Tight Fit

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Tight Fit
Origin United Kingdom
Genres Pop, dance
Years active 1981–1983
2008–present
Labels Jive (1981–2011), Epic (2011–present)
Members Steve Grant
Denise Gyngell
Julie Harris
Past members Richard Scarfe
Martin Page
Brian Fairweather
Vicky Pemberton
Carol Stevens
Silvio Gigante

Tight Fit are a British pop group who had a number of hits in the early 1980s, including a UK No.1 (for three weeks) with their cover version of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" in 1982.[1] The group had two completely different line-ups - the first (a group of session singers) in 1981 and a male/female trio in 1982.

History[edit]

In 1981, record producer Ken Gold came up with the idea to record a single made up of a medley of 1960s songs. The medley trend was in full swing at this time, following the success of Starsound and their Stars on 45 singles. He put together a group of male/female session singers and released "Back to the 60s" under the group title, Tight Fit. The song became a hit in the summer and reached No.4 in the UK Singles Chart.[2] Instead of the sessions singers who sang on the record, a group of models were hired to mime to the recording when Tight Fit appeared on the BBC's music show Top of the Pops.[3] A follow-up, "Back to the 60s Part 2" was released soon after and also hit the UK Top 40.

Later in the year record producer Tim Friese-Greene recorded a version of the song "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" with another group of session singers. The song was released in early 1982, again under the name Tight Fit. The song gained instant attention and so a new group was formed to front it. Dancer, singer and male model Steve Grant was teamed up with female singers Denise Gyngell and Julie Harris. The song reached No.1 in the UK for three weeks in March 1982 and the line-up were catapulted into sudden and unexpected stardom.[4]

Satisfied that this line-up could actually sing in their own right, Friese-Greene produced their next single, "Fantasy Island" - a song by The Millionaires which had been in the Dutch Eurovision Song Contest heats. The song, in a very similar vein to pop group ABBA, also became a success and reached No.5 in May 1982.[5]

The group then set about recording an album as well as rehearsing for their first tour. A third single was released in August. "Secret Heart" was not as big as a success as the previous two and stalled at No.41.[6] The debut album was released soon after, but coincided with both Harris and Gyngell leaving the group. Both unhappy with their contract, they claimed that they were not receiving any royalties from their hits and were being paid a paltry wage for their work. Swiftly two new female singers, Vicky Pemberton and Carol Stevens, were employed to take their place and the group released another single, "I'm Undecided" - a song from the album, with new vocals. The song failed to make the UK Chart and this signalled the end of Tight Fit's brief pop stardom. In an interview, Harris stated that the public did not take to the new line-up and had she and Gyngell been still with the group, it would have likely been a hit.[citation needed]

The following year, Tight Fit released one more single - a cover of Stephen Stills' "Love The One You're With". Under the banner, Steve Grant with Tight Fit, the song completely missed the chart and the group duly split-up.

After Tight Fit[edit]

Grant, Harris and Gyngell all tried to launch music careers outside Tight Fit following their departures. Harris released two singles in 1983: "123" (not the same song as "One Two Three" which she sang on the Tight Fit album), under the name Julie and the Jems, and "Escargot a la Bongo" under the name Chopper Harris. Chopper Harris were contestants on The Freddie Starr Show Case and won their heat with the aforementioned song. They went on to come second in the final with the song "The Dolphin Dive". Gyngell teamed up with her two brothers under the name, He, She, Him, and released a single "Try a Little Tenderness". Grant released some solo singles ("Conviction" (with Earlene Bentley) and "Run for Cover") and in 1986 joined a male three-piece group, Splash!.[7] They released a single "Que-est ce que C'est", but like the others, also a failed to find any success. Grant's background was in musical theatre, to which he returned afterwards. In the 1980s he appeared in productions of On the Town and Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and in the 1990s he appeared in productions of Kiss Me, Kate and Miss Saigon at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London, where he was a part of the cast at various stages between 1992 and 1999, when the production closed. Since 1999 he has lived partly in London and partly in Southern Spain. For a number of years there was a rumour that Grant had died, but this is untrue. It has been suggested that the rumour originated in a mix-up with the lead singer of Baltimora (who died in 1995) due to the similarity of the image each portrayed in their most well-known hit.

Today[edit]

In 2008, members Denise Gyngell and Julie Harris reformed Tight Fit as a touring band, playing nightclubs around Britain.[8] In 2010 they are touring in a show called "Back to the Eighties", performing many well-known songs from the 1980s as well as their own hits.[9] Steve Grant has also appeared with them at some gigs and with him, they are recording a new album for Sony Music, produced by Ross Alexander.[10][11] Tight Fit are currently back in the recording studio. Recording new material as well as remixing some of their classic tracks (Fantasy Island) for a new album due to be released towards the end of August 2010 called "Now & Then". They filmed a program featuring the original members for the new series of "Pineapple Dance Studio's for SKY TV that aired in January 2011.

Members[edit]

Current members
  • Steve Grant (born 26 February 1958) (1982-1983, 2009-present)
  • Denise Gyngell (born 30 August 1961) (1982, 2008-present)
  • Julie Harris (born 15 August 1958) (1982, 2008-present)
  • Silvio Gigante (live band) Back to the 80s show (born 29 August 1984) (1982, 2008-present)
Former members
  • Richard Scarfe (1981)
  • Martin Page (1981)
  • Brian Fairweather (1981) [12]
  • Vicky Pemberton (1982-1983)
  • Carol Stevens (1982-1983)

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • "Back to the Sixties" - (1981) - Jive Records - No. 4
  • "Back to the Sixties Part 2" - (1981) - No. 33
  • "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" - (1982) - No. 1
  • "Fantasy Island" - (1982) - No. 5
  • "Secret Heart" - (1982) - No. 41
  • "I'm Undecided" - (1982)
  • "Love The One You're With" (1983)
  • "Fantasy Island" - (2010) (Promotional Only Almighty Remixes)

[1]

Albums[edit]

  • Back to the Sixties - (1981) - Jive Records - No.38
  • Tight Fit - (1982) - No.87

[1]

Confusion[edit]

The band is sometimes confused with an American group formed in 1982, originally under the name Fallen Angel. They changed their name to Tight Fit in 1987. Members include original guitarist Joe Locke, original lead vocalist Jane Bassett, guitarist Augie Miller, drummer Jimi Ray (joined 1988), bassist Jay Carr (joined 1989) and keyboardist Tzer (Michael Tabaczka). Their official website is located here: Tight Fit Website.

References[edit]

External links[edit]