Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders in 1965. L-R: Bob Lang, Ric Rothwell, Eric Stewart and Wayne Fontana
|Associated acts||Wayne Fontana, 10cc|
The Mindbenders were an English beat group from Manchester. Originally the backing group for Wayne Fontana, they were one of several acts that were successful in the mid-1960s British Invasion of the US charts, achieving major chart hits with "Game of Love" (a number-one single with Fontana) in 1965 and "A Groovy Kind of Love" in 1966.
Wayne Fontana founded the band in 1963 with Bob Lang, Ric Rothwell, and Eric Stewart. The group was later joined by Grahame Foote. The name of the group was inspired by the title of a 1963 UK feature film, starring the British actor Dirk Bogarde, called The Mind Benders. Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders released a number of singles before recording "Um Um Um Um Um Um" in 1964, which was to be their first major hit in Britain and led to a tour with Brenda Lee. They also had a No.1 hit in the United States with "Game of Love" in 1965 (which also reached No.2 on the UK singles chart).
After a tour of America and some more singles that were less successful than "Game of Love", Fontana left the band in the middle of a concert in 1965. Stewart became the lead singer of the band, which henceforward was known simply as the Mindbenders.
The Mindbenders' first single without Fontana was the hit "A Groovy Kind of Love" (a Carole Bayer Sager / Toni Wine composition). The song reached No. 2 in the US (No. 1 on the Cashbox singles chart) and No. 2 in the UK in 1966. It sold one million copies globally. The Mindbenders' 1966 album of the same name, however, was a failure.
A second song by Bayer and Wine, "Ashes to Ashes," took the Mindbenders to No. 14 in the UK Singles Chart in the autumn of 1966, after an earlier effort in 1966, "Can't Live With You (Can't Live Without You)" had struggled to break the UK Top 30.
On 4 July 1966, the Mindbenders began their last US tour in Atlanta, Georgia in front of a capacity 25,000 crowd as the support act for James Brown. Stewart recalled that "we went down quite well" but that later shows at the Fillmore West Auditorium on Friday 8 July and Saturday 9 July 1966 were more memorable. "The liquid light show was great and really worked with our act, which was a lot heavier than on our records."
Stewart had become a songwriter, and wrote "My New Day and Age" for Family. However, the Mindbenders sought material from outside the band. Their next project was a concept album, several months before Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, S.F. Sorrow and Tommy were issued. The Mindbenders release, With Woman in Mind, contained "I Want Her, She Wants Me" (written by Rod Argent of The Zombies), "Ashes to Ashes", and the lascivious "Schoolgirl". The album did not sell well and was not even released in the US. The accompanying single, another Bayer/Wine composition, "We'll Talk About It Tomorrow" also flopped.
The Mindbenders appeared in the 1967 Sidney Poitier movie, To Sir, with Love and were also on the soundtrack with the songs "Off and Running" and "It's Getting Harder All the Time". Rothwell quit the band and was replaced by Paul Hancox. The Mindbenders released their cover version of "The Letter" which fell short at No. 42 in the UK singles chart (the last time The Mindbenders registered a single in the UK charts), whilst The Box Tops original reached the UK Top 10. A couple more flops followed and in March 1968, Lang quit and was replaced by Graham Gouldman; with him the band recorded a final single "Uncle Joe, the Ice Cream Man".
On 20 November 1968, they broke up at the final concert of a UK tour with The Who, Arthur Brown and Joe Cocker. Stewart and Gouldman went on to form Hotlegs and, much more significantly, the band 10cc.
In the 1970s, Grahame Foote joined with original members Lek Leckenby and Barry Whitwam of Herman's Hermits after the exit of Peter Noone. Although Leckenby died in 1994, Foote has continued with the Hermits through to the present.
