[noise] [logic] [noise] [noise]

Essential Logic ...music is a better noise

Essential Logic was formed in early 1978 by saxophonist Lora Logic, after she left X-Ray Spex. This quintet included Lora (real name Susan Whitby) on lead vocals, sax and xylophone, Ashley Buff (Philip Legg/Phil Lip) on guitar, Mark Turner (Base) on bass, Rich Tee (Tea) on drums and Dave Wright on tenor sax.

Personnel changes: Stuart Action (guitar) and Tim Wright (bass) played on the "Aerosol Burns" single alongside Logic and Tee; William Bennett (Whitehouse) played additional guitar on the "Wake Up!" EP; Mark Turner was replaced on the band's final 7-inch by Jon Oliver ("Fanfare in the Garden") and Ben Annesley ("The Captain").

The band initially recorded for their own Cells label, a cooperative deal with Rough Trade, then released several singles, an album and extended play (EP) discs over the following two years on Rough Trade and Virgin Records.

Essential Logic's music was described as a deceptively ramshackle sax-driven rhythmic style, with Lora playing the part of the punk banshee out front. Unfortunately, the group had very little commercial success and in the end this led to their eventual disintegration.

After the break up of Essential Logic, Lora produced a solo single, "Wonderful Offer" (Rough Trade 1981), and solo album, Pedigree Charm (1982). Personnel on these outings included: Lora Logic (vocals, sax), Charles Hayward (drums), Rich-Tea (drums on "Brute Fury" and "Wonderful Offer"), Ben Annesley (bass), Phil Legg (guitars; bass on "Rat Alle").

Logic also went on to guest with bands like Red Krayola, Finnish group Kolla Kestää, The RaincoatsThe Swell Maps. Soon after, Lora left music to join the Hare Krishnas, resurrecting in 1995 to perform and record with a re-formed X-Ray Spex.

Lora soon returned to the Essential Logic moniker, teaming up with Blondie guitarist Gary Valentine, ex-Bad Manners bassist Dave Jones and drummer Nick Pretzell to record some "lively, intelligent, creative and fun new tunes" for PeopleSound. The following year, four tracks from a 1998 recording session with Lora (vocals, sax, kartels) and Martin Muscatt (drums, bass, guitars, keyboard ambience) were made available through Vitaminic.

In 2003, Kill Rock Stars issued the career retrospective Fanfare in the Garden: An Essential Logic Collection which included four previously unreleased solo tracks and Red Crayola's "Born in Flames" single [with Lora providing vocals]. Four classic titles ["Flora Force" / "Alkaline Loaf in the Area" / "Eugene" / "The Captain"], the four Virgin Records tracks and two Lara solo numbers ["Stop Halt" and "Rather Than Repeat"] were missing-in-action. [Additionally, another longtime fan has alerted me that "World Friction" on the compilation CD is an edited and different mix to the original 7'05" two-part single version and Beat Rhythm News mix.] Still, so good to have Essential Logic and Lora finally getting a proper release on compact disc. Time to petition Virgin to get the last of her material out!

** Classic photos of Essential Logic live (06 December 1980) are available for purchase from Phillipe Carley at New Wave Photos.

** Lora Logic is interviewed in Venus Zine [Issue #14 . Winter 2002]. The full interview is now available at Perfect Sound Forever.

** Pitchforkmedia.com reviews Fanfare in the Garden.

History edited from Rockin' Rina's Women of 1970's Punk page; band photo by Paul Tozer from the "Flora Force" single; accordian player image from the "Music is a Better Noise" single.


