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  • Born: London, England
  • Died: New York, NY
  • Years Active: 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

After the post-punk band Swell Maps dissolved in the early '80s, lead singer Nikki Sudden began a diverse and maddening solo career, during which he performed with a number of different bands and side projects. Sudden released his first solo record, Waiting on Egypt, in 1982, followed closely by The Bible Belt in 1983; both records recalled Swell Maps. In 1984, Sudden formed the Jacobites with drummer Epic Soundtracks (his brother, who was also a member of Swell Maps) and guitarist/vocalist Dave Kusworth, who co-wrote the material with Sudden. The band developed a laid-back pop style driven by acoustic guitars and a rolling rhythm section reminiscent of the Velvet Underground. The Jacobites released four albums and three EPs between 1984 and 1986, when Kusworth left the band. Sudden continued using the Jacobites' name, releasing Texas on the Creation label in 1986. During the late '80s, Sudden ditched the Jacobites and began making music that strongly recalled early Rolling Stones. While none of his albums ever attracted a large audience, Sudden remained a cult favorite throughout his career. High-profile guests began appearing on his albums, with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy lending a hand on 1999's Red Brocade, and the Faces' keyboardist Ian McLagan playing on the 2004 release Treasure Island. On March 26, 2006, Sudden passed away after a gig in New York City. He was working on a new album, The Truth Doesn't Matter, which was released in October of that year. In the spring of 2011, the Easy Action imprint released Playing with Fire, a carefully curated compilation of unreleased songs recorded and left off his last two studio albums; the collection featured liner notes by Sudden's bassist and friend, John Barry.