Classix Nouveaux

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Classix Nouveaux
Sal Solo, onstage with Classix Nouveaux at The Lyceum Theatre in London, supporting XTC (1980).
Sal Solo, onstage with Classix Nouveaux at The Lyceum Theatre in London, supporting XTC (1980).
Background information
OriginLondon, England
GenresNew wave
Years active1979–1985, 2021-
LabelsEMI
Cherry Red Records
ESP Records
Liberty Records
Parlophone Records
MembersSal Solo
Mik Sweeney
B. P. Hurding
Gary Steadman
Past membersJak Airport
Jimi Sumen
Rick Driscoll
Andy Qunta[1]
Paul Turley
Pandit Dinesh
S Paul Wilson

Classix Nouveaux are an English new wave band, who are generally considered part of the New Romantic scene.[2][3] Though experiencing only minor success in their native UK, most notably with their 1982 Top 20 hit "Is It a Dream", the band had number one hits in Poland, Portugal, Yugoslavia, Israel, Iceland, and other countries.[citation needed]

Formation[edit]

The break-up of X-Ray Spex triggered an advertisement placed in Melody Maker, searching for a new lead singer.[4] Sal Solo (formerly with The News) answered the advertisement. Jak Airport and B.P. Hurding left X-Ray Spex to form Classix Nouveaux with Mik Sweeney and Sal Solo. Their first gig was on 25 August 1979 at London's Music Machine (which would later become the Camden Palace and is now called KOKO). With publicity growing for the band, their dramatic and heavily made-up image led to the music press associating them with the burgeoning New Romantic movement.[4] Jak Airport was replaced by Gary Steadman during the same year.

In 1980, the band recorded a four track session for Capital Radio and one track, "Robot's Dance", was played regularly by DJ Nicky Horne. This got the interest of the United Artists record company (then part of the EMI group), but as negotiations dragged on, the band decided to release the track as their debut single on their own ESP label.[4] They also performed for the first time on television on Thames TV in London. "Robot's Dance" spent eleven weeks on the UK Indie Chart, reaching #22, and became a popular alternative dance floor track. The group's second single, "Nasty Little Green Men", followed on 10 November 1980.

Career[edit]

In 1981, the first Classix Nouveaux album Night People was released along with two moderately successful singles "Guilty" and "Tokyo". Both singles reached the UK Top 75, and "Guilty" reached the Top 20 in Sweden and #25 in Australia.[5] The album itself peaked at #66 in the UK. In September 1981, Classix Nouveaux hired Finnish guitarist Jimi Sumen to replace Gary Steadman. Sumen had been a member of the support act at their Helsinki gig.

The second Classix Nouveaux album brought the band its biggest hits. La Verité was released in 1982 and the single release "Is It A Dream" brought the group its only British Top 20 hit, peaking at #11.[6] Even though they were not part of the 'Blitz Kids' scene[7][8] the band are generally seen as a New Romantic act alongside bands such as Ultravox and Japan,[9][10] with "Is It A Dream" appearing on numerous 1980s synthpop compilations.

Their next single, "Because You're Young", peaked at #43 in the UK, while the album itself peaked at #44. The third and final Classix Nouveaux album, Secret, was released in 1983, produced by Alex Sadkin. The album, and its singles, were unsuccessful in the UK, but the band had number one hit singles in Poland with "Never Never Comes" and "Heart from the Start". The band toured and played to 25,000 people in Helsinki, but by now Solo was the only original member remaining after Jimi Sumen was replaced by Rick Driscoll and BP Hurding was replaced by Paul Turley.

Break-up[edit]

Classix Nouveaux broke up in 1985, by which time Sal Solo had already begun a solo career. He had a UK Top 20 hit with "San Damiano" which reached #15 in early 1985.[11] He released an album, Heart and Soul, the same year, and further singles, "Music and You" (#52) and "Forever Be", but none of these were particularly successful. He went on to record and perform with the French/Italian space-rock and electronic band Rockets, before becoming heavily involved in Catholicism and releasing several Christian-oriented albums.

Mik Sweeney moved to Los Angeles where he built fretless bass guitars and did studio session work; he currently lives in Ireland. Gary Steadman went on to join A Flock of Seagulls for their 1986 Dream Come True tour. Jimi Sumen became a record producer in Finland and released a number of solo works there.

The first Classix Nouveaux compilation album was released in 1997 via EMI Records and was reissued with a slightly different track listing in 2003. Beginning that same year, the band's original albums saw reissue on CD by Cherry Red Records. In 2005 River Records released The River Sessions, a live album recorded at Strathclyde University in 1982 and, in February 2021, all the band's singles and associated B-sides saw release as The Liberty Singles Collection, again via Cherry Red Records.

