Adrian Borland

Adrian Kelvin Borland[1] (6 December 1957 – 26 April 1999) was an English singer, songwriter, guitarist and record producer, best known as the frontman of post-punk band The Sound.

Following a substantial musical career spanning numerous groups, as well as a solo career, he succumbed to symptoms of what is known as schizoaffective disorder, and committed suicide by jumping in front of a train on 26 April 1999.[2][3]

Adrian Borland
Adrian Borland
Borland in 1990
Background information
Birth nameAdrian Kelvin Borland
Also known asJoachim Pimento
Born6 December 1957
Hampstead, London, England
Died26 April 1999 (aged 41)
Years active1976–1999
LabelsRed Sun, Play It Again Sam, Resolve, Earth
Associated acts

Early career

Borland was born in Hampstead, London,[4] the son of Bob Borland, a physicist at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington, London, and his wife Win, an English teacher.[5]

At primary school the young Borland was already friends with future Sound bassist (and Second Layer collaborator) Graham "Green" Bailey,[6] and would meet Steve Budd, closely involved with his band The Sound in their early years, in his early teens. Budd would later recall, "We met when we were both 14. He was the only other kid I knew with an electric guitar. Even at 14 you could see he was a genius".[6] Borland played guitar left-handed.[7]

Borland's first band, the Wimbledon-based punk rock trio The Outsiders, was formed with Borland at its nucleus, manning vocals and guitar. Bob Lawrence was on bass, and Adrian 'Jan' Janes manned the drums. Their debut LP, Calling on Youth,[8] was self-released on their Raw Edge label, and became the first UK self-released punk album.[9] and won them their first unfavourable reviews: "apple-cheeked Ade has a complexion that would turn a Devon milkmaid green with envy", reported the NME.[10][11]

A single released that November, One to Infinity,[12] was labelled as "tuneless, gormless, gutless" (again by the NME),[13] but was praised elsewhere.[14] It was followed by a second album, Close Up in 1979.[15] This received better reviews from the press.[16][17] During his time with The Outsiders he played on stage with Iggy Pop.[9][18]

It was after this album that important changes took place that would decide the band's future: Lawrence left to be replaced by Borland's old friend Graham 'Green' Bailey, and Adrian Janes' departure to go to college[19] allowed Geoffrey Cummant-Wood (the band's manager) to suggest 28-year-old Mike Dudley in his stead.[20] The Outsiders trio then became The Sound, a quartet, with the arrival of Bi Marshall (real name Benita Biltoo),[18] an acquaintance of Bailey's and the band from around 1977.[19] The new sound was augmented by her use of the clarinet (later saxophone) and synthesizer.

The Sound: 1979–1988

Borland became the kernel of The Sound, being the songwriter, main vocalist and guitarist, penning tracks for the early Propaganda sessions and the Jeopardy! recordings (the latter to become The Sound's debut release).[21] From this point on he would become critically acclaimed,[22][23][24] if never a household name.

The Sound's second album, From the Lions Mouth, was even more enthusiastically received,[25][26][27][28] selling over 100,000 units worldwide.[18] Borland's personal productivity was enhanced even more with two collaborations that year, one with Jello Biafra in The Witch Trials,[29] and another with Sound bassist Graham Bailey in Second Layer, which spawned the electronic album World of Rubber. The Sound were caught on a downcurve, however, the following year with the release of All Fall Down (1982), an experimental and bitter album that represented the band's refusal to make more commercial music to satisfy their label (Korova, a Warner Bros. subsidiary). Korova responded by dropping them,[30] while the music press rapidly disowned them; a Sounds review called the album "virtually worthless".[31]

The Sound never recovered from this setback, although they did release a mini album, Shock of Daylight, a live album In The Hothouse and two further albums Heads and Hearts and Thunder Up over the next five years. These were all released on small independent labels, and never reversed the band's diminishing profile.

Although it is unclear as to when Borland was diagnosed with his condition, from 1985 onward the symptoms of his depression became more and more apparent.[32] His problems would manifest themselves in many of the songs on The Sound's final album, Thunder Up, as well as in the schizophrenic layout of the piece; while the initial tracks deal with confronting issues (for example "Acceleration Group", "Barria Alta"), the second half proceeds at an entirely different tangent, becoming either tortuous ("Shot Up And Shut Down"), frenetic ("I Give You Pain") or mournful ("You've Got A Way"). The touring for Thunder Up culminated in disaster for the band when Borland left halfway through a set at Zoetermeer, Netherlands. It would be the last Sound gig.[33] Dudley described the break-up in 2004:

"We had decided the three of us, Colvin, Graham and myself, to tell Adrian that the Sound needed a break and that he should get some rest and some help, and that in the meantime we would go off and look at other things...but when it came down to it I sat there and listened to the others say "Yes, Adrian. No, Adrian" to Adrian, who wanted despite everything to go on, and I just said at that point "I'm leaving the band", my intention being that the band would come to an end there and then, forcing Adrian into the position where he would get some rest, for his sake."[32]

The band continued without Mike Dudley into 1988, but soon collapsed. The Big Takeover lamented that it was "Like an old friend losing a long fight with a disease".[34] Borland would later blame himself for the break-up of The Sound.[35]

After The Sound: 1988–1999

Early solo career

While his former bandmates discontinued their musical careers, Borland moved to the Netherlands in 1988 to found yet another band, after initially going there on holiday and to meet his manager (Rob Acda).[36] Adrian Borland and The Citizens was formed there, taking advantage of the popularity of The Sound on the continent, and the relative inexpense of venues in the Low Countries.[37] Musically, this was a period of unprecedented collaboration for Borland; for instance, he worked (albeit under the pseudonym "Joachim Pimento") with the Honolulu Mountain Daffodils right up until their final release Psychic Hit List Victim in 1991.[38]

