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ABC

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Sheffield, England (1981 – 1991, 1997 – present)

ABC (often spelled with three stars) are a band from Sheffield, England fronted by singer Martin Fry. They charted ten UK and five US Top 40 singles between 1981 and 1990. Their last album Traffic was released in April 2008.

The group’s first single, “Tears Are Not Enough”, made the UK Top 20 in 1981. Soon afterwards, David Robinson left the band and was replaced by drummer David Palmer. In 1982, the band released their debut album The Lexicon Of Love, which reached number one in the UK Albums Chart. Produced by Trevor Horn, it often featured in UK critics’ lists of favourite albums: it ranked 42nd in The Observer Music Monthly’s “Top 100 British Albums” (June 2004) and 40th in Q magazine’s “100 Greatest British Albums” (June 2000). The band had three Top 10 hits during 1982: the singles “Poison Arrow”, “The Look Of Love (Part 1)” and “All Of My Heart” and shot high-concept music videos.

ABC found it difficult to follow up their debut. The second album, Beauty Stab, was released in November 1983. It performed poorly in comparison to its predecessor. Gary Langan, who had engineered The Lexicon of Love, produced the effort. The first single, “That Was Then But This Is Now”, briefly appeared in the UK Top 20, followed by a Top 40 showing for “S.O.S.”. The band eschewed remixes for the project, and the 12” single for “That Was Then but This Is Now” featured the disclaimer “This record is exactly the same as the 7” version. The choice is yours.” Stephen Singleton retired from the band in 1984.

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