- Wayne Fontana (born Glyn Geoffrey Ellis, 28 October 1945, Droylsden, Lancashire) – vocals (1963-1965)
- Bob Lang (born Robert F Lang, 10 January 1946, Manchester, Lancashire) – bass (1963-1968)
- Ric Rothwell (born Eric Rothwell, 11 March 1944, Stockport, Cheshire) – drums (1963-1967)
- Eric Stewart (born Eric Michael Stewart, 20 January 1945, Levenshulme, Lancashire) – guitars, vocals (1963-1968)
- Graham Foote (born 26 November 1946, Manchester, Lancashire) – guitars (1963-1968)
- Paul Hancox (born 25 October 1950, Birmingham, Warwickshire) – drums (1967-1968)
- Graham Gouldman (born Graham Keith Gouldman, 10 May 1946, Broughton, Salford, Lancashire) – bass (1968)
|Year||Single||Catalogue||Chart Positions||UK album||US album|
b/w "Road Runner"
|UK Fontana TF404||46||—||—||Non-album tracks||Non-album tracks|
|"For You, For You"
b/w "Love Potion No. 9"
|UK Fontana TF418||—||—||—|
b/w "Come Dance With Me"
|UK Fontana TF436||—||—||—|
|"Stop Look and Listen"
UK B: "Duke of Earl"
US B: "Road Runner"
|UK Fontana TF451
US Fontana 1917
|"Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um"
b/w "First Taste of Love"
|UK Fontana TF497||5||—||—|
|1965||"Game of Love"
b/w "Since You've Been Gone"
|UK Fontana TF535
US Fontana 1503
|2||38||1||A: The Game of Love|
B: Non-album track
|"Game of Love"
b/w "One More Time"
Second US pressing
|US Fontana 1509||A: Non-album track
B: Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders
|The Game of Love|
|"It's Just a Little Bit Too Late"
b/w "Long Time Comin'"
|UK Fontana TF579
US Fontana 1514
|20||55||45||Eric, Rick, Wayne and Bob||Non-album tracks|
|"She Needs Love"
b/w "Like I Did"
|UK Fontana TF611
US Fontana 1524
|32||—||—||A: Non-album track|
B: Eric, Rick, Wayne and Bob
|1965||"A Groovy Kind of Love"
b/w "Love Is Good"
|UK Fontana TF 644
US Fontana 1541
|2||—||2||The Mindbenders||A Groovy Kind Of Love|
|1966||"Can't Live With You (Can't Live Without You)"
b/w "One Fine Day"
|UK Fontana TF 697||28||A: Non-album tracks|
B: The Mindbenders
|"Ashes To Ashes"
b/w "You Don't Know About Love"
|UK Fontana TF 731
US Fontana 1555
|1967||"I Want Her, She Wants Me"
b/w "The Morning After"
|UK Fontana TF 780
US Fontana 1571
|With Woman In Mind||Non-album tracks|
|"We'll Talk About It Tomorrow"
b/w "Far Across Town"
|UK Fontana TF 806||Non-album tracks|
|"Off and Running"
b/w "It's Getting Harder All The Time"
|US Fontana 1595||"To Sir, With Love" Soundtrack|
b/w "My New Day and Age"
|UK Fontana TF 869||42||Non-album tracks|
b/w "Coming Back"
|UK Fontana TF 877||A: With Woman In Mind|
B: Non-album track
|1968||"Blessed Are The Lonely"
b/w "Yellow Brick Road"
|UK Fontana TF 910
US Fontana 1620
|"Uncle Joe, The Ice Cream Man"
b/w "The Man Who Loved Trees"
|UK Fontana TF 961
US Fontana 1628
|1969||"A Groovy Kind of Love"
b/w "Ashes To Ashes"
|UK Fontana TF 1026||A: The Mindbenders
B: Non-album track
|A Groovy Kind Of Love|
- Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders (label has: Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um – It's Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders) – 1964 (UK Fontana TL5230)
- The Game of Love – 1965 (US Fontana MGF 27542 (Mono)/SRF 67542 (Stereo))
- Eric, Rick, Wayne and Bob – It's Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders – 1965 (UK Fontana TL5257)
- The Mindbenders (UK Fontana STL 5324) – June 1966
- A Groovy Kind of Love (US Fontana MGF 27554 (Mono) / SRF 67554 (Stereo) -- US No. 92, July 1966
- Original copies feature "Don't Cry No More", replaced with "Ashes to Ashes" on later pressings
- With Woman in Mind (UK Fontana STL 5403) – April 1967
- The Best of Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders (US Fontana 314 522 666-2 ) – 1994
- List of bands from Manchester
- List of artists who reached number one in the United States
- List of performers on Top of the Pops
- Dave Thompson (1968-11-20). "The Mindbenders | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
- "JPost | French-language news from Israel, the Middle East & the Jewish World". Fr.jpost.com. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 208. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- "Concert Poster for The Mindbenders and The Chocolate Watch Band, Friday and Saturday, 8–9 July 1966". Rockmine.com. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 447. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "The Mindbenders | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 368. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.