'O' Level - 1977 - East Sheen 7'' (UK)
'O' Level were a British, late 1970s, post punk, indie band, founded in 1976 by Ed Ball with friends John and Gerard Bennett. The group's name refers to the 'O'-Level of the British General Certificate of Education.
Along with the early Television Personalities, 'O' Level's singles are synonymous with a late 1970s DIY-indiesound that emanated from West London, mostly because the personnel of both bands were almost identical.
Fuelled by Punk and the early Beatles, 'O' Level was formed in 1976 by Ed Ball with friends from the London Oratory School, John and Gerard Bennett on drums and bass guitar respectively. Together they played the usual diet of school discos and youth centres, until fellow school chum and sixties enthusiast, Daniel Treacy invited Edward to join him in the studio to record a single. Just to be on the safe side, Edward brought John and Gerard as well, resulting in the TV Personalities single, "14th Floor".
The following week, Ball, the Bennetts and friend Richard Scully recorded "Pseudo Punk", "O Levels" and "East Sheen" as O' Level which came out November 1977. It took Treacy longer to raise the pre-requisite funds to press "14th floor" which finally came out in 1978. In March of that year, John and Gerard Bennett started their own band Reacta, leaving Ball with the name O' Level.
Exactly one year after their debut recording sessions, Daniel and Edward returned to the studio, this time to create the breakthrough "Where's Bill Grundy Now" ep as the TV Personalities. Again, the following week, Ball went back to record - this time by himself a second and final O' Level single, "The Malcolm McLaren Lifestory" ep, featuring "We Love Malcolm". both eps appeared late 1978.
From here, it was just a name change to the Teenage Filmstars and invitations to Daniel Treacy and Joseph Foster...
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