Limahl live in England, 2007.
|Birth name||Christopher Hamill|
|Also known as||Limahl|
19 December 1958 |
Pemberton, Wigan, Lancashire, England
|Genres||Pop, synthpop, New Wave|
|Website||Official British Website
Official German Website
Christopher Hamill (born 19 December 1958), better known by his stage name Limahl (an anagram of Hamill), is an English pop singer. He rose to fame as the lead singer of the 1980s pop group Kajagoogoo, before embarking on a briefly successful solo career, which reached its peak with the 1984 hit "The NeverEnding Story", the theme song for the film of the same name.
Early years and Kajagoogoo
Hamill was born in Pemberton, Wigan, a town in Greater Manchester in the north west of England. He attended Abraham Guest High School, in Wigan, and worked in a hair salon in Bolton  before eventually enrolling at the Westcliff-on-Sea Palace Theatre Repertory Company. With aspirations to be an actor, Hamill toured with the company in a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. In 1980, he was given a small role in an episode of the ITV police series The Gentle Touch playing a schoolboy. In 1981, Hamill appeared as an extra in the promotional video for Adam and the Ants' number one UK single "Stand and Deliver".
Although his acting career never really took off, Hamill also had a keen interest in music, forming a short-lived punk band called Vox Deus. Next he joined Crossword, but after a brief period left them to form Brooks with Mike Nolan. He adopted his stage name (an anagram of his surname) at the time he was recruited by the existing members of Kajagoogoo, who were then performing under the name Art Nouveau.
The four members of Art Nouveau, the band who were yet to become Kajagoogoo, had placed an advert in the music magazine Melody Maker, asking for a 'front man who could sing and look good'. Hamill attended the audition and subsequently joined the band which was then, after some deliberation, renamed Kajagoogoo. Soon after he had joined, Limahl met Nick Rhodes, keyboardist of the group Duran Duran, while Limahl was working as a waiter at the Embassy Club in London. Rhodes agreed to co-produce the band's first single, "Too Shy".
Limahl later said: "I met Nick Rhodes and it changed my life." Kajagoogoo signed a deal with EMI, due in part to Rhodes' involvement with the band, and the single "Too Shy" was released in January 1983. It went to Number 1 in the UK Singles Chart and made the Top 5 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
The band had further hits with "Ooh to Be Ah" (UK No. 7) and "Hang on Now" (UK No. 11), with their debut album White Feathers reaching UK No. 5. Their first major UK tour was attended by 60,000 people, and the final show at the Hammersmith Odeon in London was recorded and released on home video/Laserdisc (the 16-track White Feathers Tour).
In mid-1983, soon after the end of the White Feathers concert tour, the band fired him by telephone. Limahl accused the other bandmembers of being jealous of his prominence as lead singer, and was quoted in the press as saying that "I've been betrayed!", and that "I was sacked for making them a success".
Limahl later said of his sacking: "I was in utter disbelief but the overwhelming emotion was anger, mainly toward the manager at first but later as I mulled over the 'betrayal', I was especially angry at my four professional colleagues who I had viewed not only as friends but almost as family." The band themselves stated that Limahl had become something of an egomaniac and increasingly difficult to work with as they didn't share his vision for the band's future. Soon after Limahl's departure, bassist Nick Beggs commented that "It was a business decision and not one we took lightly. He wanted the band to go in a different direction to the rest of us. Eventually, we realised we were on a different planet to Limahl." Beggs also stated that the band harboured no ill-will towards Limahl, and blamed the press for sensationalising the matter. Guitarist Steve Askew commented "At first...we did everything possible to make Limahl feel like part of the furniture but, you know, his lifestyle is so different from ours. We're very normal people whereas Limahl likes the bright lights."
After leaving the band, Limahl launched a solo career, achieving hits with "Only for Love"(UK No. 16) in 1983, and with "The NeverEnding Story" (UK No. 4) in 1984. The latter was the title theme from the film of the same name, composed by Giorgio Moroder. The English version was sung with Beth Anderson, though public appearances were performed with David Bourke. The French version (titled "L'histoire sans fin") was performed with Ann Calvert, with translated lyrics by Pierre-André Dousset. The single reached the Top 5 in several countries and was number one in Spain, Sweden, and Norway.
