Curiosity Killed the Cat

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For the proverb, see Curiosity killed the cat.
Curiosity Killed the Cat
Cktc-ben1.jpg
Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot of Curiosity Killed the Cat at the Lafayette Parc Hotel, Lafayette, California – 1987
Background information
Also known as Curiosity
Origin London, England
Genres Sophisti-pop, jazz-funk, synthpop, new wave
Years active 1984–1992, 2000s
Labels Mercury, RCA
Past members Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot (vocalist)
Julian Godfrey Brookhouse (guitarist)
Nick Thorpe (bassist)
Migi Drummond (drummer)

Curiosity Killed the Cat was a British pop band that found success in the UK Singles Chart in the late 1980s and early 1990s.[1]

Career[edit]

The band played soulful, jazzy and funky pop music[2][3] and was initially signed to Phonogram Records' Mercury imprint. They first came to notice of the UK music press when they worked with Andy Warhol for the video of the 1986 single "Misfit". This featured the band in New York and at one point featured frontman Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot dancing down a side street whilst Andy Warhol referenced Bob Dylan's 1965 long-form promotional film for "Subterranean Homesick Blues" by dropping pieces of white card in time to the music. (The Dylan film clip and its concepts have since been popularly imitated by a number of other artists, including INXS in their video for "Mediate" in 1988).

The band's first album, Keep Your Distance, entered the UK Albums Chart at number one in May 1987, and stayed in the Top Ten for 13 weeks, although the release of that album's "Free" as a single only reached number 56 in the UK Singles Chart.[1] Just before that, a re-release of the first single, "Misfit", had reached Number 7, continuing the group's Top Ten placement which ended with "Free".[1] "Misfit" was also their only U.S. chart single, peaking at number 42.

The band's second album, Getahead, was led by an upbeat funky track called "Name and Number". This record was a hit, reaching number 14 in 1989,[1] but the "Hey How You Doin'" refrain would find itself in the Top Ten two years later as part of the De La Soul song "Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)".

After the lacklustre performance of Getahead and second single "First Place", Curiosity (as they were now billed) found themselves dropped from Mercury Records. However, three years after the release of that single they returned to the UK Top Ten as a three piece on RCA Records, with a cover of Johnny Bristol's "Hang on in There Baby".[1] However, the band's follow ups (covers of "I Need Your Lovin'" and "Gimme the Sunshine") flopped, which resulted in the album Back to Front only being released in Japan and selected overseas markets.

In the 2000s, the band reformed for an appearance on a National Lottery midweek show on BBC 1, and since then Volpeliere has toured under the name Curiosity Killed the Cat, on a number of 1980s revival packages.[citation needed]

Band members[edit]

Volpelierre-Pierrot was best known for wearing a beret in most pictures of the band. He later revealed it was in fact a peaked fisherman's hat, turned round with the peak to the rear so that it resembled a beret. Ben VP (as he was billed on a number of solo singles in the mid 1990s) was frequently referred to as Ben Vol-au-vent-Parrot in Smash Hits magazine. He also appeared as a male model on the front of Mike Read's Pop Quiz board game.

In 1995, Migi Drummond and Nick Thorp set up Naked Records which was acquired a year later by software maker Eidos Plc.

Toby Anderson co-wrote all tracks and played keyboards on the album Keep Your Distance. Session guitarist/keyboard player Mike McEvoy (Michael J McEvoy) co-wrote the songs on their Getahead album and Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro played on three tracks ("Cascade", "Can't Grow Trees on Money" and "Who Are You").

Albums[edit]

Curiosity Killed the Cat[edit]

Curiosity[edit]

  • 1992 - Back to Front

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak positions Album
UK
[4]
IRE NED BEL
(FLA)
GER
[5]
AUT SWI ITA SWE NZ US
[6]
1986 "Misfit" 76 Keep Your Distance
"Down To Earth" 3 5 14 24 32 13
1987 "Ordinary Day" 11 13 31 24 17 42
"Misfit" (reissue) 7 8 48 53 13 42
"Free" 56 26
1989 "Name & No." 14 16 31 11 Getahead
"First Place" 86
1992 "Hang On In There Baby" 3 10 38 42 38 25 31 32 Back To Front
(as "Curiosity")
"I Need Your Lovin'" 47 55
1993 "Work It Out" (GER only)
"Gimme The Sunshine" 73
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 130. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ Keep Your Distance at AllMusic
  3. ^ Get Ahead at AllMusic
  4. ^ "Official Charts Company: Curiosity Killed the Cat". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  5. ^ "Curiosity Killed the Cat - German Chart". charts.de. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  6. ^ "Curiosity Killed the Cat - US Hot 100 Chart". billboard.com. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 

External links[edit]