vinyl pressing of the 1999 alive release compiled by nikki sudden (sadly, no longer with us). swell maps began in 1972. they were formed by brothers epic soundtracks and nikki sudden together with their friend david barrington. jowe head, richard earl and john cockrill came on board over the next few years. richard and jowe stayed - the others became more temporary members. in september 1977 the maps went in the studio for the first time - although many home recordings were made - and still exist! swell maps were (are) seen as being a cross between can and t. rex by the members of the band. others may disagree but that's their loss. all the band's singles (four) and albums (two) went to number one in the british independent charts. swell maps broke up in mid-1980 for many reasons - some known - many others unknown. apparently they have influenced many bands including sonic youth, pavement, pussy galore, but don't blame them for this. swell maps played 50 shows during their lifetime. they were supposed to tour the states during 1980 but broke up too soon. after the demise of the band in the early '80s, epic soundtracks played with these immortal souls and crime and the city solution, ultimately recording solo, while nikki sudden was pursuing his own solo career, collaborating with a wide range of artists, from rem to wilco. epic soundtracks died in 1997. rip. nikki sudden died in 2006.