His debut album, 1984's Don't Suppose, was a commercial failure in the UK, peaking at No.63, though was better received in Continental Europe with it topping the Norwegian album chart and reaching the Top 10 in Austria, Sweden and Switzerland.
Unable to replicate the success of his earlier career, Limahl hit hard times and was later photographed coming out of an unemployment office in the UK. The pictures were published in a British Sunday newspaper, highlighting how "the once mighty can fall". He was also ridiculed by the British Viz comic, which satirised him as 'Limahl, whose hit includes "Too Shy"'.
In the late 1990s, Limahl started making club appearances. Wearing an orange wig similar to his original Kajagoogoo hairstyle, he performed hits from his time with Kajagoogoo and from his solo career.
In late 2003, Limahl briefly reunited with the other members of Kajagoogoo for the VH1 special Bands Reunited (which aired in 2004), but this did not lead to a permanent reunion. Also in 2004, Limahl took part in the musical reality show Comeback on German TV channel Pro7. A year later, in 2005, he appeared in a similar UK show, Hit Me Baby One More Time on ITV. The episode in which Limahl appeared also featured Howard Jones, who had enlisted the services of Kajagoogoo bass player Nick Beggs to support him during his own performance.
Limahl eventually reunited with Kajagoogoo again in 2008. Now reformed in their original five-piece line-up, the band took part in various music festivals in Denmark and Scotland, and performed in other parts of Europe. In August 2008, after the cancellation of a concert in the Czech Republic due to organizational problems (and not due to any of the bands or artists involved), the band then performed in Poland in a concert of 'stars of the 1980s', sharing the stage with Kim Wilde, Thomas Anders (ex-Modern Talking), Samantha Fox, Sandra, Sabrina, and Shakin' Stevens. This concert was a part of the Sopot Festival 2008, and was broadcast live on Polish channel TVN. The band then began writing and recording new material, and embarked on tours of the UK and Germany in September 2009.
Limahl also played a concert in Ferry Meadows, Peterborough, England on 8 August 2009 where he sang his two biggest hits, "Too Shy" and "The NeverEnding Story", alongside covers of 1980s hits "Gold", "True", "It Must Be Love", "What Is Love", "Hello", "Just Can't Get Enough", "I Won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me", "Tainted Love" and "Karma Chameleon".
In 2008, he formed a 10-piece musical band, Limahl and his Swing Orchestra, with a series of swing remakings of well-known Limahl and Kajagoogoo songs. This show was the opening performance for the return of Kajagoogoo in December, where they once again played as a full line-up at The Stables in Milton Keynes.
In 2009, Kajagoogoo played 'The Space Cadet' Tour of the UK. This year was ended with another concert at The Stables, Milton Keynes.
In 2010, the full Kajagoogoo line-up played two festivals, Rewind at Henley and the Midland Music Festival at Tamworth.
In 2011, fan site KajaFax initiated the release of "Death Defying Headlines" as a digital single, taking on all the promotion themselves. Limahl and drummer Jez Strode both appeared on television to promote the release with the KajaFax administrators.
Limahl returned in 2012 with a brand new single called "1983", co-written/produced with Norwegians Tommy Olsen, Rune Maurtvedt and Stig Antonsen. The track has been released worldwide by Dig Music (Norway) on 10 January 2012. The release date was the same as "Too Shy" by Kajagoogoo 29 years earlier.
In November 2012, he appeared on ITV's I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! and he came in as a late-entrant contestant alongside Rosemary Shrager, spending a night together in an overnight challenge, to win the camp tea and biscuits. He did not form any great relationships with anybody in the camp, with many camp mates arguing with him at some point during the show. He was voted out of the jungle on 22 November 2012 and was the second celebrity to leave (after Nadine Dorries), finishing in 10th place out of 12 celebrities.
Now openly gay, Limahl once shared a flat with disc jockey Paul Gambaccini (who is also author of the first official Kajagoogoo biography, songbook and photobook), leading to rumours in the tabloid press that the two were lovers.
