Before ‘Organ’, in 1956 instrumental Honky Tonk had reached US#2. 1958 had brought further instrumental hits Rebel-Rouser (twang, US#6), Patricia (cha cha, first US#1, also organ lead ), (almost-instrumental US#1) Tequila (surf US#1), and Topsy Part 2 (an even rarer top-40 drum solo, US#3 ) to the world.
1959 found The Fireballs playing ‘Torquay’ ( quite like Tequila, no?)
Apart from the numbers, they ruled their era to an extent that’s hard to overestimate. Brian Wilson is among the first rock producers to incorporate electronic sounds; for example, in Good Vibrations.
One of the most surreal top-10s, the overwrought track — originally composed by Jimmy Webb as part of a cantata — was longer at 7:21 than the radio version of Hey Jude (popular that fall). For a while it was everywhere as people tried to ‘figure it out’.
Released on the indie Fiction Records label, it doesn’t include first, controversial single Killing an Arab. Their albums slowly climb in the UK charts — and become a definitive force in goth rock. 1984 fifth album The Top (UK#10,US#180,NL#12) squeaks into the US-200; then the gold albums start to flow. Much as the lines of lead guitarist Robert Smith rainbow from effects.
The band sees its commercial peak with May 2 1989’s Disintegration (UK#3,US#12, #326 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest) Lovesong (US#2) and Apr 21 1992’s Wish (UK#1,US#2). Friday I’m in Love (UK#6,US#18
The latest album, their 13th, is 2008’s 4:13 Dream; the band continues to tour.