Fairground Attraction

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Fairground Attraction
left to right: Reader, Dodds, Edwards, Nevin
left to right: Reader, Dodds, Edwards, Nevin
Background information
OriginLondon, England, United Kingdom
GenresFolk, skiffle, soft rock
Years active1987–1990
LabelsRCA Records
Past membersEddi Reader
Mark E. Nevin
Simon Edwards
Roy Dodds

Fairground Attraction were a London based folk and soft rock band. They are notable for the 1988 hit songs "Perfect" and "Find My Love", both taken from the group's multi-platinum selling debut album, The First of a Million Kisses. The band won two Brit Awards in 1989, but split the following year. Lead vocalist Eddi Reader subsequently launched a solo career.


Fairground Attraction were put together in London by guitarist and songwriter Mark Nevin, who had previously played with Kirsty McColl. After meeting Scottish singer Eddi Reader they played small venues in London with band members Simon Edward and Roy Dodds. In 1987, RCA Records signed Fairground Attraction, and in April 1988 released their first single, "Perfect", an immediate success, reaching number one on the UK Singles Chart.[1] In May 1988, RCA released their album The First of a Million Kisses, a blend of folk, jazz, country, and cajun elements (with all but one of its songs written by guitarist Mark Nevin). The album duplicated the success of "Perfect". After entering the UK Albums Chart at number three, and rising to number two, it was eventually certified platinum. RCA released three other singles from the album: "Find My Love" (which reached number seven on the UK Singles Chart), "A Smile in a Whisper", and "Clare".

At the 1989 BRIT Awards, "Perfect" won the award for Best British Single, and The First of a Million Kisses won the award for Best British Album.[1]

Although they were popular in European countries, and toured the United States, they found their main success outside the UK in Japan, where they toured in 1989.

In September 1989, during the recording of a second album, rumours of arguments circulated, and in January 1990 the band split up. Reader and Nevin have both been interviewed about the break up but do not agree on what actually prompted it. RCA later released a second album "Ay Fond Kiss" and one of its songs, a cover of Patsy Cline's "Walkin' After Midnight", was their last single and a minor hit. This album though was made up of B-sides and other material recorded alongside their first album (many being collaborations by just two band members). Mark Nevin recorded material intended for the second album with Brian Kennedy, released under the name Sweetmouth in 1991.

A live recording of Fairground Attraction from 1989 was later released and as well as hits and tracks from their first album it included eight tracks intended for the aborted second album. This release came in 2003 and documents a show from their Japanese tour, Kawasaki Live in Japan 02.07.89.

After the band's break-up, Eddi Reader continued to perform as a solo artist.[1] Mark Nevin worked with Morrissey, co-writing most of the Kill Uncle album,[2] and with Kirsty MacColl again, before embarking on his own solo career.

Although Reader and Nevin have occasionally worked together over the years, they seem uninterested in reforming the band.


  • Eddi Reader – vocals
  • Mark E. Nevin – electric and acoustic guitars
  • Simon Edwards – guitarrón
  • Roy Dodds – drums

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Awards Work Category Result
1988 Smash Hits Poll Winners Party Themselves Most Promising New Act Nominated
1989 Silver Clef Award Best Newcomer Won
Ivor Novello Awards "Perfect" Best Song Musically & Lyrically Nominated
BRIT Awards Best British Single Won
The First of a Million Kisses Best British Album Won


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
The First of a Million Kisses
  • Released: 16 May 1988
  • Label: RCA
2 9 17 57 13 38 29 19 6 18 137
Ay Fond Kiss
  • Released: 18 June 1990
  • Label: RCA
"—" denotes items that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

Compilation albums[edit]

  • The Collection: Fairground Attraction, featuring Eddi Reader (1994)
  • Perfect: The Best of Fairground Attraction (1995)
  • The Very Best of Fairground Attraction, featuring Eddi Reader (1996)
  • The Masters (1997)
  • 80s Eternal Best: Fairground Attraction Best (1998)
  • The Very Best of Fairground Attraction (2004)

Live albums[edit]

  • Kawasaki Live in Japan 02.07.89 (2003)


Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications Album
1988 "Perfect" 1 1 19 4 5 1 5 4 2 5 80 The First of a Million Kisses
"Find My Love" 7 86 3 24 22 6 30 34
"A Smile in a Whisper" 75
1989 "Clare" 49
1990 "Walking After Midnight" 97 Ay Fond Kiss
"—" denotes items that did not chart or were not released in that territory.


  • The First of a Million Kisses (1990)
    Collection of music videos: "Perfect", "Find My Love", "A Smile in a Whisper", "Clare"
  • Live at Full House (1990)
    Live performances from German television show called Live at Full House:


  1. ^ a b c Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. pp. 448–9. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
  2. ^ "Morrissey : Kill Uncle". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  3. ^ "UK Albums". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Australian Albums". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  5. ^ "Austrian Albums". Austriancharts.at. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  6. ^ "Canadian Albums" (PDF). Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  7. ^ "Sisältää hitin: Levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1961". Suomenlistalevyt.blogspot.co.uk (in Finnish). Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  8. ^ "German Albums". Offiziellecharts.de. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  9. ^ "Dutch Albums". Dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  10. ^ "New Zealand Albums". Charts.nz. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  11. ^ "Swedish Albums". Swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  12. ^ "Swiss Albums". Hitparade.ch.com. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  13. ^ "US Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  14. ^ "Fairground Attraction – 'The First of a Million Kisses: Expanded Edition' reviewed » We Are Cult". We Are Cult. 6 February 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
  15. ^ "UK Singles". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  16. ^ Australian (ARIA Chart) peaks:
  17. ^ "Austrian Singles". Austriancharts.at. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  18. ^ "Belgian Singles". Ultratop.be. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  19. ^ "German Singles". Offiziellecharts.de. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  20. ^ "Irish Singles". Irishcharts.ie. Archived from the original on 26 January 2010. Retrieved 2016-06-18.
  21. ^ "Netherlands Singles". Dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  22. ^ "New Zealand Singles". Charts.nz. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  23. ^ "Swedish Singles". Swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  24. ^ "Swiss Singles". Hitparade.ch. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  25. ^ "US Singles". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  26. ^ "Archived copy". www.bpi.co.uk. Archived from the original on 17 September 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ "Swedish Single Certifications 1987-1998" (PDF). Ifpi.se. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 May 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2016.

External links[edit]