The La’s formed in 1983, with original member Mike Badger stating that the band name occurred to him in a dream, as well as it being Scouse for “lads”, and having obvious musical connotations. The band existed briefly as an arthouse/skiffle-type outfit with a few tracks released on local compilations. Lee Mavers joined in 1984 as rhythm guitarist, eventually gaining songwriting prominence and emerging as the band’s enduring figurehead. Bernie Nolan, accomplished musician formerly of The Falcons, The Russian Rockabillys and The Swampmen was the original bassist. John Power joined the group in 1986, having met Badger on a local council-run musicianship course. Badger however left the group in late 1986 to form The Onset
The band attracted the attention of several record labels after a series of performances in their hometown in 1986, and demo tapes copied from a session at the Flying Picket rehearsal studio in Liverpool began circulating. One of these demo tapes was sent to Underground Magazine. A journalist there with the task of reviewing unsigned bands gave the cassette to Andy McDonald at Go Discs. Several record labels later became interested in signing the band. The band chose to sign with Go! Discs.