Reformation[edit]

In May 2021, the band surprised fans with a new single, which was a remake of "Inside Outside" from their first album.[12] Since then they have announced a new album to be released in 2022 but have no live performances planned. On 29 May 2022,[13] their single "Fix Your Eyes Up" charted at number 34 on The Heritage Chart (as broadcast with Mike Read on Talking Pictures TV).[14][15]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
UK
[16]
AUS
[17]
FIN
[18]
ICE
[19]
POR
[20]
SWE
[21]
Night People 66 85 18 11
La Verité
  • Released: 5 April 1982[22]
  • Label: Liberty
  • Formats: LP, MC
44 6 3 1 17
Secret
  • Released: 14 November 1983[23]
  • Label: Liberty
  • Formats: LP, MC
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

Live albums[edit]

Title Album details
The River Sessions
  • Released: 2005
  • Label: River
  • Formats: CD

Compilation albums[edit]

Title Album details
Singles
  • Released: 1982
  • Label: Liberty
  • Formats: LP
  • Japan-only release
The Very Best of Classix Nouveaux
  • Released: September 1997
  • Label: EMI
  • Formats: CD
The Very Best of Classix Nouveaux
  • Released: December 2003
  • Label: EMI
  • Formats: CD
  • Different from 1997 compilation
The Liberty Singles Collection
  • Released: 18 January 2010
  • Label: Cherry Red
  • Formats: CD
The Liberty Recordings 1981–83

Singles[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
UK
[16]
UK Indie
[24]
AUS
[17]
FIN
[18]
ICE
[25]
IRE
[26]
POL
[27][28]
POR
[29][30]
SPA
[31]
SWE
[32]
US Dance
[33]
"The Robots Dance" 1980 22 Non-album singles
"Nasty Little Green Men"
"Guilty" 1981 43 25 17 66 Night People
"Tokyo" 67
"Inside Outside" 45
"Run Away" (France-only release)
"Never Again (The Days Time Erased)" 44 13 3 1 13 19 La Verité
"Is It a Dream" 1982 11 11 3 29 9
"Because You're Young" 43
"The End… Or the Beginning?" 60 25 Non-album single
"Forever and a Day" 1983 102[34] 26 5 Secret
"Never Never Comes" 165[34] 2
"Heartbeat" (credited as Sal Solo with Classix Nouveaux) 1985 3 Heart & Soul (by Solo)
"Inside Outside 2021" 2021 Non-album single
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

Other charted songs[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
POL
[27]
"Heart from the Start" 1984 1 Secret
"When They All Have Gone" 10

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Andy Qunta Biography AndyQunta.com. Retrieved 5 March 2015]
  2. ^ "Classix Nouveaux - the Liberty Recordings - album review". 21 February 2021.
  3. ^ "Guilty Pleasure: 'Classix Nouveaux: The Liberty Recordings' » We Are Cult". 23 February 2021.
  4. ^ a b c Sal Solo history – Classix Nouveaux Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine SalSolo.com. Retrieved 14 September 2013]
  5. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). Sydney: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  6. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 110. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  7. ^ "Watch Blitzed: The 80s Blitz Kids Story Online - Stream Full Episodes".
  8. ^ Blitzed: The 80s Blitz Kids Story, Sky Arts 2020
  9. ^ "Classix Nouveaux: The Liberty Recordings 1981-1983, 4CD".
  10. ^ "Classix Nouveaux – Nostalgia Central". 15 May 2013.
  11. ^ "Sal Solo". Official Charts. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  12. ^ "The Return of Classix Nouveaux – Town Square Bonus Cast". 31 May 2021.
  13. ^ "Week 97 29 May 2022".
  14. ^ The Heritage Chart with Mike Read, Sunday nights in 2022 on Talking Pictures TV
  15. ^ "The Heritage Chart Show with Mike Read | Variety & Music Hall | Talking Pictures TV".
  16. ^ a b "CLASSIX NOUVEAUX | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  17. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 65. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  18. ^ a b "Sisältää hitin: Levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1960: Artistit CHU - COA". Sisältää hitin. 13 August 2015. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  19. ^ "Tímarit.is". timarit.is (in Icelandic). Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  20. ^ "Vendas de discos 1982". VENDAS DE DISCOS EM PORTUGAL. 12 March 2010. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  21. ^ "swedishcharts.com - Swedish Charts Portal". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  22. ^ "Classix capers" (PDF). Record Mirror. 27 March 1982. p. 3. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  23. ^ "Classix on the never never" (PDF). Record Mirror. 5 November 1983. p. 8. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  24. ^ Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980–1989'. Cherry Red Books. ISBN 0-9517206-9-4.
  25. ^ "Tímarit.is". timarit.is (in Icelandic). Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  26. ^ "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  27. ^ a b "Lista Przebojów Programu Trzeciego — Classix Nouveaux". lp3.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  28. ^ "Lista Przebojów Programu Trzeciego — Sal Solo". lp3.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  29. ^ João, Mário (15 July 2013). "RECORTES & RETALHOS: Musica&Som Nº 66 Capa/Top's". RECORTES & RETALHOS. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  30. ^ "VENDAS DE DISCOS EM PORTUGAL". topdisco.blogspot.com (in European Portuguese). Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  31. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (2015). Sólo éxitos 1959–2012 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 978-84-8048-866-2.
  32. ^ "swedishcharts.com - Swedish Charts Portal". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  33. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco 1974–2003 (illustrated ed.). Record Research Incorporated. ISBN 9780898201567.
  34. ^ a b "UK Singles Charts: 1983 (including chart panel sales)". UKMIX Forums. Retrieved 27 April 2022.

External links[edit]