Classix Nouveaux

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Classix Nouveaux
Origin London, England
Genres New wave, post-punk
Years active 1979–1985
Labels EMI
Cherry Red Records
ESP Records
Associated acts The News
X-Ray Spex
Neo
Past members Sal Solo
Mik Sweeney
Jak Airport
B. P. Hurding
Gary Steadman
Jimi Sumen
Rick Driscoll
Paul Turley
Pandit Dinesh
S Paul Wilson

Classix Nouveaux were an English 1980s new wave band. Though experiencing only minor success in their native UK, most notably with their 1982 Top 20 hit "Is It a Dream", the band had number one hits in Poland, Portugal, Yugoslavia, Israel, Iceland, and other countries.

Formation[edit]

The break-up of X-Ray Spex triggered an advertisement placed in Melody Maker, searching for a new lead singer.[1] Sal Solo (formerly with The News) answered the advertisement. Jak Airport and 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 London's Music Machine nightclub (which would later become the Camden Palace & now called Koko). With publicity growing for the band, their dramatic and heavily made-up image led to the music press associating them with the burgeoning New Romantic movement.[1] 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 the United Artists record company (then part of the EMI group), but as negotiations dragged on, the band decided to release the track as their debut single on their own ESP label.[1] They also performed for the first time on television on Thames TV in London. "Robot's Dance" spent eleven weeks on the UK Indie Chart, reaching No. 22, and became a popular alternative dance floor track. The group's second single, "Nasty Little Green Men", followed on 10 November 1980.

Career[edit]

In 1981, the first Classix Nouveaux album Night People was released along with two moderately successful singles "Guilty" and "Tokyo". Both singles reached the UK Top 75, and "Guilty" reached the Top 20 in Sweden. The album itself peaked at #66 in the UK. In September 1981, Classix Nouveaux hired Finnish guitarist Jimi Sumen to replace Gary Steadman. Sumen had been a member of the support 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 hit, peaking at #11.[2] Their next single, "Because You're Young", peaked at #43 in the UK, while the album itself peaked at #44.

The third and final Classix Nouveaux album, Secret, was released in 1983, produced by Alex Sadkin. The album, and its singles, were unsuccessful in the UK, but the band had number one hit singles in Poland with "Never Never Comes" and "Heart from the Start". The band toured and played to 25,000 people in Helsinki, but by now Solo was the only original member remaining after Jimi Sumen was replaced by Rick Driscoll and BP Hurding was replaced by Paul Turley.

Break-up[edit]

Classix Nouveaux broke up in 1985, by which time Sal Solo had already begun a solo career. He had a UK Top 20 hit with "San Damiano" which reached #15 in early 1985. He released an album, Heart and Soul, the same year, and further singles, "Music and You" and "Forever Be", but none of these were successful. He went on to record and perform with the French/Italian space-rock and electronic band Rockets, before becoming heavily involved in Catholicism and releasing several Christian-oriented albums.

Mik Sweeney moved to Los Angeles, California where he built fretless bass guitars 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 in Finland 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]

Night People[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]

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]

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

Albums[edit]

UK Release Album UK[3]
May 1981 Night People 66
April 1982 La Verité 44
November 1983 Secret -
1997 The Very Best of Classix Nouveaux -
2003 The Very Best of Classix Nouveaux (reissue) -
2006 The River Sessions -
January 2010 The Liberty Singles Collection -

Singles[edit]

UK Release Song UK[3]
August 1980 "The Robots Dance" -
November 1980 "Nasty Little Green Men" -
February 1981 "Guilty" 43
April 1981 "Tokyo" 67
July 1981 "Inside Outside" 45
October 1981 "Never Again (The Days Time Erased)" 44
March 1982 "Is It A Dream" 11
May 1982 "Because You're Young" 43
October 1982 "The End...Or The Beginning" 60
1983 "Forever And A Day" -
1983 "Never Never Comes" -

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Sal Solo history - Classix Nouveaux SalSolo.com. Retrieved 14 Sept 2013]
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 110. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ a b Chartstats: Classix Nouveaux Chartstats.com. Retrieved 9 December 2010.

External links[edit]