The backing band of the legendary Ian Dury, The Blockheads were formed in 1977 to backup and promote Dury on tour for his New Boots and Panties!! album. Made up of Chaz Jankel, Norman Watt-Roy, Charlie Charles, John Turnbull, and Mick Gallagher, the Blockheads soon found themselves recording with Dury – albeit without Jankel – and landing themselves a hit as Ian Dury & the Blockheads with the 1978 single "What a Waste." Their newfound success led to a U.S. tour in support of Lou Reed, and they went on to further home success in the following two years with the single "Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick" – composed by Dury and a returned-to-the-fold Jankel – and the Do It Yourself album. The early '80s were spent (again) without Jankel, who was off to the States for a solo career, but the band and Dury soldiered on together, releasing the album Laughter and touring Europe and the U.K. in 1981.