ABOUT Essential Logic
Essential Logic was formed in early 1978 by saxophonist Lora Logic, after she left X-Ray Spex. This quintet included Lora (real name Susan Whitby) on lead vocals, sax and xylophone, Ashley Buff (Philip Legg/Phil Lip) on guitar, Mark Turner (Base) on bass, Rich Tee (Tea) on drums and Dave Wright on tenor sax.
Personnel changes: Stuart Action (guitar) and Tim Wright (bass) played on the "Aerosol Burns" single alongside Logic and Tee; William Bennett (Whitehouse) played additional guitar on the "Wake Up!" EP; Mark Turner was replaced on the band's final 7-inch by Jon Oliver ("Fanfare in the Garden") and Ben Annesley ("The Captain").
The band initially recorded for their own Cells label, a cooperative deal with Rough Trade, then released several singles, an album and extended play (EP) discs over the following two years on Rough Trade and Virgin Records.
Essential Logic's music was described as a deceptively ramshackle sax-driven rhythmic style, with Lora playing the part of the punk banshee out front. Unfortunately, the group had very little commercial success and in the end this led to their eventual disintegration.
After the break up of Essential Logic, Lora produced a solo single, "Wonderful Offer" (Rough Trade 1981), and solo album, Pedigree Charm (1982). Personnel on these outings included: Lora Logic (vocals, sax), Charles Hayward (drums), Rich-Tea (drums on "Brute Fury" and "Wonderful Offer"), Ben Annesley (bass), Phil Legg (guitars; bass on "Rat Alle").
Logic also went on to guest with bands like Red Krayola, Finnish group Kolla Kestää, The RaincoatsThe Swell Maps. Soon after, Lora left music to join the Hare Krishnas, resurrecting in 1995 to perform and record with a re-formed X-Ray Spex.
Lora soon returned to the Essential Logic moniker, teaming up with Blondie guitarist Gary Valentine, ex-Bad Manners bassist Dave Jones and drummer Nick Pretzell to record some "lively, intelligent, creative and fun new tunes" for PeopleSound. The following year, four tracks from a 1998 recording session with Lora (vocals, sax, kartels) and Martin Muscatt (drums, bass, guitars, keyboard ambience) were made available through Vitaminic.
In 2003, Kill Rock Stars issued the career retrospective Fanfare in the Garden: An Essential Logic Collection which included four previously unreleased solo tracks and Red Crayola's "Born in Flames" single [with Lora providing vocals]. Four classic titles ["Flora Force" / "Alkaline Loaf in the Area" / "Eugene" / "The Captain"], the four Virgin Records tracks and two Lara solo numbers ["Stop Halt" and "Rather Than Repeat"] were missing-in-action. [Additionally, another longtime fan has alerted me that "World Friction" on the compilation CD is an edited and different mix to the original 7'05" two-part single version and Beat Rhythm News mix.] Still, so good to have Essential Logic and Lora finally getting a proper release on compact disc. Time to petition Virgin to get the last of her material out!
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