20 Years Ago Today We Lost The Sound’s Adrian Borland

Twenty years ago today The Sound’s Adrian Borland took his life after a long struggle with mental illness.

The Sound, which initially evolved from the punk group The Outsiders,  is a band that many considered to be one of the most underrated post-punk bands of all time. They sadly never had a huge following relative to their creative output and critical acclaim despite being championed by famous Radio DJ John Peel, label mates with Echo and The Bunnymen, and touring with The Comsat Angels.

The Sound’s first two albums  Jeopardy, and From the Lions Mouth are as essential records in the history of post-punk as anything released from Joy Division.

Jeopardy, for example, features the iconic tracks “Heartland”, and “I Can’t Espace Myself”, which arguably superior to the album’s only single “Hey Day”.

From the Lion’s Mouth, continued to garner the band a cult following, with album tracks like “Skeletons”, and the iconic “New Dark Age”, as well as the single “Sense of Purpose”.

After their label requested the band release a more commercial sounding record, The Sound rebelled, releasing their third album, All Fall Down, which led to the band being dropped, and eventually having to sign to Statik for subsequent releases until breaking up in 1988.

Adrian Borland would then go on to release several solo albums throughout the 90s, before committing suicide on the 26th of April, 1999, by throwing himself in the path of an express train at Wimbledon station.

On December 27, 2016, a documentary on the life of Borland, Walking in the Opposite Direction was released.

“The tragedy of Adrian’s battle with himself and his disease balanced with his joy and love of life and his creativity. It’s irrelevant whether you know of Adrian or The Sound or not. This is the universal story of the razor’s edge that so many artists walk between heaven and hell.”

Watch the trailer below:

Need Help?

In the UK, CALM can be contacted at 0800 58 58 58 and the Samaritans can be contacted at 116 123.

In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. Hotlines in other countries can be found here

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