Modern Romance (band)
|Genres||Pop, salsa, dance, R&B, mambo, electronic, new wave, Afro-Cuban, blues, soul, disco|
|Labels||WEA, RCA, Ronco, Wounded Bird Records|
Peter J. Pinto
|Past members||Geoff Deane
John Du Prez
Michael J. Mullins
Modern Romance were a British pop music band that found popularity in the early 1980s. Formed in 1980 by previous members of an earlier band, The Leyton Buzzards, the band achieved a string of UK chart hits before they broke up in 1985.
Geoffrey Deane and David Jaymes formed Modern Romance in 1980, having previously been the mainstays of the punk parody band the Leyton Buzzards which they formed in 1977. The Leyton Buzzards released a single ("19 and Mad") on the independent label Small Wonder, but this was unsuccessful. After winning a competition organised by the UK tabloid newspaper The Sun, part of the prize was a recording contract with Chrysalis Records. In 1979, the band released a single via Chrysalis entitled "Saturday Night Beneath The Plastic Palm Trees". Despite an appearance on Top of the Pops, this was also unsuccessful (peaking at no.53) and their working relationship with Chrysalis quickly soured after further unsuccessful releases.
The band then split up though Deane and Jaymes continued working together, embracing the burgeoning electronic style of dance music that was becoming popular in London clubs at the time. They found a new manager and created a limited company called Business Art Productions, and signed to WEA. In 1980, their first release, eponymously titled "Modern Romance", was unsuccessful. After a second unsuccessful single, "Tonight", the band then opted to lessen the predominantly electronic sound in favour of a Latin-American dance style with emphasis on bass, percussion and brass. They recruited trumpet player John Du Prez into their new line-up. The band released a new single, "Everybody Salsa" in summer 1981, which reached the UK Top 20. However, prior to the release, they recruited a new drummer, Andy Kyriacou, who began promoting the single with the band, and in fact set up their first personal appearance in a club.
They followed this later in the year with similarly themed "Ay Ay Ay Ay Moosey", which reached the UK Top 10. Despite these two hits, the band's debut album, Adventures in Clubland, was not a success. However, in the US they scored a number 2 hit on the Billboard Dance chart with "Can You Move", a mostly rap variation of "Everybody Salsa". After further UK Top 40 hits with "Queen of the Rapping Scene" and a cover of the 1955 hit "Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White", Deane departed the band in 1982 to pursue solo projects.
Michael J. Mullins took over the mantle of lead vocalist, and their next release saw the band reach their highest UK chart position with "Best Years of Our Lives" in late 1982. Further hits followed in 1983: "High Life" (UK No. 8), "Don't Stop That Crazy Rhythm" (UK No. 14), and the ballad "Walking in the Rain" (UK No. 7). Both "Best Years of Our Lives" and "Walking in the Rain" earned Silver discs. Despite being regularly featured in teen pin-up magazines, the band's commercial hot streak waned and further singles were less successful. The band released a compilation album for the Christmas 1983 market entitled Party Tonight. Though it only peaked at No. 45 in the UK, it became their most successful album and was certified Gold for sales in excess of 100,000 copies within six weeks of release.
John Du Prez then left the band, and after disagreements with their record company, WEA, the band signed with RCA in 1984. This brought about a change of image – from bright coloured suits and wedge hairstyles to long hair and leather jackets. The band released a new single, a cover of The Temptations' 1971 hit "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)", but the single was not a success. Modern Romance released a final album, Burn It!, in 1985. The album was received poorly and the band called it quits after releasing the stand-alone single "Tarzan Boy" – a cover of the Baltimora hit from earlier that year – and an anthology mix of their biggest selling songs titled Best Mix of Our Lives (also 1985).
After leaving Modern Romance, former lead vocalist Geoff Deane reappeared in 1983 as 'Geoff Deane & The Valley Girls' to release the single "Navy Lark", then again for the solo "What About Romance", and he also wrote "You Think You're A Man" for Divine. Deane later became a scriptwriter and television producer, scripting for television programmes such as Birds of a Feather, Babes in the Wood, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Chef!, Last Man Standing, and A Many-Splintered Thing. In 2005 he wrote the film Kinky Boots starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, and a year later It's a Boy Girl Thing for Elton John's Rocket Pictures.
David Jaymes has since moved into the management and consultancy side of the music industry. He worked as Music Supervisor on the film Fascination (2004) starring Jacqueline Bisset and James Naughton. He has also worked again with John Du Prez, composing music for commercials and feature films. Jaymes has managed artists such as Sinéad O'Connor, Justin Adams, Miles Hunt aka The Wonder Stuff, Republica, and Drum Club. He has also worked as consultant for Harry Nilsson, Jimmy Webb, George Fenton, and Chuck Mangione. In 2010, he worked with a host of musicians on the Haiti earthquake disaster single (a cover version of "I Put a Spell on You"), including Shane MacGowan, Nick Cave, Chrissie Hynde, and Johnny Depp.
