The Inmates are a British pub rock band, which formed after the split of The Flying Tigers in 1977. In the early 1980s, they had a medium-sized international hit with a cover of The Standells' "Dirty Water", and a UK Top 40 hit with their cover of Jimmy McCracklin's track, "The Walk". "Dirty Water" reached number 51 in the United States in January 1980. The song led directly to them recording their debut album, First Offence, produced by Vic Maile for Radar Records. Two further albums were quickly recorded; Shot in the Dark again produced by Vic Maile, and Heatwave in Alaska produced by Stuart Coleman.
Around 1981, lead singer Bill Hurley became ill following a breakdown, and his place was taken for some time by Barrie Masters, who had recently split with Eddie and the Hot Rods. The Inmates continued to record (True Live Stories, a live album recorded by Vic Maile at London's the Venue nightclub and, Five, a studio album again produced by Maile) and tour with Masters until he decided to reform the Hot Rods, and Hurley was well enough to return to fronting the Inmates.
Another song, "I Can't Sleep" from their debut LP First Offence, was included as a chapter heading in the Stephen King bestseller Christine.
"(I Thought I Heard A) Heartbeat" was recorded by American band Will and the Kill, which included guitarist Will Sexton (brother of Charlie Sexton) and Dr. Feelgood on the album Classic, the last release on Stiff Records. Dr. Feelgood also recorded "Sweet Sweet Lovin'" on their album Fast Women, Slow Horses.
As of 2013, The Inmates were still working and touring, especially in continental Europe. After thirty years, they still have four of the original five band members, and continue to play both original songs and covers.
- Bill Hurley - vocals
- Peter Gunn - guitar
- Tony Oliver - guitar
- Ben Donnelly - bass
- Eddie Edwards - drums
- Former members
- Jim Russell - drums
- Paul Turner - drums
- Barrie Masters - vocals
- Wreckless Eric Radio Show, 10 June 2009
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