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Gene's first single, 1994's "For the Dead," was NME's Single of the Week. The chart topping "Be My Light, Be My Guide" followed, as did a contract from Polydor Records. As is the way of the fickle British press, the backlash began almost as fast as the band's career moved forward. Through it all, Gene was constantly written off as second-rate Smiths, with singer Martin Rossiter coming under fire as a Morrissey-wannabe. While the comparison was obvious (same whiny, tortured artist pose set to jangly guitar-driven music), it was somewhat obtuse in its scope. Hard times fell on Gene in the mid/late 1990s as America was still punch-drunk on Grunge. Once again, the band was written off. Resurfacing in May 2000, Gene crossed the pond and recorded the live album, Rising for Sunset at the Troubadour in L.A.. The album finally showed the band's gritty, Faces/Jam side, sorely missing from their studio efforts. The album topped the U.K. charts, amazed the critics, and proved once again, that success really is the best revenge.
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