Swell Maps 1972-1980 by Jowe Head, published by Sounds On Paper

Jowe Head - Swell Maps 1972-1980


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This is the first-ever official biography of Swell Maps, penned by band member and co-founder Jowe Head. 
Swell Maps were formed in Jowe’s home town of Solihull, England with various school friends in 1972. The group, also featuring the late Nikki Sudden and Nikki’s brother, the late Epic Soundtracks, along with Phones Sportsman, John Cockrill, and Richard Earl, are now known as legendary pioneers of what is was to become indie-rock and post-punk with their blend of punk rock mixed with experimental and psychedelic sounds. 
Together they released four 7” singles, the first in 1977 on their own Rather Records, and two critically acclaimed albums in a brief but dramatic career that led to them topping the UK independent charts. After Swell Maps broke up in 1980, Jowe joined the Television Personalities. Ten years with the TVPs saw Jowe making more influential records, touring Europe regularly, and playing in Japan and the USA. Today he still regularly releases recordings, solo and with multiple groups, and is the steward of the Swell Maps legacy. 
In this 155-page biography of the band, Jowe takes us to each members’ formative years and reveals what made them experiment with challenging music and eventually come together to form Swell Maps. Through his own recollections and utilising interviews with former members, he explores the early days of the band, and details stories that bring the reader into the inner workings of the band as they travelled through the late '70s cultural scene in Europe. The last section of the book updates the whereabouts of all the key players. The book includes dozens of full-colour images of band memorabilia from the author’s personal collection, including photos, posters, flyers, artwork, original lyrics, and more, plus a detailed appendix containing a discography, notes on selected songs, concert dates, and set lists among other items. 
Additionally, a six-track 7” vinyl single featuring previously unreleased tracks. Detailed appendix contains a discography, notes on selected songs, concert dates, and set lists among other items 


“The first Swell Maps single I bought still to this day gives me a soul scorched buzz’n’rush….The Swell Maps had a lot to do with my upbringing” - Thurston Moore  (Sonic Youth) 
“Jowe Head spent time in two of the UK’s coolest underground bands: Swell Maps and Television Personalities… a lovably skewed indie-pop tunesmith” - Time Out New York 


  • hardback   305 x 217 x 19 (mm)  |  872g  |  152 pages  |  full colour 
  • First Edition (published 2022)  | 1000 copies 


  • recommended readership:   general  |  music & punk 


  1. Securicore * 
  2. Come Upstairs and See My Chemistry Set * 
  3. Harmony In Your Bathroom * 
  4. Double Dose ** 
  5. Elegia part 1 *** 
  6. Votive Offering **** 
* from a 1977 demo session 
** 1979 radio jingle, the master tape recently rediscovered 
*** out-take from Jane From Occupied Europe studio sessions 
**** experimental home-recording 


also available: 
Swell Maps - Mayday Signals   2LP | CD 


see also: 
Nikki Sudden & Dave Kusworth - Shame For The Angels EP   7" 
Nikki Sudden - The Bible Belt   2LP | CD 
Television Personalities - Some Kind Of Happening: Singles 1978-1989   2LP+7" 
Television Personalities - Some Kind Of Trip: Singles 1990-1994   2LP | 2CD 

The Gist - Holding Pattern   LP | CD 
Various - To The Outside Of Everything: A Story Of UK Post-Punk 1977-1981   5CD 


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