The Cosmic Rough Riders
Having met while volunteering at a recording studio in Glasgow, Daniel Wylie and Stephen Fleming forged an immediate bond that centered on their mutual love of music, particularly their infatuation with jangling guitars and 1970s soft rock. The two gradually started playing together, although at the time that amounted to Fleming tentatively filling out the sound on Wylie's compositions. But the camaraderie stuck, and the duo dubbed themselves the Cosmic Rough Riders. After enlisting a couple of other like-minded souls, the band released its debut album, Deliverance, on its own Raft label. Their breezy, breathy, summer-in-California sound was a hit with fans and critics alike, and gave them their first taste of success. Encouraged, the band released its sophomore effort, Panorama, less than a year later. Panarama outsold their debut, and once again, the group hit a bull's eye with the public. Just when it seemed things couldn't get any better for the quartet, ex-Creation boss and music guru Alan McGee expressed interest in releasing the band on his new imprint, Poptones. Comprising songs from their two earlier releases, Enjoy the Melodic Sunshine was released later in 2000 on Poptones and quickly climbed the charts. Due to better distribution, Enjoy found great success in the U.K. and facilitated the group's live appearances on summer festival stages throughout the U.K. and other parts of Europe. It appeared that all systems were "go" for the band, so it came as a surprise when, in 2002, Wylie issued a statement to the press announcing his amicable departure from the group he started only three years earlier. The Cosmic Rough Riders carried on as a trio, with Fleming taking over for Wylie on vocals. In 2004, they released their first official American release, Too Close to See Far.