In 1989 Adrian Borland and The Citizens released Alexandria, a huge departure musically from Thunder Up and featuring four backing vocalists, bass, cello, clarinet, drums and kettle drums, piano, saxophone, harmonica, tambourine, viola, violin and guitar. Some continuity was provided by former Sound bandmate Colvin 'Max' Mayers collaborating by reprising his role of keyboardist, while Nick Robbins again engineered and co-produced the album with Borland.[39] The album featured much calmer, lighter tracks than those on Thunder Up, such as "Light The Sky" and "Rogue Beauty". As always, some tracks deal with Borland's own precarious emotional state, such as "No Ethereal" and "Deep Deep Blue". In an interview with Melody Maker the same year, Borland said of the title:

"I think The Sound suffered from this image of being blunt and straightforward and hitting you in the face with what we wanted to say, right from "who the hell makes those missiles?" So I wanted something more vague, something almost without reason."[40]

The album, however, suffered from poor sales, selling an estimated 10,000 copies on the continent and a mere 1,000 in England. Borland attributed this to poor distribution.[35] Although Borland expressed an interest in re-forming his old band, The Sound never re-formed: bassist Graham Bailey moved to the United States in the early 1990s; keyboardist Max died on Boxing Day 1993 from an AIDs-related illness; and an undisclosed antagonism had caused an irreparable rift between Borland and drummer Mike Dudley. Speaking of a possible reformation in 1992, Borland said:

"it's my fault 'cos I started this rumour at an Iggy or Kraftwerk gig earlier this year, it's definitely not happening, for a start the person who probably won't do it is the drummer. But even Graham & Max have gone off the idea now. Graham & I are going to do something in the future, but we're so busy you know? When I'm not busy he's busy, we never find the right moment."[35]

1992 saw the release of Brittle Heaven, which would later lend its name to the Adrian Borland website. With a menagerie of 14 songs with little difference in style to those of his previous release, the real difference now lay in the composition of the Citizens, which was by now almost exclusively Dutch. Don Victor now co-produced with Borland.[41] The album benefits from lavish investment in production, although this puts it in a similar position to The Sound's Heads and Hearts album in that it is much more polished than Borland's other solo material. Critical reception ranged from the noncomittal to welcoming; Allmusic described it as 'one hour of finely woven tapestry, of gorgeous music', albeit 'Not quite as good as 1989's Alexandria', handing it three stars out of five,[42] while David Cavanagh gave it four, praising the atmosphere of 'a strange, dizzy optimism' pervading the album.[43] As one critic argued: '[Borland's] reflective writing remains as good as ever',[44] and The Big Takeover went further, proclaiming it 'inspired'.[45]

With some critical endorsement Borland continued to work on new material throughout the year. At some point in 1992 he travelled to Amsterdam to record a session with Victor Heeremans, re-recorded and released many years later as the posthumous The Amsterdam Tapes album.[46] Recorded in a crossover point in his career, it represents a shift in both musical and mental directions: while tracks like "Ordinary Angel" show some continuity with the tone of Brittle Heaven, the forcefulness of tracks such as "Fast Blue World", "Darkest Heart" and "Via Satellite" clearly preclude Borland's later, harder style as seen on 5:00AM and Harmony and Destruction. On the other hand, the acoustic-based fragility of tracks such as "Happen" and "White Room" represents a more immediate turn to lighter, less ambitious music -the latter would be re-recorded to feature on the 1994 album Beautiful Ammunition.

Around this time also Borland began working on music production; he produced albums by Felt, Into Paradise and Waiting Sound.[35]


In 1994 Borland returned to the UK to record his third album, Beautiful Ammunition, at the Acton Survival Studios on Resolve Records.[47] Whether because of meager investment or because of his desire to explore a more acoustic sound, the new album displayed a simpler format, largely devoid of any discernible concept: "Beautiful Ammunition" is very simply put together, only acoustic guitar, synthesiser and a few drum machines. Everything is very basic, which I like", Borland said later.[48] One notable change from Brittle Heaven is presence of dark, introspective songs, particularly "Lonely Late Nighter" and "White Room", emphasised somewhat by the empty, lonely musical framework. This is not to say, however, that more confident tracks are banished from the album: "Reunited States of Love" and "Someone Will Love You Today" are perfect examples of this, and yet still exemplify in their tentativeness a decisive split from Brittle Heaven-era songs. Critical reception was as muted as always, and mixed where evident; Big Takeover complained that it was 'too light and airy', but vaguely appraised the work as 'finely honed and pleasant'.[49]

The following year, 1995, was to be an important year for Borland; not only was the album Cinematic written and released, but his work with Carlo van Putten, Claudia Uman, Florian Brattman and David Maria Gramse in The White Rose Transmission came to fruition, with the side-project's self-titled debut appearing that year. They would continue to perform intermittently throughout the 1990s, Borland being a major contributor.[50]

Cinematic was a stablemate of Beautiful Ammunition in that it was also created in the Survival Studios and under the Resolve label,[51] yet demonstrated a further evolution in Borland's musical career. Despite being in a similar situation as regards funding, Cinematic benefited from much better, integrated production as well as punchy tracks such as "Bright White Light". With the psychological opener "Dreamfuel" a dream-like atmosphere pervaded the album, establishing itself in indolent, moody tracks like "Cinematic" and "When Can I Be Me?". It was, overall, a more coherent attempt than its predecessor, but – predictably – did not win over the public. Critical reception, however, was even more welcoming. With an ranking of 4 stars the album was lauded:

