Martin Fry

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Martin Fry
Martin Fry Canal Room 20060615.jpg
Fry performing live at the Canal Room in Manhattan, New York City, in 2006
Background information
Birth name Martin David Fry
Born (1958-03-09) 9 March 1958 (age 58)
Bramhall, Stockport, England, United Kingdom
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • musician
  • record producer
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • synthesizer
  • keyboards
Years active 1975–present
Associated acts
Website abcmartinfry.com

Martin David Fry (born 9 March 1958)[1] is an English singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer.

Fry's music career spans more than 30 years. He came to prominence in the early 1980s as the lead singer of the new wave band ABC, their 1982 debut album, The Lexicon of Love, was a UK number one and they achieved ten UK and five US Top 40 hit singles between 1981 and 1990. He is the only member who has been with ABC throughout its entire history and is currently its only member. They continue to tour and released their ninth studio album, The Lexicon of Love II, in 2016.

Early years[edit]

Martin David Fry was born on 9 March 1958, in Bramhall, Stockport, England, where he grew up alongside his younger brother Jamie (of Earl Brutus).[2] In 1978, Fry was editing a fanzine titled Modern Drugs, when he first met future ABC band members Mark White and Stephen Singleton while interviewing them for an article in the magazine. White and Singleton, then fronting a rock band called Vice Versa, invited Fry to join their band to play the keyboards.[3]

ABC[edit]

Main article: ABC (band)

With Fry in place as lead singer and songwriter, Vice Versa changed its name to ABC and changed its sound to a synthpop style that at that time led them to be categorised with bands like Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, and The Human League.[3] Between 1982 and 1992, ABC recorded six studio albums (The Lexicon of Love, Beauty Stab, How to Be a ... Zillionaire!, Alphabet City, Up and Abracadabra) and released a greatest hits compilation album, Absolutely. During this time, the band went through numerous personnel changes, with Fry and Mark White being the only permanent members.

Following the Zillionaire album, ABC temporarily fell from prominence while Fry was being treated for Hodgkin's lymphoma.[4]

ABC broke up in 1992, with White leaving the music business to pursue an interest in Reiki therapy. Fry continued to work with EMI in the months thereafter but was axed from the label before his solo material could be released. Fry resurrected the ABC name in 1997 for the album Skyscraping, a homage to several of his musical heroes, including David Bowie, Roxy Music and the Sex Pistols.[5] The album was a collaboration with Glenn Gregory of Heaven 17 and Honeyroot's Keith Lowndes.

The band has toured extensively and performed live at events such as the 2001 Night of the Proms, where Fry was supported by a 72-piece orchestra and 50-piece choir.[6] In 2008, Fry released a new ABC album titled Traffic.

In April 2009, Fry and original drummer David Palmer performed The Lexicon of Love album at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The band was accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra. Anne Dudley of Art of Noise fame, who arranged and played keyboards on the original record, conducted the Royal Albert Hall performance.[5]

Fry and Palmer (as ABC) toured the U.S. as part of the 2009 'Regeneration Tour',[7] which also featured Terri Nunn of Berlin, Wang Chung, and the Cutting Crew.

In April 2016, a single with a music video "Viva Love" was released as a teaser for the highly anticipated The Lexicon of Love II album. The album entered the UK album chart at #5, the band's highest chart position since 1982 and first Top 10 entry since 1990.

Other work[edit]

Besides working with ABC, Fry has also recorded and toured with other artists.[8]

Fry (left) and Tony Hadley (right) performing in 2005

Personal life[edit]

On 19 July 2012, Fry received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from the University of Sheffield for his contribution of more than thirty years to music. The following day his daughter Nancy received her degree from the Department of Sociological Studies from the same University.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Paul Lester (15 November 2008). "Steel crazy: The Human League, ABC, Heaven 17". Living.Scotsman.com. Retrieved 10 July 2009. 
  2. ^ Frame, Pete. Pete Frame's Rockin' Around Britain: Rock'n'roll Landmarks of the UK and Ireland. Omnibus, 1999. ISBN 0-7119-6973-6, ISBN 978-0-7119-6973-5. BRAMHALL ABC's Martin Fry and his younger brother Jamie (currently in Earl Brutus) grew up in this leafy middle-class suburb.
  3. ^ a b Power, Ed (27 June 2013). "ABC's Martin Fry regrets not capitalising on early success". Retrieved 3 March 2016. 
  4. ^ Fulton, Rick (16 May 2014). "ABC star Martin Fry gets ready to rock on 80s revival circuit at Rewind Festival". Retrieved 3 March 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "Lexicon of ABC". Retrieved 3 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "ABC". Retrieved 3 March 2016. 
  7. ^ "Regeneration". Retrieved 3 March 2016. 
  8. ^ "Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 March 2016. 
  9. ^ "ABC's Fry Is Hugh Grant's New Vocal Coach". Billboard. 2006. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  10. ^ University of Sheffield. "ABC singer takes centre stage in honorary degree ceremonies". University of Sheffield. 

External links[edit]