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Primitive Radio Gods

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Biography

The Primitive Radio Gods' smashing chart debut "Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand" was an unforgettable radio mainstay and MTV favorite during the summer of 1996. It quickly defined the band as another alterna-rock innovator integrating catchy hooks and a hip-hop/new wave mix. The debut album Rocket went gold, and earned the band top spots across the album and singles charts as well. Not too bad for frontman Chris O'Connor. This was a rock & roll fantasy come true for this air traffic controller, whose side gig, the I-Rails, had been struggling for ten years prior. However, the hype surrounding the PRG quickly faded. Music industry politics played into the scheme and before the new millennium dawned, the band's sophomore effort was scrapped and the band was dropped from Columbia. Another quickie deal from Hi-Fi/Sire Records came to the rescue, but that too failed when contractual differences and a shift in bandmates created more chaos for the PRG. A whirlwind time, more than three years since their debut, and the band played on. In early 2000, the PRG resurfaced with a complete roster including Jim Sparks, Tim Laurterio, and Luke McAuliffe. A deal with What Are Records? marked the second coming of this stereotyped one-hit wonder, and the long-awaited follow-up, White Hot Peach, was issued in early 2001. Sparks left the group the following year to pursue other projects, but the remaining members continued on. The independently released Still Electric, which moved the group in a more shoegazey direction, arrived in 2003, followed in 2006 by the like-minded Sweet Venus, and Out Alive in 2010. ~ MacKenzie Wilson
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