Wednesday, 18 June 2014

REWIND: JJ72 - 'Oxygen'

 I love being a member of a closely-knit fan community, and not many are more devoted than the fans of 90s legends Mansun. As well as talking about the band and frontman Paul Draper's other musical work, a Mansun Facebook fan group called Closed For Business also allows us to share with each other lots of other great music that we're into. So thank you to Liza Ray for posting JJ72's beautiful 'Snow' and giving me some inspiration for today's 'Rewind' choice. 

In case you don't remember them, JJ72 were a trio from Dublin, who formed in 1996. They were signed to Sony sub-label Lakota Records in 1999, and released their debut single 'October Swimmer' later that year. After lots of support slots with big name bands and a modest but fair amount of radio support, the band were being tipped for big things by the music press. The self-titled debut LP arrived in the summer of 2000, and I remember getting a copy of it on my 16th birthday, or it may have been Christmas of that year. From it, the stunning 'Oxygen' was a song that gave the band their first top 30 single in the UK, leading to a Top of the Pops performance. The band's second album arrived two years later, but their career started to falter after bassist Hilary Woods left in 2003. In 2005 the group released two new singles and were recording a third album. But disagreements and frustration with their record label soon wore them down. They split in 2006. 

Two interesting facts about JJ72: singer Mark Greaney lived next door to Thin Lizzy legend Phil Lynott for a while when he was growing up in Dublin, and the name 'JJ72' derives from a window at Belvedere College which was made from 72 jam jars.

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