New Musik

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New Musik
OriginLondon, England
GenresSynthpop, new wave
Years active1977–1982
LabelsEdsel, Epic, GTO, Sony
Past membersTony Mansfield
Clive Gates
Cliff Venner
Tony Hibbert
Phil Towner
Nick Straker

New Musik were an English synthpop group active from 1977 to 1982.[1] Led by Tony Mansfield, they achieved success in 1980 with the top 20 single "Living by Numbers" which was followed up with the top 40 hits "This World of Water", "Sanctuary" and hit album From A to B.


New Musik formed in 1977 in London, growing out of a casual band of South London school friends who jammed together under the name End of the World.[1] The lead vocalist and frontman for the band was songwriter and record producer Tony Mansfield, who was also a former member of the Nick Straker Band, and was joined in the original line-up by Straker, bassist Tony Hibbert and drummer Phil Towner.[1]

Their first single, "Straight Lines", was released by GTO Records in 1979, and their debut album, From A to B, came out in April 1980. Straker left the band to pursue a solo career and was replaced by Clive Gates for the album.[1]

New Musik made their first appearance on the BBC TV pop programme Top of the Pops in October 1979 with their debut "Straight Lines", which received airplay on BBC Radio 1 from guest DJ Frank Zappa, and also on WPIX-FM in New York.[citation needed] From A to B reached the Top 40 in the UK Albums Chart,[2] and contained four hit singles: "Straight Lines", "This World of Water", "Sanctuary" and their most commercially successful single "Living by Numbers". In 1980, Casio used the latter track as part of a TV advertising campaign for its digital calculators, latching on to the phrase "Such a digital lifetime" used in one of the verses.[citation needed]

Touring the UK in 1980, New Musik performed at May Balls in both Oxford and Cambridge with Elvis Costello; and the Rotterdam New Pop 1980 festival in the Netherlands. In 1981, the band played a second UK tour and were featured in a 1981 documentary film, Listen to London, performing "Straight Lines" and "This World of Water".

The band's second album, Anywhere, was released in 1981 and reached No. 68 in the UK.[2] The album's single releases, "Luxury" and "While You Wait", did not chart. The band performed "Luxury" on Multi-Coloured Swap Shop. In 1981, a compilation album, Sanctuary, was released exclusively in the United States, consisting of five tracks from From A to B and seven from Anywhere.[1] Previous to this release, there had also been a four-song 10" vinyl "Straight Lines" released by CBS Records in the U.S. as part of their short-lived Epic 'Nu-Disk' series, which also included The Clash's, Black Market Clash.[1] Towner and Hibbert departed, and Mansfield and Gates cut the next album with the assistance of studio musicians.[1]

After the demise of GTO Records, the band released their third and final album, Warp, in 1982 which was more experimental than their previous releases. Warp was almost entirely electronic, and one of the first albums to be recorded primarily with digital samplers and emulators.[1] It featured a synthesized version of The Beatles' hit song "All You Need Is Love", alongside an identically titled track of their own. New Musik disbanded shortly after its release that year.[1]

Mansfield went on to achieve success in the field of production with After the Fire, a-ha, Aztec Camera, The B-52's, The Damned, Captain Sensible, Naked Eyes, Mari Wilson, Jean Paul Gaultier, Miguel Bosé, and Ana Torroja.[1]

From A to B and Anywhere were released on CD in 1994, and again in 2001 and 2011, remastered and with bonus tracks. Warp was also released with bonus tracks on CD for the first time in 2001, exclusively in Japan. Warp's first CD release in the UK came in January 2011 on the Cherry Red label (CDLEMD 182).


Last line up before disbandment[edit]

Other members[edit]



Studio albums[edit]

Year[3] Album UK
1980 From A to B 35
1981 Anywhere 68
1982 Warp

Compilation albums[edit]

Year[3] Album Comments
1980 Straight Lines Included their first UK singles, "Straight Lines" and "Living by Numbers", and their B-sides, "On Islands" and "Sad Films", in Epic Records' short-lived Nu-Disk 10" vinyl format.
1981 Sanctuary US only compilation containing five tracks from From A to B and seven from Anywhere.


Year Song Peak chart positions Album
1979 "Straight Lines" 53 From A to B
1980 "Living by Numbers" 13 55 12
"This World of Water" 31 18
"On Islands" 26
"Sanctuary" 31
1981 "Luxury" Anywhere
"While You Wait"
"The Planet Doesn't Mind" Warp
1982 "All You Need Is Love"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that country.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Stewart Mason. "New Musik | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 391. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  3. ^ a b "New Musik | Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  4. ^ a b "New Musik | Artist Chart History | The Official UK Charts Company". Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  5. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 215. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  6. ^ "French Charts: New Musik". Direct access to artist: N. InfoDisc. Retrieved 24 July 2011.
    User must select "New Musik" in the drop-down list
  7. ^ "Irish Charts: New Musik". Search the charts. Irish Recorded Music Association. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2011.
    User must insert the text "New Musik" in the 'Search by Artist' search box

External links[edit]