Dear Enemy (band)

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Dear Enemy
Origin Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Genres Indie pop
Years active 1980–1988
Labels EMI
Associated acts Stonewall
Little Heroes
The Missiles of Love
Past members see Members list

Dear Enemy was an Australian indie pop band formed in Melbourne in 1980.[1] The band released a studio album, Ransom Note, in 1984 on EMI and Capitol Records that featured its best known single, "Computer One", a No. 15 hit on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart in January 1984.[2][3] Dear Enemy disbanded in 1988.[2]


Dear Enemy began life as a covers band called Stonewall.[4] They started playing original songs and changed their name to Dear Enemy towards the end of 1980.[1] The name for the band came from a Ginger Meggs comic strip - the hero receives letters from his rival which are always addressed to 'Dear Enemy'.[1]

Dear Enemy's original lineup consisted of vocalist Ron Martini, guitarists Chris Langford and Les Barker (ex-Benders), piano player Peter Holden, bass player John Joyce and drummer Ian Morrison.[1] In early 1983, Martin Fisher (keyboads) and Peter Leslie (bass), both ex-Little Heroes, replaced Peter Holden and bass player at the time Nevio Aresca.[1]

The band had a strong following on the live circuit throughout 1981 and 1982, often playing four times a week.[1] In 1983, they signed a recording contract with the American label EMI/Capitol - one of the first Australian bands signed direct to an overseas label.[4] They recorded their debut album Ransom Note in the United States under the guidance of producer Peter McIan (Men at Work, Mondo Rock) - in fact the band were signed with the condition that Peter McIan oversee the recording sessions.[4] The band's debut single was "Computer One", written in America by Langford and Fisher. It proved to be Dear Enemy’s one and only major hit, entering the Australian Top 100 in October 1983 and peaking at No. 15 in January 1984.[2] The follow-up single, "The Good Life", stalled at No. 39 a few months later,[2] and the slide continued when the third single from the album, "Kids On The Street", failiedto chart. Ransom Note sold more than 25,000 units and reached No. 15 on the national album charts.[2]

Dear Enemy released a new single a few months later with "New Hero", which featured on the soundtrack to the Australian motion picture Street Hero.[5] The single however only reached No. 93 on the charts.[2] A couple of lineup changes, with Joey Amenta replacing Barker in April 1985, and two more flop singles, "Stay" and "You're Right, You're Right", followed over the next four years before Dear Enemy’s system crashed and they called it a day at the end of 1988. Dear Enemy did record tracks for a second album during this period but due to contract and legal problems the album didn’t see the light of day.[4] Ron Martini also released a CD entitled Big Night Out in 1996 with backing band The Missiles Of Love.

In 2000, EMI released a CD Best of Dear Enemy (Ransom Note and Beyond), which was a compilation of all the band's releases. This was followed in 2004 by another Best of, which was basically Ransom Note and the inclusion of the single "New Hero".


  • Ron Martini - lead vocal (1980–1988)
  • Les Barker - lead guitar, vocals (1980–1985)
  • Chris Langford - guitar, vocals, harmonica (1980–1988)
  • Peter Holden - keyboards (1980–1982)
  • John Joyce - bass, vocals (1980–1982)
  • Nevio Aresca - bass (1982–1983)
  • Ian Morrison - drums (1980–1988)
  • Martin Fisher - keyboards (1983–1988)
  • Peter Leslie - bass (1983–1988)
  • Joey Amenta - guitar (1985)
  • Jerry Leigh - drums
  • Broc O'Connor - guitar (1988)



  • Ransom Note - EMI/Capitol (February, 1984) AUS No. 15
  • The Best of Dear Enemy (Ransom Note and Beyond) - EMI (2000)
  • The Best of Dear Enemy - EMI (2004)


  • "Computer One"/"Day to Day" - Capitol (December, 1983) AUS No. 15
  • "The Good Life"/On the Line" - Capitol (February, 1984) AUS No. 39
  • "Kids on the Street"/"Talking to You" - EMI/Capitol (May, 1984)
  • "New Hero"/"Billy's Theme" - Festival (1984) AUS No. 93
  • "Stay"/"Looking for Love" - EMI (August, 1986) AUS No. 61 [6]
  • "You're Right, You're Right"/"Love Flows" - EMI (December, 1988)


  1. ^ a b c d e f DEAR ENEMY - Billy Boy
  2. ^ a b c d e f Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St. Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  3. ^ BigKev. "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – 1983". Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 January 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Dear Enemy program computer one for chart success". RetroUniverse. Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  5. ^ "Street Hero". Australian Television Memorabilia Guide. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  6. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – 1986". Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 January 2017.