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Formed in approximately 1976, beginning life under the moniker 'Philip Pilf and the Filth' before changing the name to Cardiac Arrest to release their first single, 'Toy World', and eventually their very first release under the name Cardiacs, 'The Obvious Identity', the band line-up has never stayed the same for very long, although the founder members, Tim Smith and his brother Jim, have always remained together in the band. The classic longest-term Cardiacs line-up reads something like this:

TIM SMITH - Vocals, guitar

SARAH SMITH - Saxophone, vocals

CHRISTIAN (Bic) HAYES - Guitar, vocals

JIM SMITH - Bass, vocals

WILLIAM D. DRAKE - Keyboards, vocals


TIM QUY - Percussion, keyboards

- although at any given time, there may have been anything from 3 to 13 members of the band. Taking influences from the beginning from such contemporaries as Wire and Devo, and simultaneously drawing on elements from classic English psychedelic and prog-rock bands such as early Genesis and Gong, as well as taking Zappa inspirations, Cardiacs' sound developed its unique style very quickly. From the first release on their own label The Alphabet Business Concern (which, by the way, is the only label the band have ever released records on, later in conjunction with Organ Records and Distribution, although there have been countless deals offered by many major labels along the way) 'The Obvious Identity' in 1977, it became apparent that the band were not prepared to follow the course most bands usually take.

Over the 24 years of Cardiacs' existence, they have built up their fanbase internationally to a staggering extent, despite having been fanatically ignored by the press and media, and even, in the case of the NME, actually publically banned from appearing in that particular publication ever again. They have recorded and released countless albums and singles, one of which, 'Is This The Life?', released in 1986, making it at last into the British Top 20 and earning the band the dubious and risible prestige of being voted 'Best Newcomers' by Smash Hits! readers in their 1986 poll. They have also re-released their entire (previously very hard to find) back catalogue on CD due to popular demand. There is also in existence a video of a Cardiacs performance at Salisbury Arts Centre in 1990 entitled 'Mare's Nest', which is an excellent snapshot of just how entertaining, quirky and how much downright brilliant fun the average Cardiacs gig is.

There are also other Cardiacs-related side projects which are well worth checking out - of these, perhaps the most notable is Sea Nymphs, a trio comprised of Tim Smith, Sarah Smith and William D. Drake, playing mainly acoustic instruments and percussion (although the trademark Cardiacs keyboards are in there too) - it sounds like a much gentler, more organic, less punky Cardiacs - almost whimsical (if that's not too revolting a description). There is an album now available on CD from Cardiacs' official website that was originally released in 1992 in an extremely limited promo-only edition sold directly at Sea Nymphs gigs (500 copies only). Other side-projects include Tim's solo offering, 'Tim Smith's Extra Special Oceanland World'; William D. Drake's band Lake of Puppies; Jon Poole's previous band Ad Nauseam; and a project that gigged quite extensively throughout 1991-2, namely Panixphere, involving Tim Smith, Bic Hayes, Dave Francolini (Dark Star, ex-Levitation) and Jon Poole. Tim Smith has produced records for many bands (including Levitation and Dark Star), and has also directed videos for those two bands (currently the video for the Graceadelica Remix for Dark Star), among others.

The Official Cardiacs site on the Net is currently located at and offers great links, a full-scale discography and some totally wicked merchandise, soon to include such fascinating artifacts as CARDIACS bath-towels, CARDIACS pillowcases and CARDIACS wall-clocks (this is not made-up, I promise you) - I recommend a visit there very highly!!! There are further cool links to everywhere (including Cardiacs, Levitation and other such sites) at Org Records Official Webzine Site, located at . If you would like to add anything to these Cardiacs pages, add to any other pages or contact us about anything Elissa and I have on our site, please e-mail me at for my pages, or for Lissy's - hey, just mail us for a chat and say hello, don't be a stranger!!!