Singers/guitarists Blake and McGinley first teamed with singer/bassist Love in 1987 in Glasgow's short-lived Boy Hairdressers, issuing the single "Golden Shower" on the famed Scottish indie label 53rd and 3rd, before disbanding. After a brief stint with the BMX Bandits, Blake reunited with Love and McGinley to form Teenage Fanclub in 1989; drummer Francis McDonald, a fellow BMX Bandit, completed the original lineup, although McDonald was replaced by fan Brendan O'Hare during sessions for the group's debut album, 1990's A Catholic Education. Released on the Creation label overseas and on the fledgling Matador imprint in the U.S., the album's thick, murky squall staked out sonic territory subsequently occupied by the nascent grunge movement and made Teenage Fanclub an instant critical favorite; the God Knows Its True EP soon followed, but although American major labels came courting, the band still owed Matador one more record. They submitted The King, a ramshackle collection of instrumentals capped off by a tongue-in-cheek rendition of Madonna's "Like a Virgin"; instead, the record was summarily rejected by Matador honcho Gerard Cosloy, and after paying Cosloy what they felt the remainder of their contract was worth, Teenage Fanclub signed to Geffen. Never shy about celebrating their inspirations covers of the Beatles' "The Ballad of John and Yoko," the Flying Burrito Brothers' "Older Guys," and Phil Ochs' "Chords of Fame" are scattered across various singles and EPs Teenage Fanclub's 1991 Geffen debut, Bandwagonesque, gloriously evoked the raggedly radiant pop manna of Big Star, the famed 1970s cult band led by ex-Box Tops frontman Alex Chilton and his singing/songwriting partner Chris Bell. With its newfound melodic ingenuity, brash guitar sound and gorgeous harmonies, the record was a massive critical success, and although mainstream pop radio failed to bite, the group found a warm welcome on collegiate airwaves.