Martin Fry

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Martin Fry
Martin Fry Canal Room 20060615.jpg
Martin Fry performing at the Canal Room in New York City, 2006
Background information
Born (1958-03-09) 9 March 1958 (age 56)
Origin Bramhall, Stockport, England
Occupations Singer, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, Keyboards
Years active 1975–present
Associated acts Vice Versa, ABC
Website www.abcmartinfry.com

Martin Fry (born 9 March 1958, Stockport, Cheshire[1]) is the lead singer (and currently the only member) of the British new wave band ABC.

Biography[edit]

He grew up in Bramhall, Stockport, alongside his younger brother Jamie (of Earl Brutus).[2]

ABC[edit]

Martin Fry first met up with future bandmates Mark White and Stephen Singleton while interviewing them for a fanzine that he edited called Modern Drugs. White and Singleton, then fronting a rock band called Vice Versa, invited Fry to join their band to play keyboard. The group changed its name to ABC and changed its sound to a synthpop style that at that time led them to be categorized with bands like Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, and The Human League.

Between 1982 and 1992, ABC recorded six studio albums (The Lexicon of Love, Beauty Stab, How to Be a...Zillionaire!, Alphabet City, Up and Abracadabra) and released a greatest hits compilation, Absolutely. During this time, the band went through numerous personnel changes, with Martin Fry and Mark White being the only permanent members.

Following the Zillionaire album, ABC temporarily disappeared from the limelight while Fry was treated for Hodgkin's disease.

ABC split up in 1992, with White leaving the music business to pursue an interest in Reiki therapy. Martin Fry continued to work with EMI in the months thereafter but was axed from the label before his solo material was released.

Fry resurrected the ABC name in 1997 for the album Skyscraping, a homage to several of his musical heroes, including David Bowie, Roxy Music and The Sex Pistols. The album was a collaboration with Glenn Gregory of Heaven 17 and Honeyroot's Keith Lowndes.

The band has toured extensively and performed live at events such as the 2001 Night of the Proms, where Fry was supported by a 72-piece orchestra and 50-piece choir.

In 2008, Fry released a new ABC album called Traffic.

In April 2009, Fry and original drummer David Palmer performed the Lexicon Of Love album at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The band was accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra. Anne Dudley of Art of Noise fame, who arranged and played keyboards on the original record, conducted the Royal Albert Hall performance.

Fry and Palmer (as ABC) toured the U.S. as part of the 2009 'Regeneration Tour',[3] which also featured Terri Nunn of Berlin, Wang Chung, and the Cutting Crew.

Other work[edit]

Fry (left) and Tony Hadley (right) performing in 2005
  • In 1989, Fry recorded a song called "Mythical Girl" with Arthur Baker for Baker's album Merge, a project that included songs with various artists, including Love Is the Message featuring Al Green.
  • Together with Mark White, Fry co-wrote and produced a couple of songs of Paul Rutherford's 1989 album Oh World.
  • In 1997, Fry contributed to David Arnold's Shaken and Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project, an album made up of re-recordings of James Bond movie themes featuring vocals by contemporary artists. The song Fry performed was the theme of Thunderball
  • Fry performed on one track of the 2001 'Re-members only' album by Sylk 130, the musical collective masterminded by DJ King Britt.
  • In 2005, Fry embarked on an extensive UK tour with Tony Hadley, former lead singer of popular 1980s Pop group Spandau Ballet. Highlights of the tour were released on CD and DVD compilations, both titled Tony Hadley vs. Martin Fry. The DVD is available in Europe, but has yet to be released in NTSC format.
  • Fry, Tony Hadley and Richard Drummie of Go West fame, together with manager John Glover, went on a trek to The Lost World in Venezuela in February 2006. The trek was a fundraiser for Action Medical Research who have funded the research into the polio vaccine, hip replacement surgery, Ultrasound scanning, the use of folic acid during pregnancy and other research. The 2006 campaign 'Touching Tiny Lives' aimed to further research into ways of preventing premature birth and the problems suffered by babies that are born prematurely. Fry, Hadley, Drummie and Glover aim to raise GBP 100,000 in sponsorship with this charity.
  • Fry appeared in the BBC Television program Just the Two of Us in February 2006. This was a reality TV competition in the style of Strictly Come Dancing, but this time with contestants (one celebrity being a famous singer, the other celeb being a novice) judged upon their singing skills as part of a duet. He was teamed with TV presenter Gaby Roslin and they were eliminated in the first show after battling the team of Nicky Campbell and Beverley Knight.
  • Fry was featured extensively in the 2006 VH1 mini-series 100 Greatest Songs of the 80's. When asked, Fry revealed that he hoped ABC's 1982 single "The Look of Love" would land a coveted slot in the Top 10. Despite his plea, the song was ranked No. 43.
  • Fry worked on several songs for the 2007 movie Music and Lyrics starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. Fry also served as Grant's vocal coach for the movie.[4]
  • Fry has a track called "New Man" on the Sonic Hub Eye of the Storm debut album. The song features a section of "Cars" by Gary Numan.
  • Fry toured the U.S. in the summer of 2008 with the Regeneration Tour 2008, a show that also featured the Human League as the headliners, Belinda Carlisle, A Flock of Seagulls, and Naked Eyes.
  • Fry appeared in Most Annoying Pop Songs Ever on BBC Three in a two part series, counting down on classic pop hits that 'stormed the charts and secured their place in our hearts ... as the most annoying pop songs'.
  • Fry was the third Magic Mystery Voice to be identified in a competition ending on 17 November 2010.
  • In 2012, Fry received an honorary doctorate from the University of Sheffield.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Paul Lester (15 November 2008). "Steel crazy: The Human League, ABC, Heaven 17". Living.Scotsman.com. Retrieved 10 July 2009. 
  2. ^ Frame, Pete. Pete Frame's Rockin' Around Britain: Rock'n'roll Landmarks of the UK and Ireland. Omnibus, 1999. ISBN 0-7119-6973-6, ISBN 978-0-7119-6973-5. BRAMHALL ABC 's Martin Fry and his younger brother Jamie (currently in Earl Brutus) grew up in this leafy middle- class suburb.
  3. ^ Regeneration.com
  4. ^ "ABC's Fry Is Hugh Grant's New Vocal Coach". Billboard. 2006. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 

External links[edit]