- 1984: Don't Suppose (EMI) (UK No. 63)
- 1986: Colour All My Days (EMI)
- 1992: Love Is Blind (Bellaphon/Jimco) [Germany/Japan only – Japanese version also includes 2 bonus dub versions]
- 1983: "Only for Love" (UK No. 16, U.S. No. 51, GER No. 8, Switzerland No. 5)
- 1984: "Too Much Trouble" (UK No. 64, GER No. 26)
- 1984: "The NeverEnding Story" (UK No. 4, US No. 17, GER, ITA, Austria No. 2, Sweden No. 1, Norway No. 1, Switzerland No. 3)
- 1984: "The NeverEnding Story (L'histoire sans fin)" (FRA No. 7[French version – France only]
- 1985: "Tar Beach (7" Remix)" (GER No. 30) [Germany only]
- 1986: "Love in Your Eyes" (UK No. 80, GER No. 28, ITA No. 22, Switzerland No. 26)
- 1986: "Inside to Outside" (GER No. 57)
- 1986: "Colour All My Days" [Spain only]
- 1986: "No lo pienses más" [Spanish version of "Colour All My Days" – Spain only]
- 1986: "Don't Send For Me"
- 1992: "Stop (7" Version)" [released as 'Bassline featuring Limahl' – Germany/Japan only]
- 1992: "Maybe This Time" [released as 'Bassline featuring Limahl' – Germany/Japan only]
- 1992: "Too Shy '92" [Germany/Japan only]
- 1992: "Love Is Blind" [Germany/Japan only]
- 1996: "Walking in Rhythm" [cover version of the 1970s hit by The Blackbyrds – released as 'Shy Guy featuring Limahl']
- 2002: "Love That Lasts"/"Lost in Love" (Limahl/Tina Charles double A-side single) [released as 'Discobrothers Presenting Stars of the Eighties featuring Limahl & Tina Charles' – Germany only]
- 2006: "Tell Me Why" (GER No. 96) [Germany only]
- 2012: "1983"
- 2012: "London For Christmas"
- 1980: "It's Christmas" [released as Chris Hamill]
- 1980: "Angel" [released as Chris Hamill]
- 1999: "Then Suddenly (Almighty Remix)" [from the 12-track sampler 12" of Pleasure – The Ultimate Dance Party featuring various artists]
- 2004: "Survivor" [released collectively as Comeback United, and performed along with the other contestants from the German reality show Comeback – Germany only]
- 2004: "The Never Ending Story"/"Can You Feel the Love Tonight" [from the double CD Best of Comeback United – Germany only]
- 2004: "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" [released as a duet by Limahl & Dynelle from CD2 of the double greatest hits Best of Comeback United – Germany only]
- 2006: "Too Shy (Club Mix – Extended Version)"/"Too Shy (Club Mix – Remix)" [released as Limahl vs. Julien Créance – France only]
- 2001: "A View to a Kill"/"The NeverEnding Story"/"Pinball Wizard"/"Can You Feel the Love Tonight" [solo tracks performed by Limahl from the compilation entitled What a Feeling II – The Rock'n'Pop Musicals in Concert from the musical of the same name]
- 2001: "Dancing Queen"/"Mamma Mia" [tracks performed as duets by Limahl and Melanie Marcus from the What a Feeling II – The Rock'n'Pop Musicals in Concert soundtrack album from the musical of the same name]
- 2001: "Seasons of Love"/"Fame" [tracks performed collectively by Limahl, Melanie Marcus, Gwen Dickey and Dylan Turner from the What a Feeling II – The Rock'n'Pop Musicals in Concert soundtrack album from the musical of the same name]
Main solo compilations
- 1996: The Best of Limahl (Disky Communications Europe) *
- 2002: Never Ending Story (Disky Communications Europe) **
- 2003: Best of Limahl (Silver Star) *
- 1999: Limahl (Laser Light Digital)
- 2003: All the Hits plus More
- 2006: Never Ending Story (ZYX)
- 2008: Greatest Hits Reloaded (ZYX)
- Compilation of re-recorded solo and Kajagoogoo tracks, notable for the inclusion of Kajagoogoo and Kaja songs not originally sung by Limahl. Limahl later regretted their inclusion. Two new tracks ("Rhythm of Love" and "Lost in Love") were also featured. The 2006 version – Never Ending Story, also included "Tell Me Why".
