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As one of the most traditional guitar} bands to emerge during the Brit-pop} era of the mid-'90s, Cast} has weathered negative criticism from certain quarters of the media, who labeled them as mere revivalists. But the criticism didn't prevent Cast} from becoming a very, very popular band within Britain following the success of Oasis} and Blur}. Led by vocalist/guitarist John Power}, Cast} carved out a sound that was heavily indebted to the British Invasion} of the early '60s, yet it was infused with a mystical, pseudo-hippie lyrical sensibility, which Power} expanded upon in all of his interviews. What really made Cast} into a success was Power}'s gift for simple, classic pop} hooks, as demonstrated on the hit singles "Fine Time,"} "Alright,"} and "Walkaway."}

The roots of Cast} lay in the La's}, the seminal late-'80s British guitar pop} combo led by Lee Mavers}. John Power} was the bassist in the La's} from their inception in the mid-'80s to the early '90s, when the band had a major British hit with their eponymous debut album. Following the supporting tour for the record, the La's} were scheduled to record a second album, yet it soon became clear that Mavers} was not only not going to write a batch of new songs any time soon, but he wasn't going to allow Power} to contribute his own material. Power} left the band, forming Cast} with guitarist Liam Tyson}, bassist Peter Wilkinson}, and drummer Keith O'Neill} early in 1994.

Cast} received their first big break when Elvis Costello} had the group open for him on his summer 1994 U.K. tour. By the end of 1994, Cast} had signed a record contract with Polydor Records}, and began recording with John Leckie} (XTC}, Stone Roses}). "Finetime,"} Cast}'s debut single, reached number 17 on the pop} charts in the spring, followed by another hit single, "Alright,"} in the summer. All Change}, the band's debut, was released in October of 1995, debuting in the British Top Ten.

Over the course of 1996, Cast}'s audience continued to grow, as All Change} worked its way toward platinum status, and the band toured America several times, gaining a cult audience. In the fall, the band released the single "Flying,"} their first new recording since their debut. The single entered the British charts at number four. Cast}'s second album, Mother Nature Calls}, was released in the spring of 1997. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide
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