Who are the Scruffs?
Legendary band, The Scruffs, originally hailed from Memphis, Tennessee and became Southern pioneers of the “power pop” musical movement. Founded by lead songwriter, singer and guitarist Stephen Burns, The Scruffs recorded the classic cult album “Wanna Meet The Scruffs?” at Ardent Studios in Memphis, in 1977.
Critical acclaim struck the band, much the same as fellow Memphians, Big Star, and a second album was recorded entitled “Teenage Gurls”. (This album would remain unreleased for 20 years.) Robert Christgau of The Village Voice voted WANNA MEET THE SCRUFFS? as on of the very top albums of 1977-78.
On the promise of fame and fortune, the original Scruffs resettled in Manhattan, New York City for 3 years. During that time, Stephen Burns kept the band gigging and recording. In 1980-81, a single, “When Donna Romances” was a pick hit in Record World. Despite great performances at CBGBs, Max’s Kansas City, Trax, Hurrah’s and other top venues, The Scruffs remained unsigned to a major record label.
In late 1982, Stephen Burns returned to Memphis, the original Scruffs all but psychologically destroyed from the flames of fame and failure. Perhaps the original prediction of the hit song “I’m A Failure” (from “Wanna Meet The Scruffs?) was a song of self fulfilling prophecy.
During the mid 1980s, Burns recorded songs at Ardent and other Memphis studios and those recordings became the album “MidTown” and was a pick hit in The Village Voice when finally released in 1998.
In late 1998, together with Alex Chilton, Stephen Burns arrived in Glasgow, Scotland and with the help of a plethora of friends recorded “Love, The Scruffs” at CaVa Studios in Glasgow and returned to Memphis to mix the album at Ardent Studios. Great reviews greeted the album, but Burns retreated into his new home in Glasgow and began work on the next Scruffs’ recording, “Swingin’ Singles”.
Though the band made two yearly tours of Japan and performed in London as well as secured label deals in Japan and Britain, Stephen Burns was convinced The Scruffs were ready for the top of the pops.
Continuing a trend towards a greater emphasis on orchestral instrumentation augmenting the power of the basic pop quartet (begun on “Swingin’ Singles” with arranger Peter Shand), Burns geared up a total range of pop compositions for the album “Pop Manifesto, The Scruffs. Recorded over a year with permanent Scruffs Simon Cottrell, Mark Rodgers and Paul Napier with major contributions from Zachary Ware, Giles Lamb, Peter Shand and engineer Geoff Allan, “Pop Manifesto” was recorded at CaVa studios in Glasgow and finished and mixed at Ardent studios in Memphis in June of 2006. This album is an absolute must listen for any pop music fan who wants jangling power guitars, driving guitars, driving bass and drums, stunning melodies and soaring vocals and orchestration.
The album CONQUEST was released in 2010 to fantastic reviews and was included in Bruce Brodeen's latest book as one of the BEST POP ALBUMS of 2010. Songs like "Treasure Girls", "One More You", "Silver and Gold", "Conquer Me" and "Ipod Girl" set a fantastic pop tone as Stephen Burns runs the gaunlet of pop melodies and chord structures.
From classic songs like “Revenge”, “Bedtime Stories”, “Break The Ice”, “I’m A Failure” through “Teenage Gurls”, “Treachery”, “Things Are Green”, “My Little Russian Girl”, “You Gotta Let Him Go”, “Canyon Girls”, “A Girl Can Make You Cry”, “Loving and Lying Game”, “Sugar”, “You Are Wrong (I Am Right)”, “Will I Love You?”, and “There’s A Girl I Know”, “Jihann”, “Don’t You Go There”, “3 Girls” or “She’s Got It For You”, Stephen Burns has been writing and producing should have been/could have been hit songs for years. Fortunately, thousands of Scruff fans all over the world have heard the words and music!
NOW, for 2012, the magnificent double CD "KILL! KILL! The Scruffs" has been produced during 2011 and is ready for release from Feb 15 to March 1, 2012. Containing 12 songs (plus a hidden track) Disc 1 is in full stereo mixes and Disc 2 contains separate and different Mono mixes of the songs. Double package and super poster included. Absolute hit songs include "Hide Me Hide Me", "Wonder Where", "Here Comes The Moon Now", "Too Much Love", "Kill! Kill!" and "She's A Killer". Recorded and mixed at Ardent Studios in Memphis, TN and mastered at Abbey Road Studios, London, this is perhaps the greatest Scruffs' album yet, next to Wanna Meet The Scruffs?
It's impossible to listen to any CD/Album by The Scruffs and not be convinced that you have found at least one great song that you love to listen to.