The Kids from "Fame"

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The Kids from "Fame"
Kids from Fame 1983.jpg
The Kids from "Fame" in Schiphol, the Netherlands, in 1983
Background information
Origin United States
Genres Pop
Instruments Vocals, Keyboards
Years active 1982–1984
Labels RCA Records, BBC Records

The Kids from "Fame" was the group name of several cast members from the US TV series Fame who had a number of hit singles and albums at the height of the show's success in the UK. This success culminated in tours of the UK where they performed live in concert.[1] A live album was subsequently released.[2]

Background[edit]

The group came to prominence in the summer of 1982 when the series first aired in the UK and a single "Hi Fidelity" reached No.5.[3] Along with this an album was released: The Kids from "Fame", which reached No.1 for 12 weeks.[4][5] A series of singles and albums followed over the next 12 months with songs taken from the show's first three seasons.[6] By the summer of 1983, interest in the show was beginning to wane and the releases abruptly stopped, although the TV series carried on until 1987.

The main vocalists of the group were Debbie Allen, Valerie Landsburg, Erica Gimpel, Carlo Imperato, Gene Anthony Ray, Lee Curreri, Lori Singer and P.R. Paul.

In late 1982 the cast members as The Kids from "Fame" performed some live shows in the UK, which led to a fuller tour of Europe in early 1983. These included a show at the Royal Albert Hall in London which was recorded and released as an album. It was during the 1983 tour that stories began to emerge in the press that things were not so harmonious off-stage with stories of drug-taking, alcohol abuse and backstage rows. During the tour Erica Gimpell and Debbie Allen had a disagreement over the choice of a song which ultimately led to Gimpell walking out of the tour and heading back to the US. The tour carried on without her, but led to further press reports of how Allen was being domineering over the others and was labelled in one article as "a bitch". Allen later commented on the accusations saying that they upset her, but in reality was just trying to keep the group together and focussed amid the late-night parties and mayhem (which included Gene Anthony Ray smashing up a dressing room at one point). Several members commented that they were unaware of the success of the show until they arrived in London, which they found overwhelming.[7][8] Prior to this, Valerie Landsburg did some promotional work alone in the UK during the summer of 1982 to promote the "Hi Fidelity" single, which was riding high in the charts at the time.

In 2003 a BBC TV special reunited several members of the group to talk about their time on the show and as the performing group. The special culminated in them performing the song "Starmaker" to Lee Curreri's piano accompaniment. This was Gene Anthony Ray's last on-screen appearance before his death some months later.[7] Subsequently in 2008, television presenter Justin Lee Collins travelled to America to unite various members of the group in a show titled Bring Back...Fame. They spoke of their success as a group in the UK and their live shows, and mentioned Gimpel quitting the group during the tour due to the pressures. Lansburg also talked about her surprise at the success of "Hi Fidelity". Curreri spoke about the music, saying that he was the only member to contribute to the writing of the songs and the only member to play an instrument on the recordings (synthesizer). However, Lori Singer also played the cello on some of the recordings. The show was transmitted on 27 December 2008.[8]

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

Release date Single Record label UK Chart position[9]
August 1982 "Hi Fidelity" 1 RCA 5
September 1982 "Starmaker" RCA 3
November 1982 "Mannequin" 2 RCA 50
February 1983 "Friday Night (Live version)" 3 RCA 13
June 1983 "Body Language" 4 RCA 76
September 1983 "Songs" 5 RCA

1Lead vocals by Valerie Landsburg. 2Lead vocals by Gene Anthony Ray. 3Lead vocals by Carlo Imperato. 4Lead vocals by Debbie Allen. 5Lead vocals by Carlo Imperato and Erica Gimpel

Albums[edit]

Release date (UK) Album Label(s) UK Chart position[10]
July 1982 The Kids from "Fame" RCA (US), BBC (UK) 1
October 1982 Again RCA (UK) 2
February 1983 Live! RCA (US), BBC (UK) 8
May 1983 Songs RCA (US, UK) 14
August 1983 Sing for You BBC (UK) 28
1984 Rock 'N Roll World RCA (US)
1984 Best of Fame RCA (US)

The albums Again and Sing for You were not released in the U.S.

The artist name for the album Rock 'N Roll World is given as Fame, rather than The Kids From "Fame" as was used on the earlier releases.

No separate artist name is given on the album Best of Fame.

CD re-releases: The Kids from "Fame" (RCA ND90427, UK/Europe only) and Best of Fame (RCA PD84961, UK/Europe only).

Videos[edit]

Release date Video Record label(s)
1983 Live at the Royal Albert Hall MGM/UA(US)

References[edit]

  1. ^ TV.com. "The Kids from "Fame" Live". Retrieved 1 March 2009. 
  2. ^ Amaedia. "The Kids from "Fame" Live album review". Retrieved 11 October 2008. 
  3. ^ Chartstats. ""Hi Fidelity" chart details". Retrieved 21 September 2009. 
  4. ^ Allmusic. "The Kids from "Fame" album review". Retrieved 2 November 2008 (2008-11-02).  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  5. ^ Chartstats. "The Kids from "Fame" album chart details". Archived from the original on 2012-07-29. Retrieved 21 September 2008. 
  6. ^ Fameforever. "Album details". Retrieved 1 March 2009. 
  7. ^ a b Fame, Remember My Name?, BBC television, 2003
  8. ^ a b UK TV Guide. "Bring Back Fame". Retrieved 5 January 2009. 
  9. ^ Chartstats. "The Kids from "Fame" singles". Archived from the original on 2012-07-21. Retrieved 21 September 2008. 
  10. ^ Chartstats. "The Kids from "Fame" albums". Archived from the original on 2013-01-18. Retrieved 21 September 2008.