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Major Thinkers

From: Wexford/NYC

Active: 1980-85

Style: New Wave



Pierce Turner and Larry Kirwan's long-standing collaboration continued in the early 1980s as the Major Thinkers, incorporating some New Wave influences. The rest of the band was Peter Collins (bass) and Thomas Hamlin (drums). Though based in NYC, they were signed to Phaeton Records in Ireland. They self-released the US edition of their debut single on their own Nose label.

By 1981 Paul J. Ossola (ex Scratch Band) was the bass player and he appears on the debut LP. This was recorded at Jhana Studios in Sandy Hook, Connecticut but again only released in Ireland on Phaeton. Copies were presumably exported to the USA. This is becoming increasingly difficult to find in good condition.

In 1983 they were picked up by Epic Records who released a couple of 12 inch singles on the Portrait imprint. These up the dance mix/electronica quotient. "The Major Thinkers EP is an exemplary fusion of dance and rock with lyrical and musical content supporting a highly produced sound"--Brian Chin, Dance Trax. Meanwhile one track from their 1981 LP 'Tears And Synthesizers' appeared on the soundtrack of the 1983 Troma Studios teen comedy 'The First Turn-On!'. As far as I know this soundtrack (which also featured Terry & The Tornadoes, The Shakes and Shrapnel) was not released commercially.

Major Thinkers split circa 1985. Pierce Turner pursued a solo career and maintains a strong following in Ireland and the USA. Larry Kirwan formed Black 47.


• Back in the 80s / Farewell To The Coast
7" - Phaeton Records - SPIN 3 - IRL - 1980 - no PS
7" - Nose Records - N-0915 - USA - 1980 - PS

The lineup credits on the US edition are Pierce Turner (keyboards), Lawrence Lucifer (AKA Kirwan) (guitar), Peter Collins (bass) & Thomas Hamlin (drums). They appear in the photo on the front cover LR: Pierce Turner, Peter Collins, Thomas Hamlin and Larry Kirwan. However, the recordings are by an earlier lineup with Christian Osborne (bass, backing vocals) and Thomas Thompson (drums). One ebay cretin tried to sell this as "midwest US punk/KBD", omitting the giveaway surnames in his ebay advert. He was later put to sleep.

• Keystone Demos, March 1981

Four tracks were recorded at Keystone Studios in Dublin in March 1981 as demos for the forthcoming album. Song titles may have been altered but its also possible one or more of these tracks is unreleased. The four tracks recorded were: Tears of Synthesizers, Motor In My Brain, Looking For Another Era (Eire?), Bebop Take 2.

• The Major Thinkers
LP - Phaeton Records - SPIN 991 - IRL - 1981 - insert

Larry Kirwan is still billed as Laurence Lucifer and all tracks are credited to Turner/Lucifer except "Avenue B" by Hamlin/Turner/Lucifer. Recorded at Jhana Studios, Sandy Hook, Connecticut. Produced by Ron Bacchiocchi and Turner/Lucifer. The sleeve notes read:
''The Major Thinkers are Pierce Turner, Laurence Lucifer of Wexford and Thomas Hamlin and Paul J.Ossala of New York. 'MAJOR THINKERS' their first album is a genetically engineered hybrid of danceable rock, intriguing melodies and striking concepts... in the words of one critic 'a highly improbable union of James Joyce and the Uptown A train'. The cover paintings by Liam Halpin of Navan, County Meath are entitled 'Sound Waves' and 'Light Waves'.''

• Avenue B / Wicklow Hills / My Hero / Humanesque // Avenue B (dub) / Humanesque(dub)
12" - Portrait Records - 5R 38644 - USA - June 1983 - no PS, stickered diecut cover

• Humanesque [5:20] / Bonus Beats (Can't Stop Moving My Feet) [2:06]
12" - Portrait Records - AS 1674 - USA - 1983 - promo only, no PS

• various artists - Strange Passion
LP - Cache Cache Records - CACHE03LP - UK - 2012 - insert
See Compilations section for full track listing.


We need your help to correct and/or complete this entry. If you can provide more information about this band, have scans, photos or any other memorabilia we can use, or spare copies of any releases, then please get in touch.

See Also: Aftermath, Larry Kirwan, Pierce Turner, Turner & Kirwan of Wexford

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