The SAINTS (Chris Bailey) 1957– 9th April 2022

Posted: April 11, 2022 in MUSIC

It is with great pain in our hearts that we have to inform you about the passing of Chris Bailey, singer and songwriter of The Saints, on April the 9th 2022. The Saints were one of punk rock’s earliest and most influential forces

Chris Bailey, frontman of Australian punk rock icons The Saints, died on Saturday. Chris lived a life of poetry and music and stranded on a Saturday night.

The Saints formed in Brisbane in 1973. Their 1976 debut single, ‘(I’m) Stranded’, was a landmark punk rock anthem upon its release and remains influential to this day.

Spanning numerous solo efforts together with The Saints’ 14 studio albums, not to mention various collaborations, the catalogue of late Aussie icon Chris Bailey is as extensive as it is influential.

For those wondering, ‘Who is Chris Bailey?’, while he’s been named one of the co-creators of punk music, his work spans far greater than the band’s breakout hit “(I’m) Stranded. In paying tribute to Bailey, who passed away over the weekend.

“The reason why we sounded the way we did, certainly Brisbane is the backwoods of this country,” he told triple j in 1985. “It’s like a lot of things that happen to you, you’re not aware of why they’re happening until after the fact. “I’ve got no explanation for why the first Saints record sounds like it does. Maybe because it’s so quiet [in Brisbane], that’s why the music was so noisy.

Bailey retained The Saints name after the departure of fellow founding member and songwriter Ed Kuepper, releasing albums through the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, ending with the 14th The Saints album, “King Of The Sun“, released in 2012.

After several years of solo adventure, Bailey revived The Saints to record Howling in 1996. This album was followed by “Everybody Knows the Monkey” (1998), Spit the Blues Out (2002), “Nothing is Straight in My House” (2005), “Imperious Delirium” (2006) and “King of the Sun” (2012-Australia, 2013-Europe) which were all recorded under the name of The Saints.

He also released albums under his own name, beginning with 1983’s “Casablanca” and ending on “Stranger“, his 2012 collaboration with French singer-songwriter H-Burns.

Many have begun paying tribute to Bailey and his seminal work, as fellow artists and writers reflect on the huge impact he had. Most notably, Bailey’s schoolboy friend Ed Kuepper, with whom he wrote

Chris and I met when we were about 14 during detention at Oxley High School and became close friends which later developed into what I always thought was an extremely strong artistic partnership,” Kuepper wrote Monday morning.

“I couldn’t have hoped for a better singer.

Know Your Product – The Saints (1978)

While Bailey has frequently been credited as one of the forefathers of punk, he wasn’t tied to the constraints of the genre, and shortly after The Saints’ ground-breaking first album, which borrowed its name from their acclaimed debut single, they unleashed a follow-up LP in “Eternally Yours“, which introduced a more R&B-driven sound. Know Your Product was the second single from the album and shook things up with prominent brass throughout, which confused a lot of people at the time.

Ghost Ships – The Saints (1984)

Again, with The Saints’ sixth album, “A Little Madness To Be Free”, Bailey continued to push the envelope, gravitating towards a sound that encompassed grand arrangements, with horns and strings heavily featured throughout – all of which can be heard in the album’s title track opener.

Just Like Fire Would – The Saints (1986)

What we didn’t mention about “Know Your Product” was that it was one of Kurt Cobain’s top tracks. Bailey’s writing chops saw him garner a slew of big-name fans, including none other than The Boss. The band’s 1986 single, “Just Like Fire Would“, featured on album seven, “All Fools Day”, would eventually be covered by Bruce Springsteen, who first performed the track in Australia during his 2013 Wrecking Ball tour before featuring a recorded version on his 2014 album “High Hopes”.

It Doesn’t Matter Anymore (Buddy Holly Cover) – Chris Bailey (1989)

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Buddy Holly’s passing, Bailey recorded a version of “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore“, which was included on the “Every Day Is A Holly Day” compilation.

Everything I Need – Chris Bailey (1994)

“Everything I Need” is taken from Bailey’s eclectic fourth solo studio album, “54 Days At Sea”, recorded Malmö, Sweden. While the album version dropped in 1994, we’d like to highlight this stunning performance from 1996 on Dutch music show 2 Meter Sessions.

Bring It On – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds featuring Chris Bailey (2003)

Not only did Bailey provide chorus vocals for Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ “Bring It On“, taken from Nocturamabut he also toured the US with them and appeared during their Late Show With David Letterman performance in 2003.

Can’t Help Falling In Love (Elvis Presley Cover) – Chris Bailey (2004)

Among some of his final solo works was epic two-part compilation “DM Blues“, the second volume of which finishes with a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love” that will never get old.

Hey You! – Chris Bailey & H-Burns (2011)

One of Bailey’s many collaborative efforts, in 2011 he teamed with French country-folk troubadour H-Burns for an album, “Stranger. Hey You!” was featured on the album; a release that saw the duo tour France together.

King Of The Sun – The Saints (2012)

It’s hard to believe that The Saints’ fourteenth album, “King Of The Sun”, was released 10 years ago. It’s a concept album about a journey home after a hundred-year war, and its title track is proof that Bailey’s creativity hadn’t faltered since the band’s inception.

    

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