Alternative singer/songwriter James Hall led the Atlanta band Mary My Hope for several years in the late '80s before beginning his solo career in the mid-'90s with an album for the tiny Endangered label, My Love, Sex & Spirit, later touring as a support slot for Rage Against the Machine. Born in Houston, he began playing guitar while in seventh grade and formed a cover band at the age of sixteen. After attending Bowling Green University in Kentucky, Hall moved to Atlanta and formed the goth-tinged alternative band Mary My Hope in the mid-'80s. After recording at a studio owned by Curtis Mayfield, the band signed to Silvertone Records and released their debut, Museum, in 1989. The group supported Love & Rockets and Jane's Addiction, but Hall had left the band by 1991.
After moving to New Orleans and assembling a new backing band (old friend Lynn Wright plus Grant Curry and Sterling Roig), Hall began playing around the Southeast. When the Indigo Girls' Amy Ray saw him perform, she invited him to record for her label Daemon, and the result was 1993's My Love, Sex & Spirit. Venturing farther afield in his club dates supporting the record, Hall was heard by Geffen Records representatives while on the West Coast, and he signed with the alternative powerhouse in June 1994. After remixing and re-releasing his first album on MCA's Endangered Records in early 1995, Hall began recording new material with Phil Nicolo (well-known with brother Joe as the Butcher Brothers production team). Hall released Pleasure Club in May 1996. ~ John Bush