THAT WAS THEN...To encapsulate Cliff Richard in a couple of paragraphs is almost impossible. There are very few artists who can boast a career spanning over 60 years but Cliff Richard is the undisputed king of pop music. "Move It" was Cliff's first single of 130, 67 of which have hit the Top 10 in the intervening decades. 250 million record sales with songs that have soundtrack generation after generation.
THIS IS NOW...Cliff's latest single Falling For You, taken from the album Music, The Air That I Breathe is a stunningly curated album of covers and originals featuring guest appearances by some of Cliff''s favourite singers including Albert Hammond, The Bellamy Brothers and Bonnie Tyler. As Sting correctly suggests '...Cliff Richard is in my opinion one of Britain's finest singers technically and emotionally..." We agree.
THAT WAS THEN...Undoubtedly one of the biggest artists of the 1980's. Kershaw's ear for melody was unmistakable and hits such as Wouldn't It Be Good, I Won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me and The Riddle went on to achieve huge international success as did albums Human Racing and The Riddle. Always one never to be pigeonholed Kershaw's further 80's output showcased his immense musical abilities and his natural songwriting abilities resulted in hits for artists during the 1990's
THIS IS NOW...Oxymoron is proof positive that Kershaw's songwriting prowess is well and truly alive in 2020. From Cloudy Bay To Malibu is undoubtedly one of the finest tracks he has ever committed to tape and is essential listening from one of the UK's finest and enduring musical treasures.
THAT WAS THEN...From punk princess to cult stage actress, Toyah Willcox is a uniquely gifted performer and an inextinguishable flame. Charismatic, outspoken and impossible to categorise, she is one of Britain’s beloved household names – an award-winning rock legend as well as a much-loved stage/screen actress and music composer. Toyah has amassed thirteen top 40 singles, recorded twenty-five albums, written two books, appeared in over forty stage plays, acted in over twenty feature films and presented hundreds of television programmes...
THIS IS NOW...For 42 years Toyah has taken to the stage like no other. She has won numerous awards and nominations from singing to writing to acting.
THAT WAS THEN...Chesney Hawkes first No.1 in the UK was the Nik Kershaw penned The One And Only. Taken from the film Buddy's Song it also was a Top Ten hit in the US... John Lennon Lived Here was a songwriting collaboration between Chesney and Nik Kershaw that beautifully showcases their talents.
THIS IS NOW...Chesney, now based in LA is a regular on touring circuits and still continues to appear in film and theatre.
THAT WAS THEN...Bucks Fizz won Eurovision in 1981 with the instahit Making Your Mind Up. Years of hits followed with No.1's including Land Of Make Believe and My Camera Never Lies...
THIS IS NOW...Re-christened The Fizz, Cheryl, Mike and Jay continue to delight fans with live and recorded work and have released The F-Z of Pop (which saw them back in the Top 30) and the very excellent Smoke and Mirrors album in July 2020.
THAT WAS THEN...Paul Young has had a stunning career spanning 45 years to date. His work in the 1980's resulted in No.1 records in both the UK and US and saw a landmark performance at Live Aid in 1985 as well as the opening line to Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas...
THIS IS NOW...Paul continues to headline festivals worldwide and has just celebrated 35 years since the release of the sublime No Parlez album.
JOHNNY HATES JAZZ
JOHNNY HATES JAZZ
THAT WAS THEN...The ultra smooth sound of the mid 80's was never more prevalent in the hits from Johnny Hates Jazz. Shattered Dreams and Turn Back The Clock marked a golden release period for the band. Key members Clark Datchler and Mike Nocito with their debut album hitting No.1 in the UK and a number of European territories.
THIS IS NOW...The band with Datchler as vocalist reformed in 2009. Both Datchler and Nocito have massively impressive writing CV's including the likes of Mike And The Mechanics and Orson. In August 2020 the band returned with their new album Wide Awake which again showcased the pairs songwriting and production prowess.
THAT WAS THEN...As singer and co-writer in Kajagoogoo, Limahl enjoyed instant celebrity of hitting No.1 with his debut single. This was followed by 2 further Top 20 singles Oooh To Be Ah and Hang On Now before he was unceremoniously removed from the band only to have a worldwide hit with Giorgio Moroder with the theme to "Neverending Story".
