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In many ways, The Monochrome Set are the archetypal “Big in Japan” band. Formed in 1978 by a handful of Adam Ant’s former backing musicians, the band, featuring guitarist Lester Square’s faintly retro playing style and vocalist Ganesh “Bid” Seshadri’s dryly humorous lyrics, flew insolently in the face of the spittle-flecked and violently imploding punk movement.

Unfortunately, despite releasing one of the all-time great debut albums in 1980’s “Strange Boutique” and coming ever-so close to widespread acclaim with “Eligible Batchelors” in 1982, they fell apart in the mid-’80s after a misjudged switch to major label Warner Bros., leaving behind a collection of songs that inspired numerous copycats in subsequent generations (every good idea that The Divine Comedy or Franz Ferdinand ever had was ripped off from The Monochrome Set).

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