In 2001, Andy Kyriacou reformed Modern Romance with a new line-up, joining the burgeoning British 80s revival scene. The new line-up featured no original band members ( Kyriacou himself had first appeared on the Modern Romance single, "Ay Ay Ay Ay Moosey", though had remained their drummer until the band split in 1985). In 2002, the new line-up released the album Back on Track, which consisted mostly of re-recorded Modern Romance hits. Back on Track was also released as Moves 2 Fast, with a slightly different track listing. In their latest guise, Modern Romance continue to play the 1980s festival circuit, and appeared as the opening act at the 2010 Rewind Festival in Henley-on-Thames, which also included Boy George, Rick Astley, Level 42, T'Pau, Kajagoogoo and Heaven 17. On their official website, the band announced they were recording a new album in 2010/2011, though nothing has yet materialised.
2012 saw the band play "Let's Rock The Moor", a boutique festival in Cookham in Berkshire with other 1980s acts including Go West, Toyah, Nick Heyward and Billy Ocean. During their set they aired one of their new songs, "Rhythm Is My Lover", from the forthcoming album The 7th Day (penned by Kyriacou and guitarist Peter J Pinto). In an interview on BBC Radio in April 2012 with veteran DJ Dave Cash, Kyriacou and Pinto played an acoustic track live on air entitled "Tell Me Now", also from the forthcoming album. Although stating that the new material would be released by the end of the year, to date nothing has been released.
- Geoff Deane – Vocalist – (born 10 December 1954, London).
- David Jaymes – Bassist – (born 28 November 1954, London)
- Robbie Jaymes – Keyboards – (born 3 October 1961)
- Paul Gendler – Guitarist – (born 11 August 1960)
- Tony Gainsborough – Drummer – (unknown birth details)
- John Du Prez – Trumpet (featured from "Everybody Salsa" onwards) – (born Trevor Jones, 14 December 1946, Sheffield)
Later band members
- Michael J. Mullins – Vocalist (after departure of Deane) – (born 9 November 1953)
- Andy Kyriacou – Drums (before the first hit was achieved), after departure of Gainsborough)/Vocalist when the band reformed- (born Andrew Kyriacou, 18 April 1958, London)
- Peter J. Pinto – Guitarist – (born 16 October 1969)
- Natalie Kyriacou – Backing Singer
- Matt Earnshaw – Drums
- Oli Silk – Keyboards
- Victor Hechavarria – Trumpet
- Gabriel Nuzzolli – Percussion
- Adventures in Clubland (1981) – Venezuela No.1 (Certified Gold)
- Modern Romance (1982) (Germany)
- Trick of the Light (1983) – UK No. 53
- Party Tonight (1983) – UK No. 45
- Juanita (1983) (Japan)
- Burn It! (1985)
- Back on Track (2002)
- Moves 2 Fast (2002)
- Modern Romance: The Platinum Collection (2006)
- "Modern Romance" (1980)
- "Tonight" (1981)
- "Everybody Salsa" (1981) UK No. 12
- "Ay Ay Ay Ay Moosey" (1981) UK No. 10
- "Can You Move" (1981) US Dance No. 2
- "Queen of the Rapping Scene (Nothing Ever Goes the Way You Plan)" (1981) UK No. 37
- "By the Way... (I'm Still in Love with You)" (1982)
- "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" (1982) UK No. 15
- "Best Years of Our Lives" (1982) – UK No. 4
- "Band of Gold" b/w "The Man Who Sold the World" (by Midge Ure) (1982) (From the Party Party soundtrack)
- "High Life" (1983) – UK No. 8
- "Don't Stop That Crazy Rhythm" (1983) – UK No. 14
- "Walking in the Rain" (1983) – UK No. 7, Thailand No. 1
- "Good Friday" (1983) – UK No. 96
- "Juanita" (Japan) (1983)
- "Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)" (1984)
- "Burn It!" (1984)
- "Move On" (1984)
- "That's What Friends Are For" (1984)
- "Tarzan Boy" (1985)
- "Best Mix of Our Lives" (1985) UK No. 81
- "Tri Tra Trullala" c/w "Best Years of Our Lives" – Joachim Witt/Modern Romance (1982)
- "Everybody Salsa" b/w "Can You Move '88" – David Jaymes (1988)
- Birch, Ian (1981). "So This Is Romance?". Smash Hits. No. 26 November 1981. EMAP National Publications. pp. 40–41.
- Chart Stats (Modern Romance)
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974–2003. Record Research. p. 180.
- BPI Certifications Database
- Schiffers.fm – wie is er jarig?
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 373. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.