The Maniacs were among British punk's here-and-gone stories, issuing just four tracks officially in their year-long lifetime. Singer/guitarist Alan Lee Shaw and drummer Rod Latter actually started as a duo in 1976, in their native Cambridge, but moved to London when punk broke. Recruiting bassist Robert Crash, the pair signed to EMI.
The band played the punk circuit, including an August 1977 appearance at France's Mont de Marsan Festival with the Damned and the Clash. The frantic "Chelsea 77"/"Ain't No Legend" followed in November; the band's other two tracks ("I Ain't Gonna Be History," "You Don't Break My Heart") appeared on December 1977's Live at the Vortex compilation.
Shaw dissolved the band in January 1978 (although he and Latter did a one-off re-formation gig in 1990). Shaw graduated to numerous other sessions and bands, including a spot in one of the Damned's ever-revolving lineups, while Crash went on to produce names like the Eurythmics and Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant. Released Emotions and Overground oversaw reissues of the band's unreleased output in 1990 and 1997, respectively. ~ Ralph Heibtuzki