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Fun Lovin' Criminals
A three-piece guitar playing a live gig. Morgan stands at the front of the stage, playing guitar and with his mouth to a microphone on a stand.
FLC live in 2005
Background information
Origin New York City, United States
Genres Alternative hip hop, alternative rock, hip hop, blues, jazz, funk
Years active 1993–present
Website http://www.funlovincriminals.tv
Members
Huey Morgan, Brian Leiser, Frank Benbini
Former members
Steve Borgovini, Maxwell Jayson

The Fun Lovin' Criminals (often referred to by their initials, FLC) are an American alternative hip hop / alternative rock group from New York City. Their musical style is eclectic, covering such styles as hip hop, rock, funk, blues and jazz. Their songs often deal with life in a city, often explicitly New York City, but just as often urban life in general. They cover such issues as organized crime, recreational drug use, violence, poverty and politics. Their songs are often gritty or existentialist in nature but are just as often humorous or satirical. They are probably best known for their hit "Scooby Snacks" which features samples from films by Quentin Tarantino.

The band gained a large following internationally, notably in northwest Europe, around the release of their first two albums in the late nineties.

Contents

History

The band was formed in 1993 by Huey Morgan, Brian Leiser and Steve Borgovini after Leiser, who was already friends with Borgovini, met Morgan at the club where they both worked. They started playing together and would provide the entertainment for the club when a booked act failed to show up. It was during one of these stand-in gigs that they came to the attention of EMI and they were offered a record deal.

Their debut album, Come Find Yourself, was released in 1995 and while it was a commercial flop in the US it sold very well internationally, reaching #7 in the UK album charts. It was thanks to their success in the UK that they weren't dropped from their record label and instead, while still touring extensively, recorded their second album, 100% Colombian. However this also performed poorly in the US and they were subsequently dropped from their domestic contract but retained internationally.

It was around this time, in 1999, that Steve Borgovini left the band. He was replaced by Maxwell Jayson aka Mackie, originally just temporarily in case Borgovini returned. The band's third studio album, Loco was released in early 2001 and by this time it was clear that Borgovini was not going to return so a permanent replacement was found in the form of Mark Reid from Leicester, UK, who had previously worked with the band as Mackie's technician.

The line up has been stable since. And while their subsequent albums haven't reached the successes of their earlier work — their next studio album was their first to chart outside the UK top 20 and even their "best of" compilation only reached #11 - they are occasionally touring and they have recorded new material. A new album is expected later this year.

In June 2008 they performed at the Glastonbury Festival playing on the Jazz World Stage, they last played the Festival in 1999, on the Pyramid Stage.

FLC are currently working on their new album due for release early 2010.

Music

Come Find Yourself, the band's first album, was released in 1995 by Capitol Records and included "Scooby Snacks", the band's biggest hit single to date. It features samples from films by Quentin Tarantino, interspersed with rap verses and a sung, anthemic, chorus. The album is very New York–centric, including tracks about the L-train ("Bombin' The L"), Coney Island ("Coney Island Girl") and Mafia crime lord John Gotti ("King Of New York"), with many smaller references in other songs. Come Find Yourself had a slow rise up the UK album charts, finally peaking at #7. But as discussed above it failed to make any impact in the US. The success of the album prompted the re-release of "Scooby Snacks" as a single. It fared much better on the second time around, reaching #12 when previously it had peaked at #22.

100% Colombian, released in 1998 by Virgin Records, had a far grittier sound to it tempered by three upbeat songs, and several downtempo tracks, including "Love Unlimited", a tribute to Barry White. However, "Korean Bodega", one of the aforementioned upbeat songs, was the biggest hit from the album, reaching #15, their second highest placing single so far after the re-release of "Scooby Snacks".

Their 1999 album Mimosa, released by EMI was a Lounge album consisting of laid back covers and different versions of earlier released tracks. It sold well enough but was their weakest selling album yet and remained so for some years.

But two years later the band released Loco, again under EMI, which had all new songs including the eponymous single "Loco" which became their biggest hit yet, reaching #5 in the UK singles chart. It was the only single release to reach the UK Top 40 from the album and its success helped send the album itself to #5.

Their final album under EMI was a "best of" compilation called simply Bag of Hits released in 2002. It was released in both one and two disc versions, with the second disc being full of remixes of FLC songs by other artists. EMI released this album against the wishes of the band who were not happy with the two disc version. However despite their objections it reached #11 in the UK album charts.

After parting company with EMI they were picked up by Sanctuary Records in the UK and with them released their fourth studio album, sixth overall, Welcome To Poppy's. While it got strong, but not fantastic, music reviews it failed to live up to the commercial success of any of the previous albums, peaking at #20 in the UK album charts and the best selling single from the album only reached #61.

EMI continued to release their back catalogue and unreleased songs on two more albums but the band themselves didn't bring out a new album until 2005 when they released Livin' In The City, still under Sanctuary Records. This was very much a love letter to New York with many songs, just like in their debut album, extolling the virtues of New York. The title track itself has the repeated lyric "I love livin' in the city, give it up for New York City! ".

Discography

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Studio albums

Year Album Chart Positions
U.K. [1] U.S. [2]
1996 Come Find Yourself
  • Release date: February 20, 1996
  • Label: Capitol Records/Chrysalis/EMI/Silver Spotlight Records
7 144
1998 100% Colombian
  • Release date: August 31, 1998
  • Label: Capitol Records/Chrysalis/EMI
3  –
2001 Loco
  • Release date: March 6, 2001
  • Label: EMI
5  –
2003 Welcome to Poppy's
  • Release date: September 9, 2003
  • Label: Sanctuary Records
20  –
2005 Livin' In The City
  • Release date: August 16, 2005
  • Label: Sanctuary Records
57  –

Compilation albums

Year Album Chart Positions
U.K. [1]
1999 Mimosa
  • Release date: December 7, 1999
  • Label: Capitol Records/Chrysalis/EMI
  • Notes: A collection of new material and b-sides
37
2002 Bag of Hits
  • Release date: July 9, 2002
  • Notes: Early editions include a second disc of remixes
11
2003 Scooby Snacks: The Collection
  • Release date: July 8, 2003
  • Notes: Budget collection
 –
2004 A's, B's and Rarities
  • Release date: March 2, 2004
  • Notes: 3 CD set
 –

Extended plays

Year Title
1995 Fun Lovin' Criminals
  • Release date: November 1995
  • Label: Silver Spotlight Records

Singles

Year Title Album Chart Positions
U.K. [1] Ireland [3] U.S. Modern Rock [2]
1996 "The Grave And The Constant" Come Find Yourself 72  –  –
"Scooby Snacks" 22  – 14
"The Fun Lovin' Criminal" 26  –  –
1997 "King Of New York" 28  –  –
"I'm Not In Love" / "Scooby Snacks" Mimosa / Come Find Yourself 12 27  –
1998 "Love Unlimited" 100% Colombian 18  –  –
"Big Night Out" 29  –  –
1999 "Korean Bodega" 15  –  –
2001 "Loco" Loco 5 22  –
"Bump" / "Run Daddy Run" 50  –  –
2003 "Too Hot" Welcome To Poppy's 61  –  –
"Beautiful" 132  –  –
2005 "Mi Corazon" Livin' In The City 182  –  –

References

External links


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