The Enid are a British progressive rock band founded in 1973 by the keyboardist Robert John Godfrey, previously known for his work with Barclay James Harvest. Other core members have included founding guitarists Steve Stewart and Francis Lickerish, and longstanding drummer Dave Storey. The Enid's membership has undergone many changes, always with Godfrey at the helm. The current lineup consists of Godfrey and guitarist Jason Ducker.
Godfrey has described bouts of depression associated with periods of writer's block. In addition to this, Godfrey suffers from diabetes. He revealed in 2014 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease but in 2018 announced that he was much recovered and suspected that the original diagnosis was flawed.
As of 2020, the band is still very much active, recording and touring.
The band's fifth album, Something Wicked This Way Comes, released in 1983, was the first Enid album to feature lyrics, which were written by then-drummer Chris North and sung in a mock-operatic style by Godfrey. The release was a concept album dealing with the threat of nuclear warfare and the various ways in which people respond to it.
The Enid released no full-length albums between 1997 and 2010, when Journey's End was released, although 2009's Arise and Shine featured newly remixed and partly re-recorded tracks from previous albums plus one preview of a Journey's End track.
In December 2012, the band's thirteenth album Invicta was voted 9th in The Guardian's "Readers' albums of 2012" poll, with "The One and the Many" placed 6th in the "Readers' tracks of 2012" category.
In June 2013, it was revealed that the band's sole-remaining founding member Robert John Godfrey had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, and that as a result he will retire from the band in the near future. However, the band intends to continue, with Godfrey's consent, following his departure.
Keyboardist William Gilmour founded a new band, Craft, after leaving The Enid, along with Grant McKay Gilmour and Martin Russell of Afro Celt Sound System. The band produced a self-titled mini-album in 1984 featuring Enid-style instrumentals based on six signs of the zodiac: "Aries", "Taurus", "Gemini", "Cancer", "Leo", and "Virgo". The album was released on CD on the American label Kinetic Discs in 1992. The CD added two short bonus tracks, "Branislana" and "And So to Sleep", which were, if anything, even more heavily influenced by The Enid.
In March 2016 Godfrey revealed that he would be retiring from touring, with keyboardist Zach Bullock and vocalist Joe Payne covering all aspects of Godfrey's performance; with the line-up for the following tour consisting of Bullock, Payne, guitarists Jason Ducker and Max Read, drummer Dave Storey, and new bassist Josh Judd. It was revealed the following month that Godfrey was in fact permanently retiring from the band in an official capacity.
On 5 September 2016 it was announced that Payne had departed the band after five years as frontman; and three days later it was revealed that guitarist Read and Storey had also decided to leave The Enid, and that the band now consisted of Bullock, Ducker, and returning drummer Dominic Tofield.
In April 2018 Godfrey announced his return to the band to ensure stability, and also his own improved health. In January 2020, The Enid consists of two members, Godfrey and Ducker, and they are working on the new album U, which earlier was intended to be released as a Godfrey solo album called Homily.
In addition to traditional vinyl and CD releases, in the late 1990s the band also pioneered the production of "Bespoke CDs" - mail-order custom compilation CD-Rs containing rare tracks chosen by listeners from a catalogue. This service was discontinued after a couple of years.
In the 2001 the band formed a marketing agreement with Inner Sanctum that saw most of the band's back-catalogue being reissued on that label. However, in 2009 they announced that Inner Sanctum was illegally attempting to take control of the band's name and copyrights. As a result of the ensuing legal action the Journey's End album was released on the band's own Enidiworks/Operation Seraphim label.
The Enid's official website later carried further details of the dispute as it concerned some of the band's earlier recordings. The site states that in 2010 Inner Sanctum released illegal bootlegs of the original EMI versions of In the Region of the Summer Stars and Aerie Faerie Nonsense. As a result of this EMI took action against Gerald Palmer to stop the bootlegs and agreed to grant a Worldwide License to Operation Seraphim, (the band's own record label) for the three albums they own (In The Region, Aerie Faerie Nonsense, and Godfrey's 1974 solo album The Fall Of Hyperion). The dispute between the band and Inner Sanctum is still[when?] ongoing.
In March 2006 Godfrey announced on the band's website that he would be making its entire back catalogue available for free download as high-quality mp3s. Godfrey wrote: "The purpose of this is to make sure that The Enid's music reaches as many people as possible and does not entirely disappear when I am dead. The Enid represents my life's work and I want it and what it contains to live on in those who warm to it. Having taken this decision it may well influence the way I think about The Enid and may drive me to do some more."
In 2012 The Enid released their thirteenth studio album Invicta.