1979 – 1985 (6 years)
London, England, United Kingdom
Classix Nouveaux was one of the first new romantic acts in England. Although Classix Nouveaux's more guitar-heavy sound separated them from the mostly synthetic rhythms of Japan and Ultravox, the group's appetite for stylish fashion and danceable keyboards had them quickly associated with the flashier parts of the budding new wave movement. Formed in 1979 with Sal Solo (vocals), Mik Sweeney (bass), BP Hurding (drums), and Jak Airport (guitar), Classix Nouveaux originated in the punk underground, namely from the ashes of the controversial X-Ray Spex.
After banshee wailer Poly Styrene departed from X-Ray Spex, the remaining members held auditions for a replacement singer. Solo won the approval of a few of Styrene's former bandmates, and they debuted at the Music Machine on August 1979. Airport left the group before they even recorded their first single; he was replaced by Gary Steadman. In 1981, Classix Nouveaux released "Guilty," one of their most well-known tracks; the track was a Top-20 hit in Sweden and received interest in the U.K. as well as the U.S. The music video also received airplay on MTV.
A year later, the single "Is It a Dream" reached number 13 on the U.K. charts. Despite successful tours in Yugoslavia, Finland, and Poland, none of Classix Nouveaux's three albums truly catapulted them beyond cult status in Britain or America, getting lost in the shuffle of other new romantic groups that they had originally influenced. The band split up in 1985, and Solo started recording Christian music.
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