Cook Da Books formed in 1980 in Fazakerley, Liverpool, composed of former members of The Dogems and Brooklyn. The initial line-up was Peter Deary (vocals, guitar), Owen Moran (bass, vocals), Tony Prescott (keyboards), and John Legget (drums).
They initially gained attention with their acclaimed, and politically charged, debut single "Piggie in the Middle 8", about the widespread British riots in 1981 and other local issues. The single brought them to the attention of musician Vladimir Cosma, who included three tracks by the band on the soundtrack to the French film La Boum 2. The film includes a scene with the band playing "Your Eyes", which reached number one in France and Hong Kong, selling over 900,000 copies and earning the band a gold disc. It brought the band international recognition while they remained relatively unknown in their home country and the United States, despite high profile support slots with Men at Work, Joan Armatrading and The Undertones, among others. The band recorded two sessions (in 1983 and 1984) for John Peel's BBC Radio 1 show, and one for Simon Bates. They appeared on the BBC TV show Whistle Test in 1985. In 1985 they contributed "Piggy In The Middle 8" to Ronnie Flood's Jobs For the Boys compilation album, released to highlight the lack of jobs available at the time in Liverpool.
After Prescott's departure, the remaining three members became simply "Da Books", and re-emerged a year later with a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Living for the City", released on Probe Plus.
The band also recorded "The Lookout is Out" (based on the melody of "Asterix est la" by Plastic Bertrand) the theme song for the 1986 animated film Asterix in Britain.
1982: " Piggie in the Middle Eight" / "Turn to Black"
1982: " Rich Men Don't" / "Low Profile"
1983: "Piggie in the Middle Eight" / "I Wouldn't Want to Knock It"
1983: "Your Eyes"
1983: "Low Profile" / "Rich Men Don't"
1983: "I Wouldn't Want To Knock It" / "Up In Smoke" / "In Da Papers"
1984: "Caress Me Like a Flower" / "Say Something Good"
1984: "Golden Age" / "Soho"
1985: "You Hurt Me Deep Inside" / "Piggie in the Middle Eight" / "Low Profile" (
1986: "Living for the City" / "All I Want is Everything" / "How Could You Be So Low" / "Giving Up the Acid" / "England May as Well Be Cuba"
1986: "The Look Out Is Out" (Theme song for the animated film, Asterix in Britain)
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