Breathe (British band)

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OriginLondon, England
Years active1984–1992
MembersDavid Glasper
Marcus Lillington
Ian "Spike" Spice
Michael Delahunty

Breathe were an English pop rock band formed in London in 1984. The band had a string of hit singles during 1987 and 1988 including Don't Tell Me Lies, Jonah, and How Can I Fall. The group's biggest chart success was Hands to Heaven, which reached no. 2 in the United States in late 1987.


Originally a larger, five-piece band called Catch 22, the members of Breathe were childhood friends who went to Yateley School together in Hampshire where they lived. They later trimmed down to a quartet. Phill Harrison (bass) left to join the Fire Brigade. In 1984, singer David Glasper, guitarist Marcus Lillington, drummer Ian "Spike" Spice, and bass guitarist Michael "Mick" Delahunty began working on some demos. Those songs were introduced to personnel from the label Siren Records, and led to a recording contract with Virgin Records (distributed by A&M Records in the U.S.). Breathe released their debut album, All That Jazz, in April 1988. The album contained the group's two best-known hits, "Hands to Heaven" and "How Can I Fall?". The former charted at No. 2 in the U.S. in 1988 and at No. 4 in the UK Singles Chart, and the latter charted on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 3.[2] "Hands" also ranked inside Billboard's 1988 Year-End Top 10 at No. 9.

Bassist Michael Delahunty left the group in 1988 as Breathe were about to reach the peak of their success, and the remaining three continued with promotion for the All That Jazz album and singles. Afterward, they continued with this line-up and released their second and final studio album Peace of Mind in August 1990.

Their sound was a combination of light jazz with some pop and soul. However, the band's success was short-lived. Sales for their second album were low even though many radio stations played some of its tracks. They disbanded in 1992.[3]

Drummer Ian "Spike" Spice died in 2000. David Glasper has made demonstration recordings posted on YouTube in the last few years. Marcus Lillington and Phil Harrison still play together in Stroke the Toad.


  • David Glasper (vocals) – born 4 January 1965, Cardigan, Mid Wales.
  • Marcus Lillington (guitars, keyboards) – born 28 February 1967, London. Now works at web design firm, Headscape,[4] and co-hosts web design podcast,[5] He plays guitar and sings in the band Stroke the Toad.
  • Spike (drums) – born Ian Spice, 18 September 1966 – died 2000.
  • Michael Delahunty (bass) – band member 1984–1989.


  • Steve Price-Wardley (keyboards) – Session keyboardist for the band. Born in Trinidad and educated at Charterhouse. Later formed an indie record label with Will Crichton-Stuart.
  • Phill Harrison (bass, guitar) – born 29 October 1966 – original bass player; departed before the recording of All That Jazz. Phil composed the solo album "Sunscape" in 2013.


Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
All That Jazz 22 12 34
Peace of Mind
  • Release date: 20 August 1990
  • Label: A&M Records
  • Formats: CD, cassette, LP
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Year Single Peak chart positions Album

1986 "Don't Tell Me Lies" (original release) 77 All That Jazz
1987 "Hands to Heaven" 4 29 4 10 14 2 2
1988 "Jonah" 60
"How Can I Fall?" 48 3 1
1989 "Don't Tell Me Lies" (re-release) 45 10 5
"Any Trick" (US only) x x x x x
"All This I Should Have Known" 34
1990 "Say Hello" 87 Peace of Mind
"Say a Prayer" 93 21 3
1991 "Does She Love That Man?" 34 17
"—" denotes releases that did not chart, "x" denotes releases not released in that country


  1. ^ Deming, Mark. "Breathe – Artist Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 77. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Headscape team: Marcus Lillington Archived 10 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ About Boagworld
  6. ^ a b "Chart Stats – Breathe". Chart Stats. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  7. ^ " – Swedish charts portal". Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  8. ^ "Breathe Album & Song Chart History – Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  9. ^ "BPI Searchable Database". British Phonographic Industry. Archived from the original on 24 September 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  10. ^ "RIAA Searchable Database". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  11. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts – German Singles". Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  12. ^ " – Norwegian charts portal". Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  13. ^ " – New Zealand charts portal". Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  14. ^ " – Swedish charts portal". Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  15. ^ "Breathe Album & Song Chart History – Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  16. ^ "Breathe Album & Song Chart History – Adult Contemporary". Billboard. Retrieved 17 June 2011.

External links[edit]