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This article is about the industrial music group. For the 2012 album named Greater Than One, see Dwele.
Greater Than One is an English electronic music band, founded by husband and wife Michael Wells and Lee Newman in 1985. They released many albums under this name, and also under the names Tricky Disco, GTO, John + Julie, Church of Extacy, Signs of Chaos, T.D.5, Salami Brothers, Killout Squad, Technohead and L.E.D.. Only a few of their singles were commercially successful. Since Newman's death on 4 August 1995 from cancer, Wells continues to release music under some of these names, and also as The Man and S.O.L.O.
1985: Greater Than One:
In 1985, Newman and Wells met at the Royal College of Art in London, formed Greater Than One, and released their first album Kill the Pedagogue on cassette. During the late 1980s they organised art installations and exhibitions accompanied by their own music: "When the whole audience were in, we started a soundtrack ... war sirens and searchlights. This was designed to disorientate the audience, throwing them into an unexpected nightmare. After the shock, Islamic chanting began which then changed to Song For England, during which we came onstage wearing illuminous skull masks...". They formed their own label Kunst=Kapital and released four further albums under this alias between 1987 and 1990.
1990: First hits:
Their first hit single was the trance record "Pure" as GTO on Chrysalis Records, a club hit around Europe, closely followed by "Tricky Disco" as Tricky Disco on Warp records, which peaked at number 14 in the UK Singles Chart in July 1990.
They used many aliases because, releasing so much material, they feared the press would not write about it all, if they knew it all came from the same band. As Newman said, "if you give them a Tricky Disco one week and then a John and Julie two weeks later and GTO a month later they'll write about all of it". Their aliases also allowed them to release different types of material on different record labels. The single "Double Happiness" as John and Julie appeared on XL Recordings; the 1993 Tip of the Iceberg album as GTO was released on REACT, and the 1995 album Headsex as Technohead appeared on Mokum Records.
Headsex contained their biggest hit, I Wanna Be a Hippy. It was accompanied by a video featuring three youths with shaved heads, wearing "Mokum" t-shirts and carrying inflatable hammers, chasing a hippy on a bicycle around a park in Amsterdam. It reached number 1 in 12 different countries including Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland, and number 6 in the UK in February 1996.
Two Technohead follow-up singles followed in 1996; "Happy Birthday" reached number 18 in April and the next single "Banana-na-na" peaked at number 64 in October.
Wells has recorded many singles and three more albums since, including two Tricky Disco singles in February 2007.Wide ThumbClearartFanartBanner User Comments