Modern Romance (band) - Band History

Band History

Geoffrey Deane and David Jaymes formed Modern Romance in 1980, having previously been the mainstays of the punk parody band the Leyton Buzzards which they formed in 1977. The Leyton Buzzards released a single ("19 and Mad") on the independent label Small Wonder, but this was unsuccessful. After winning a competition organised by the UK tabloid newspaper The Sun, part of the prize was a recording contract with Chrysalis Records. In 1979, the band released a single via Chrysalis entitled "Saturday Night Beneath The Plastic Palm Trees". Despite an appearance on Top of the Pops, this was also unsuccessful (peaking at no.53) and their working relationship with Chrysalis quickly soured after further unsuccessful releases. The band then split up though Deane and Jaymes continued working together, embracing the burgeoning electronic style of dance music that was becoming popular in London clubs at the time. They found a new manager and created a limited company called Business Art Productions, and signed to WEA Records. In 1980, their first release, eponymously titled "Modern Romance", was unsuccessful. After a second unsuccessful single, "Tonight", the band then opted to lessen the predominantly electronic sound in favour of a Latin-American dance style with emphasis on bass, percussion and brass. They recruited trumpet player John Du Prez into their new line-up. The band released a new single, "Everybody Salsa" in summer 1981, which reached the UK Top 20. They followed this later in the year with similarly themed "Ay Ay Ay Ay Moosey", which reached the UK Top 10. Despite these two hits, the band's debut album, Adventures in Clubland, was not a success. However, in the US they scored a number 2 hit on the Billboard Dance chart with "Can You Move", a mostly rap variation of "Everybody Salsa". After further UK Top 40 hits with "Queen of the Rapping Scene" and a cover of the 1955 hit "Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White", Deane departed the band in 1982 to pursue solo projects.

Michael J. Mullins took over the mantle of lead vocalist, and their next release saw the band reach their highest UK chart position with "Best Years of Our Lives" in late 1982. Further hits followed in 1983: "High Life" (UK No. 8), "Don't Stop That Crazy Rhythm" (UK No. 14), and the ballad "Walking in the Rain" (UK No. 7). Both "Best Years Of Our Lives" and "Walking In The Rain" earned Silver discs. Despite being regularly featured in teen pin-up magazines, the band's commercial hot streak waned and further singles were less successful. The band released a compilation album for the Christmas 1983 market entitled Party Tonight. Though it only peaked at No. 45 in the UK, it became their most successful album and was certified Gold for sales in excess of 100,000 copies within six weeks of release.

John Du Prez then left the band, and after a change of image - from bright coloured suits and wedge hairstyles to long hair and leather jackets - Modern Romance released a final album, Burn It!, in 1985. The album was received poorly and the band called it quits after releasing the stand-alone single "Tarzan Boy" - a cover of the Baltimora hit from earlier that year - and an anthology mix of their biggest selling songs titled Best Mix of Our Lives (also 1985).

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