The Battered Wives

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The Canadian punk rock band the Battered Wives formed in 1977. Early members were lead singer and guitarist Toby Swann, bassist Larry "Jasper" Klassen, and drummer Cleave Anderson. Later, singer and guitarist…
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The Canadian punk rock band the Battered Wives formed in 1977. Early members were lead singer and guitarist Toby Swann, bassist Larry "Jasper" Klassen, and drummer Cleave Anderson. Later, singer and guitarist John Gibb joined the lineup, and after Anderson departed the scene, drummer Patrick Mooney came on board as well. In between 1978 and 1980, the Battered Wives recorded a number of singles and three albums, sometimes working under the shorter and less controversial title of the Wives.

The Battered Wives started performing in Toronto in the latter part of the '70s. By 1978, the band had signed a contract with the Bomb Records label and released a self-titled debut album and a two-sided single, "Uganda Stomp" and "Giddy." A lot of the attention the band's name, some of its songs' lyrics, and even lipstick-smeared fist logo earned them wasn't welcomed. Women's groups soon began to picket the Battered Wives at concerts. Though the press wasn't positive, it was still press, and probably in the long run helped the band build a bigger fan base of rebellious teens and young adults. It didn't take long for the debut album to reach gold. Some of the tracks from the successful first outing are "Angry Young Man," "Everybody Loves a Loser," and "Lover Balls."

Just before the band began work on a sophomore release, Anderson tossed in the towel. He moved on to a group called the Sharks. As soon as Anderson left, Mooney was brought in to fill the spot. That second album, Cigarettes, came out under the band's shorter title, the Wives. Although it didn't sell nearly as well as the first, it earned the band a Juno Award. The next album, Live on Mothers' Day, was finished in 1980 under the Ready Records label. The guys were using the debatable name, the Battered Wives again, but sells still didn't rise. It was the last full-length recording the band would make together. In 1999, both albums were re-released on CD.