"Generally quieter but no less intense than much of his '80s work, Cinematic lives up to its name more than once, with mysterious atmospheres matched by often understated but still sharply realized songs and lyrics."[52]

Simon Heavisides stated: 'Isn't it great when your old favourites don't let you down?...[it] leaves you with the feeling at the end that you want to hear the whole damn thing over again."[53] Mitch Myers wrote in 1997: 'Everybody is a star, but Borland's cinematic life is well worth watching.'[54] Glenn McDonald, however, offered up a less enthusiastic summation: 'The music had an impressive sweep to it, but the production seemed to me to emphasise the mechanical repetitiveness of the arrangements'.[55] The album also lent its name to Cinematic Overview the following year, a compilation album of Borland's work stretching all the way back to the mid seventies.

Also in 1996 the newly formed Renascent Records label reissued Sound records Heads and Hearts (with Shock of Daylight)[56] and In The Hothouse,[57] complete with new packaging, and liner notes by Borland himself.

Later years

Borland's last release during his lifetime was the album 5:00AM. A switch to Earth Records and a slight change of crew – Tim Smith of Cardiacs now co-produced with Borland[48][58] – were the only ostensible differences between the new work and Cinematic. However, the money invested in the album allowed for much better production, a direct result of which was the recording and inclusion of "Baby Moon", a song which Borland had held onto since 1993 but did not want to waste 'on a lo-fi production'.[48] The songs are generally punchier and more radio-friendly, such as opener "Stray Bullets", "City Speed" and "Redemption's Knees", but containing powerful, dark, indolent tracks which, at this point, Borland had made his solo trademark: "Vampiric" is arguably the best example of this in all of his discography. The album is also representative of earlier work in that it does not fail to neglect his mental state, dealing with it in an optimistic, confrontational fashion in "Over The Under": 'Under this roof, under the sky/I want to live, at least I'm going to try/But I'm over the under now'.[59] That song would prove to be Borland's last single release. The critical reception was, perhaps, the best of any in his lifetime. Glenn McDonald produced the following glowing review:

"5:00am turns out to sound exactly the way I wanted Cinematic to. Borland's voice, when he sings like he means it, is a glorious amalgam of Burgess, Ian McNabb, Ian McCulloch, Mike Peters, Jim Kerr and Then Jerico's Mark Shaw, the breathy intimacy that for me misfired on Cinematic here filling, elegantly, the roll that hoarse fervor played in his singing with the Sound."[55]

Borland himself was excited by 5:00AM, and was keen to draw lines between it and his most successful period: '"5:00 A.M" takes up, where "Thunder Up" – which was the last Sound album – left off...It's still the same person, who writes the songs, only a little bit less in love with himself and more worldview orientated.".[60]

Before attending to what would become his last solo recordings, Borland wrote twelve of the fourteen tracks on The White Rose Transmission's second release, 700 Miles of Desert, recording them with the band between November 1998 and January 1999 and producing the album himself.[61] Borland was proud of the work, and said so in his last public writing, dated 18 March 1999:

"Everybody involved worked hard but enjoyed themselves immensely and the end result is better than any of us expected. It's hard to be objective

but I'll just say the final mastered slice of silver has rarely left my CD player."[62]


By 1999 Borland had lived with severe depression for about 14 years.[63] He had still been denied commercial success or widespread popularity outside of continental Europe, and he had tried to commit suicide at least three times, the third (according to his mother Win Borland) when he jumped in front of a car. He had also developed a drinking problem.[64]

His plans for that year were staggering. Not content with merely anticipating the release of 700 Miles of Desert he expressed the intention to record a sixth solo album with Heads and Hearts producer Wally Brill, a tour of Europe that June to promote the WRT album, a further tour later in the year to promote the new solo release, and 'a 12 song acoustic record with Wally Brill using percussion, trumpet, violin, viola and atmospheric electric guitar' for 2000.[62] Meanwhile the remastering of several The Sound recordings, created at the very start of their career in 1976/77, was underway by Wally Brill. The finished product, Propaganda, was released by Renascent and featured linernotes by Borland, like all previous releases.[65] It would be officially released on 26 April – the very day Borland would commit suicide.[66] Of the plans drawn up by Borland over the winter, only his solo album was undertaken. It was recorded at The Premises, London over a number of months, although Borland himself recorded guide vocals and guitar in the space of about a fortnight.[67] After this point his disposition changed. In a letter he wrote to his parents shortly before his death he expressed fear at being sectioned in Springfield mental hospital.[68] 'He was returning home distraught and anxious...he had ignored the medical advice to pace himself', his mother, Win Borland, wrote.[69] At evidence given at Westminster Coroner's Court it was revealed that he had visited an ex-girlfriend in the days before his death and that his condition had worsened thereafter. The Wimbledon Guardian reported:

"She said: "His thoughts were coming out loud and at one point he said there's always the railway line". She called 999 but by the time police arrived he had disappeared and was reported as a high risk missing person.

