After the dissolution of British pub-rockers the Winkies, leader Philip Rambow embarked on a brief solo career that never quite fulfilled the potential many observers felt he possessed. The Canadian-born Rambow had previously played in a New York band called Saturday Night before emigrating to England and forming the Winkies in 1973. Their music was basic, Stonesy pub rock, but their outlandish glam rock stage costumes set them apart from the rest of the scene, and caught the attention of Brian Eno, who was then just leaving Roxy Music. Eno brought the Winkies on tour as his backing band in early 1974, and although the tour was cut short by Eno's collapsed lung, it landed the Winkies a major label shot with Chrysalis. Their only album appeared in 1975, but flopped, causing the group to disband by the end of the year. Rambow returned to New York and spent some time as a minor figure on the city's emerging punk scene; he contributed his own "Night Out" to the Max's Kansas City 1976 sampler, and covered Darlene Love's "Why Do Lovers Break Each Other's Hearts?" for the punk Phil Spector tribute album Bionic Gold.
Rambow returned to England before the ‘70s were out, and assembled the Phil Rambow Band for his debut solo album, Shooting Gallery, released by Capitol in 1979. The album's reception was disappointing, but Rambow was also making a name for himself as a songwriter, contributing material to Meat Loaf associate Ellen Foley's Night Out album, and writing "A Star (In Her Own Right)" for Nick Gilder. Rambow also co-wrote several songs with new wave darling Kirsty MacColl, most notably the irresistible "There's a Guy Works Down the Chip Shop (Swears He's Elvis)," and played guitar on her debut album Desperate Character. Rambow resumed -- and ended -- his solo career with 1981's tighter Jungle Law (on EMI), which was comparable to the rootsier excursions of new wave singer/songwriters like Elvis Costello or Graham Parker. Rambow resurfaced to perform at the Kirsty MacColl tribute concert in 2002, following the singer's accidental death.