1977 – 1982 (5 years)
London, England, United Kingdom
New Musik were a London based Synthpop group active from 1979 to 1982.
The lead singer and frontman was songwriter/producer Tony Mansfield, who was also a former member of the Nick Straker Band. New Musik first appeared on the BBC TV pop programme, Top Of The Pops in October 1979 with their debut hit single "Straight Lines" which received airplay on BBC Radio 1 from special guesting DJ Frank Zappa.
Their debut album "From A To B" (1980) reached the Top 40 in the UK Albums Chart and contained four UK chart hit singles; "Straight Lines", "Living By Numbers", "This World Of Water" and "Sanctuary". New Musik also topped the French singles chart with "On Islands" from this album.
Touring the UK in 1980, New Musik performed at both the Oxford and Cambridge Balls (with Elvis Costello) and at the Rotterdam New Pop festival in the Netherlands, and did a second UK tour in 1981.
Their second album, Anywhere (1981) reached #68 in the chart, but despite gaining international acclaim, neither of its singles "Luxury" or "While You Wait" charted in the UK.
In 1981 a compilation album, Sanctuary, was released in the U.S., consisting of four tracks from From A To B and eight from Anywhere. Previous to this release, there had also been a four song 10" vinyl Straight Lines released by CBS Records in the U.S. as part of their short-lived Epic "Nu-Disk" series, which had also included The Clash's Black Market Clash.
After the demise of GTO Records, New Musik released their third and final album, Warp (1982) which was more experimental. Oddly, it featured a synth version of The Beatles "All You Need Is Love", alongside an identically titled track of their own. Tracks such as "Hunting", "A Train On Twisted Tracks" and "Kingdoms For Horses" showed much promise, but without promotion and with limited record company support, the group disbanded shortly after.
Known for their originality and innovative approach to recording, New Musik specialised in catchy synth-pop with clever, often thought-provoking lyrical content. Tracks such as "Dead Fish (Don't Swim Home)" and "The Planet Doesn't Mind" highlighted environmental issues, still a minority interest in the early 1980s.
Several artists have covered tracks by New Musik, including Camouflage who did a version of "On Islands" in 1989.
Mansfield went on to achieve considerable success in the field of production for the likes of After The Fire, A-Ha, Aztec Camera, The B-52s, The Damned, Captain Sensible, Naked Eyes, Mari Wilson, Jean Paul Gaultier, Miguel Bose and Ana Torroja, some of his most successful projects.
From A To B and Anywhere were released on CD in 1994, and again in 2001, remastered and with bonus tracks. Warp was also released (with bonus tracks) on CD for the first time in 2001, in Japan. This remains its only CD release.
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