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Background information
Origin London
Genres Alternative rock
Years active 1992—2001
Labels Deceptive Records
DGC Records
Atlantic Records
Wichita Recordings
Associated acts Suede
Me Me Me
Former members
Justine Frischmann
Annie Holland
Justin Welch
Donna Matthews
David Bush
Sheila Chipperfield
Paul Jones
Sharon Mew

Elastica was a British alternative rock band that played punk rock-influenced music. They were best known for their 1995 album Elastica, which produced singles that charted in the U.S. and the U.K.



In mid-1992 ex-Suede band-members Justine Frischmann and Justin Welch decided to form a group. By autumn of that year, bassist Annie Holland and guitarist Donna Matthews (ex-Darling Buds) were added. After initially rehearsing, recording and gigging under names such as "Vaseline" and "Onk," the band settled on the name "Elastica" in early 1993 because of legal threats from The Vaselines.

Elastica released their first single, "Stutter," in 1993, which benefited from the promotional efforts of BBC Radio 1 DJ and Deceptive Records label boss Steve Lamacq who had discovered the band earlier in the year. In 1994, Elastica released two U.K. Top 20 singles ("Line Up" and "Connection") and performed on numerous radio shows. In addition Frischmann's relationship with Blur frontman Damon Albarn made tabloid headlines, thus creating further buzz about the band.

Elastica's first LP, Elastica, was released in March 1995 and entered the U.K. charts at No. 1; it became the fastest-selling debut album in U.K. history at the time.[1] The album was preceded by their fourth single "Waking Up" which went to No. 13 on the UK Singles Chart, their highest placing yet.

The band became subject to controversy when several bands sued them for plagiarism. Specifically, the post-punk band Wire (who Elastica counted as one of their main influences) claimed that many of the band's melodies were taken from Wire compositions, as well as by The Stranglers. Notably, Wire's "I Am the Fly" has a chorus similar to Elastica's "Line Up" and the intro synthesizer part in Elastica's "Connection" (later also repeated on guitar) is lifted from the guitar riff in Wire's "Three Girl Rhumba" and transposed a semitone, and The Stranglers also passed comment that Elastica's "Waking Up" bore a marked resemblance to their song "No More Heroes". The judgment resulted in out-of-court settlements. [1]

In the U.S., "Connection" and "Stutter" received airplay on modern rock radio and also both charted on the pop charts, as did their debut album (which was later certified gold). After performing at the 1995 Glastonbury Festival, the band joined the Lollapalooza tour continuing an almost solid year of constant gigs. Citing exhaustion, original bassist Annie Holland quit the band in early August of 1995 and was replaced for the remainder of the tour by session bassist Abby Travis. Holland was not permanently replaced until the arrival of Sheila Chipperfield in the spring of 1996. Also around this time keyboardist David Bush (ex-The Fall) was added to the line-up.

After playing more shows and demoing new material in the first half of 1996, Elastica entered the studio in the later part of the year to begin work on their second album. By late 1998, guitarist Donna Matthews had left the band. She was replaced by guitarist Paul Jones and keyboardist Sharon Mew. Also around this time Chipperfield was replaced with a returning Annie Holland.

As a tribute to the "lost years" of the band, a self-titled six-track EP appeared in August 1999, collecting a variety of recordings from a multitude of aborted sessions. This EP marked the first new material from the band in over four years. After re-recording most of these songs in mid 1999, along with new compositions, the band played their first set of shows in years. Their second proper album, The Menace, was released in April 2000. After the release of the farewell single "The Bitch Don't Work" in 2001, the band announced their amicable break-up.

According to a Mojo article on Elastica in 2009, Justine emigrated to Colorado to study visual arts and psychology. She is married and lives and works in California's Bay Area.[2] Donna Mathews is a pastor in Totnes. Annie Holland lives in Brighton. Justin Welch and Sharon Mew are married and live in Devon. Paul Jones is the A&R man at Rough Trade joining after managing his Slogan label, which put out The Fall's Fall Heads Roll.


Official members

Guest/touring members


Studio Albums

Year Album Details Peak Chart Positions Certificates
1995 Elastica 1 31 20 34 66
2000 The Menace
  • Released: 3 April 2000
  • Label: Deceptive/Atlantic



Year Song Peak Chart Positions Album
US Mod[12] US Main[12]
1993 "Stutter" Elastica
1994 "Line Up" 20
"Connection" 17
1995 "Waking Up" 13
"Connection" [A] 175 9 53 2 40
"Stutter" [A] 67 10
"Car Song" 33
2000 "Mad Dog God Dam" 44 The Menace
2001 "The Bitch Don't Work" 87 Non-album single
  • A ^North American release.


  1. ^ a b "Artist Profile Elastica". Retrieved 11 May 2009. 
  2. ^ "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". 2010-02-26. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  3. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 180. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ "Elastica Canadian position". RPM. Retrieved 19 February 2009. 
  5. ^ "New Zealand album positions". Retrieved 22 February 2009. 
  6. ^ "Swedish album positions". http://swedishcharts/search.asp?cat=a&search=Elastica. Retrieved 22 February 2009. 
  7. ^ "US Billboard: albums". Retrieved 22 February 2009. 
  8. ^ "Elastica British Certificate". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 22 February 2009. 
  9. ^ "Canadian Certificates". CRIA. Retrieved 22 February 2009. 
  10. ^ "US Certificates". RIAA. Retrieved 22 February 2009. 
  11. ^ "Canadian Single Positions". RPM. Retrieved 29 April 2009. 
  12. ^ a b c "US Single Positions". Retrieved 29 April 2009. 

External links

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