|FORMED: 1984, London, England
After British guitarist/singer Mick Jones (b.1955 06 26, Brixton, London, England) was fired from the punk rock group the Clash in 1983, he formed Big Audio Dynamite (B.A.D.) in 1984 with video artist Don Letts (effects and vocals), Greg Roberts (drums), Dan Donovan (keyboards), and Leo 'E-Zee Kill' Williams (bass). B.A.D. debuted on record with the single 'The Bottom Line' in September 1985. The group followed the more experimental funk elements of the Clash's Combat Rock, adding samplers, dance tracks, and found sounds to Jones's concise pop songwriting. Jones suffered from a near-fatal bout of pneumonia in 1988, but bounced back with 1989's Megatop Phoenix. After that record, the band split apart at the end of 1989. Jones added Gary Stonadge (bass/vocals), Chris Kavanagh (drums/vocals), and Nick Hawkins (guitar/vocals) to form Big Audio Dynamite II, while Letts, Williams, and Roberts formed Screaming Target and Donovan joined the Sisters of Mercy. Releasing The Globe, the first full-length album with the new lineup, in 1991, B.A.D. II experienced their greatest success yet with the American Top 40 hit single "Rush." In 1994, the band's name was truncated to Big Audio, and the album Higher Power was released.
After Higher Power, Big Audio parted ways with Epic Records, signing with Radioactive in early 1995. On Punk (1995), their first album for Radioactive, the group was renamed Big Audio Dynamite. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine and William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide