|The lilting, shimmering, sparsely textured pop of the Jean-Paul Sartre Experience never gained a terribly wide audience, even in their native New Zealand, but they did receive a fair amount of critical acclaim, as well as a cult following, in the late '80s and early '90s. Bassist/vocalist Dave Yetton, drummer Gary Sullivan, and guitarist Dave Mulcahy formed the Jean-Paul Sartre Experience in 1984 in Christchurch; guitarist Jim Laing was added a year later.
A well-received performance at the Flying Nun label's Christmas show in 1985, plus a government arts grant, brought the group an opportunity to record a five-track EP, released in late 1986 under an eponymous title. Love Songs, their first full-length LP, was released the following year and appeared in America with tracks from the EP taking the place of several album cuts.
The Size of Food was recorded in 1988 as a follow-up, but not released for another year. Keyboardist Russell Baillie joined the lineup for the EPs Precious (1992) and Breathe (1993) before leaving due to financial difficulties. The estate of Jean-Paul Sartre forced the band to shorten its name to the JPS Experience in 1993, prior to the release of Bleeding Star. Following that album, Mulcahy left the band due to his decreasing creative input; he was replaced briefly by Solid Gold Hell guitarist Matt Heine, but the lineup proved to be unstable and the band called it quits in 1994.
Mulcahy formed a band called Monster, which evolved into another called Superette, while Yetton scored a solo deal with Flying Nun. ~ John Bush, All Music Guide