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The Tourists, 1980. L-R: Jim Toomey, Eddie Chin, Annie Lennox, Peet Coombes and Dave Stewart.
|Genres||New wave, pop rock, folk, post-punk|
|Labels||Logo, RCA, Epic (US/Canada)|
|Past members||David A. Stewart
The Tourists (1977–1980) were a British rock and pop band. They achieved brief success in the late 1970s before the band split in 1980. Two of its members, singer Annie Lennox and guitarist Dave Stewart, went on to achieve massive international success as Eurythmics.
Peet Coombes was a guitarist singer-songwriter, while Dave Stewart, also a guitarist, had been a member of the folk rock band, Longdancer, who were signed to Elton John's Rocket label. The two moved to London and encountered Scottish singer Annie Lennox who had dropped out of her course at the Royal Academy of Music, where she had been studying flute and keyboards, to pursue her ambitions in pop music.
Forming a band in 1975, the three of them initially called themselves The Catch, and released a single "Borderline/Black Blood" in 1977 on Logo Records. The single was released in the UK, The Netherlands, Spain and Portugal but was not a commercial success.
Re-christening as 'The Tourists'
By 1977, they had recruited bass guitarist Eddie Chin and drummer Jim Toomey, and rechristened themselves The Tourists. This saw the beginning of a productive two years for the band and they released three albums: The Tourists (in the liner notes "Ann Lennox" is listed), Reality Effect and Luminous Basement, as well as half a dozen singles, including "Blind Among the Flowers" (1979), "The Loneliest Man in the World" (1979), "Don't Say I Told You So" (1980) and two hits, the Dusty Springfield cover "I Only Want to Be with You" (1979) and "So Good to Be Back Home Again" (1980), both of which reached the top 10 in the UK.
"I Only Want to Be With You" was also a top 10 hit in Australia and made the US Billboard Hot 100 (#83). Coombes was the band's main songwriter, although later releases saw the first compositions by Lennox and Stewart, who were also in a relationship for a time. The band's music expanded using their folk roots, demonstrating some punk energy, reggae and 1960s pop influences. A key development was their decision to record later material with German avant-garde producer Conny Plank and a transfer to RCA Records in 1980.
The band toured extensively in the UK and abroad, including a support role on Roxy Music's Manifesto Tour in 1979 but despite modest chart success, they were critically savaged by the punk-championing UK music press. This and legal wrangling and some personal tensions, led to the group disbanding in 1980.
After the break-up
Coombes and Chin reputedly began a new project named Acid Drops but this met with little success and Coombes, despite originally being the main artistic force behind the Tourists, drifted out of the music business after the disbanding. Lennox and Stewart soon split as a couple but decided to continue working as an experimental musical partnership, under the new name Eurythmics. They retained their RCA recording contract and links with Conny Plank, who produced their first album, In The Garden in 1981. (The untimely death of Coombes in late 1997 acted as a catalyst for Lennox and Stewart to revive their friendship and musical partnership, after they had disbanded Eurythmics in 1990.)
- The Luminous Basement album was re-issued on CD in 1998 with a changed up tracklist.
- The 2007 US re-release on CD of Reality Effect (after a very limited first run in the 1980s) was actually a compilation of most of the songs from the first two UK albums.
- There are no plans to re-issue The Tourists' debut album. A vinyl copy is extremely rare to find and is prized among collectors.
- Peet Coombes - vocal, guitar
- David A. Stewart - guitar
- Annie Lennox - vocal, keyboards
- Eddie Chin - bass guitar
- Jim Toomey - drums
|1984||Should Have Been Greatest Hits||—||—|
|1979||"Blind Among the Flowers"||52||—||—||—||—||The Tourists|
|"The Loneliest Man in the World"||32||—||—||—||—|
|"I Only Want to Be with You"||4||13||6||50||83||Reality Effect|
|1980||"So Good to Be Back Home Again"||8||9||—||—||—|
|"Don't Say I Told You So"||40||—||—||—||—||Luminous Basement|
|"From the Middle Room"||—||—||—||—||—|