THIS IS NOW...A great song is always that and the advent of Netflix has seen Limahl tracks feature in the likes of cult classic hits Black Mirror and Stranger Things. As with most artists on THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW a full live diary was planned for 2020.
RIGHT SAID FRED
RIGHT SAID FRED
THAT WAS THEN...Formed in 1989, brothers Fred and Richard Fairbrass, have a list of achievements as songwriters and a band that include number 1 hits in 70 countries including, two US number 1’s, three UK number 1’s, and a number 1 in Japan.
THIS IS NOW...In 2017 the brothers released their 9th album to wide acclaim and continue to tour worldwide. Undoubtedly Right Said Fred are living proof that two music-loving brothers with an ear for a hit and plenty of passion and self-belief can defy all expectations and conquer the world.
THAT WAS THEN...Sonia's debut single You'll Never Stop Me Loving You entered the UK charts at No.1 in June 1989. With Sonia's first single release and her 2nd place in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1993 with Better The Devil You Know she had 11 Top 30 hits.
THIS IS NOW...Sonia is a regular on TV and received widespread acclaim for her stage work in the West End adaptation of Grease. Sonia continues to perform gigs up and down the country.
THAT WAS THEN...Owen Paul is a Scottish singer songwriter and co-writer of one of the biggest tracks of 1986, My Favourite Waste Of Time...
THIS IS NOW...Owen continues to gig in the UK and Europe and has provided vocals for the enduring Mike & The Mechanics as well as a raft of successful theatre work.
KIM WILDE, MARTY WILDE & ROXANNE WILDE
KIM WILDE, MARTY WILDE &
THAT WAS THEN...The Wilde family need little introduction. Marty Wilde MBE was one of the biggest British rock n roll singers of the late 50's notching up 6 Top 10 singles and writing hits for artists as diverse as Lulu and Status Quo. His daughter Kim collaborated with son Ricky Wilde penning a series of hits throughout the 80's. Kids In America, her debut single set the pace for worldwide sales, Kim Wilde has sold over 10 million albums and 20 million singles. Kim also holds the record for being the most-charted British female solo act of the 1980s, with seventeen UK Top 40 hit singles. Roxanne has also had a widely impressive musical career although lower key working with the likes of Kylie Minogue.
THIS IS NOW...Kim continues a hugely successful recording and radio presenting career as well as an alternative one as a landscape gardener. Marty received an MBE in 2017 for services to music and continues to tour with his band The Wildcats.
LEEE JOHN OF IMAGINATION
LEEE JOHN OF IMAGINATION
THAT WAS THEN...Celebrating over 40 years in the entertainment industry, Leee John has been an all round artist, singer, writer, record producer. A timely meeting with famed producer Tony Swain in the early 1980's witnessed a collaboration that spawned many hit singles including Body Talk, Just An Illusion, Music And Lights and Flashback and laid the foundation for over 30 million album sales.
THIS IS NOW...Leee's role was in the production chair for the release of the widely acclaimed film Flashback in 2016. The film was a visual history of British black music which included over 80 interviews from musical royalty including Beverley Knight, Eddy Grant, Trevor Nelson, Omar, Geno Washington, Shalamar’s Jeffrey Daniels, Boney M’s Bobby Farrell and Ruby Turner.
THAT WAS THEN...Turning Japanese is one of those songs that is an instant floorfiller 40 years on and a track that set the band apart from the New Wave also rans of the time. An indie classic released in 1980 it saw the band release 2 albums in as many years and disband amidst poor support from their record label of the time.
THIS IS NOW...An impressive 39 years between albums sees The Vapors release their 3rd album Together in May 2020.
That Was Then... Harley played his first solo shows in 1972 at The Troubadour Club alongside folk greats such as John Martyn. By the end of 1972 with the folk scene proving less fruitful Harley put Cockney Rebel together. First hit Judy Teen hit Top 5 in March 1974 with Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me) in February 1975 reaching No.1
This Is Now... Harley gigs regularly worldwide and the multi million selling Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me) has now entered classic status and has been covered a multitude of times from bands such as Duran Duran.