The death of Adam Schlesinger, co-founder of Fountains of Wayne

Fountains of Wayne bassist Adam Schlesinger in Baltimore on August 4, 2007. SCOTT GRIES / AFP

The tributes paid so much by Tom Hanks (” There would be no Playtone [la société de production de l’acteur réalisateur] without Adam Schlesinger “) Or Stephen King (” Rest in peace Adam Schlesinger, great singer, satirical songwriter ”) That by musicians like Mark Ronson or rocker Ben Kweller say a lot about the multi-card talent of this American singer-songwriter, instrumentalist, co-founder of the group Fountains of Wayne and author of numerous soundtracks for film and television, dead at 52, the 1er April 2020, in Poughkeepsie (New York), following complications related to Covid-19.

Born on October 31, 1967 in New York, Adam Schlesinger met the future members of Fountains of Wayne at Williams College, the University of Williamstown, Massachusetts. Before finding them in New York, this young bassist will start his recording career in trio with Ivy, a group formed with the Anglo-American Andy Chase and the French singer Dominique Durand. From this union of Go-Betweens, House of Love and Smiths fans will be born six albums (of Realistic, in 1995, at All hours, in 2011) with an alert charm.

Bittersweet pep and irony

But it is his association with singer and guitarist Chris Collingwood in Fountains of Wayne, from 1995, which will allow the songs co-written by Schlesinger to find a wider audience, the time of five albums until 2011 (and the disc release Sky Full of Holes). Small models of power pop, combining distorted riffs and dapper melodies, in the tradition of the ancestors of Cars or contemporaries of Weezer or Nada Surf, titles like Radiation Vibe and Sink to the Bottom (taken from their first album which bears their name, released in 1996), or Stacy’s Mom (nominated for the Grammy Awards in 2004) are enjoying great success.

The bittersweet pep and irony of Schlesinger’s paw allow many of Ivy’s or Fountains of Wayne’s songs to appear on film (especially those of brothers Bobby and Peter Farrelly) and series. Until Hollywood ended up asking the songwriter to work directly on these soundtracks. In addition to these groups, including Tinted Windows, “Superband” bringing together the bass player, guitarist James Iha (of Smashing Pumpkins), singer Taylor Hanson (of Hanson) and drummer Bun E. Carlos (of Cheap Trick), it is this work for film and television that will guarantee success economic and rewards to the artisan pop (also artistic director for They Might Be Giants, Tahiti 80…).

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