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Classix Nouveaux were an English 1980s New Wave band. They had number one hits in PolandPortugalYugoslaviaIsraelIceland, and other countries. In the UK they had various Top 50 successes, but only one Top 20 hit with "Is It A Dream", which peaked at No. 11 on the UK Singles Chart in April 1982.


Formation[edit source | editbeta]Edit

The breakup of X-Ray Spex triggered an advertisement placed in Melody Maker, searching for a new lead singer.[2] Sal Solo (formerly with The News) answered the advertisement. Jak Airportand B.P. Hurding left X-Ray Spex to form Classix Nouveaux with Mik Sweeney and Sal Solo. Their first gig was on 25 August 1979 at Camden Palace. With publicity growing for the band, their dramatic and heavily made-up image quickly helped associate them with the New Romantic movement, alongside bands such as Japan and Ultravox.[3] Jak Airport was replaced by Gary Steadman during the same year.

In 1980, the band recorded a four track session for Capital Radio and one track, "Robot's Dance", was played regularly by DJ Nicky Horne. This got the interest of A&R at United Artists, but as negotiations dragged on Classix decided to release the track as their debut single on their own ESP label. "Robot's Dance" was released on 29 August and, when negotiations with UA were finalised, by EMI.[4] They also performed for the first time on television on Thames TV inLondon. "Robot's Dance" spent eleven weeks on the UK Indie Chart, reaching No. 22, and became a popular alternative dance floor track.

Golden years[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Classix Nouveaux had a dramatic appearance and band members wore a lot of make-up. As soon as new romantic movement started gaining popularity Classix Nouveau was associated with it along with a few more experienced bands like Japan and Ultravox. Early 1981 first Classix Nouveaux album Night people was released along with two moderate synth pop hits Guilty and TokyoGuilty became an international hit reaching TOP 20 in Sweden. In September 1981 Classix Nouveaux hired a Finnish guitarist Jimi Sumen to replace Gary Steadman. Jimi Sumen had been spotted from a warm up act at their Helsinki gig.

The second Classix Nouveaux album brought the band its biggest hits. La vérité was released in 1982 and the single release Is it a dream brought the group it's only British TOP 20 peaking at 11. Another single release was Because you're young, peaking at 43 in the UK. The world tour included e.g. India.

The third and last Classix Nouveaux album Secret was released in 1983, produced by Alex Sadkin.

Classix Nouveau was one of the first Western bands to play in Poland and the band's most devoted fans were found in that country. The biggest crowd consisted of 25.000 listeners in Helsinki, 1983.

Breakup[edit source | editbeta]Edit

After line-up changes in 1984 Sal Solo was the only original member remaining. Jimi Sumen was replaced by Rick Driscoll and BP Hurding by Paul Turley.

After Classix Nouveaux's break up in 1985 Solo went on to record and perform with French/Italian space-rock and electronic band Rockets during 1983-84, before becoming heavily involved in Catholicism, and releasing several Christian-oriented albums.

Mik Sweeney moved to Los AngelesCalifornia where he built fretless basses and did studio session work; he currently lives in Ireland. Gary Steadman went on to join A Flock of Seagulls. Jimi Sumen became a record producer inFinland and released a number of solo works there.

The first Classix Nouveaux compilation album was released in 1997 via EMI Records and was reissued with a slightly different track listing in 2003. Beginning that same year, the band's original albums saw reissue on CD by Cherry Red Records. In 2005 River Records released The River Sessions, a live album recorded at Strathclyde University in 1982 and, in January 2010, all the band's singles and associated B-sides saw release as The Liberty Singles Collection, again via Cherry Red Records.

Discography[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Night People[edit source | editbeta]Edit

In 1981, the band released their debut album, Night People, featuring the single "Guilty".

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. ""Foreward""   Sal Solo, Mik Sweeney 3:25
2. ""Guilty""   Solo 4:42
3. ""Run Away""   Solo 2:42
4. ""No Sympathy No Violins""   Solo, Sweeney 4:07
5. ""Inside Outside""   Solo, Sweeney 4:21
6. ""623 Degrees""   Classix Nouveaux 2:30
7. ""Every Home Should Have One""   Solo, Sweeney 3:55
8. ""Tokyo""   Solo, Sweeney 2:39
9. ""Or a Movie""   Solo 4:32
10. ""Soldier""   Solo, Sweeney 3:46
11. ""The Protector of Night""   Solo 5:23
Bonus tracks on 2003 CD release
No. Title Writer(s) Length
12. ""Robot's Dance""   Solo 3:56
13. ""Nasty Little Green Men""   Solo 3:16
14. ""Test Tube Babies""   Solo 2:47
15. ""Night People""   Solo 3:54
16. ""Old World For Sale""   Solo 2:37
17. ""627""   Solo 2:31
18. ""We Don't Bite""   Solo 3:24

La Vérité[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Releasing their next album, La Verité, in 1982, led to the release of their highest UK chart single, "Is It A Dream". The band toured worldwide.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. ""Foreward""   Sal Solo 1:08
2. ""Is It a Dream""   Sal Solo 4:16
3. ""To Believe""   Solo, Mik Sweeney 3:46
4. ""Because You're Young""   Solo 3:47
5. ""Six To Eight""   Solo 1:58
6. ""La Verité""   Solo 5:12
7. ""Never Again""   Solo, Sweeney 4:06
8. ""It's All Over""   Solo 3:55
9. ""1999""   Solo, Sweeney 3:45
10. ""I Will Return""   Solo, Sweeney 5:43
11. ""Finale""   Solo 2:34
Bonus tracks on 2002 CD release
No. Title Writer(s) Length
12. ""It's Not Too Late""   Solo, Sweeney 3:23
13. ""Where To Go""   Solo, Sweeney 3:14

Secret[edit source | editbeta]Edit

In 1983 the album Secret was released, produced by Alex Sadkin, featuring tracks such as "Never Never Comes" and "Heart From The Start". They become one of the first modern bands to perform in communist Poland.[citation needed]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. ""All Around The World""   Classix Nouveaux 4:21
2. ""Manitou""   Classix Nouveaux 3:51
3. ""Heart From the Start""   Classix Nouveaux 3:31
4. ""The Fire Inside""   Classix Nouveaux 3:50
5. ""Forever and a Day""   Solo, Sweeney 3:39
6. ""Never Never Comes""   Classix Nouveaux 2:58
7. ""The Unloved""   Classix Nouveaux 5:19
8. ""When They All Have Gone""   Classix Nouveaux 6:00
9. ""No Other Way""   Classix Nouveaux 4:48
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