Dalek I Love You

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Dalek I Love You
Also known as DILY, Dalek I
Origin Liverpool
Genres Synthpop, post-punk, art rock, new wave
Years active 1977–1980, 1981–1990
Labels Inevitable, Phonogram, Vertigo, Back Door, Korova, Bop-a-dub
Associated acts Mr. McKenzie, Radio Blank, Big in Japan, Lori and the Chameleons, The Teardrop Explodes, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Godot
Past members Alan Gill
David Balfe
Chris Teepee
Dave Hughes
Gordon Hon
Max The Actor
Martin Cooper
Andy McCluskey
Kenny Peers
Keith Hartley

Dalek I Love You were a synthpop group from Liverpool. At various points in their existence the band was also known as Dalek I. Record executives at Phonogram shortened the band's name without telling them for the "Freedom Fighters" single.


Roots: Mr. McKenzie and Radio Blank[edit]

Main article: Radio Blank

By the mid-1970s, Alan Gill, Keith Hartley and David Balfe, three residents in Thingwall on the Wirral Peninsula, had formed a band called Mr. McKenzie. In November 1976, as punk was emerging and influencing them, the group changed their name to Radio Blank, composed of Alan Gill on guitar and vocals, Keith Hartley on lead vocals and guitar, David Balfe on bass and Keyboards, and Stephen Brick on drums.

They played their own material and also some covers, such as "You Really Got Me" and "Peaches". Five of their 15 live gigs were at Eric's Club, in Liverpool. But Gill and Balfe, who became disinterested with punk during 1977, dissolved the band in October 1977 to form a more experimental project.

First years (1977–1980)[edit]

In December 1977, Gill and Balfe, influenced by Kraftwerk, formed Dalek I Love You, which came about as a result of a compromise between two of the members: Balfe wanted to call the band Dalek (after the Doctor Who villains) and Gill wanted to call the band Darling, I Love You. Other founding members were Dave Hughes (keyboards) and Chris Teepee (rhythm unit and tapes).

In 1978, Balfe left the group to manage other bands, and to eventually join Big in Japan and later The Teardrop Explodes. In August 1978, the band were joined by poets Gordon Hon and Max the Actor, Martin Cooper (on sax), Andy McCluskey (on lead vocals and bass), who was previously in The Id, and Ken Peers. In September, McCluskey quit to rejoin his former Id bandmate, Paul Humphreys, to form Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, and by October 1978 only Gill and Hughes remained in the band. As a duo, they signed to Inevitable Records. A demo of "Freedom Fighters" attracted the interest of Phonogram, who then signed them.[1]

However, Phonogram shortened the name of the band to Dalek I, for the releases, and wanted to change the chords of "Freedom Fighters". On 16 July 1979, Dalek I released their first single, "Freedom Fighters", which contained the eponymous song and B-side "Two Chameleons". It was followed by "The World" (2 October 1979) and "Dalek I Love You (Destiny)" (1 May 1980), released on the Back Door subsidiary, founded by The Blitz Brothers. The latter duo, composed of Chris Hughes and Paul Collister (then OMD's manager), produced the singles under that name.

On 24 May 1980, Compass Kumpas, Dalek I's debut album was released on the Phonogram label. It was critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful.[2] By the time of the album's release, Alan Gill was the only remaining member, maintaining the Dalek I Love You name. The projects soon went on hiatus and Gill joined the Teardrop Explodes in July 1980, replacing Mick Finkler. Gill contributed two important things to the band: their most successful single, "Reward", which he co-wrote, and LSD, which he introduced to frontman Julian Cope. His stay with the band was short-lived however.


By 1981, Gill had reformed Dalek I Love You, with himself as the sole member. He was augmented by Hugh Jones and Chuka Russo on vocal harmonies, and Chris Hughes on drums for the recording of a single, "Heartbeat", released on 28 February 1981.

By 1983, the band consisted of Gill, Keith Hartley, Gordon Hon (who had previously performed with the original band as a poet called "The Worm") and Kenny Peers. They released an eponymously titled album in November 1983. Hon left for London to study fine art.

Gill continued making and recording music with local artists, starting his own cassette only label, Bop-a-dub. In 1985, the band released the cassette-only Naive[3] and effectively called it a day shortly afterwards, although Gill did release a single under the Dalek moniker in 1990.

In popular culture[edit]

The band inspired the title of Dalek I Love You, a radio drama which premiered on the British digital radio station BBC 7 on 11 February 2006. The story centred on a man obsessed with Doctor Who who falls in love at a science fiction convention.

The band also inspired the title of Dalek I Loved You, an autobiography by the journalist Nick Griffiths about his life as a Doctor Who fan, published in 2007.[citation needed]



Compass Kumpas was reissued on CD in 1989 on Fontana (U.K.) with four bonus tracks. Dalek I Love You was reissued on CD in 2007 on Korova (U.K.) in a remastered and expanded edition.


  • "Freedom Fighters" (16 July 1979 (1979-07-16))
    • 7": Vertigo/Phonogram DALEK 1
  • "The World" (2 October 1979 (1979-10-02))
    • 7": Vertigo/Phonogram DALEK 2
  • "Dalek I Love You (Destiny)" (1 May 1980 (1980-05-01))
    • 7": Back Door/Phonogram DOOR 005
  • "Heartbeat" (28 February 1981 (1981-02-28))
    • 7": Back Door/Phonogram DOOR 10
    • 12": Back Door/Phonogram DOOR 10-12
  • "Holiday in Disneyland" (15 July 1982 (1982-07-15))
    • 7": Korova/WEA KOW 25
    • 12": Korova/WEA KOW 25T
  • "Ambition" (18 September 1983 (1983-09-18))
    • 7": Korova/WEA KOW 29
    • 12": Korova/WEA KOW 29T
  • "Horrorscope" (1983 (1983))
    • 7": Korova/WEA KOW 31
    • 12": Korova/WEA KOW 31T

Various artists compilations[edit]

  • Small Hits and Near Misses (featuring the demo version of "Freedom Fighters") (Inevitable/RCA 1984)
  • Liverpool: All This and Heaven Too (featuring "Everything I Do") (1990)


  1. ^ Parmar, Robin. "Dalek I Love You: An Annotated Discography". Retrieved 29 November 2009. 
  2. ^ Promo photos in the eighties. For information see http://www.dalekiloveyou.com/image.htm. Retrieved 29 November 2009 (2009-11-29).
  3. ^ Naive. Dalekiloveyou.com. Retrieved on 8 May 2012.
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 138. ISBN 978-1-904994-10-7. 

External links[edit]