With their raw, enthusiastic immaturity, the Adverts were a bright, though short-lived, light of the punk era, distinguished by the fact that their bassist, Gaye Advert, was one of the first female stars of punk rock.
After they (barely) mastered one chord, the Adverts began playing at London's Roxy Club in 1976, where they quickly came to the attention of the Damned's guitarist Brian James. James offered the band an opening spot on the Damned's tour and directed them toward Stiff Records. Stiff released their self-deprecating debut single, "One Chord Wonders," in 1977, when the band could still barely play, but when they released their second single, the disturbingly funny "Gary Gilmore's Eyes," the group rocketed into the U.K. Top 20 in a storm of controversy. The Adverts' first album, Crossing the Red Sea With the Adverts, fulfilled the single's promise, but the second, 1979's Cast of Thousands, sounded like they poured all of their musical ideas into their first album; the group broke up the following year. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi