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Music / Big Audio Dynamite

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"I ain't with the hundred crowd, I'm with the 99."
Big Audio Dynamite, also known as Big Audio Dynamite II and Big Audio, as well as B.A.D for short, is a British Alternative Dance and Post-Punk band formed in London in 1984 by former Clash guitarist Mick Jones. The band is known for its eclectic mix of musical styles much like The Clash before them, experimenting with Post-Punk, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Funk and Punk Rock, becoming one of the Trope Makers for Alternative Dance in the process, along with acts such as New Order. After releasing several albums, regularly touring and experiencing many lineup changes, B.A.D finally ceased activity in 1997, although the original 1984-1990 lineup reformed for a tour in 2011.


  • This Is Big Audio Dynamite (1985)
  • No. 10 Upping St. (1986)
  • Tighten Up Vol. 88 (1988)
  • Megatop Phoenix (1989)
  • Kool-Aid (1990) (UK-only release) (As Big Audio Dynamite II)
  • The Globe (1991) (As Big Audio Dynamite II)
  • Higher Power (1994) (As Big Audio)
  • F-Punk (1995)
  • Entering A New Ride (1997) (Internet-only free release)

The following tropes are present in Big Audio Dynamite's work:

  • Homage: In the video for "James Brown", Mick Jones and Don Letts homage James Brown's famous "Cape Routine" from The TAMI Show.
  • I Am the Band: When Mick Jones sacked the entire band and put together a new lineup in 1990.
  • Near-Death Experience: Megatop Phoenix got its name after Mick Jones nearly died of pneumonia in 1989 and spent months in the hospital.
  • New Sound Album: Frequently.
    • Megatop Phoenix brings in Acid House and rave influences.
    • Kool-Aid and The Globe have a different sound than the preceding albums due to the new lineup and changes in the style of dance music popular at the time.
  • Power Walk: In the video for "Bottom Line", their first as a band. It starts with just Mick Jones, then the other band members join in.
  • Pun-Based Title: No. 10 Upping Street is a pun on 10 Downing Street, the headquarters of the Government of the United Kingdom.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: when the 1984-90 line-up got back together to do some shows in 2011, including the Coachella Festival that year.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: "James Brown" (song and video) is about James Brown's 1988 arrest following a high-speed car chase.
  • Sampling: All the time. During the 1984-90 lineup, this was Don Letts' main role in the band.
  • Snake Oil Salesman: "Medicine Show" is sung from the POV of one, extolling the virtues of his product but never actually saying what the product is.
  • Start My Own: The band was formed after Mick Jones was kicked out of his previous band, The Clash.
  • Step Up to the Mic: Mick Jones was the lead singer, but Don Letts frequently stepped up and shared vocals on some songs like "C'mon Every Beatbox" and "BAD".
  • Temporary Name Change: When they unveiled a new lineup in 1990 (featuring only leader Mick Jones from the previous "classic" lineup), they called themselves "Big Audio Dynamite II" for the releases of Kool-Aid and The Globe. On the following record, Higher Power, in 1994, they changed their name again to "Big Audio". On the record following that, F-Punk, they changed back to "Big Audio Dynamite".
  • V-Formation Team Shot: The video for "Sightsee MC".
  • Vocal Tag Team: Some songs, like "BAD" and "C'mon Every Beatbox" feature Mick Jones and Don Letts sharing lead vocals.