[beatrhythm] Beat Rhythm News (Waddle Ya Play?) : "Quality Crayon Wax OK" / "The Order Form (I Want To Order A Pelican)" / "Shabby Abbott" / "World Friction" / "Wake Up" / "Albert" / "Alkaline Loaf In The Area" / "Collecting Dust" / "Popcorn Boy (Waddle Ya Do?)" (UK 12-inch vinyl, Rough Trade Rough 5, 1979) // Lora Logic (lead vocals, sax and xylophone), Ashley Buff (Philip Legg) on guitar, Mark Turner (Base) on bass, Rich Tee (Tea) on drums and Dave Wright on tenor sax.
[pedigree] Lora Logic (solo), Pedigree Charm : "Brute Fury" / "Horrible Party" / "Stop Halt" / "Wonderful Offer" / "Martian Man" / "Hiss and Shake" / "Pedigree Charm" / "Rat Alle" / "Crystal Gazing" (UK 12-inch vinyl, Rough Trade Rough 28, 1982) // Lora Logic (vocals, sax), Charles Hayward (drums), Rich-Tea (drums on "Brute Fury" and "Wonderful Offer"), Ben Annesley (bass), Phil Legg (guitars; bass on "Rat Alle").
[krscollection] Fanfare in the Garden: An Essential Logic Collection "Aerosol Burns" / "Quality Crayon Wax O.K." / "The Order Form" / "Shabby Abbott" / "Wake Up" / "Albert" / "World Friction" / "Collecting Dust" / "Popcorn Boy" / "Music is a Better Noise" / "Tame the Neightbors" / "Fanfare in the Garden" / "Brute Fury" / "Rat Alley" / "Martian Man" / "Pedigree Charm" / "Crystal Gazing" / "Wonderful Offer" / "Horrible Party" / "Hiss and Shake" / "On The Internet" / "Barbie Be Happy" / "No More Fiction" / "Not Me" / "Under The Great City" / "Under the Great City" / "The Beautiful and The Damned" / "Marika" / "Soul" / "Stay High" / "Stereo" / "Born in Flames" / "Do You Believe in Christmas?" / "Essential Logic" (USA, Kill Rock Stars KRS399 2CD, 2003)


[wakeup] Wake Up : "Wake Up" / "Eagle Bird" / "Quality Crayon Wax OK" / "Bod's Message" (UK 12-inch and 7-inch vinyl, Virgin Records VS 261 and VS 261-12, 1979) // Lora Logic (lead vocals, sax and xylophone), Philip Legg (guitar), Mark Turner (bass), Rich Tee (drums) and Dave Wright (tenor sax) with guest, William Bennett (guitar).
[base] Essential Logic : "Fanfare in the Garden" / "Music is a Better Noise" / "Eugene" / "Captain" / "Moontown" / "Tame the Neighbours" (Italian 12-inch vinyl, Base / Rough Trade RT008, 1981)
[wonderful] Lora Logic (solo), Wonderful Offer : "Wonderful Offer" / "Stereo" / "Rather than Repeat" (UK 12-inch vinyl, Rough Trade RT087, 1981)
[essential] Essential Logic : "On The Internet" / "Barbie Be Happy" / "No More Fiction" / "Not Me" (UK CDEP, peoplesound.com ART4478-CD01-00, 2001)
[essential2] Essential Logic 2 : "Love Eternal" / "Under The Great City" / "Marika" / "The Beautiful and The Damned" (CD-R EP, Viaminic, 2002)


[burn] "Aerosol Burns" b/w "World Friction" (UK 7-inch vinyl single, Cells Records SELL ONE, 1978 ... "Good Luck with the Exams" inscribed on A-side)
[pop] "Popcorn Boy (Waddle Ya Do?)" b/w "Flora Force" (UK 7-inch vinyl single, Rough Trade/Logic Records RT029, 1979)
[eugene] "Eugene" b/w "Tame The Neighbours" (UK single, Rough Trade RT050, 1980 ... "Newington Knows" inscribed on A-side)
[better] "Music is a Better Noise" b/w "Moon Town" (UK single, Rough Trade RT053, 1980 ... "54 to 73" inscribed on A-side; "Poultry has been betrayed" inscribed on B-side / US single, Rough Trade RTUS005, 1980)

"Fanfare in the Garden" b/w "The Captain" (UK single, Rough Trade RT074, 1981)
[wonderful] Lora Logic (solo), "Wonderful Offer" b/w "Stereo" (UK single, Rough Trade RT087, 1981 ... "Milton Grove" inscribed on A-side)


Thanks for discography updates: Rough Trade discography; Larry-bob; HGR Music; Kevin John; Robin Davis / Hit The Deck; Steve Beeho; Roy McCallum; Punk Diary 1970-1979 by George Gimarc; and PunkNet 77.

Image and text copyrights remain with the composers and labels.

Up-dated: 30 August 2003 | Please send updates and information to JS (Jim) Adams.

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