(On the Return of The Fixx)
The Fixx is a British band that became popular during the peak of New Wave music in the 1980s for the singles “Red Skies,” “Secret Separation,” and “One Thing Leads to Another.”
The band disappeared from the commercial radar as the 1990s loomed, just like many other New Wave bands before and after them; but unbeknownst to many, The Fixx has released albums in the ensuing decades.
Now, The Fixx is back with an album of new materials—with the classic lineup of Cy Curnin (lead vocals), Rupert Greenall (keyboards), Jamie West-Oram (guitar), Adam Woods (drums), and Dan K. Brown (bass). Entitled Beautiful Friction, this album is their first since 2003.
The first single off Beautiful Friction is “Anyone Else,” which sounds unmistakably New Wave—owing to the repetitive staccato guitar melody in the intro, the slow buildup of the rest of the instruments, the synth sound in the background, and the distinct vocals that conjure a nostalgic image of familiar red skies. Other songs from the album that I personally liked are “Just before Dawn,” “What God?”, “Second Time Around,” and “Follow That Cab.” The overall music of The Fixx shares a similar feel with that of fellow New Wave bands like U2, Simple Minds, and Babybird.
The complete studio-album discography of The Fixx is as follows: Shuttered Room (1982), Reach the Beach (1983), Phantoms (1984), Walkabout (1986), Calm Animals (1988), Ink (1991), Elemental (1998), 1011 Woodland (1999), Want That Life (2003), and Beautiful Friction (2012).
The college friends Curnin and Woods formed The Portraits in 1979. After recruiting additional members, they changed their name to The Fix; then became The Fixx through the suggestion of the recording company that signed them—to dissociate the band’s name from the drug innuendo of the word ‘fix.’
Come On Back, Eileen!
(On the Return of Dexys Midnight Runners)
One of the victims of the derogatory appellation “one-hit wonders” (coined by some narrow-eared music journalists) in the New Wave genre is Dexys Midnight Runners—the British band behind the hit single “Come On, Eileen,” from the band’s second album.
I admit, my knowledge about this band back during the New Wave heyday in the 1980s and early ’90s was limited only to that song. However, in the 2000s, as part of my having become a music completist, I did my homework—I acquired the all three studio albums of the Dexys, and as usual, I discovered that there were more equally beautiful songs than Eileen: “Geno,” “Thankfully Not Living in Yorkshire It Doesn’t Apply,” “The Celtic Soul Brothers,” the Van Morrison cover “Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven when You Smile),” and “This Is What She’s Like.”
The music of Dexys Midnight Runners is best defined by the distinct voice of Rowland on a backdrop of a melange of Irish Folk, Celtic, Ska, and particularly North Soul music, complete with horns, piano, and fiddles.
Updating myself about the band, I found out that the midnight runners—now known simply as Dexys—have just released a new album after 27 years!
Once again, I surfed the ocean of the Internet and found the treasure I was looking for—Dexys’s latest, fourth album, entitled One Day I’m Going to Soar. My personal recommendations are “Free,” “I’m Always Going to Love You,” and “Incapable of Love.” In this new Dexys offering, Soul dominates their sound.
The band’s complete studio-album discography is as follows: Searching for the Young Soul Rebels (1980), Too-Rye-Ay (1982), Don’t Stand Me Down (1985), and One Day I’m Going to Soar (2012).
The re-formed Dexys is still led by founding member Kevin Rowland with Jimmy Paterson, Pete Williams, Neil Hubbard, Tim Cansfield, guest vocalist Madeleine Hyland, and Mick Talbot—yes, the same Mick Talbot formerly of The Style Council, whose association with Rowland stretches back to their beginnings in the late ’70s!