That night Mr Borland turned up at Kennington Police Station claiming he was being chased. Later he rang his mother to say he was in a curry house in Kennington. She alerted police and following a series of phone calls and hold-ups he was eventually dropped off at his mother's home at around 3.15 am by officers who described his state of mind as "lucid"." [68]

The night of the 25th, Borland slipped away to Wimbledon Station. In the early hours of the 26th, horrified commuters watched as Borland committed suicide by throwing himself under a train. He was 41 years of age,[70] and was interred at the Merton & Sutton Joint Cemetery, London. In an account given by drummer Mike Dudley his funeral was attended by his parents, Bob Lawrence and Adrian Janes of The Outsiders, original Sound keyboardist Bi Marshall, early Sound manager Steve Budd and Wally Brill, co-producer of Heads and Hearts and Harmony and Destruction, among a multitude of others.[71]


Although 700 Miles of Desert was released to minimal critical acclaim, Borland's work has enjoyed an appreciative critical reception and a lasting fan base, with sites such as and providing an online outlet for information and sales. In 2000, a book of anecdotes and memories written by his friends, colleagues and mother was published in English and Dutch, named Book of Happy Memories[72] (after the Brittle Heaven song "Box of Happy Memories"), compiled by Willemien Spook and Jean-Paul van Mierlo. 2001 saw in a tribute album, titled In Passing – A Tribute To Adrian Borland and The Sound,[73] as well as Renascent reissues of Sound albums Jeopardy!, From The Lion's Mouth and All Fall Down . 2002 saw the release of Harmony & Destruction, the remnants of his sixth solo album painstakingly salvaged by Pat Rowles (No Corridor) and audio engineer Pete Barraclough (The Lucy Show, Archive) from the recordings made by Wally Brill at the Premises and four-track demos recorded by Rowels. The BBC recordings of Sound sessions from the 1980s were released with linernotes by Mike Dudley in 2004.[74] 2006 saw The Amsterdam Tapes,[75] a demo album from 1992 that was rejected by his label also remastered and rerecorded by his friends; a band of them grouped together later that year under the moniker 'The Sound of Adrian Borland' to promote it. That same year five live albums, collectively known as The Dutch Radio Recordings, were released by Renascent. These garnered overwhelmingly positive reviews.[76][77] His collaborative project with Graham Bailey as Second Layer was also resurrected in 2009 by Cherry Red Records; who re-released a remastered version of the 1981 album World of Rubber in the same year.[78]

Mark Burgess' song "Adrian Be" is dedicated to him.

A book of Borland's lyrics, called Adrian Borland & The Sound - Meaning of a Distant Victory, was published in 2016 by Giuseppe Basile and Marcello Nitti.[79]

In 2016 an English-language Dutch documentary about Borland, directed by Marc Waltman, premiered at the IDFA festival in The Netherlands.[80]

Musical style


Borland's initial influences can be traced through his work with The Outsiders into punk bands of the 70s, such as the Sex Pistols. However, it is clear that he had a broader appreciation for other forms of rock parallel to this; his admiration for The Stooges and Iggy Pop was reaffirmed on several occasions[81][82] Other influences included The Velvet Underground,[83] Lou Reed,[36] Jim Morrison and Joy Division[82] and David Bowie.[84] In terms of admiration for contemporaries, mid-show interview in 1984, he cited New Order, Soft Cell and Eurythmics.[85] His favourite bands from the eighties were The Waterboys and Talk Talk.[81] He also lauded Ride in the early 1990s.[86]

Popular themes

Borland's earliest lyrics with The Sound showed a tendency toward introspection, even before their music was really influenced by Joy Division.[87] The song "Words Fail Me", was the earliest clear example of this. Many songs simply portray general themes of urban squalor, and political lyrics such as "Cost of Living", "Music Business" and the track "Missiles", which would reach infamy when included on their debut release, Jeopardy!. The songs on Jeopardy! would largely reflect inward tensions rather than political ones: a curious compromise is reached on "Unwritten Law", an attack on religious dogma surrounding suicide: 'A hand is a hand/A knife is a knife/Blood is blood/And life is life'. From The Lion's Mouth would also contain another reference to religion with "Judgement". Political songs would be largely absent from most further releases; only "Golden Soldiers" ("And I will drink to those who sacrifice and die for me/So I could be so golden") and "Shot Up And Shot Down" ("Most of England is sleeping in the sun/But not everyone") suggest political topics. In his solo work there are more stark examples, such as "Beneath The Big Wheel" and "The Other Side of The World" on Alexandria and the quasi-religious song "Station of The Cross" on Beautiful Ammunition. As Borland's condition got worse in the latter half on the 90s political themes were dropped as introspective ones once more took precedence.

While Borland denied that music helped him (he claimed it "doesn't make any difference" in an interview in 1992[35] ), after his death his mother wrote that they were at least a cathartic form of therapy and "helped him to come to terms with his problems".[88] Thus it is that we can frequently infer from the body of work he left what his state of mind may have been at various stages of his life. The Jeopardy! opener "I Can't Escape Myself" would project Borland's dissatisfaction with himself, and serves as an early example of his more depressive lyrics. "Fatal Flaw", from the generally more confident album From The Lion's Mouth explores mental weakness, a theme repeated more frequently on All Fall Down in the schizophrenic "Party of The Mind" and "As Feeling Dies"; on Heads and Hearts the crazed "Whirlpool" and "Burning Part of Me"; on Thunder Up the whole second half of the album. In his solo career songs such as "Deep Deep Blue", "Lonely Late Nighter" and "Stranger in the Soul" parallel Borland's suffering with his condition – by "Harmony & Destruction" it is merely easier to pick out upbeat songs from the multitude of depressed ones.

