The High were instigated in Manchester, England, in October 1987 by Andy Couzens (b. 15 July 1965, Macclesfield, Cheshire, England; guitar), who had previously plied his trade in the yet-to-blossom Stone Roses. Joined by John Matthews (b. 23 September 1967, Torquay, Devon, England; vocals), Simon Davies (b. 24 January 1967, Manchester, England; bass) and Chris Goodwin (b. 10 August 1965, Oldham, Lancashire, England; drums), the High immediately eschewed the traditional paths open to small bands by avoiding the pitfalls of incessant touring. Instead, the quartet fabricated a set of unashamedly classic guitar/pop songs and signed to London Records after just one high-profile home-town show. Armed with such a simple musical formula, the High were able to work at an unusually brisk pace, releasing three singles in 1990, each of which gradually pushed the band further towards the brink of the public’s consciousness. Eventually, at the turn of the year, a remixed version of their debut, ‘Box Set Go’, worked its way up to number 28 in the UK charts, allowing them to concentrate on creating new material throughout 1991. However, along with the less worthy Northside, the High soon topped critical assassination lists in the backlash against all things ‘baggy’. The result was an almost total absence of publicity to accompany the aptly titled Hype.
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