As leader of the Only Ones in the late '70s, Perrett was one of the new wave's most enigmatic cult figures. His mix of then-current punk/new wave sounds with traces of glam and flighty whimsy helped pave the way for the more flexible alternative rock sounds of the 1980s and '90s. Serious drug problems knocked him out of commission for most of the 1980s, and indeed he kept such a low profile that a Syd Barrett-like mystique began to arise around the songwriter. Defeating his addictions in the late '80s, he began to ease back into music, finally releasing an EP of new material in 1994, and then recording a full-length album, Woke Up Sticky, the following year. Issued in Britain in 1996, it found his odd songwriting muse largely unchanged since the Only Ones days. Hearts on Fire appeared in spring 2001.
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