- "Limahl". Artistbookingagents.com. 1958-12-19. Retrieved 2012-12-15.
- =thesun.co.uk">"My first holiday by Limahl". The Sun. 2012-12-04.
- "Theatre Part 2". Limahl. Retrieved 2012-12-15.
- "miscellaneous: Playing the part of a schoolboy in 'The Gentle Touch' for London Weekend Television, in the plot we were caught watching porn movies by his mother". Limahl.com. Retrieved 2012-12-15.
- "Limahl - Latest festivals, news, tickets and more". Ukfestivalguides.com. 1958-12-19. Retrieved 2012-12-15.
- "Kajagoogoo - Finding Success Part 2". Limahl. Retrieved 2012-12-15.
- "KajaGooGoo Tour Review Friars Aylesbury May 1983 «". Kajafax.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-12-15.
- "Kajagoogoo - The Split". Limahl. Retrieved 2012-12-15.
- Steels, Deborah (15 September 1983). "The Fruit Case (Kajagoogoo interview))". Smash Hits (EMAP Metro) 5 (19): p41–42.
- Norwegian Charts.com
- Steffen Hung. "Limahl - Don't Suppose". norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 2012-12-15.
- Cooke, Jon B. "The Art of Arthur Adams", Reprinted from Comic Book Artist No. 17, 15 November 2001
- Dingwall, John (21 February 2008). "I've had surgery to look good for my fans, admits Limahl". Daily Record. Archived from the original on 13 June 2008. Retrieved 14 July 2008
- "Geburtstagskinder" (PDF). GAB (in German). p. 4. Retrieved 22 March 2009.
- "Limahl’s seasonal tune bid". Wigan Today. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
- Best of Comeback United, the double greatest hits CD from the German reality show Comeback, features the biggest hits of the contestants on CD1 and the best from the Comeback reality show on CD2, and totally includes 4 tracks either by or featuring Limahl, i.e. "The Never Ending Story", "Can You Feel the Love Tonight", "Dont Go Breaking My Heart" as a duet with Dynelle, and "Survivor" as sung collectively, along with the other contestants from the show. The double album peaked at Number 15 in the German charts, reaching Number 541 in the final 'Charts of the Year 2004' in Germany.
- The compilation entitled What a Feeling II – The Rock'n'Pop Musicals in Concert is the original soundtrack from the musical of the same name, starring Limahl, Melanie Marcus, Gwen Dickey (formerly of the Rose Royce), Dylan Turner, and the 4 the Boys. The front cover of the soundtrack album describes the records as 'the original cast recording of the new show featuring hit songs from the hit movies and musicals'. The track listing totally includes 20 tracks, 4 of which are solo performances by Limahl, 2 are duets by Limahl and Melanie Marcus, 2 are sung by Limahl, Melanie Marcus, Gwen Dickey and Dylan Turner. As for the rest, 5 tracks are performed by Gwen Dickey, 3 are by Melanie Marcus, 1 is by 4 the Boys, 1 is by Dylan Turner, and, finally, 2 are generically credited to 'Cast', but not featuring Limahl. The soundtrack, recorded at the Oxford Apollo Theatre, in October 2000, and produced and mixed by Stuart Epps, at the Snake Ranch Studios, in London, was released in the UK on Demon Music Group Ltd./Flying Music labels.
||This article's further reading may not follow Wikipedia's content policies or guidelines. Please improve this article by removing excessive, less relevant or many publications with the same point of view; or by incorporating the relevant publications into the body of the article through appropriate citations. (December 2010)|
- Paul Gambaccini, Tim Rice, Jonathan Rice (1993), British Hit Singles, 9th edition, Guinness Publishing Ltd.
- Paul Gambaccini (1983), Kajagoogoo (biography, White Feathers album songbook, and photobook)
- Kajagoogoo | Billboard.com: Biography & Discography
- Stuck in the '80s | tampabay.com: Archives
- Limahl Official British Website (in English)
- Limahl Online YouTube site
- UK Fan site for Kajagoogoo and Limahl