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BoDeans (formed in 1984) is an American rock band that started life as a roots and heartland rock group before finding their own style, adopting the influences of alternative rock, hailing from Waukesha, Wisconsin, U.S.
Drummer Kurt Neumann and guitarist Sam Llanas first met during high school and soon found they had considerable shared musical interests. The pair began playing together, with Llanas, despite very little experience, dropping out of college to play alongside Neumann. In 1980, under the moniker Da BoDeans, Neumann and Llanas developed a local following in a nearby town and subsequently signed with Slash Records. Bassist Bob Griffin and drummer Guy Hoffman arrived shortly afterwards, recording on the band’s debut full-length “Love & Hope & Sex & Dream” in 1986. Produced by T-Bone Burnett, the critically acclaimed record swelled BoDean’s fanbase and was heavily marked by roots rock influences.
After topping the Rolling Stone magazine poll for Best New American Band, the group announced they were working with Talking Heads' Jerry Harrison on their follow-up. Released in October 1987, “Outside Looking In”, saw the BoDeans take greater influence of ’80’s rock, epitomised by the lead single “Only Love”. In support of the record the band toured on U2’s The Joshua Tree Tour, following which Hoffman announced his official departure.
BoDeans’ third full-length album “Home” arrived in 1989 marked by the arrival of keyboard player Michael Ramos and drummer Danny Gayol. Featuring a more refined, roots rock aesthetic, the band’s subsequent album, 1991’s “Black and White”, was their most ambitious to date. Complete with synthesisers, drum machines, and heavily-affected guitar tones, “Black and White”, saw the group strongly inspired by the musical climate’s new wave and alternative rock acts. The release was followed by their fifth studio album “Go Slow Down”, issued in 1993. Led by the single “Closer to Free”, which found itself as the theme song to the television series “Party of Five”, the album did wonders for BoDeans’ national exposure and is noted for its acoustic, homemade approach.
In 1995 the double-disc live album “Joe Dirt Car” was released followed by the Greg Goldman-produced full-length “Blend” in 1996. Following the release the band were dropped by Slash Records and in 2003 signed with Rounder Records. Their first album in eight years, “Resolution”, became a popular release among loyal fans and was followed by “Still” in 2008. The full-length “Mr. Sad Clown” appeared in 2010 succeeded by “Indigo Dreams” in 2011. Following the release of “Indigo Dreams”, Llanas departed BoDeans, and wasn’t featured on the band’s 11th studio album “American Made” in 2012.