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30 July 1956 |
|Genres||R&B, post-disco, funk|
|Labels||Ensign, Chrysalis, Production House|
Fearon was born in Jamaica in 1956, but moved to London with his parents at the age of five. After running a reggae sound system, he joined Hott Wax (which evolved into Brit funk pioneers Hi-Tension after he left) and in the late 1970s was a mainstay of hit group Kandidate which scored a number 11 chart hit in 1979 with "I Don't Wanna Lose You". He set up a studio in his north London house and initially recorded with the group Proton on Champagne Records. Fearon’s first recording as Galaxy (with assistance from singers Julie and Dorothy) was "Head Over Heels" on Ensign Records in 1982, which became a club hit. The first success came with the Top 5 hit "Dancing Tight" in 1983 and over the next 15 months they chalked up a further four UK Top 40 singles including the Top 10s "What Do I Do" and "Everybody’s Laughing". Their radio-friendly pop/soul debut album, Phil Fearon & Galaxy also made the Top 10 in 1984. After a quiet period, Fearon returned to the Top 10 for the last time with a revival of Tony Etoria’s "I Can Prove It" in 1986 (also a minor US R&B hit). He continued to run a production company from his home making commercial dance records.
Similar to the RAH Band, Galaxy was not a true group of musicians but a front for an individual producing all the music in a studio environment, with two female backing singers to supplement the recording sound (Dorothy Galdes & Julie Gore). Galaxy's best known hits were "Dancing Tight", "What Do I Do?", "Everybody's Laughing" and "I Can Prove It", which were all up-beat commercial pop songs, hitting the Top 10 of the UK Singles Chart. They also had a near-hit with 'You Don't Need A Reason' which stalled at number 42 on the UK chart in 1985. Galaxy's records were distinctly early 1980s in style, with prominent use of synthesizers, and their version of "Ain't Nothing but a House Party" was produced by Stock Aitken Waterman.
Galaxy's popularity waned in the late 1980s, with the trend moving towards acid house, though the later single, a cover version of The Showstoppers' "Ain't Nothin' But a Houseparty" was an early example of this genre. In 1987, Fearon founded and managed a successful record label called Production House Records.
Fearon returned to performing as a special guest at the Caister Soul Weekender in May 2010, being brought out of retirement by longtime colleagues and Caister Soul Weekender promoters Chris Hill and Brian Rix. Fearon has since continued to appear at 1980s soul nights and various festivals around the UK and abroad.
Fearon is married to Dorothy "Dee" Galdes, the vocalist on the Baby D song "Let Me Be Your Fantasy". Their daughter Stephanie is an actress and singer, who appeared on the CITV show, My Parents Are Aliens, and was later a semi-finalist on the 2010 BBC talent search Over the Rainbow. The couple's son Marlon is also an aspiring actor.
- Phil Fearon and Galaxy, UK 8, 1984, Ensign Records
- This Kind of Love, UK 98, 1985, Ensign Records
- The Best Of Phil Fearon & Galaxy, 1991, Ensign/Chrysalis
- Dancing Tight — The Best Of Phil Fearon & Galaxy, 1992, Ensign
- The Best Of Phil Fearon & Galaxy, 1994, Music Club
- Dancing Tight - All the Hits Extended, 1995, More Music
- Greatest Hits, 1996, EMI Gold
- Phil Fearon & Galaxy — All the Hits, 2001, Disky
- Phil Fearon & Galaxy — All the Hits, 2001, EMI Gold
- Phil Fearon & Galaxy — Ain't Nothing But a Party: The 12" Anthology, 2013, Cherry Pop
- "Head Over Heels", UK 77, 1982 +
- "Dancing Tight", UK 4, 1983 †
- "Wait Until Tonight (My Love)", UK 20, 1983 †
- "Fantasy Real", UK 41, 1983 ‡
- "What Do I Do", UK 5, 1984 ‡
- "Everybody's Laughing", UK 10, 1984 ‡
- "You Don't Need a Reason", UK 42, 1985 ‡
- "This Kind of Love", UK 70, 1985 ¥
- "I Can Prove It", UK 8, 1986 ~
- "Ain't Nothing But a Houseparty", UK 60, 1986 ~
- "Nothing is Too Good for You", 1987 ~
The above tracks are credited variously as follows:
† Galaxy featuring Phil Fearon
‡ Phil Fearon and Galaxy
¥ Phil Fearon and Galaxy featuring Dee Galdes
~ Phil Fearon
- "Phil Fearon, rocker, Galaxy, Kandidate-I Don't... July 30 in History". Brainyhistory.com. 1956-07-30. Retrieved 2015-06-20.
- "Galaxy Feat. Phil Fearon Page". Soulwalking.co.uk. 1956-07-30. Retrieved 2015-06-20.
- "Record Shorts", Echoes, 8 November 1986, p. 4
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 197. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.