"Night Versus Day", a song that had also been part of the Propaganda sessions, is an example of Borland's fascination with dichotomy and the themes of light and dark, which were usually used as a metaphor for the polarising effects of his condition. "New Dark Age" and "Winter" both link the night with fear or slowness. The most obvious Sound song with this idea is "You've Got A Way", the closing track on Thunder Up: "You've got a way/To shoot my night right through with the light of day". It is noteworthy that Borland's first solo single was "Light The Sky", the lyrics of which ae echoed in "Shadow of Your Grace": "You lit up my life and work/It was falling into place". The dichotomy is reversed on the 5:00am track "Vampiric": "Before the dawn draws its first breath/Before the Sun destroys what's left/Of us". The album title should also be noted for being the time that dawn usually rises around the equinox. The theme of night and day is brought in as a central concept on the album Harmony & Destruction: the bright opener is "Solar", for instance, while "Startime" and "Heart Goes Down Like The Sun" are dark-named songs about depression. It may be significant that in "Last Train Out of Shatterville", which may be an act of suicide ideation, describes a train pulling out "in the cold morning light", and describes a previous suicide attempt as happening "last dawn as you slipped from curb to bonnet". The final track "Living on the Edge of God" contains the lyric "Strip me down, expose the man/Not a pretty sight in the morning light".


Solo albums
  • Alexandria (1989) PIAS
  • Brittle Heaven (1992) PIAS
  • Beautiful Ammunition (1994) Resolve
  • Cinematic (1995) Resolve
  • 5:00 AM (1997) Earth
  • The Last Days of the Rain Machine (2000) Red Sun (posthumous)
  • Harmony & Destruction (2002) Red Sun (posthumous)
  • The Amsterdam Tapes (2006) Pop One (posthumous)
  • Beautiful Ammunition (with 5 earlier unreleased songs and inclusive the song Beautiful Ammunition (2017) Sounds Haarlem likes Vinyl
Compilation albums
  • Vital Years (1993) Gift of Life
  • Cinematic Overview (1995, promotional-only) Setanta
  • BBC Recordings (2004) Renascent
  • The Dutch Radio Recordings, vol 1–5 (2006) Renascent
Singles and EPs
  • Light the Sky (1989) PIAS
  • Beneath the Big Wheel (1989) PIAS
  • All the Words (1992) PIAS
  • Over the Under (1997) Earth
The Outsiders
with The Sound
  • Physical World E.P. 7" EP (1979) Tortch
  • Jeopardy! (1980) Korova (reissued 2001, Renascent)
  • "Heyday" Single (1980) Korova
  • Live Instinct Maxi (1981) WEA Records BV
  • From the Lions Mouth (1981) Korova (reissued 2001, Renascent)
  • "Sense of Purpose" Single (1981) Korova
  • "Hot House" Single (1982) Korova
  • All Fall Down (1982) WEA Records (reissued 2001, Renascent)
  • "Party of the Mind" Single (1982) WEA Records BV
  • "Mining dor Heart" Flexi (1983) Vinyl Magazine
  • "Counting the Days" Single (1984) Statik
  • "Golden Soldiers" Single (1984) Victoria
  • Shock of Daylight EP (1984) Statik
  • Heads and Hearts (1985) Statik (reissued 1996 with Shock of Daylight, Renascent)
  • "Temperature Drop" Single (1985) Statik
  • "Under You" Single (1985) Statik
  • In the Hothouse (1985) Statik (reissued 1996, Renascent)
  • Counting the Days (1986) Statik
  • Thunder Up (1987) PIAS
  • "Hand of Love" Single (1987) PIAS
  • "Iron Years" Single (1987) PIAS
  • Propaganda (1999) Renascent (recorded 1979)
  • The BBC Recordings (2004)
with The Witch Trials
  • The Witch Trials (1981)
with Second Layer
  • Flesh as Property EP (1979) Tortch
  • State of Emergency EP (1980) Tortch
  • World of Rubber (1981) Cherry Red (reissued 2009, Pop One)
  • Second Layer (1987) LD Records
with Honolulu Mountain Daffodils
  • Guitars of the Oceanic Undergrowth (1987)
  • Tequila Dementia (1988)
  • Aloha Sayonara (1991)
  • Psychic Hit-List Victims (1991) (EP)
  • "Also sprächt Scott Thurston" (1988) (single)
with White Rose Transmission
  • White Rose Transmission (1995) Strange Music
  • 700 Miles of Desert (1999) Fuego


