Tuesday, October 27, 2009
The Deal - Brave New World - 1988
In 1986 after a couple years with no interest from record companies, the band agreed to split up. In yet another strange twist, just before they finalized their plans, Jody Stephens who was now running Ardent studios in Memphis, called Fullerton and arranged for the group to come down and record an album. Stephens would then try to find a label willing to release the finished product. The record Brave New World was finished in 1897 and featured Stephens and Alex Chilton as well as the Deal's best songs and performances yet. Despite a few nibbles from interested labels, no new deal was struck and the band released the record themselves. The record was a critical success (and the band was voted one of the top 20 unsigned bands in America by Musician magazine) but the group's limited finances and a lack of distribution meant it didn't sell a lot of copies. Disgusted with the music business, the Deal broke up for keeps in 1988. The band members reacted to the split in unique ways. Mike Clarke walked away from his drums (literally, he just left them in the band's rehearsal space) and never played again. Haines Fullerton began a strange transformation into a mystical quasi-religious guru of sorts, complete with a small band of followers. He committed suicide in 1996. Only Mark Roebuck never left the music world, playing his brand of pop in a number of Charlottesville bands like SubSeven and Big Circle.
In 2003, Not Lame released Goodbye September, a retrospective disc that compiled tracks from the Bearsville sessions as well as many other recordings from various stages of the band's star-crossed career, bringing the music of the Deal to a new generation of power pop devotees. - Tim Sendra
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Posted by Curty Ray