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Toto Coelo (renamed Total Coelo in the US) was a 1980s British one hit wonder new wave group, masterminded by producer Barry Blue. The original members were singers Anita Mahadevan, Lacey Bond, Lindsey Danvers, Ros Holness (daughter of television presenter Bob Holness) and Sheen Doran.
The group is known for its 1982 hit single "I Eat Cannibals Part 1", which reached No. 8 in the UK Singles Chart and was also a hit in many other countries, including South Africa where it was named the seventeenth biggest selling single of 1983, peaking at No. 3, while it only got as high as No. 66 in the U.S. in early 1983. The solid drum sound that underpins the single was provided by session drummer Peter Boita. Boita received a demo cassette from producer Barry Blue and proceeded to score out a drum part that fitted the song. He programmed his Linndrum Computer with the basic drumbeat that is heard throughout the record. Boita also used this same technique on the B-side of the follow-up single, "Mucho Macho", but, apart from a few television appearances, the single failed to make much impression on the charts.
They also issued a less successful follow-up, "Dracula's Tango". An album was issued containing both singles, together with B-sides and a selection of unreleased tracks in 1983 titled Man o' War. It was not a commercial success, although "Milk from the Coconut" charted in the South Africa Top 20, reaching No. 4 in November 1983.
Following this, Anita Mahadevan and Sheen Doran left the group. In 1985, the remaining three members (now signed to Debut Records) released two singles under the Toto Coelo name. Neither of those singles ("Girl's Night Out" and "Gimme Some Lovin'") was a success.
The group's name is Latin and means "by the whole extent of the heavens" or "heaven-wide", but is commonly translated as "completely", "entirely" or "utterly". Of the name, Sheen Doran said, "It has a number of meanings, such as 'heart and soul', 'root and branch' and 'totally different'. It seemed to describe what we were. Plus, it's strange-sounding and hard to pronounce, so it sticks in your mind." The group was renamed Total Coelo in the United States to avoid confusion with the American rock group Toto.
Mahadevan later changed her name to Anita Chellamah, and formed Cherry Bombz with several former members of Hanoi Rocks, including Andy McCoy. She is now known as Anita Chellamah-Nurse and works as a television actress and presenter.
- "I Eat Cannibals Part 1" (1982) UK No. 8, AUS No. 4, US No. 66, NZ No. 38, SA No.3
- "Dracula's Tango"/"Mucho Macho" (1982) UK No. 54, AUS No. 19, SE No. 8
- "Milk From the Coconut" (1983), AUS No. 100, SA No.4
- "Girl's Night Out" (1985)
- "Gimme Some Lovin'" (1985)
- Man o' War (1983) AUS No. 82
- I Eat Cannibals & Other Tasty Trax (1996) (issued on CD in the U.S. on the Razor & Tie record label, containing all of the Man o' War tracks, plus the bonus track "Weird", and 12" vinyl versions of "I Eat Cannibals" and "Milk From the Coconut")
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 562. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Huey, Steve (1997-11-10). "Toto Coelo - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-11-14.
- Brian Currin. "South African Rock Lists Website - SA Charts 1969 - 1989 Acts (T)". Rock.co.za. Retrieved 2014-03-18.
- I Eat Cannibals & Other Tasty Trax liner notes - 1996