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Music / Teenage Fanclub

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The lads in the early '90s.

If she lived in space, man,
I'd build a plane.
Out of luck, so beam me up,
To hear her talking again.
"Sparky's Dream"

Teenage Fanclub, or the Fannies, are a Scottish Alternative Rock band, known for being modern champions of Power Pop and pretty Nice Guys. They formed in 1989 and have, for the most part at least, been together since then. The three central band members are Norman Blake (guitar, vocals), Raymond McGinley (guitar, vocals), and Gerard Love (bass, vocals), with several people filling in for drums and keyboards throughout the band's career.

If you cross Big Star with The Byrds, you get Teenage Fanclub.

Oh, and they might've beaten out Nirvana for an Album of the Year award, or something.


Selected Discography:

  • A Catholic Education (1990)
  • The King (1991)
  • Bandwagonesque (1991)
  • Thirteen (1993)
  • Grand Prix (1995)
  • Songs from Northern Britain (1997)
  • Howdy! (2000)
  • Man-Made (2005)
  • Shadows (2010)
  • Here (2016)

The Fannies provide examples of the following tropes:

What you do to me
I know, I can't believe
There's something about you
Got me down on my knees
  • Long-Runner Line-up: Up until the recent departure of Gerard Love, they were a Type 2 for 27 years, give or take some minor lineup changes.
  • Long Title: From Shadows: "Sometimes I Don't Need to Believe in Anything."
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Usually in the 2 to 4 range, although A Catholic Education is definitely more of a 5.
  • New Sound Album: Twice. Bandwagonesque is quite different from their previous two albums, and would set the standard until Songs from Northern Britain introduced a more Byrds-esque sound with more vocal harmonies and jangly guitars.
  • Precision F-Strike: For a band whose lyrics are pretty clean most of the time, they sure do know when to thrown in a "fuck" or two.
    • "Alcoholiday:"
    "Baby, I've been fucked already."
    • "Fear of Flying:"
    "This is your one-way ticket, so don't fuck it up."
    • "Verisimilitude:"
    "I've always said 'fuck' when I thought I could."
  • Rock Trio: More like songwriting trio, but the band's most consistent members have been Blake, McGinley, and Love.
  • Shout-Out: Thirteen is titled after the Big Star song.
  • Silly Love Songs: It would be easier to name songs of theirs that don't count. "What You Do to Me", "Sparky's Dream", and "Norman 3" are particularly infectious examples, though.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Mostly idealistic with the occasional dipping into cynicism.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: McGinley only made one vocal appearance on Bandwagonesque with "I Don't Know", but would regularly do vocals on later albums.
  • Take That!: A Catholic Education takes shots at the Catholic Church.
  • Title-Only Chorus: "Sometimes I Don't Need to Believe in Anything."
  • Title Track: Twice on A Catholic Education, but Averted with the rest of their work.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Like the bands that inspired them, the Fannies have a habit of writing ambiguous and/or borderline nonsensical lyrics.
  • Vocal Tag Team: Blake, McGinley, and Love.

Example of: