Dear Enemy (band)

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Dear Enemy
Origin Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Genres Indie pop
Years active 1980–1988
Labels EMI
Capitol
Festival
Associated acts Stonewall
Little Heroes
The Missiles of Love
Past members see Members list

Dear Enemy were an Australian indie pop band formed in Melbourne in 1980[1] which had a Top 5 single, "Computer One", on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart from December 1983.[2][3] They released a studio album, Ransom Note in 1984 on EMI and Capitol Records, which peaked at No. 15 on the Kent Music Report Albums Chart, and they subsequently disbanded in 1988.[2][3]

Biography[edit]

Dear Enemy began life as a covers band called Stonewall.[4] They started playing original songs, and changed their name to Dear Enemy, towards the end of 1980.[1]

The name came from a Ginger Meggs comic strip - the hero receives letters from his rival which are always addressed to 'Dear Enemy'.[2][5]

Dear Enemy's original lineup was vocalist Ron Martini, guitarists Chris Langford and Les Barker (ex-Benders), piano player Peter Holden, bass player John Joyce and drummer Ian Morrison.[2][1] In early 1983, Martin Fisher (keyboads) and Peter Leslie (bass), both ex-Little Heroes, replaced Peter Holden and bass player at the time Nevio Aresca.[1]

The band had a strong following on the live circuit throughout 1981 and 1982, often playing four times a week.[1] In 1983 they signed a recording contract with the American label EMI/Capitol - one of the first Australian bands signed direct to an overseas label.[4] They recorded their debut album Ransom Note in the United States under the guidance of producer Peter McIan (Men at Work, Mondo Rock) - in fact the band were signed with the condition that Peter McIan oversee the recording sessions.[4] The impressive album generated three quality singles, the first of which "Computer One" (which was written in America by Langford and Fisher) proved to be Dear Enemy’s one and only major hit, peaking at No. 5 on the Australian charts in late 1983.[3] The follow-up single "The Good Life" stalled at No. 39 a few months later,[3] whilst the slide continued with the third single "Kids On The Street" failing to chart. Ransom Note sold more than 25,000 units and reached No. 15 on the national album charts.[3]

Dear Enemy released a new single a few months later with "New Hero", which featured on the soundtrack to the Australian motion picture Street Hero.[6] The single however only reached No. 93 on the charts.[3] A couple of lineup changes, with Joey Amenta replacing Barker in April, 1985, and two more flop singles, "Stay" and "You're Right, You're Right", followed over the next four years before Dear Enemy’s system crashed and they called it a day at the end of 1988. Dear Enemy did record tracks for a second album during this period but due to contract and legal problems the album didn’t see the light of day.[4] Ron Martini also released a CD entitled Big Night Out in 1996 with backing band The Missiles Of Love.

In 2000 EMI released a CD Best of Dear Enemy (Ransom Note and Beyond) which was a compilation of all the band's releases, this was followed in 2004 by a Best of, which was basically Ransom Note and the inclusion of the single "New Hero".

Members[edit]

  • Ron Martini - lead vocal (1980–1988)
  • Les Barker - lead guitar, vocals (1980–1985)
  • Chris Langford - guitar, vocals, harmonica (1980–1988)
  • Peter Holden - keyboards (1980–1982)
  • John Joyce - bass, vocals (1980–1982)
  • Nevio Aresca - bass (1982–1983)
  • Ian Morrison - drums (1980–1988)
  • Martin Fisher - keyboards (1983–1988)
  • Peter Leslie - bass (1983–1988)
  • Joey Amenta - guitar (1985)
  • Jerry Leigh - drums

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Ransom Note - EMI/Capitol (February, 1984) AUS No. 15
  • The Best of Dear Enemy (Ransom Note and Beyond) - EMI (2000)
  • The Best of Dear Enemy - EMI (2004)

Singles[edit]

  • "Computer One"/"Day to Day" - Capitol (December, 1983) AUS No. 15
  • "The Good Life"/On the Line" - Capitol (February, 1984) AUS No. 39
  • "Kids on the Street"/"Talking to You" - EMI/Capitol (May, 1984)
  • "New Hero"/"Billy's Theme" - Festival (1984) AUS No. 93
  • "Stay"/"Looking for Love" - EMI (August, 1986)
  • "You're Right, You're Right"/"Love Flows" - EMI (December, 1988)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e DEAR ENEMY - Billy Boy
  2. ^ a b c d McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Dear Enemy'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.  NOTE: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1970 until ARIA created their own charts in mid-1988.
  4. ^ a b c d "Dear Enemy program computer one for chart success". RetroUniverse. Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  5. ^ "Dear Enemy". Wize*Pro. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  6. ^ "Street Hero". Australian Television Memorabilia Guide. Retrieved 2008-12-19.