  1. ^
  2. ^ Pierre Perrone (17 May 1999). "Obituary: Adrian Borland". The Independent. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Health Fear Led to Death". Wimbledon Guardian. 15 July 1999. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Punk Star in Suicide Drama". Morden & Mitchem Independent. 15 July 1999. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  6. ^ a b "The Sound Microsite". Archived from the original on 29 June 2007. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  7. ^ pyenapple (15 November 2007), The Sound - THE FIRE (Live 1984) - Adrian Borland, retrieved 18 March 2016
  8. ^ "The Outsiders (2) - Calling On Youth". Discogs. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  9. ^ a b Poulsen, Henrik (2008). 77: The Year of Punk and New Wave. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  10. ^ Burchill, Julie (October 1977). "NME' review". NME. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  11. ^ Savage, Jon (June 1977). "Sounds". Sounds. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  12. ^ "The Outsiders (2) - One To Infinity". Discogs. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  13. ^ Parsons, Tony (26 November 1977). "[One to Infinity review]". New Musical Express. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  14. ^ Mercer, Mick (1978). "[One to Infinity review]". [Magazine unknown]. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  15. ^ "The Outsiders (2) - Close Up". Discogs. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  16. ^ Hamblett, John (7 April 1979). "NME". New Musical Express. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  17. ^ Hall, Phillip (April 1979). "Record Mirror". Record Mirror. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  18. ^ a b c "Brittle Heaven – The Official Adrian Borland Website". Brittle Heaven. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  19. ^ a b "The Sound Microsite". Archived from the original on 18 October 2007. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  20. ^ "Brittle Heaven – The Official Adrian Borland Website". Brittle Heaven. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  21. ^ "The Sound (2) - Jeopardy". Discogs. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  22. ^ Jeopardy! review, Sounds 1.11.1980 Archived 17 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ Jeopardy! review, NME 13.11.1980 Archived 3 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ Jeopardy! review, Melody Maker 6.11.1980 Archived 3 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ Nicholls, Mike (21 October 1981). "The Sound - From The Lions Mouth review". Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  26. ^ Sutherland, Steve (24 October 1981). "The Sound - From The Lions Mouth (Korova)". Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  27. ^ From The Lion's Mouth review, Whisperin' & Hollerin', 2001 Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ From The Lion's Mouth review, Uncut 2004 Archived 17 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ Discogs entry for The Witch Trials
  30. ^ The Sound review, Soundmaker 5.3.1983 Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  31. ^ All Fall Down review, Sounds 30.10.1982 Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ a b Mike Dudley interview with PennyBlack, 2004
  33. ^ "".
  34. ^ The Big Takeover, June 1988 Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  35. ^ a b c d e Adrian Borland interview with Simon Heavisides, 1992
  36. ^ a b Adrian Borland interview with KRO radio, 1992 Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  37. ^ Adrian Borland interview with Simon Heavisides 1992
  38. ^ "Psychic Hit List Victim by Honolulu Mountain Daffodils @ARTISTdirect". ARTISTdirect.
  39. ^ "Adrian Borland And The Citizens* - Alexandria". Discogs.
  40. ^ "Adrian Borland - interview with Chris Roberts (Melody Maker 1989)". Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  41. ^ "Adrian Borland And The Citizens* - Brittle Heaven". Discogs.
  42. ^ Rabid, Jack. Review of Brittle Heaven at AllMusic. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  43. ^ Brittle Heaven review – David Cavanagh, 1992 Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  44. ^ Brittle Heaven review – Dave Morrison, 1992 Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  45. ^ Brittle Heaven review – Jack Rabid, 1994 Archived 10 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  46. ^ "Adrian Borland - The Amsterdam Tapes". Discogs.
  47. ^ "Adrian Borland - Beautiful Ammunition". Discogs.
  48. ^ a b c Adrian Borland interview with Limit #20, 1998 Archived 17 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  49. ^ Beautiful Ammunition review – Big Takeover, 1994 Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  50. ^ Kellman, Andy. Biography of White Rose Transmission at AllMusic. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  51. ^ "Adrian Borland - Cinematic". Discogs.
  52. ^ Raggett, Ned. Review of Cinematic at AllMusic. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  53. ^ Cinematic review -Simon Heavisides, 1996 Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  54. ^ Cinematic review – Mitch Myers, 1997 Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  55. ^ a b "Adrian Borland - 5:00 am review (Glenn McDonald 1997)". Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  56. ^ entry for Shock of Daylight & Heads And Hearts
  57. ^ entry for In The Hothouse
  58. ^ "Adrian Borland - 5:00 AM". Discogs.
  59. ^ "Over The Under" chorus
  60. ^ Adrian Borland interview with Limit #20 Archived 17 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  61. ^ entry for 700 Miles of Desert
  62. ^ a b "Adrian Borland - Missive from Adrian Borland 18 march 1999". Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  63. ^ Mike Dudley interview with Pennyblack, 2004
  64. ^ Linernotes for Harmony & Destruction by Win Borland Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  65. ^ Linernotes for Propaganda written by Adrian Borland, 1999 Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  66. ^ entry for Propaganda
  67. ^ Linernotes for Harmony & Destruction by Pat Rowles, 2001
  68. ^ a b Wimbledon Guardian 15-7-1999 Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  69. ^ Linernotes for Harmony & Destruction by Win Borland
  70. ^ Morden & Mitcham Independent 15-7-1999 Archived 17 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  71. ^ 'For Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow', Mike Dudley, 2002 Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  72. ^ "Gigs Adrian Borland 1988-1998 - BRITTLE HEAVEN - The Official Adrian Borland Website".
  73. ^ "Various Artists - In Passing; A Tribute to Adrian Borland and The Sound - Music".
  74. ^ entry for The BBC Recordings
  75. ^ Discogs entry for The Amsterdam Tapes
  76. ^ Dutch Radio Recordings review – CMU Beats 03.07.06 Archived 14 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  77. ^ Dutch Radio Recordings review 25.07.06 Archived 14 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  78. ^ "2nd Layer* - World Of Rubber". Discogs. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  79. ^ Basile, Giuseppe and Nitti, Marcello (2016), Adrian Borland & The Sound - Meaning of a Distant Victory, Geophonie Ed; ISBN 9788890306327
  80. ^ Walking in the Opposite Direction, IMDB info page
  81. ^ a b Adrian Borland Interview with Melody Maker, 1989 Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  82. ^ a b Adrian Borland interview with Vara Radio, 1989 Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  83. ^ Adrian Borland interview with Melody Maker Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  84. ^ Adriand Borland interview with Simon Heavisides, 1992
  85. ^ "The Sound – Mid-show interview (Live 1984) – Adrian Borland" Video on YouTube
  86. ^ Adrian Borland interview with Simon Heavisides
  87. ^ Linernotes for Propaganda, Adrian Borland 1999 Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  88. ^ Linernotes for Harmony & Destruction, Win Borland 2002 Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine

External links

Alexandria (album)

Alexandria is the debut album by English musician Adrian Borland, credited to Adrian Borland & the Citizens. It was released in 1989 by record label Play It Again Sam.

All Fall Down (The Sound album)

All Fall Down is the third studio album by English post-punk band The Sound, recorded from March to August 1982 and released in November 1982 on record label WEA.

After being pressured by their record label to release a more commercially successful album, since their previous records failed to attract the attention of the public, The Sound rebelled and recorded All Fall Down, which has been called "distinctly uncommercial".The album was poorly received by critics and led to the termination of The Sound's contract with WEA. No singles were released from the album.

Borland (surname)

Borland is a surname of Scottish origin. The Borland ancestors came to Scotland with the Normans in the 11th Century

Notable people with the surname include:

Adrian Borland (1957–1999), English singer, songwriter, and record producer

Billy Borland (1888–1915), Scottish footballer

Bruce Borland (1958–1999), American golf course designer

Carroll Borland (1914–1994), American professor, writer, and actor

Charles Borland, Jr. (1786–1852), American politician; congressman from New York

Charles Borland (contemporary), American actor

Chris Borland (born 1990), retired U.S football player

Christine Borland (born 1965), Scottish artist

Frank “Jiggs” Borland (1925-2013), Canadian soldier; recipient of the French Légion d’honneur during WWII

Hal Borland (1900–1978), American journalist and author

Jimmy Borland (1911–c. 1938), English professional ice hockey player

John Borland (born 1977), English footballer

John Borland (Scottish footballer) (born 1951), Scottish footballer

Johnny Borland (1925–2016), New Zealand high jumper and athletics administrator

Kathryn A. Borland (born 1962), American film producer

Kevin Borland (1926-2002), Australian Post War Architect, recipient of 10 RAIA awards

Scott Borland (contemporary), American musician

Solon Borland (1808–1864), American newspaperman, soldier, diplomat, and politician

Toby Borland (born 1969), American professional baseball player

Tom Borland (1933–2013), American professional baseball player

Wes Borland (born 1975), American musician and rock guitarist

Whitney McNair Borland (1930-2001), American Civil Engineer with a long career in the United States Bureau of Reclamation

William Patterson Borland (1867–1919), American politician from Missouri; U.S. congressman 1909–1919Fictional characters:

Al Borland, character on the American television series Home Improvement

Calling on Youth

Calling on Youth is the debut studio album by English punk rock band the Outsiders, led by vocalist/guitarist Adrian Borland, who would go on to form the Sound. It was released in May 1977 by record label Raw Edge.

Dead Guitars

In 2003 Pete Brough, one of the founder-members of German band Twelve Drummers Drumming, and Ralf Aussem, guitarist from the original 12DD cast, founder and mastermind behind Sun (German band), joined forces with vocalist Carlo van Putten and collectively gave life to Dead Guitars.

In 2003-2007 with Kurt Schmidt (Sun/12DD) on bass and Peter Körfer (Sun) on drums.

In 2007 they were joined by Patrick Schmitz as drummer and Sven-Olaf Dirks on bass.

In 2011 with Peter Körfer on bass and Swiss drummer Hermann Eugster (12DD)In addition to being a principal writer and lead vocalist with German band The Convent, Carlo van Putten also had a flourishing partnership with the late Adrian Borland, mastermind behind the British cult band The Sound, working together under the name White Rose Transmission. He has worked with various others over the course of the years, including Marty Willson-Piper of The Church (band) and Mark Burgess of The Chameleons.

The music of Dead Guitars is described as an amalgamation of exhilarating downbeats, saturated electro-acoustic guitar work, and vocals that reflect an incisiveness and emotional intelligence.

The characteristic sound of the band is furthermore described as authentic pop, melancholic ballads, the renaissance of the “wall of sound”, those filigree, towering guitar riffs that make Ralf Aussem such an exceptional guitarist, and the surreal way his licks blend with clear song structures, shattering the listening habits of the pop genre.

Release of debut-album "Airplanes" June 2007 (echozone).

UK-release of "Flags"-album in January 2009, in Germany in March/April 2009 (echozone)....Dead Guitars were invited by "The Mission-UK" in 2008 to play as special guests on their “European Tour”. Their 2nd album “Flags” featured guest appearances from Wayne Hussey (The Mission), Rich Vernon (The Mission) and Mark Gemini Thwaite (Tricky, The Mission, Peter Murphy...).

Their 2011-long player “Stranger” (silverbird-music) similarly showcases the collaboration of a coterie of prominent artists such as Michael Dempsey of "The Cure",

Axel Ruhland of "M. Walking On The Water", Colin Drummond (12 DD), I. V. Webb (Adrian Borland), Thomas Kessler (Dissidenten), Crystin Fawn (Hearhear), Suzana Bradaric (Dharma Bums),

Georg Sehrbrock (Belgium) and H. G. Haas (Teletunes)… this line-up alone making the Dead Guitars’ latest effort, “Stranger” an extraordinary blend of caliber, experience and authenticity. This superb quality is amplified by the essence of the music, a dexterous exercise uniting elements of new wave, pop and alternative pop which captivates both heart and mind leaving an impressive and lingering impression…

...Dead Guitars also played a number of 2011-dates with The Mission in the Netherlands and Germany. In 2012 Dead Guitars supported the "ChameleonsVox" feat. Mark Burgess on several shows in Germany.

From the Lions Mouth

From the Lions Mouth [sic] is the second studio album by English post-punk band The Sound, released in November 1981 on record label Korova. Following the release of their previous album Jeopardy, keyboardist Belinda "Bi" Marshall left the group and was replaced by Colvin "Max" Mayers. For their new album, The Sound worked with producer Hugh Jones, as well as co-producing the album themselves. The album's sound was more polished than previous efforts.

Like Jeopardy, From the Lions Mouth was critically acclaimed but failed to capture the attention of the public, with the band's fanbase limited to a cult following. One single, "Sense of Purpose (What Are We Going to Do)", was released.

Heads and Hearts

Heads and Hearts is the fourth studio album by English post-punk band the Sound, recorded in late 1984 and released in February 1985 by record label Statik.

Three singles were released from the album: "One Thousand Reasons", "Temperature Drop" and "Under You".

Honolulu Mountain Daffodils

Honolulu Mountain Daffodils were a British indie rock band formed in the late 1980s. They released three full-length albums, one EP and one single between 1987 and 1991.

Honolulu Mountain Daffodils were described by AllMusic as "A scatterbrained and perhaps drunken recording entity" and consisted of members likely all using pseudonyms: guitarist Joachim Pimento (Adrian Borland), guitarist-keyboardist Zoe Zettner, guitarist-vocalist Lord Sulaco, guitarist-percussionist Daiquiri J. Wright, guitarist Franklin Silverheels and bassist Smoky Alvaro.

Into Paradise (band)

Into Paradise were an indie rock group from Dublin, Ireland, whose influences included Joy Division and Echo & the Bunnymen. They formed in 1986 as Backwards into Paradise, and released their debut EP, Blue Light, in 1989 on the independent record label, Setanta. Soon after came the EP Change, and the band's first album, Under the Water.

Their most successful album, and major record label debut was the Adrian Borland produced, Churchtown.

Jeopardy (album)

Jeopardy is the debut studio album by English post-punk band the Sound, released on 1 November 1980 by record label Korova.

The album fared poorly commercially, but received critical acclaim. One single, "Heyday", was released from the album.

Propaganda (The Sound album)

Propaganda is an album by English post-punk band the Sound. It was recorded in 1979, before they recorded their debut album Jeopardy, and comprises the earliest material that they recorded. It was not released until April 1999 by record label Renascent, more than 10 years after the band broke up. It was viewed by the band as their true first album.Re-recorded versions of three of the tracks appeared on Jeopardy: "Missiles", "Night Versus Day" and "Words Fail Me".In 2015 the album was reissued as part of a five-disc box set that also included the albums Shock of Daylight, Heads and Hearts, In The Hothouse (Live) and Thunder Up.

Second Layer

Second Layer were a post-punk band formed in 1979 by Adrian Borland (vocals, guitar) and Graham Bailey (keyboards, bass guitar, drum programming), both members of the Sound.

Shock of Daylight

Shock of Daylight is an EP by English post-punk band the Sound, released in April 1984 on Statik Records in the UK and A&M Records in the US.

The EP was seen by critics as a comeback for the band, after the band's critically and commercially disappointing previous album, 1982's All Fall Down. Two singles were released from the EP, "Counting the Days" and "Golden Soldiers" (the latter in Spain only).

The BBC Recordings (The Sound album)

The BBC Recordings is a live album by English post-punk band the Sound, consisting of two sessions and two live recordings from 1980 to 1985 done for BBC radio. It was released in 2004 by Renascent.

The Outsiders (British band)

The Outsiders were an English punk rock group, formed in 1975 in Wimbledon, England and consisting of singer-guitarist Adrian Borland, bass guitarist Bob Lawrence and drummer Adrian "Jan" Janes. The former two would go on to form the critically successful post-punk band the Sound.

The Sound (band)

The Sound were an English post-punk band, formed in South London in 1979 and dissolved in 1988. They were fronted by Adrian Borland, and evolved from his previous band, the Outsiders.

While never commercially successful, the Sound have long been championed by critics.

The Witch Trials

The Witch Trials was a one-off musical collaboration between Jello Biafra (of Dead Kennedys), Adrian Borland (of the Sound), Morgan Fisher (of Mott the Hoople) and Christian Lunch. The group released only one self-titled EP in its lifetime.

Thunder Up

Thunder Up is the fifth and final studio album by English post-punk band the Sound, released in 1987 on Belgian record label Play It Again Sam.

Two singles were released from the album: "Hand of Love" and "Iron Years". The album and its subsequent tour precipitated the band's breakup in early 1988. Like the Sound's previous records, the album was not commercially successful, but the band largely considered it to be their best work.

White Rose Transmission

White Rose Transmission is/was a band consisting of guitarist-vocalist Adrian Borland, vocalists Carlo van Putten and Claudia Uman, keyboardist-guitarist Florian Brattman and violinist David Maria Gramse. It started in 1995 when Adrian Borland (The Sound) started working together with a singer Carlo van Putten (previously The Convent). They released two albums before a sudden death of Adrian Borland in 1999. In 2006 Carlo van Putten invited his friend Rob Keijzer to the band. They recorded a new album "Bewitched & Bewildered" with Marty Willson-Piper performing on the tracks "Martha's Harbour" and "Circle". In 2008 a fourth album was recorded with Frank Weyzig joined the band on guitars.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.