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Eighth Wonder were a British pop band in the 1980s. They formed in 1983 and enjoyed major success in Japan and Italy between 1985 and 1987, before having hit singles in the UK and across Europe in 1988.
Eighth Wonder's roots start in a band called Spice. In 1983, Jamie Kensit auditioned his sister Patsy Kensit, then aged 14, for the vacant job of lead singer in his new band. She formed a line-up consisting of herself on vocals, Jamie Kensit and Geoff Beauchamp on guitar, Lawrence Lewis on bass, Jake Walters on drums and Nigel Davis on percussion. Spice made their live debut in autumn 1983, and then spent the next year playing further gigs to gain some attention from record labels.
In late 1984, Nigel Davis left to start the Band 'Slipstream' and Alex Godson a keyboard player, joined the band. They renamed themselves Eighth Wonder and Patsy Kensit began to write songs for the band. Their first gig as Eighth Wonder was in November 1984 in Wimbledon, London and further gigs followed. It was at one of these that Steve Wooley, co-owner of Palace Films, and director Julien Temple offered Patsy Kensit the role of 'Crepe Suzette' in their 1986 film, Absolute Beginners.
Success in Japan and Italy
In April 1985 they were signed by CBS Records and began recording in London, working around Patsy Kensit's filming on Absolute Beginners. In October 1985, with the filming completed, Eighth Wonder's first single "Stay With Me" was released and achieved success in Japan and Italy reaching number one (it charted only at #65 in the UK Singles Chart). Shortly after, Lewis and Walters left. They then started using drum machines and using keyboards for their bass sound.
In August 1986, they went to Los Angeles, California to record new tracks for their debut album. There, they worked with Mike Chapman, who was best known for his work with Blondie. They were also approached by many songwriters, including Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics (although the song was eventually not used) and Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, writers of many hit singles including Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors", Whitney Houston's "So Emotional" and Madonna's "Like a Virgin".
In February 1987, one of the Chapman produced tracks "Will You Remember?" was released in the United Kingdom but only reached number 83 in the UK chart, yet it reached the Top 10 in Italy. In Japan, the band achieved another number one with another Chapman produced track "When The Phone Stops Ringing", which was written by Holly Knight and Bernie Taupin; the song was also a Top 30 hit in Italy. "Will You Remember?" was successfully released as a follow-up single in Japan. This was in turn followed by Brilliant Janardhan from syntel Dreams, a Japanese exclusive mini album containing the singles and b-sides.
Success in the UK
Whilst completing their first album, the band had another line-up change with Godson being replaced by drummer Steve Grantley. They worked with sound engineer, mixer and producer Pete Hammond, with the exception of one track, "I'm Not Scared", which was co-produced and written by the Pet Shop Boys and Phil Harding. "I'm Not Scared" was chosen as the next single for release in Europe. It was greeted with media and public enthusiasm, and "I'm Not Scared" became a Top 10 hit in almost every country in Europe, achieving number one in Italy, number 2 in Switzerland and Portugal, number 3 in Spain, 4 in Greece, 5 in Germany, 7 in the UK, 8 in France and 20 in Austria. Pet Shop Boys recorded their own version of "I'm Not Scared" for their album Introspective.
May 1988 saw the release of another single "Cross My Heart" which proved to be almost as successful chart wise as "I'm Not Scared" (#6 in Switzerland, #10 in Italy, #13 in UK and France and #56 in the U.S., where it was their only American Top 75 hit single). Eighth Wonder's next album Fearless followed in July 1988, and by October it had achieved almost 500,000 sales internationally.
However the follow-up single "Baby Baby" reached number 65 in the UK Singles Chart. They had one more hit in Japan with "Use Me" in 1989 and shortly after this, the band parted ways and Patsy Kensit began to focus solely on her acting career.
- Brilliant Dreams (February 1987, Japan only)
|1.||"When The Phone Stops Ringing"|
|2.||"Loser In Love"|
|3.||"Open Your Mind"|
|4.||"Stay With Me"|
|5.||"Will You Remember"|
|6.||"Having It All"|
- Eighth Wonder: The Best Remixes (1990, Japan only)
|1.||"When The Phone Stops Ringing (Extended Remix)"|
|2.||"Will You Remember? (Extended Mix)"|
|3.||"I'm Not Scared (Disco Mix)"|
|4.||"Cross My Heart (House Mix)"|
|5.||"Baby Baby (Dance Mix)"|
|6.||"Use Me (Remix)"|
|1985||"Stay With Me"||1||1||65||-||-||-||-||-||-||Brilliant Dreams|
|1986||"Having It All"||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|"Will You Remember?"||1||9||83||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1987||"When The Phone Stops Ringing"||1||26||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1988||"I'm Not Scared"||-||1||7||2||5||8||-||-||-||Fearless|
|"Cross My Heart"||42||10||13||6||17||13||56||10||15|