Jellyfish (band)

Jellyfish (band)

Infobox musical artist
Name = Jellyfish

Img_capt = Album cover for "Bellybutton"
Background = group_or_band
Origin = flagicon|USA San Francisco, USA
Genre = Indie rock
Power pop
Years_active = 1990 – 1994
Label = Charisma Records
Associated_acts = Beatnik Beatch
Current_members =
Past_members = Andy Sturmer
Roger Joseph Manning Jr.
Jason Falkner
Tim Smith
Chris Manning
Eric Dover
Notable_instruments =

Jellyfish were a power pop band from San Francisco. The core members were drummer/singer/songwriter Andy Sturmer, keyboard player/multi-instrumentalist Roger Joseph Manning Jr., and guitarist/songwriter/vocalist Jason Falkner. Although their career was short, Jellyfish influenced many bands who formed shortly after including The Merrymakers, Ben Folds Five, The Hutchinsons, and The Excentrics, among others.cite web | url = | title = Jellyfish bio from Allmusic | work = | first = Greg Prato | last = Steve Huey | accessdate = 2008-05-28 ]



Andy Sturmer and Roger Manning were band mates in the San Francisco area group Beatnik Beatch led by bassist / singer Chris Ketner. The pair had been writing music together for some time and had several new songs for the second Beatnik Beatch album. These were rejected by Kettner in favor of his own material, so Sturmer and Manning quit the band to pursue their own project.

Meanwhile, Jason Falkner had written and performed on the acclaimed Paisley Underground band The Three O'Clock's major-label debut, "Vermillion". When that band broke up, he placed an ad looking for a new project in Los Angeles. Falkner was the only person in the classifieds to mention the band XTC as a reference which caught Roger Manning's attention. Manning had been attending USC at the time and was also looking for collaborators. Both found the meeting interesting, but it amounted to little and they did not work together at the time. Manning then moved back to the Bay Area to join Beatnik Beatch.

Later, when Sturmer and Manning were forming Jellyfish, the search for a guitarist to record the final tracks led Manning to contact Falkner once again. Falkner joined for the recording of their debut album "Bellybutton".

After the recording of "Bellybutton", Manning's brother Chris was asked to join the band as bassist for the imminent live dates.

Drawing heavily from the Paisley Underground, Queen, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, XTC, Cheap Trick, Wings, and Badfinger, "Bellybutton" was released in 1990. The album contained the band's biggest hit, "Baby's Coming Back",which peaked at No. 62 on Billboard's Hot 100 Chart. The album also included the singles "That Is Why", "I Wanna Stay Home", "Now She Knows She's Wrong" and "The King Is Half-Undressed" (the video for which was nominated for Best Art Direction at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards).

pilt Milk

Frustrated with simply being the guitar player, Jason Falkner left the band after the "Bellybutton" tour. Chris Manning also left, disliking the touring lifestyle.

Sturmer and Manning recruited Tim Smith as the new bassist while preparing new material. Studio musicians (including Jon Brion) were brought in to help record their second album, "Spilt Milk" in 1993. The album was a far more elaborate affair than "Bellybutton", incorporating a significant amount of overdubbing and complex song arrangements. A tour followed which included Eric Dover on guitar and backing vocal duties.

Break up

Increasing creative differences between Sturmer and Manning resulted in Jellyfish's break-up in 1994.

Andy Sturmer stayed quiet for a number of years, but has since written catchy pop songs for Japanese group Puffy Amiyumi and soloist YUKI (formerly front woman and vocalist of the Japanese rock band Judy and Mary). He has also composed, produced, and recorded with many different groups including The Black Crowes, L.E.O., The Merrymakers, Ozzy Osbourne, and others.

Roger Manning subsequently worked with Jellyfish live band member Eric Dover in a project called Imperial Drag and worked with Brian Kehew in a band called Moog Cookbook. In 2005 Manning released his first solo CD in Japan, titled "Solid State Warrior". This album was re-packaged with an altered tracklisting in the U.S. in 2007 as "The Land Of Pure Imagination". Manning also played keyboards for Beck on several records and remixed some songs for French duo Air.

Chris Manning is now an accomplished producer and engineer.

After leaving Jellyfish, Jason Falkner joined with other disillusioned pop musicians Jon Brion, Buddy Judge and Dan McCarroll (the latter three best known for their work with Aimee Mann) in a band called The Grays.

Roger Manning and Jason Falkner have recently reunited (along with ex Redd Kross member Brian Reitzell) in a new-wave inspired band called "TV Eyes". Reitzell and Manning also joined forces to compose two tracks for the "Lost in Translation" soundtrack. Manning and Reitzell had earlier collaborated on the "Logan's Sanctuary" album in 2000, which featured contributions from Jason Falkner.cite web | url = | title = Jellyfish bio from Allmusic | work = | first = Greg Prato | last = Steve Huey | accessdate = 2008-05-28 ]



* Andy Sturmer - vocals, drums, keyboards, guitar
* Roger Manning - keyboards, vocals
* Jason Falkner - guitars, bass, vocals
* Chris Manning — bass, vocals (live only)
* Niko Wenner — guitars, vocals, keyboard (live only)
* Mick McIntyre — Production/String Arrangements/Vocals (Spilt Milk) - Uncredited


* Andy Sturmer - vocals, drums, keyboards, guitar
* Roger Manning - keyboards, vocals
* Tim Smith — bass, vocals
* Eric Dover - guitar, vocals (live only)
* Mick McIntyre — String Arrangements,Vocals,Guitar/Post-Production

Additional Musicians


*Chuck Findley - trumpet
*Tommy Morgan — harmonica
*Steven Shane McDonald - bass
*John Patitucci - upright bass
*Lenny Castro, Luis Conte — percussion
*Frank Marocco - accordion
*Sid Page — string accompaniment

pilt Milk

*Lyle Workman, Jon Brion - guitars
*Tom "T-Bone" Wolk - additional bass



*"Bellybutton" (1990)
*"Jellyfish Comes Alive EP" (U.S. Promotional-Only) (1991)
*"Spilt Milk" (1993)
*"The Greatest (Japanese-Only Best-Of)" (1998)
*"Fan Club (4 CD compilation of rarities)" (2002)
*"Best" (2006)


*"The King Is Half-Undressed" (1990) (Billboard Modern Rock chart #19; UK Top 40 #39)Singles chart data from James Masterton, [] 16 May 2007]
*"That Is Why" (1991) (Billboard Modern Rock chart #11)
*"Baby's Coming Back" (1991)
*"The Scary-Go-Round EP featuring Now She Knows He's Wrong" (1991)
*"I Wanna Stay Home" (1991)
*"The Ghost At Number One" (1993) (Billboard Modern Rock chart #9)
*"New Mistake" (1993)
*"New Mistake EP (Japanese Only)" (1993)
*"Joining A Fanclub" (U.S. Promotional-Only) (1993)
*"Bye, Bye, Bye" (Dutch-Only) (1993)
*"Ignorance is Bliss" (US Only) (2006)


*"Gone Jellyfishin'" (VHS) (1990?)




External links

* [ Jellyfish on] includes bio and chart history
* [ God's Gift To Oxygen: A Brief History Of Jellyfish] a biography at written for the Fanclub boxed set
* [ Joining A Fanpage: Jellyfish tales] , archived Jellyfish website
* [,,449071,00.html?artist=Jellyfish Jellyfish bio at]
* [ Puffy Amiyumi home page]
* [ YUKI English site]

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