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The Afghan Whigs were a soul-influenced American rock band from Cincinnati, Ohio. PopMatters described the band as "beyond simple genre categorization, and though lauded by the music press, never got their just due."
Greg Dulli (vocals, rhythm guitar), Rick McCollum (lead guitar), John Curley (bass), and Steve Earle (drums - not to be confused with country musician Steve Earle) formed the band in Cincinnati late in 1986. In 1988, they released their debut album Big Top Halloween on their own Ultrasuede label. The band signed to Sub Pop of Seattle in 1989. The Afghan Whigs were the first non-Northwestern U.S. band to record for the Sub Pop label. In 1990, their first Sub Pop release Up in It was released. The album was followed by a limited edition single released by No.6 Records under the name 'Ornament' which included vocals by Scrawl singer Marcy Mays.
With the 1992 album Congregation and a limited covers EP, Uptown Avondale, the band adopted what would become their signature soul-influenced sound. The Afghan Whigs soon signed to a major label, Elektra Records, and in 1993 released another album, Gentlemen. The singles “Debonair” (Modern Rock 20 hit) and “Gentlemen” received regular airplay on MTV and college radio. “Fountain and Fairfax” also appeared on the television series My So-Called Life in 1994.