The Work were an English post-punk rock group, founded in 1980 by multi-instrumentalist/composer Tim Hodgkinson and guitarist/composer Bill Gilonis, with bass guitarist Mick Hobbs and drummer Rick Wilson. The band toured Europe in 1981 and 1982, and recorded their first album, Slow Crimes in 1982. After a tour of Japan later that year and releasing Live in Japan, the band split up. In 1989, The Work reformed to record Rubber Cage and performed throughout Europe between 1989 and 1994, releasing another album, See in 1992.
Ex-Henry Cow co-founder Tim Hodgkinson began recording with Bill Gilonis in 1980. They experimented with tape collages which led to the creation of an independent record label, Woof Records and a band. Enlisting the services of Mick Hobbs and Rick Wilson they formed The Work, a post-punk rock group.
In 1981, The Work made their first recording, an EP "I Hate America", released on the Woof label. They then embarked on a tour of Europe, performing in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Germany, France, Italy and Yugoslavia. Extracts from these live performances were later released on a cassette tape album, The Worst of Everywhere (1983). In 1982, the band played at a Rock in Opposition Festival in Bonn with vocalist Catherine Jauniaux, after which they recorded their first album Slow Crimes on the Woof label with Jauniaux as guest musician.Slow Crimes took punk rock to new heights by introducing elements of avant-rock.
The band's next commitment was a tour of Japan in June 1982, but before the tour began, Wilson left to study Kathakali in India, and Hobbs followed soon after over disagreements about the band's musical direction. Committed to the tour, Hodgkinson and Gilonis asked ex-Henry Cow drummer Chris Cutler and bassist Jim "Amos" Welton to join them in Japan. With this altered line-up, the group played three concerts in Tokyo and one in Osaka. The Osaka concert was recorded with a cassette recorder halfway down the hall, which was later cleaned up and released by Recommended Records Japan on an LP Live in Japan. At the end of the tour, the group split up.
In 1989, The Work reformed with its original members and recorded an industrial/noise album Rubber Cage, after which they returned to touring Europe, performing in France, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland and Italy over the next two years. In 1992, they made their last album, See, which they played live on their ongoing European tour. In 1993, the band played at the St. Petersburg Open Music Festival in Russia. The Work's last performances were in 1994 in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Slovenia and the Czech Republic, where they had begun drawing on Hopi Indian mythology for their sets.
The 4th World, a live album recorded in Breisgau in 1994, was released by Ad Hoc Records in 2010. The original mono recordings were reprocessed into stereo by Udi Koomran.
Tim Hodgkinson - saxophones, bass clarinet, keyboards, lap steel guitar, lead vocals,
Bill Gilonis - guitar, euphonium, sampling, vocals,
Mick Hobbs - guitar, bass guitar, drums, ukulele, recorder, midi-horn, vocals,
Rick Wilson - drums, bass guitar, vocals