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

ABC (often spelled with three stars) is a band from Sheffield, England fronted by Martin Fry. One of the biggest acts of the boom for a time, they’re best known for their critically and commercially acclaimed 1982 debut album ‘The Lexicon Of Love’. They charted ten U.K. and five U.S. Top 40 singles between 1981 and 1990. Their latest album, ‘Traffic’, was released in April 2008.

Martin Fry had some underground success as a music journalist with the fanzine ‘Modern Drugs’, interviewing various British and groups, before he decided to join a band himself. ABC has its roots in the group Vice Versa, a Sheffield music outfit formed in 1977 by Stephen Singleton and Mark White. They founded their own label, ‘Neutron Records’, and released an EP. Fry started off with the act as a synthesizer player. By 1980, the band had evolved into ABC, with Fry becoming the lead vocalist.

The group’s first single, “Tears Are Not Enough”, made the U.K. 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 U.K. 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).


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