009, the group released its score to Sam Taylor-Wood's film about John Lennon as a youth, Nowhere Boy, which they recorded with a full orchestra at Abbey Road Studios. Gregory and Alison changed gears again on their fifth full-length, and borrowed the exuberance of '80s pop for 2010's Head First. Touching on the joyous sounds of the Pointer Sisters, Van Halen and Olivia Newton-John, the album debuted at number six in the UK and earned a Grammy Nomination for Best Electronic/Dance Album in 2011; the single "Rocket" received a nomination for Best Dance Recording. In 2012, Goldfrapp issued the Singles collection, which featured the previously unreleased songs "Yellow Halo" and "Melancholy Sky." For 2013's Tales of Us, Goldfrapp revisited the moody introspection of Felt Mountain and The Seventh Tree, and took inspiration from classic authors and auteurs such as Patricia Highsmith, David Lynch, Ingmar Bergman, and Michelangelo Antonioni. The album also included short films for five of its songs directed by Alison's partner, filmmaker Lisa Gunning. After scoring a Royal National Theatre production of Medea, Goldfrapp returned to the studio in 2015, joined by co-producers John Congleton and the Haxan Cloak as well as guitarist Leo Abrahams. The results were 2017's Silver Eye, which balanced the duo's danceable and reflective sides. A year later, a deluxe version of the album featuring a duet with Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan arrived. ~ Heather Phares
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
    Popularity
  2.   Ooh La La
  3.   Strict Machine
  4.   Sartorious
  5.   Happiness
  6.   Clowns
  7.   Hairy Trees
  8.   Alive
  9.   A&E
  10.   No. 1
  11.   Lovely Head
  12.   Thea
  13.   Anymore
  14.   Fly Me Away
  15.   Utopia
  16.   Rocket
  17.   Melancholy Sky
  18.   You Never Know
  19.   Deep Honey
  20.   Time Out from the World
  21.   Systemagic
  22.   Felt Mountain
  23.   Let It Take You
  24.   Forever
  25.   Pilots (On a Star)
  26.   Train
  27.   Believer
  28.   Voicething
  29.   Shiny and Warm
  30.   Head First
  31.   Ride a White Horse
  32.   We Like the Slow-y's
  33.   Tiptoe
  34.   Ocean
  35.   Monster Love
  36.   Human
  37.   Simone
  38.   Drew
  39.   Black Cherry
  40.   Paper Bag
  41.   Yes Sir
  42.   Everything Is Never Enough
  43.   Zodiac Black
  44.   Faux Suede Drifter
  45.   Become the One
  46.   Tigerman
  47.   Moon in Your Mouth
  48.   I Was Inspired by a Friend of Mine Who Lives in Spain
  49.   Sentiment of the Song Is This Idea of Travelling
  50.   It Was a Message to Me Really
  51.   This Version Is Very Different
  52.   We Did It at the End of the Album
  53.   It's Another One We Really Like Playing Live
  54.   It's Got a Certain Quality About It
  55.   I Never Get Tired of Doing It
  56.   It's Quite an Unusual Song
  57.   Clay
  58.   Laurel
  59.   Stranger
  60.   Alvar
  61.   Ulla
  62.   Annabel
  63.   Jo
  64.   Physical
  65.   Yellow Halo
  66.   We Radiate
  67.   I Wanna Life
  68.   Hunt
  69.   Dreaming
  70.   It's Not Over Yet
  71.   Happiness by The Teenagers
  72.   Little Bird
  73.   Road to Somewhere
  74.   Eat Yourself
  75.   Cologne Cerrone Houdini
  76.   Caravan Girl
  77.   A&E
  78.   All Night Operator, Pt. 1
  79.   Koko
  80.   Slide In
  81.   Lovely 2 C U
  82.   Satin Chic
  83.   All Night Operator
  84.   Beautiful
  85.   Number 1
  86.   White Soft Rope
  87.   Yes Sir I Can Boogie
  88.   Twist
  89.   Crystalline Green
  90.   Deer Stop
  91.   Oompah Radar
  92.   Horse Tears
  93.   Gone to Earth
  94.   Beast That Never Was
  95.   iTunes Originals
  96.   It Was the First Song Will and I Wrote Together
  97.   Slippage
  98.   It Was Recorded Outdoors
  99.   Some People
  100.   Big Black Cloud, Little White Lie
  101.   Satin Chic Through The Mystic Mix, Dimension 11 - The Flaming Lips
  102.   U.K. Girls (Physical)
  103.   Boys Will Be Boys
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