For most of the 1980s, Newell was the mainstay of Cleaners from Venus
, who recorded most of their albums at home for cassette-only self-release, although they eventually put out some vinyl product. After a short stint as head of the similar Brotherhood of Lizards
, Martin started a solo career in the 1990s that was essentially a continuation of the territory he'd explored in the 1980s; sometimes he re-recorded songs from the previous decade. The difference, if any, was that he was concentrating on the proper official album market instead of the cassette underground, with somewhat higher (though not slick) production values.
Newell's most acclaimed album was 1993's The Greatest Living Englishman, which was produced by Andy Partridge
. The Off White Album (1995) was a bit more baroque in approach, with occasional string arrangements. Spirit Cage was issued in fall 2000, and a collection of home-brewed recordings from 2010 through 2014, Teatime Assortment, appeared in 2015. Newell has co-written material with Captain Sensible
and is a poet/humorist of some renown in Britain, publishing his own prose with a good deal of success and writing humorous pieces for the Independent newspaper. Ironically, his music is virtually unknown on his home turf, although he enjoys a considerable cult following in Germany, Japan, France, and on certain American college radio stations. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi