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The Fixx, 2007. Cy Curnin and Jamie West-Oram.
|Also known as||Portraits (1979-1980)|
|Genres||Rock, new wave|
|Labels||MCA, RCA, Kirtland,|
Dan K. Brown
|Past members||Charlie Barrett|
The Fixx are a rock and new wave band formed in 1979. The band's hits include "One Thing Leads to Another", "Saved by Zero", "Are We Ourselves?", and "Secret Separation", all of which made the U.S. Top 20, as well as early MTV Video hits "Red Skies" and "Stand or Fall" and mainstream rock chart hits "Driven Out" and "Deeper and Deeper", the latter of which was featured on the soundtrack of the 1984 film Streets of Fire.
Early years as Portraits and The Fix (1979-1981)
College friends Cy Curnin on vocals and Adam Woods on drums formed the group in London in 1979, initially calling themselves Portraits. The pair placed an ad for additional members, and recruited keyboardist Rupert Greenall, guitarist Tony McGrail and bassist Russell Mckenzie later to be replaced by Charlie Barrett. Portraits issued two singles for Ariola Records: "Little Women" (1979), and "Hazards In The Home" (1980).
Later in 1980, McGrail left. At this point, the band added guitarist Jamie West-Oram (formerly of Phillip Rambow's band) and changed their name to The Fix. This version of the band recorded for 101 Records, releasing their first single ("Lost Planes") in February 1981. This track, along with several live tracks issued by 101 on various compilations, received some radio exposure on the BBC. In these early days West-Oram was billed simply as 'Jamie West'.
The Fixx's raised profile eventually led to the group being offered a contract by MCA Records. Worried about the potential drug-user implication of the band's name, MCA insisted on a name change before signing them to the label. A compromise was reached as the band altered the spelling of their name to The Fixx, and a deal was duly inked.
MCA and RCA years (1982-1991)
Barrett left The Fixx just after the recording of their first album, Shuttered Room, in 1982. This album featured the band's initial hits, "Stand or Fall" and "Red Skies", both of which charted in the US and the UK. The band found particular success in Canada, where "Stand or Fall" reached No. 37. "Stand or Fall" entered the charts in the US on 30 October 1982.
Barrett was replaced on bass by Alfie Agius for the Shuttered Room tour. Agius' stay in the band was short-lived, though, as he left during the 1983 recording of their next album Reach the Beach, after having recorded four tracks. Agius is credited as co-writer on all the album's tracks, but the group for this album was officially credited as a quartet (Curnin, Greenall, West-Oram and Woods). Agius went on to briefly tour with the hard rock/heavy metal band, Fastway that same year.
Reach the Beach became the group's most commercially successful album and was certified Platinum by the RIAA on 5 January 1984. Agius' bass work is featured on the album's first two singles "Saved by Zero" and "One Thing Leads to Another." Both these singles cracked the US top 40, and "One Thing Leads To Another" became the band's biggest-ever hit (No. 1 Canada, No. 4 US). It was during these sessions that bassist Dan K. Brown joined the band. Brown played bass on the third top 40 single from the album, "The Sign Of Fire" and continued with the band on its subsequent tour. Brown became a full member of the band thereafter.
The 1984 album Phantoms contained the hits "Are We Ourselves?" (#29 Can.), the first video in which a mobile phone ever appeared (a modified Motorola KR999), and "Sunshine In The Shade." Another single, "Deeper And Deeper," was initially released as the B-side of "Are We Ourselves?" (and also appeared in an edited version on the soundtrack for the film Streets of Fire). This track received substantial airplay on U.S. and Canadian modern rock radio stations.
In 1985 the Fixx recorded the song "A Letter to Both Sides" for the soundtrack of the film Fletch. In 1986, they released their fourth album Walkabout, featuring "Secret Separation" (No. 1 on Billboard Magazine's "Album Rock" chart, No. 49 in Canada) and "Built for the Future." The 1987 album React, was a compilation of both live and new studio material, after which the band would depart MCA Records.
In 1989, the Fixx released their first album in nearly three years and only release on RCA Records, Calm Animals, which contained another hit "Driven Out" (another No. 1 on Billboard's "Album Rock" chart).
The band returned to MCA for their next album, 1991's Ink. The album featured "How Much Is Enough?" (No. 27 Canada, No. 35 US).
Post-major label years (1992-present)
Dan K. Brown left the band in 1994. He was not officially replaced, and the band used session musicians on bass in his stead, with Chris Tait playing bass on most recordings and live shows from 1995 through the early 2000s. The four man line-up (with contributions from Tait and other sessioneers) recorded 1998's Elemental, as well as the 1999 album 1011 Woodland on which they re-recorded a selection of previous hits and album tracks.
Long-time bassist Dan K. Brown re-joined the band in 2008, replacing Tibbs. They celebrated 25 years of making music together, with the release of the double-CD Twenty-fifth Anniversary Anthology compilation.
With the classic lineup back intact, the Fixx released their 10th studio album Beautiful Friction on 17 July 2012. The Fixx regularly tour the world.
- Current members
- Cy Curnin - lead vocals (1979-present)
- Adam Woods - drums, percussion (1979-present)
- Rupert Greenall - keyboards, backing vocals (1979-present)
- Jamie West-Oram - guitars, backing vocals (1980-present)
- Dan K. Brown - bass, backing vocals (1983-1994, 2008-present)
- Shuttered Room (1982)
- Reach the Beach (1983)
- Phantoms (1984)
- Walkabout (1986)
- Calm Animals (1989)
- Ink (1991)
- Elemental (1998)
- 1011 Woodland (1999)
- Want That Life (2003)
- Beautiful Friction (2012)
- Dutton, Earle (14 July 2014). "Interview with Cy Curnin of The Fixx". Equality365.com. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
- Colin Larkin, ed. (2003). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Eighties Music (Third ed.). Virgin Books. p. 196. ISBN 1-85227-969-9.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Fixx | Biography, Albums, Streaming Links". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
- James, Gary. "Gary James' Interview With Cy Curnin Of The Fixx". Classicbands.com. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
- Mann, Brent (2005). Blinded By the Lyrics. New York, NY: Citadel Press Books
- Though 1988 is listed as the copyright and publishing date on the initial pressings of Calm Animals, the booklet of Ultimate Collection notes January 1989 as the release date of its debut single "Driven Out". Additionally, The Fixx wrote on Twitter on February 7, 2015, "Back on this day....in 1989.....we released #CalmAnimals.....", implying that the album was released on February 7, 1989.