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Timbuk 3

Origin Madison, Wisconsin
Genres Post-punk, New Wave
Years active 1984-1995
Labels I.R.S.

Timbuk3 was an American post-punk band which released six original studio albums between 1986 and 1995.[1] They are most well known for their Top 20 single "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades". The band's music has been featured on more than 20 compilation and soundtrack albums.

Their name is a reference to the Malian city of Timbuktu.


Timbuk3 was formed in 1984 in Madison, Wisconsin by the husband and wife team of Pat MacDonald (acoustic, electric, bass and MIDI guitars, harmonica, vocals, drum programming) and Barbara K. MacDonald (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, mandolin, violin, rhythm programming, vocals).

Timbuk3 was signed by I.R.S. Records after appearing on an episode of MTV's The Cutting Edge in 1986. Soon after, they released their first album, Greetings from Timbuk3, which included their only single to chart, "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades". That song has had numerous movie and television appearances over the years since its release, and been included in numerous compilation CDs. Also from the same album, the song "Shame On You" was played during the opening scene of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, released in 1986. The band was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1987. They appeared onscreen as the house band in a bar in the 1988 film, D.O.A.

After their successful debut, Timbuk3 receded from the spotlight but went on to record five more critically acclaimed albums. They were joined in 1991 by Wally Ingram and Courtney Audain.[2]

The group broke up in 1995, with the ex-members going on to record other music independently. Pat MacDonald moved to Barcelona and recorded several albums for Ulftone, a German indie label (Sleeps With his Guitar, Begging Her Graces, Degrees of Gone, In the Red Room (a live album) and Strange Love: PM does DM, a collection of Depeche Mode covers). Of those, only Sleeps With His Guitar was released in the U.S. His 2007 effort, Troubadour of Stomp on the Broken Halo label, was his first U.S. release since 1997.

Barbara K. MacDonald has released two albums: Ready, and Undercover which is a set of acoustic covers of Timbuk3 songs. She is currently working as part of Sparrow's Wheel, an Austin label for independent music, and a new group, Ghosts and Sparrows.

As of mid-2012, the first six Timbuk3 albums were not available on physical media in the United States, although all but the last were available from download services. A live CD, Espace Ornano can be purchased from the band's official website.




  • Greetings from Timbuk3 (1986) - Billboard Hot 200 # 50; UK Albums Chart # 51
  • Eden Alley (1988) - Billboard Hot 200 # 107
  • Edge of Allegiance (1989)
  • Big Shot in the Dark (1991)
  • Some Of The Best Of Timbuk3: Field Guide (1992) [the 45, 'Assholes On Parade' appears on CD only here]
  • Espace Ornano (1993) - [recorded live, Espace Ornano, Paris, France, Nov 1991]
  • Looks Like Dark To Me (1994) - 6-track EP
  • A Hundred Lovers (1995)[3]
  • Live From Austin City Limits - (2011)

See also


External links

  • Record Label website
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Rolling Stone
  • project
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