Amazulu (band)

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Amazulu
Origin London, England
Genres Pop, ska, art rock, reggae
Years active 1982–1988
Labels Island
Associated acts Coming Up Roses
Members Anne-Marie Ruddock
Margo Sagov
Clare Kenny
Nardo Bailey
Sharon Bailey
Lesley Beach

Amazulu were a British ska / pop band from the 1980s. Composed of five females and one male, they achieved success in the UK charts with four top twenty hits - the biggest of these being "Too Good to Be Forgotten" in 1986.

Career[edit]

Early days and success[edit]

The name Amazulu is taken from the Zulu language word for the Zulu people. The band was started by Sharon Bailey along with Rose Minor, who was the original lead singer. Bailey was also the original manager of the band. All members were female, except for the drummer, Nardo Bailey. Falcon Stuart, the former manager of X-Ray Spex and Adam and the Ants, discovered the act and helped promote their first single, "Cairo" to modest success in the UK, which included airplay from BBC Radio 1's John Peel.

The band started gaining appearances on television, including on The Young Ones (1984) and Top of the Pops (1985), which helped to widen their fame. They achieved hits that included "Excitable" and "Too Good to Be Forgotten". The band achieved a minor success in the United States with "Montego Bay" (a cover of the 1970 song by Bobby Bloom) in 1986. That same year saw the release of their eponymous full length album, on Island Records, although this failed to chart highly.[1]

Line up changes and break up[edit]

While initially a six-piece band, the group trimmed down to a trio of Anne-Marie Ruddock, Sharon Bailey and Lesley Beach during 1986 as they were enjoying their greatest success. In 1987 Beach left the band and Ruddock and Bailey continued as a duo for another year, scoring the minor hit "Mony Mony". Later from 1987 to 1989 Amazulu recorded their second album "Spellbound" which was released in designated Asian countries including Hong Kong in audio cassettes format under EMI records. The album contained the singles "Mony Mony", "Wonderful World Beautiful People" and "My Heart Belongs To You" (which was released under Ruddock's name only in 1988). In early 1988 they split.

Ruddock went on to perform in the Alex Cox film Straight to Hell. After travelling the world and living in Brazil and Rome, Sharon Bailey now divides her time between Buckinghamshire and New York. She owns her own business and has worked in social services. She drums from time to time and is still involved in the music industry. The band member who achieved the greatest subsequent success in music was Clare Kenny, who went on to join Coming Up Roses and eventually became a session player with Sinéad O'Connor, Shakespears Sister and Damien Dempsey.[2]

The band are mentioned in the song "Asbestos" by Suede, on their album Head Music.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
UK
[3]
NZ
[4]
SWE
[5]
Amazulu

[6]

97 31 37
Spellbound

[7]

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions Album
UK
[8]
BEL
[9]
GER
[10]
IRE
[11]
NED
[12]
NZ
[13]
SA
[14]
US
[15]
1983 "Cairo" Amazulu
"Smiley Stylee" Single Release Only
1984 "Moonlight Romance" Amazulu
1985 "Excitable" 12 18 29 41
"Don't You Just Know It" 15 24
1986 "The Things The Lonely Do" 43
"Too Good To Be Forgotten" 5 27 31 6 26 39
"Montego Bay" 16 14 16 90
"All Over The World"
1987 "Mony Mony" 38 9 Spellbound
"Wonderful World Beautiful People" 56 28

References[edit]

  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 21. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ Amazulu biography
  3. ^ "Amazulu UK Albums". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  4. ^ "Amazulu New Zealand Albums". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  5. ^ "Amazulu Swedish Albums" (in Swedish). swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  6. ^ "Amazulu Album". Discogs. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  7. ^ "Spellbound Album". Groove Collector. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  8. ^ "Amazulu UK Singles". chartstats.com. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  9. ^ "Amazulu Belgian Singles". Ultratop.be. ULTRATOP & Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  10. ^ "Amazulu German Singles". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  11. ^ "Amazulu Irish Singles". IRMA 2006 - 2008. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  12. ^ "Amazulu Dutch Singles". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  13. ^ "Amazulu New Zealand Singles". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  14. ^ "Amazulu South African Singles". rock.co.za. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  15. ^ "Amazulu US Singles". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-12-04.